Even Ed Brubaker’s commented on it in the back pages, but there was almost no lag between issues 3 and 4 of his terrific new sequel series, Incognito: Bad Influences. (This post is another two-fer, because these issues flow so smoothly it’s easier to treat any issue like part of the larger piece that it will evuentually become.)
When last we left ex-super villain and current SOS Agent Zack Overkill, he’d gone undercover in the underworld and gotten himself noticed at the end of the trail he’d followed: A kinky super-brothel where the other patrons might be… well, imagine what kind of S&M goes on at a super-brothel. These people don’t like being disturbed.
While waiting for new side-kick King Midas, Zack is outed and we find him burrowing deeper underground (literally – the bad guys hang out in an abandoned subway station.) Following a show of force, Zack leaves with information and is immediately followed by a new character, a shadowy red-cloaked figure. With minimal fanfare he destroys the folks Zack left bleeding. Is he a more forceful, vengeance-driven hero, or a new threat to Zack’s life?
It’s not too spoilery to say that there’s a connection between the New Gun in Town” and the original Red Death, a 1930’s science hero whose powers are somehow connected to the origin of Zack’s super-strength. And to keep this whole article non-spoilery, I’m going to stop recounting the “plot so far” and talk bout just one of the reasons I like this series:
It reminds me of the Venture Bros.
Not in the violence and sex (although both Incognito and VB have plenty of that), but in the author’s ability to create whole worlds with just pen, paper and ink. For those who’ve never seen Adult Swim’s the Venture Bros, don’t let the Adult Swim tag throw you. This isn’t piss-you-off Tim And Erik anti-comedy, or stoner humor meant to be “random.” Like Incognito, VB introduces death rays, secret organizations and the mask-and-cape lifestyles of non-superheroes with the straightest of faces.
Most of the characters are aware they live in this world, but few make too much mention of it. And both series have this to say about the super-powered who do get famous: “Fucking famewhores.” If you like the Venture Bros, check out Incognito: Bad Influences (and vice versa!)