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Incognito (Incognito #1)

3.99  ·  Rating Details  ·  3,550 Ratings  ·  194 Reviews
What if you were an ex-super villain hiding out in Witness Protection... but all you could think about were the days when the rules didn't apply to you? Could you be a humdrum office clerk after being the best at years of leaving destruction in your wake? And what if you couldn't stand it? What would you do then? Incognito - a twisted mash-up of noir and super-heroics - by ...more
Paperback, 166 pages
Published December 9th 2009 by Marvel (first published November 1st 2009)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Shelby *trains flying monkeys*
Zack Overkill and his twin brother were evil super villians. Then his brother was killed and Zack went into Witness Protection. He has testified against his boss the Black Death. So he knew he would be hunted. A group called SOS supervises his protection and feeds him drugs that keep his powers gone.

Zack buddies up to a co-worker and the co-worker introduces him to drugs of a different type. They counter act the ones that SOS are giving him and his powers come back.
Instead of doing bad things
Aug 17, 2014 Mike rated it really liked it
Brubaker formula for a noir comic:
- self-aware protagonist, acknowledging his self-destructive nature as it consumes him: check
- flashback sequences in different colour palettes, illustrating the good old/naive days: check
- loner guy gets obsessed with a standoffish bitch: check
- skips most of the daytime in favour of nighttime scenes with long shadows and meaningfully darkened parts of faces: check
- bastards threatening women in sexually suggestive ways: check
- blackmail from unexpected places:
Feb 09, 2011 Kemper rated it really liked it
Remember the end of Goodfellas where Ray Liotta is complaining about having to live like an ordinary schmoo after going into witness protection? And the real Henry Hill that Liotta played has had numerous arrests since turning rat because apparently once you’ve been a gangster, working a regular job just doesn’t provide the same opportunities for excitement.

Now imagine that you had been a super powered villain before becoming a regular old clock puncher. Like Doctor Doom working for an insuranc
Feb 12, 2012 Sesana rated it really liked it
Shelves: superhumans, comics
Picture a supervillain in the witness protection program. That's Zach Overkill. With his twin brother, Xander, he had spent his life working for The Black Death. Now Xander is dead, and Zach has given evidence against his former boss. Aside from being given a new name and a normal job, he's also on drugs to suppress his powers. But when he starts taking drugs on the side, they cancel out the power suppressors, and Zach finds himself playing hero. This brings him to the attention of both supervil ...more
Mar 09, 2012 Brandon rated it it was amazing
This has been an exceptional year for me in terms of the quality of material I've been reading. I think I've given out more 5 star reviews that anyone I know. Well, it's either this or I'm easily impressed.


Not only have I been recommended Ed Brubraker and sean Phillips' work by fellow Goodreader Stephen but when I saw that Bill Hader had written the forward to this graphic novel, I was genuinely intrigued. Hader, who is easily my favorite cast member working SNL today, is a crim
 Danielle The Book Huntress (Self-Proclaimed Book Ninja)
What if a powerful supervillain ended up in witness protection, working a regular office job like the average Joe?

That is the scenario that Ed Brubaker presents his readers in the series "Incognito."

Zack Overkill was 'a very villainous fellow,' it was all he knew. And then his world changed. His brother was killed and he woke up in a secret government hospital and he was given drugs to deactivate his supernatural abilities and he was under the oversight of SOS, who had once been his greatest ad
Scott (GrilledCheeseSamurai)
Mar 18, 2015 Scott (GrilledCheeseSamurai) rated it it was amazing
Shelves: comics

So...a super villain becomes not a super villain becomes a file clerk becomes a superhero.

Or something?

You know what? Fuck it - it's Brubaker & Phillips - I already knew going into it that it was gonna be good.

And it was. It's gritty, brutal and its deliciously superhero-noir (yes, I just made up a genre), the words and the art are wonderful, and, all in all, it's yet another great comic from a team that never ceases to put out work that I absolutely love.
My Brief Bookshelf Overview: badass-to-the-extreme, exciting-premise, grim, likable-or-deep-characters, mature, steady-storytelling-style, suspenseful-or-engaging, top-notch-artwork, violent

Story Synopsis: (view spoiler)
Ron Nie
Dec 24, 2014 Ron Nie rated it did not like it
So I know a second miniseries of this came out in 2010, hopefully that book resolves my big issue with this comic, but I'll be honest, I'm not planning on giving it a read.
The first few pages of this comic introduce us to Zack Overkill, former superpowered troublemaker who basically struck a plea deal with the feds, turned over valuable info on a big bad, and in return was allowed superhero parole (drugged so that he can't have his powers, forced into a file clerk job).
One of the very first th
Sam Quixote
Sep 18, 2011 Sam Quixote rated it liked it
Once the good guys have rounded up the bad guys in the superhero books they usually wind up somewhere like Arkham Asylum (Batman) or sent into space in a mirror (Superman 2), but in this book Ed Brubaker has his villain wind up in a Witness Relocation Program and given a job as a file clerk. There he lives a normal life of boredom, his super powers regulated by drugs administered by the good guys (a kind of less glamorous JLA). But the life he lived is too alluring and he soon finds his ways bac ...more
Mar 02, 2014 Gavin rated it really liked it
Shelves: comics
Yet another fine independent creation by Brubaker & Philips. This one focuses on a former supervillain (mid-level) in the witness protection program after being caught by 'good guys'. Thematically similar to Mark Waid's Incorruptible series, yet more pulpy like Criminal series. I liked it, though not quite as strong as Criminal, the ideas are fun to explore and it is great to see a book done from the villain POV when he's not really as bad as u think, and you even feel sorry for him and what ...more
Mar 26, 2013 X rated it did not like it
ok, let me start this off by saying that by the end of part 4 i was leaning towards 2.5, really but then i read the last part and lolwot was that?

the first two parts were some dude!bro pseudo intellectual ramblings about good and bad and society and government, ooh that we have heard so many times before. we get it, everything is grey and all that old shit but like the way the creators of this piece did it wasn't very rewarding. it felt like we were meant to think that what they said was so impo
Will Hinds
Jun 28, 2012 Will Hinds rated it it was ok
As a fan of Criminal, I was looking forward to Brubaker's take on a noir superhero comic. Tonally, I can feel it, but the story kind of rambles around in a way that really put me off. Of course, being a superhero comic there's the expected far fetched science fiction. That, I can handle and expected. The problem is, hm, harder to pinpoint than I expected when I decided to write this review...

OK, see, the things Zack (the protagonist) thinks are very noir-esque, his internal monologue. So that's
Jun 24, 2013 KWinks rated it really liked it
I'm impressed. Very impressed. And this is shocking because I have always avoided "crime" comics and I really didn't want to read another super hero comic.
This is unlike anything I have ever read before. It's dark, gritty but comical. I love the way Zack looks at "regular" people. The good guys and bad guys are ALL over the top, with crazy names and even crazier powers. This is like being on a carnival ride with rusty bolts, it's not a safe read. It throws twists and turns, but most importantly
Jun 19, 2015 Steven rated it really liked it
A different take on the superhero genre as we follow an ex-supervillain in witness protection trying to do the right thing.
Justin Sorbara-Hosker
3.5. I like noir. Ed Brubaker likes noir. A lot. His post Marvel/DC stuff has all shown this influence to varying degrees - either writing it straight up (Criminal), or a noir mashup of one kind or another (Sleeper was a noir spy story, Fatale was a noir horror story), that works to varying degrees of success. Incognito might just be the mashup that works best.

Noir and comics stories - both old school (pulp comics influences) and new school (postmodern comics stuff referenced here) is what is g
Richard Guion
Apr 01, 2012 Richard Guion rated it really liked it
Great premise: the super-villain Zack Overkill goes into a witness protection program after he turns on his mega crime boss, The Black Death. Zack had a Partner In Crime, his twin brother, who was murdered by The Black Death. The story finds Zack working in a mid-western city, an errand boy in a corporate office, so low he's looked down upon by secretaries. His powers are nullified by drugs he is forced to take. When he finds a way around it, Zack puts on a mask and finds himself fighting crime ...more
Jun 04, 2015 Elgalla rated it really liked it
This was truly excellent work. The premise was genious - a superhero in witness protection program - but Zack's point of view was also very interesting. It made absolute sense that people with superpowers would think of mere humans and their world in this way. There's only one thing I disliked and that was the names, which seemed hilarious most of the time and kept giving me the feeling that I was reading a parody when I wasn't.
Feb 04, 2015 Tomás rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Hoy lo releí. Brubaker me gusta más escribiendo creaciones propias como estas, de corte noir con mezcla de ciencia ficción, que escribiendo superhéroes. El dibujo de Phillips es espectacular y le da ese toque sucio que queda muy bien.
Apr 24, 2015 J rated it really liked it
Shelves: comics
Another enjoyable offering from Ed Brubaker. I suspect with the sequel volume he's done with this world and thus series. Good stuff but it won't stick with more like Criminal and Fatale doo.
Aug 05, 2010 Sophie rated it it was amazing
Shelves: comics
If you've read (and liked) either Sleeper and/or Criminal, you have to read this. Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips have yet to disappoint me - with Incognito they crafted another really cool, dark and compelling series. This time, about a former super-villain who's undercover, pretending to be just another normal person going about their lives. I devoured this, and seriously, getting this book would've been worth it simply for the covers alone. And the art. But add to that the superb writing, and y ...more
Zack Oliver
Mar 23, 2015 Zack Oliver rated it really liked it
Uh, this is a pretty sick (good sick. Like, sick from Patrone sick) comic. It's got a lot of violence and some sexy stuff, so hopefully that's not too objectionable. But, really, the draw lies in the material's willingness to explore another side to superhero type stuff--a side that is criminally underplayed to the point that anything like Incognito is quite welcome, indeed. As for what it's about: well, Incognito focuses on a main character who used to be a villain. He's doped up by the governm ...more
Nov 16, 2014 Emily rated it it was ok
Okay this is a hard one to review.

I loved the overall storyline of an ex super villain in witness protection and teetering between good/evil. There were some badass characters and the action scenes were very easy to follow. The art style was done in fantastic color combinations and tones.


Why did we need to have our main character have sex with an intoxicated woman....who thought she was having sexual intercourse with someone else. That was so unneeded for the storyline. We could have est
Maggie Gordon
To be fair, this book is more of a 2.5. Technically, it's great. The art is detailed, gritty, and gives a good foundation to the weighty atmosphere. The dark and grim mood is spot on. Overall, the book captures the noir genre very well. On the other hand, the story isn't particularly novel. The idea of a bad guy who turns good has been done many times before, particularly in the noir and superhero genres, and Incognito doesn't add anything new to these themes. Furthermore, there's a lot of gende ...more
Dec 31, 2014 Matthew rated it it was ok
Zack Overkill is a reformed super villain trapped in the ennui of a typical office job and yearns for the excitement of his past. As intriguing as this premise was, the execution left me cold. Not helping things was the ridiculous portrayal of every woman in the story as having large breasts and a thin waist, but the worst was the protagonist's blaming the victim in a potential rape scene. After asking himself, "What is this stupid bitch doing walking down an alley in the middle of the night?" h ...more
Tristan Palmer
May 05, 2012 Tristan Palmer rated it really liked it
A crazy good blend of real world and secret super society, while adding the mysterious backstory of an ex-villain in an identity struggle. Brubaker and Phillips are a dynamic pair who roll out hard-boiled mayhem with great dialogue, story and art. I'm hooked on everything they're pumping out and loving each panel.
Aug 23, 2015 Dov rated it liked it
Shelves: graphics-comics
This was between a 3 and a 4 for me. Great art, great storytelling, but hard to deal with some of the attitudes toward/representations of women. That said, there were some great female characters in here.
Jul 14, 2015 Travis rated it really liked it
Zack Overkill is an old double agent with a twisted past. We first learn that Zack had a twin bother and they used to be terrorists killing over 200 people. Zack is now working a 9-5 coping with the past, except the past isnt letting go.
This isnt my favorite Brubnaker story, I felt it took a while to get going. I have been reading a lot of Brubaker lately and maybe I am getting over saturated with his style (I sure hope not) but I didnt feel this was his strongest story. It has elements of crim
Jul 25, 2014 Clare rated it liked it
Shelves: graphic-novels
I can see what they were trying to do with this book but honestly it didn't work for me. The main character seemed too much like the standard anti-hero protag and it seemed like he was too close to standard archetype for me to get at all invested in him. Also, not at all fond of trying to create a "redeemable" character who is also a rapist. Also not at all fond of the way the woman he raped was treated. A woman who doesn't want to spend time with a guy who comes off as intensely bored with his ...more
Oct 05, 2011 Sonic rated it really liked it
Pulpy noir of the Super-villain variety.
I once compared Brubaker and Phillips to Page and Plant,
they work super well together
and they Rock!
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She-Geeks: Incognito by Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips (July read) 15 26 Jul 29, 2013 05:32PM  
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Ed Brubaker (born November 17, 1966) is an Eisner Award-winning American cartoonist and writer. He was born at the National Naval Medical Center, Bethesda, Maryland.

Brubaker is best known for his work as a comic book writer on such titles as Batman, Daredevil, Captain America, Iron Fist, Catwoman, Gotham Central, Sleeper, Uncanny X-Men and X-Men: Deadly Genesis, and The Authority, and for helping
More about Ed Brubaker...

Other Books in the Series

Incognito (3 books)
  • Incognito, Vol. 2: Bad Influences
  • Incognito: The Classified Edition

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