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Incognito - Volume 2: Bad Influences Paperback – Jul 27 2011


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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: 17.1 x 1.3 x 26 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 249 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #234,489 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Amazon.com: 7 reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
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
Brubaker and Phillips continue to deliver. Aug. 23 2011
By Sean Curley - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
"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.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Worth a read, but not Brubaker's best Feb. 1 2012
By Stumptowner - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
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
An excelent followup to an excelent comic. Aug. 31 2011
By Juan Vargas - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Bad Influences carries on the great story that began on the 1st volume of Incognito. The writing and the art on this comic are top notch so its hard not to recommend others to pick up and read it too. Specially since this is a creator owned project (no Marvel/DC shennanigans here, Brubaker and Phillips own this thing all together) you can spect things to be out of the ordinary... in a good way.

I strongly advise to read the 1st volume before this since this aint a stand alone story. Just in case someone tries to jump in right away.

My only complain about this is that this hole thing can't be made fast enough. I want more and faster please!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Worth Three Stars, yes . . . but a far cry from the original April 26 2013
By G B Busby - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Fairly decent read, ok plot, not anywhere near as novel in concept as the original. Not much in the way of character development (hero or villain).

Worth picking up if someone is gifting it to you on sale, if not just stay with the original (hopefully the author will write a few more sequals executed as well the first which will get packaged together into a bundled omnibus-type version. But I digress.


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