Sunday, April 19, 2009
Writer: Ed Brubaker
Artist: Sean Phillips
Story Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 7.5 Night Girls out of 10
Synopsis: We begin with Agent Carnicki out in the wilderness doing some stream fishing. He catches a fish. Suddenly, the fish is blown to bits. We see Ava Destruction appear on the scene. Ava points her gun at Agent Carnicki. Ava is irritated about the mud all over her boots. (Um, they are big old ugly combat boots. They are supposed to get muddy.)
We cut to Doctor Lester telling Dick Deadly that Ava Destruction has gone off the reservation. Evidently, Eva used to bang Xander. Eva was very upset when Black Death put the hit out on the Overkill brothers. Doctor Lester gave Eva a complete update on Zack still being alive. Doc Lester thought they would be sending Eva after Zack. This news sent Eva off the deep end and she went rogue.
Doc Lester gives Dick a device that he made to track Zack's frequency. Up pops Zack's location on the map on Doc Lester's computer. Up pops news articles of a masked man saving people in the same city that Zack is living in. Dick is stunned that Zack would be using his powers to stop criminals.
Evidently, Farmer has been using Zack as his own magical genie. Farmer has been using the fact that he knows Zack's secret identity and that he is Zack's only alibi to force Zack to do things. Things like flip over Farmer's landlord's car. Then to flip over the landlord's replacement rental car. Then flip over and light on fire the replacement to the replacement rental car. Farmer also has Zack steal liquor. Farmer also has Zack beat up drug dealers as entertainment and then steal their money.
We cut to that night with Zack out with Farmer. Zack thinks how Farmer had pushed Zack to his limit and just kept on pushing. Farmer still wanted Zack to rob a bank. Zack says that it is too risky and does not want to get caught.
Farmer then says that he was thinking about how Zack said that Farmer's alibi alone might not be enough to get Zack out of trouble. Farmer asks what if they brought in a few more guys and Zack had four alibis instead of just one. Farmer says that they could all say they were playing poker together.
Zack narrates how this was the moment he knew Farmer had to be put down. Because Farmer was not going to let it go.
We shift to the next day with Zack leaving work. He passes by Amanda who is crying and smoking a cigarette. Amanda looks at Zack and then turns away. Zack leaves the office.
We slide over to Firethunder and Ajax arriving in town. They were sent to perform surveillance only on Zack. However, Firethunder wants for him and Ajax to take down Zack themselves. That this would be the perfect opportunity to improve their stock with the Black Death.
We hop over to Zack and Farmer arriving outside of the mall. Zack says that Farmer is an idiot to want to rob a bank that is located inside of a busy mall. Zack says that there is too much security and that his face will get photographed and he will get caught on video.
Farmer responds that Zack will need a disguise. Zack stares at Farmer and thinks that he could simply push his fingers through Farmer's eyes and kill him.
Zack gets out of the car and stalks off. Zack wonders why he did not kill Farmer when his instincts told him to do so. Zack realizes that it is because he likes Farmer. That even through all this shit, Farmer reminds Zack of Zack's old friends. And Zack could not even blame Farmer for taking advantage of the situation.
We see Farmer open the car door and yell "Zack, wait! I didn't mean to..." Suddenly, the car explodes and kills Farmer. We see Firethunder and Ajax on the scene.
Zack runs for the mall. Zack thinks how Firethunder and Ajax are two mid-level field operatives for the Black Death. Zack figures that if the Black Death sent someone after him that it would be one of the heavy hitters like the Overkill brothers used to be.
Zack thinks how Ajax is fast and tough, but that Ajax has a few weaknesses. Zack thinks "We all do." Zack then surprises Ajax and blasts Ajax in the eyes with the shotgun. Ajax falls to the ground dead.
Firethunder then attacks Zack. Zack swiftly attacks Firethunder and grabs him by the neck. Zack asks Firethunder why he is here and who sent him. Firethunder refuses to answer and continues to attack Zack. Zack responds by breaking Firethunder's neck and killing him.
Zack then runs out of the mall, steals a car and heads home. The entire way home Zack thinks about how totally fucked he was at the moment. Zack wonders if he should call his handler and tell him what happened. Zack thinks that at least the Farmer situation was taken care of. Zack thinks that maybe he could still keep his secret and get away somehow.
The Good: Incognito #3 was another quality read. Brubaker definitely cranks up the intensity with this issue. While the first two issues have been slower paced and controlled reads, Brubaker has all hell breaks loose in Incognito #3.
We get plenty of action in this issue as Zack locks horns with a couple of his old "friends." The action scenes make this issue an exciting read. Brubaker gives Zack a practical fighting style. Zack is all substance over style as he employs a direct and no-nonsense method of fighting.
Incognito #3 was a well paced and plotted issue. Brubaker keeps this story cracking as we jump from scene to scene. For a Brubaker penned story this is about as fast paced as it is going to get. Brubaker continues to move the story along with a patient hand. Brubaker has great focus and the story is evolving with a purpose and direction. While there are not many plotlines to this story, the story still has plenty of substance to it.
My favorite part of this issue was Zack's inner narration that serves as the spine to this issue. Zack's inner narration was wonderfully constructed and kept the reader's attention throughout the issue.
I enjoyed Zack's internal debate over how to kill Farmer and get away with it. This was a neat moment where Brubaker has Zack realize that he has to think like a normal criminal now instead of a super villain. Normal criminals have to worry about covering their tracks and not getting caught. On the other hand, super villains leave dead bodies behind like calling cards. This was a nice contrast between the two and emphasized Zack's struggle with being a "normal" person in this new life of his.
Brubaker uses this relationship between Farmer and Zack to continue the trend of Zack slowly developing something resembling a conscience. I liked Zack's consternation over why he simply did not kill Farmer. The fact that despite it all Zack liked Farmer and could not blame Farmer for what he had done showed a side of a super villain that you just do not see that often. This was a moment where the reader saw a small flicker of an actual conscience inside this former super villain.
Brubaker introduces several of Zack's old running mates in Eva Destruction, Firethunder, Ajax and Zoe Zeppelin. Eva does not interest me that much in the little bit that we see of her. She comes across as a mere stereotype. However, I am interested in Eva's plotline since she was romantically involved with Xander. I would imagine that Eva will fill the role of back-up to Zack in order to even the playing field a bit as Zack has to face off with all of the Black Death's minions. And I would also think that Eva will also end up in an inevitable physical relationship with Zack.
However, of the four metahumans that we met in this issue, Zoe Zeppelin was by far the most interesting. Zoe looks like she stepped right out of Russ Meyer's Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill! And that is fitting with the feel of Incognito. I am definitely looking forward to learning more about Zoe in the next issue.
Sean Phillips delivers some solid artwork in this issue. Phillips' style of art is not what I usually prefer, but it works well on this title. Phillips' art matches the mood and tone of Brubaker's story.
The Bad: Incognito #3 is an "adult" story so readers who do not enjoy cursing and bloody violence in their comic books probably will not enjoy this issue. This is also a slower moving story with only a few plotlines. Readers who prefer comic books with tons of plotlines might get bored with Incognito.
Overall: Incognito #3 was another great read. Brubaker continues to deliver a wonderfully unique title with Incognito. This is a pulp fiction story that is a neat blend of genres including super hero, crime noir and grindhouse. If you enjoy any of those genres then I would certainly recommend giving Incognito a chance. Incognito #3 is an entertaining and technically well written issue. This title is well worth the cover price.