Although I didn’t go to the comic shop for two weeks, there were only two books waiting for me. This is a little disappointing after the absence, but I’m sure my finances are grateful, especially after Christmas.
If Brubaker and Phillips are going to place Criminal on hiatus, they had better have something good in its place. As expected, they have – Incognito is told with the same level of excellence and skill, and the story is gripping too. Zack Overkill was a former supervillain, along with his twin brother, now in a witness protection programme after giving state’s evidence against his former boss, living a normal life with pills to remove his powers. But for him, the normal life is a boring life, and he ends up taking recreational drugs to alleviate the tedium. However, these have an adverse effect on the pills he is already taking, and his powers return … The world in which this book takes place is hinted at, with superheroes working for the Special Operations Service and being kept secret by the government. This is a great first issue, introducing the character and setting up the world, and promising a good story. The book itself is a good package – no ads plus back material (an essay on The Shadow by Jess Nevins, behind a portrait of The Shadow by Phillips), all for $3.50.
Usagi Yojimbo #116
Usagi Yojimbo is always a good book, even when Usagi himself doesn’t appear in it (apart from the haunting cover). This issue is about Usagi’s friend Gen, a fellow ronin, although perhaps not as principled as our eponymous hero. He is one of many bounty hunters after a killer called Taniguchi – after splitting with his partner Stray Dog, Gen locates and captures him. However, in escorting him back, Gen learns more about the supposed killer and what led to the bounty … As always, Sakai tells a story exquisitely, in a clear manner and with beautiful art, sometimes scratchy, sometimes detailed, always working for the story. I wish I could say something more profound than ‘This is a really good book’, but it’s the simple truth.