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Comics I Bought Over The Christmas Holiday

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.

Incognito #1
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.

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