After a great first issue that showed a lot of promise, Ed Brubaker's second issue of Incognito doesn't disappoint. Furthering the story of Zack Overkill, former super-villain now in the witness protection program, this issue begins to solidify the character a bit more and lays groundwork for what type of series this is going to be. It's not going to be nice, I can tell you that much, but this is shaping up to be a hard-edged book that is going down wonderfully written and drawn dark paths.
Overkill is still off of his power dampening meds and has been busting some heads at night as a vigilante that's not really a vigilante. He could care less about the people he saves from street thugs, in fact he resents them for being the moronic victims they are. This is more about him beating the hell out of people and stretching his legs again now that his powers are back. In fact, he's noticing how much stronger he is now compared to before he went on the medication. Zack is not a hero by any means but he doesn't seem to be a monster either.
Brubaker has created a character in Overkill that doesn't come off as one of those "gray area" anti-heroes. He's not the dark and edgy good guy with a mean streak, he reads way better than that. He's a criminal plain and simple and he's strong as hell. He doesn't seem to particularly feel bad about splitting some guys skull open, nor does he give a damn about the victims he rescues. There's no real morality to his actions, he just enjoys it. But now that he's been out a few times, buzz is spreading about his after dark escapades and the consequences are beginning to show themselves. We also get a look at the heavy that Zack turned witness against and this situation is not going to be pretty at all. Con games, violence, intelligent characters and super powers: this book has it all.
Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips compliment each other disgustingly well. The art has me completely enamored with the story and I can't wait for the next issue, mission accomplished all the way around. This is one of those books that people are going to look back on and say that nobody else could have drawn this, Sean Phillips has made his mark here and it's a win/win for the reader. At this point, with only two issues, my expectations of this series may be getting set a little too high but I have the sneaky suspicion that I won't be disappointed. Do yourself a favor and start grabbing this book, don't wait for the trade, read it now. This is fun, fun stuff told for adults and it's not often you get that in such a smart package. I'm giving this an A not only because of the quality of the book but also because this is the issue that has gotten me officially hooked. This title has moved towards the top of my read pile and it did so with only two issues. My ass hasn't been beaten black and blue by it, but I've definitely gotten a bloody lip so far and I think it'll officially stomp me a new mudhole after a few more issues.