"Incognito: Bad Influences" is the second volume of Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips' series-of-miniseries "Incognito", which finished last year and now alternates arcs with their ongoing "Criminal" noir crime title. "Incognito"'s first miniseries was, in many respects, a superhero origin story disguised as a superpowered noir, and the second volume picks up that thread, though, as you'd expect from Brubaker, it goes its own way with that concept. "Bad Influences" collects the whole five-issue miniseries of the same name. Spoilers follow.
We open with Zack Overkill now in the employ of the US government, working as a superhero of sorts, and shagging his attractive boss, Zoe Zeppelin (I do enjoy the names in this story; they're an enjoyably goofy contrast to the content). However, his old life as a supervillain both has ghosts that come back to haunt him and legacies that his new bosses want to exploit as part of their fight against the bad guys. Overkill is sent to retrieve a rogue agent who has infiltrated a HYDRA-like terrorist organization, and quickly becomes reacquainted with his old life as he pretends to have gone bad again. On what side will Zack end up?
As other reviewers have noted, Brubaker is exploring some of the same terrain he so effectively mined in "Criminal". In this instance, it's about Zack discovering that, in spite of his past, he has developed something resembling a conscience and a desire to do good (or, at least, not to do wrong). Of course, this being a Brubaker story, having arrived at this realization his life soon takes a serious turn for the worse. Whereas the first miniseries left the door open for more stories, but did not necessitate them, "Bad Influences" most definitely ends on a cliffhanger that will need a third volume.
Based on this, that third volume will be worth checking out as well.