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Incognito - Volume 2: Bad Influences [Paperback]

Ed Brubaker , Sean Phillips

List Price: CDN$ 19.99
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Book Description

July 27 2011
One of the biggest Hollywood options of the year, nominated for THREE Eisner Awards, INCOGNITO is finally back for more! It's apocalyptic pulp noir at its finest! It's been over a year since Zack Overkill came out of Witness Protection to build a new life. But working for the government isn't that different from being controlled by them, and his new secret identity is becoming more trouble than it's worth... So what will Zack do when tasked with a mission that sends him on a hunt into darkest corners of the super-criminal underworld where he was raised?

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Marvel (July 27 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0785151559
  • ISBN-13: 978-0785151555
  • Product Dimensions: 25.4 x 16.5 x 1.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 249 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #185,349 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.0 out of 5 stars  7 reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A solid (and familiar) comic by Brubaker and Phillips.... July 17 2011
By Jason Bean - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips are among the most successful creative teams in comics working today and their titles 'Sleeper' and 'Criminal' are among my favorites! With 'Incognito' Brubaker and Phillips have tried their hands at the "pulp" genre. While it's a well-written, well-drawn comic 'Incognito' (and especially this second volume 'Bad Influences') works best as an extension of the themes in their previous comic 'Sleeper'.

The story of Incognito involves former mass-murdering super-villain (or "science" villain) Zack Overkill. Zack, after being caught and put into witness protection by the SOS (government sponsored "science" heroes) and discovering his origins in the last book now finds himself working for the "good-guys". The SOS want Zack to go undercover and into his former villain-life to draw out another undercover SOS agent who may have gone rogue. As with the first book Zack sees the line between good and evil blurred and starts to question his role in the world and maybe starts to develop a conscience.

If this story sounds a lot like 'Sleeper' that's because 'Incognito: Bad Influences' hits on almost every theme explored in that previous (and better) comic. Both feature undercover protagonists who blur the line between hero and villain and question their feelings and motivations. Both have women in their lives who try and sway their loyalties (or lack thereof). Both comics even seem to take place in the same gritty, super-person infested world. I'm not saying both stories are verbatim or anything, but the line between rehashing old ideas and just plain ripping them off was hard to see at some points.

Also, as I pointed out 'Incognito' is supposed to be Brubaker and Phillips' attempt at a "pulp" story. Like the first volume of this comic I just wasn't feeling it with 'Bad Influences'. There are some cheeky and weird bits to 'Incognito' but they're completely overshadowed by the superhero/villain elements. In fact you could just substitute science-villain for "super"-villain and I doubt anyone would notice.

The one BIG thing that separates Incognito from Brubaker and Phillips' earilier comics is in it's protagonists. Zack Overkill is much more fun than 'Sleeper's Holden Carver in that he actually likes killing people. Even when working for the good-guys Zack hasn't exactly developed empathy or anything (at least not at first), he just doesn't want to go back to prison and figures killing bad guys is a decent alternative to killing good guys. It's really a testament to Brubaker and Phillips' story-telling that they can make such a mean-spirited character so much fun to read about.

While it definitely rehashes a lot of familiar territory, 'Incognito: Bad Influences' is still a solid story and a lot more exciting than most comics on the shelves these days. Sean Phillips' artwork is outstanding as always and brings the characters of 'Incognito' to life, coupled with Ed Brubaker's solid script. A good comic, but a familiar one.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Worth a read, but not Brubaker's best Feb. 1 2012
By Stumptowner - Published on Amazon.com
Anything by Brubaker and Phillips is always a must-read, but the second volume of the story of Zack Overkill doesn't have the zip of the original series. As someone noted, since it's touching on themes from "Sleeper" we've seen a bit of this before. Plus, the real hook of a supervillain being stuck in Witness Protection no longer applies now that he's joined the "Good Guys." That being said, Overkill is still an interesting character; the introspective antihero we've come to expect from Brubaker.

One main issue with this series is that the plot also doesn't really pick up steam until the very end. We watch Zack wind his way through a couple of issues as he tries to infiltrate a syndicate more evil than the one he left. However, once he gets there, the story jumps awkwardly into endgame. And the secondary story involving retribution from a heretofore unknown character and its effects on Zack's life is really muddled and unclear on the first read, yet it, in particular, propels the story forward into what will certainly be another chapter. Perhaps a more villainous one.

Phillips' art is fantastic, as usual. And the covers for the entire series deserve their own exhibition.

I'm looking forward to more Incognito, be it in print or on the movie screen. "Bad Influences" isn't a letdown, per se. It's more like just a good effort.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Brubaker and Phillips continue to deliver. Aug. 23 2011
By Sean Curley - Published on Amazon.com
"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.
4.0 out of 5 stars Quite Solid Sept. 2 2013
By Scott McFarland - Published on Amazon.com
This story arc does resembles "Sleeper" a bit after it gets going. Still a fun ride though, great stuff. Reading this a second time, I'm noticing that it's pretty much a treasure.
5.0 out of 5 stars Great story. Amazing art. June 15 2013
By Josh Hixson - Published on Amazon.com
Bad influences is to Ingognito, what Empire Strikes is to New Hope. You will love every page and every panel, and the gutters in between.

Buy it.

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