Brandon Borzelli’s Geek Goggle Reviews
Icon (Marvel Comics)
Brubaker & Phillips
The finale of the first mini series of Incognito goes out with a lot of action and plenty of plot resolution. The issue is an oversized story and makes use of all of the space as it tries to completely tie off this story. It’s a good issue and a good story. However, when reading it I was trying to figure out where I would place alongside the Criminal or Sleeper stories as it seems to be naturally grouped among them. While they shouldn’t be taken into account in reviewing this particularly issue, it does factor in to how this arc will stand up over time. I liked it and I think there something in here for fans of Criminal as well as others who may have never read Sleeper or Criminal before.
This comic is simply packed. Zack and Ava are held captive as Zack’s brother, Yuri, is committing heinous crimes with Zack’s face. The plans for Zack and Ava are basic enough, they are to die, but not before some experimenting is completed on them. At the risk of spoiling anything, let’s just say that eventually Zack confronts Yuri and has a renewed sense of desperation as the hidden plot unfolds. That’s pretty much all I can say without ruining the whole story.
What this comic doesn’t really have is a huge twist. When you consider that Zack was in the witness protection program for selling out the bad guys and then turns quasi-good-guy, you might expect to find another turn or double-cross in this issue. However, that level of deception never really occurs. I found myself waiting for the floor to give way and it just never happened. This isn’t disappointing or surprising necessarily, but does leave the ending a little too straightforward.
However, the comic does have a good plot with some nice layers and cases of double jeopardy tucked into it. With the reveal of all of the plot to Zack he ends up having a few character defining moments as he makes some hard choices about which path he takes. The funny thing is you can see how certain ends were left open for subsequent stories. It will interesting to see which threads future stories run with.
The comic actually manages to really establish the character of Yuri very well and it gives a nice comparison to that of Zack. However, the comic does jam other characters in there that feel out of place, like the two henchmen hanging around Yuri and Zack’s former office girlfriend. It just seemed as if there wasn’t enough space to make them work and feel relevant.
The artwork is tremendous. This is a big comic with a lot of torture, gore, violence and close-up reactions and the comic juggles it all perfectly. The art even manages to subtle capture the differences between Yuri and Zack magnificently in the way they behave visually. It’s a fantastic looking comic.
Incognito wraps up with a lot of “scores” getting settled which sort of cements the mandatory origins and the endings for those that get bumped off in the issue. The comic also contains the final essay from Jess Nevins about Zeppelin pulps which ties directly into how some of the features in the Incognito story are used. While the arc started out with some crime and switching sides the ending is very much a story that puts all the cards on the table. With the ending so straightforward I do wonder if it will have the same lasting effect as some of the Criminal arcs, but perhaps the ending isn’t what makes a story memorable. If it is the characters and the nature of the story then I do think this story and this comic will become a must read before long. I enjoyed this comic.
4 out of 5 geek goggles