Advertisement

Call for Reviews - Incognito: Bad Influences #1

Discuss the latest comic book news and front page articles, read or post your own reviews of comics, and talk about anything comic book related. Threads from the two subforums below will also show up here. News Stand topics can also be read and posted in from The Asylum.

Hey you! Reader! Want to be a part of the GREATEST COMIC BOOK AND GEEK COMMUNITY on the web?! Logged in users see WAY LESS ADS, so why not register? It's fast and it's easy, like your mom! Sign up today! Membership spots are limited!*

*Membership spots not really limited!

Eli Katz
User avatar
OMCTO
 
Posts: 10930
Likes: 21 posts
Liked in: 64 posts
Joined: Tue Jun 24, 2008 9:44 pm
Title: Avatar Winner, Apr 2012


Re: Review Group Week 246 - INCOGNITO: BAD INFLUENCES #1

Postby Eli Katz » Mon Nov 08, 2010 12:55 pm

That's a perfect score for the book.

Advertisement

SilverPhoenix
User avatar
Staff Writer
 
Posts: 1649
Likes: 1 post
Liked in: 0 post
Joined: Fri Jul 16, 2010 10:28 pm
Title: Harbinger of the Ponypocalyse
Formerly: Lord Solaris, Discord


Re: Review Group Week 246 - INCOGNITO: BAD INFLUENCES #1

Postby SilverPhoenix » Wed Nov 10, 2010 2:04 pm

Incognito Bad Influences #1

After “waiting in the wings" for 2 years, this reviewer gets a chance to jump into this world of madcap pulp? Was the first impression enough to call this comic a winner?

Depending on the Entertainment medium, each era is defined by works that transcend all other elements to be revered as true classics. It is at that point, each work is judged mostly on its merits, and other factors become less and less relevant. Whether the work did well at the Box Office/Store Front/Newsstand/Book Store probably Is probably the least important factor as to what becomes a classic when put against this standard. Other factors like relevance, message, “originality” and overall quality take center stage in the discussion. For some, it is usually when “Justice” is served in the entertainment medium, which is not always fair to the best works, when they are released, no matter the medium. The overall fate of the book reviewed is still being decided, but one piece of work that is considered one of the front runners for becoming a Graphic Novel Classic, is the Ed Brubaker Written Series “Incognito”

As someone who didn’t jump on the initial bandwagon, I decided to do some research on the title in question before I wrote my review, so I could better understand the overall storyline that I was going to be right in the middle of. It also gives me some knowledge to give a short background on the series for those who haven’t been following this series, as well. In the world of “Incognito” the pulp Super Hero and Villains have existed since the early 19th Century, and have become a fixture in society. The story we are told follows one of these pulp “icons” in former Villain Zack Overkill, who is trying to reform from his past. In exchange for turning in his former Science Syndicate “The Black Death”, he is put into the Witness Protection Program, which proves to be unsuccessful, as his former employers hunt him down. In an effort to protect himself, Zack joins the SOS agency which is in charge of Superhuman Regulation, which brings us to where we are today with Bad Influences #1. With such a reputation behind it, I came into the book with expectations of fulfilling its hype, something that his book does in spades.

When it comes to Ed Brubaker, I have no misgivings in saying he is my favorite Comic Book writer working today. His work on Captain America has been one of the reasons why I’m still reading Super Hero Comic Books, and despite some missteps (Another hearty F*ck You to Marvel Corporate for Mandating that Steve Rogers come back “5 years too early”), it has been one of the most consistent books on the stands for my money. To my surprise (though I shouldn’t be shocked), Incognito Bad Influences is probably my favorite thing I’ve read of his this year, despite not reading the first series. From the beginning, we are dropped into a story where we not only get an extremely good look at the main character, but the world he is now in as he deals with a life geared towards redemption and the struggles that go along with it. What is more impressive still is the world that is built around the story in question, and how everything matters in its own way, especially how an old man serves as a way to uproot Zack Overkill’s life. When you sit down and take in all of the nuances of the story, it’s a joy to see how layered and well written everything is.

For someone who thinks the writing of a Comic Book is the most important ingredient to the worthiness of the overall product, I personally need reminders as to how important Art is to shaping the story we are reading, something that Sean Phillips does in an empathetic manner. From face value, the art itself doesn’t stand out, as it is not drawn in a way that is meant to instantly grab you. That isn’t to say the art isn’t good, because it’s definitely well drawn, with attention to make each character look unique, but most people would say that it couldn’t hold a candle to the drawings in Green Lantern or New Avengers. However, like the writing, the art is something that is appreciated when looked upon with a nuanced eye. From everything Brubaker has tried to create with Incognito, the art brings that vision to life, as the drawings help bring the pulp world to life, giving us an environment of wonder, but of cynical wonder as it feels like the world’s people have burned too many times by Super Powered Humans who have abused their great powers. A theme that is shown throughout the whole story, as people fear the inevitable ruination of their lives whenever one makes his or her face known by their own volition, or not.

With everything else that has been said, another thing that the creators should get praised for is how accessible this book is. It doesn’t tell you everything, but it gives you more than enough so this Issue stands on its own, and can be read without prior knowledge. In fact, I say it does such a good job, that those who are interested enough to catch up, will be compelled to do so after reading this book. The only flaw that this book has is that it seems slightly better than average on first read, and doesn’t get appreciated till one sits down, and takes a good look at what’s being presented. Despite that, Incognito Bad Influences is a great comic on its own, and an even better introduction into this world. Bad Influences #1 is a beyond worthy addition to a series that’s going to be a top contender to be named a classic.

The Verdict

Story ****3/4 (9.5): It’s very rare for a first issue to be rated this high in this category, but it deserves it. From first page to last, you are engaged in the story.

Art **** (8): While the art does not “WOW” at first sight, it delivers us into a World that’s had enough of Supers, which only enhances the story told

Accessibility **** (8): I was surprised at not only how well I could follow things, but how good of a first impression this was of the Incognito Universe. No one should be intimidated by starting here.

Final Judgment: ****1/2 (9 out of 10)

thefourthman
User avatar
Outhouse Editor
 
Posts: 27189
Likes: 343 posts
Liked in: 184 posts
Joined: Mon Jun 02, 2008 6:02 pm
Location: durham, nc
Title: The obtuser!
Formerly: your mom


Re: Review Group Week 246 - INCOGNITO: BAD INFLUENCES #1

Postby thefourthman » Wed Nov 10, 2010 6:20 pm

Incognito: Bad Influences #1

Incognito was the book I wanted to hate, but couldn’t. I wanted more Criminal, but got this pulpy super hero crime book instead. I believe I called the first issue the reverse of Wanted and I stand by that allegory.

Incognito: Bad Influences is the book I wanted to love that I ended up just liking. Part of the problem is all the set up. See some of the genius in Criminal is the subtle world building. Through a series of stand alone mini-series, Brubaker and Phillips have created a vibrant world without its creation ever being intrusive in the story. So much of this issue is retread of the first series, which is puzzling given the “Previously” recap’s warning on the inside cover. It says you should just go read the first trade and honestly, I wish it had listened to its own advice.

Once all the retread exposition is done and all the been there done that is over with, we get the brilliant back story of the old man which was fantastic and almost worth the price of admission. Then we get to the thrust of the series which makes it seem like Sleeper from the other side of things. Yuck, I already read Sleeper…

Phillips is cleaner than either Incognito or Criminal here too, which is also slightly disappointing as well, I like these books cause they are grimy.

Not a bad book, just not the great book I expected.

Story 3
Art 3
Overall 6

******
 
Likes: 0 post
Liked in: 61 posts


Re: Review Group Week 246 - INCOGNITO: BAD INFLUENCES #1

Postby ****** » Wed Nov 10, 2010 6:26 pm

Did you just put "yuck" and "Sleeper" in the same sentence? :smt011

******
 
Likes: 0 post
Liked in: 61 posts


Re: Review Group Week 246 - INCOGNITO: BAD INFLUENCES #1

Postby ****** » Wed Nov 10, 2010 6:27 pm

4thy almost Jude'd the score. :shock:

Down to 8.05. No more reviews, please.

Eli Katz
User avatar
OMCTO
 
Posts: 10930
Likes: 21 posts
Liked in: 64 posts
Joined: Tue Jun 24, 2008 9:44 pm
Title: Avatar Winner, Apr 2012


Re: Review Group Week 246 - INCOGNITO: BAD INFLUENCES #1

Postby Eli Katz » Wed Nov 10, 2010 6:30 pm

John Snow wrote:4thy almost Jude'd the score. :shock:

Down to 8.05. No more reviews, please.

:lol:

Eli Katz
User avatar
OMCTO
 
Posts: 10930
Likes: 21 posts
Liked in: 64 posts
Joined: Tue Jun 24, 2008 9:44 pm
Title: Avatar Winner, Apr 2012


Re: Review Group Week 246 - INCOGNITO: BAD INFLUENCES #1

Postby Eli Katz » Wed Nov 10, 2010 6:31 pm

thefourthman wrote:Incognito: Bad Influences #1

Incognito was the book I wanted to hate, but couldn’t. I wanted more Criminal, but got this pulpy super hero crime book instead. I believe I called the first issue the reverse of Wanted and I stand by that allegory.

Incognito: Bad Influences is the book I wanted to love that I ended up just liking. Part of the problem is all the set up. See some of the genius in Criminal is the subtle world building. Through a series of stand alone mini-series, Brubaker and Phillips have created a vibrant world without its creation ever being intrusive in the story. So much of this issue is retread of the first series, which is puzzling given the “Previously” recap’s warning on the inside cover. It says you should just go read the first trade and honestly, I wish it had listened to its own advice.

Once all the retread exposition is done and all the been there done that is over with, we get the brilliant back story of the old man which was fantastic and almost worth the price of admission. Then we get to the thrust of the series which makes it seem like Sleeper from the other side of things. Yuck, I already read Sleeper…

Phillips is cleaner than either Incognito or Criminal here too, which is also slightly disappointing as well, I like these books cause they are grimy.

Not a bad book, just not the great book I expected.

Story 3
Art 3
Overall 6

I completely agree with your review. But I think it's still so much more entertaining than most other comics out right now that it deserves higher praise.

It's a 6 compared to other Bru-Phillips' collaborations; it's an 8 compared to everything else on the stands right now.

Victorian Squid
User avatar
YOU WILL NEED A NURSE
 
Posts: 31777
Likes: 0 post
Liked in: 2 posts
Joined: Sat Sep 27, 2008 10:04 am
Formerly: Schmormerly


Re: Review Group Week 246 - INCOGNITO: BAD INFLUENCES #1

Postby Victorian Squid » Wed Nov 10, 2010 7:00 pm

Eli Katz wrote:I completely agree with your review. But I think it's still so much more entertaining than most other comics out right now that it deserves higher praise.

It's a 6 compared to other Bru-Phillips' collaborations; it's an 8 compared to everything else on the stands right now.


I think Brubaker and, to some extent, Phillips too, needs to earn that 8, and he (they) didn't here.
Image

thefourthman
User avatar
Outhouse Editor
 
Posts: 27189
Likes: 343 posts
Liked in: 184 posts
Joined: Mon Jun 02, 2008 6:02 pm
Location: durham, nc
Title: The obtuser!
Formerly: your mom


Re: Review Group Week 246 - INCOGNITO: BAD INFLUENCES #1

Postby thefourthman » Wed Nov 10, 2010 11:12 pm

John Snow wrote:Did you just put "yuck" and "Sleeper" in the same sentence? :smt011

Yeah. Planetary is the best comic I ever read, if Ellis decided to write a book that was exactly like it (and given Ellis this is more than likely something that will occur), I will say "Yuck" and "Planetary" in a sentence very much like that one.

thefourthman
User avatar
Outhouse Editor
 
Posts: 27189
Likes: 343 posts
Liked in: 184 posts
Joined: Mon Jun 02, 2008 6:02 pm
Location: durham, nc
Title: The obtuser!
Formerly: your mom


Re: Review Group Week 246 - INCOGNITO: BAD INFLUENCES #1

Postby thefourthman » Wed Nov 10, 2010 11:14 pm

Victorian Squid wrote:
I think Brubaker and, to some extent, Phillips too, needs to earn that 8, and he (they) didn't here.

This. The book felt like it was on autopilot. I expect more from them and got much less. I know Punchy would have a significant problem with what I am getting ready to say... but the guy who gives you 9's and 10's repeatedly eventually has to work harder to maintain that level, because he is setting the bar so much higher for himself.

Eli Katz
User avatar
OMCTO
 
Posts: 10930
Likes: 21 posts
Liked in: 64 posts
Joined: Tue Jun 24, 2008 9:44 pm
Title: Avatar Winner, Apr 2012


Re: Review Group Week 246 - INCOGNITO: BAD INFLUENCES #1

Postby Eli Katz » Thu Nov 11, 2010 12:34 am

thefourthman wrote:This. The book felt like it was on autopilot. I expect more from them and got much less. I know Punchy would have a significant problem with what I am getting ready to say... but the guy who gives you 9's and 10's repeatedly eventually has to work harder to maintain that level, because he is setting the bar so much higher for himself.

You bring up an interesting issue about criticism. Do we rate books in comparison to all other books, or in comparison to only similar books? Is it best to evaluate Bad Influences in contrast to all of other Bru’s work, or in contrast to other available hero books? What is a fairer and more informative approach? I think most of us in the RG took both positions simultaneously, discussing the merits of the book in relation to the previous Incognito series and Sleeper, and discussing the book in more general terms. But which perspective is more important emphasize? For me, I think the latter is more important. Bad Influences is not outstanding, to be sure, and beside Sleeper or Criminal, it is a fairly weak Bru entry. But beside most other superhero comics, it is very tightly written, wildly imaginative, and fairly clever. Nobody can bat 1000. But even on Bru's off day, his work is world's better than most. And that, I think, is still worth pointing out and celebrating.

Punchy
User avatar
Staff Writer
 
Posts: 34481
Likes: 0 post
Liked in: 89 posts
Joined: Mon Mar 27, 2006 10:27 am
Location: UK
Title: Shitlord


Re: Review Group Week 246 - INCOGNITO: BAD INFLUENCES #1

Postby Punchy » Thu Nov 11, 2010 3:28 am

thefourthman wrote:This. The book felt like it was on autopilot. I expect more from them and got much less. I know Punchy would have a significant problem with what I am getting ready to say... but the guy who gives you 9's and 10's repeatedly eventually has to work harder to maintain that level, because he is setting the bar so much higher for himself.


The reason I've been giving higher scores is because everyone else around here is giving far too low scores, it's a reaction to the ridiculous negativity and cynicism in this group.

Zero
User avatar
Zombie Guard
 
Posts: 9251
Likes: 20 posts
Liked in: 65 posts
Joined: Mon Mar 27, 2006 7:00 am
Location: The Frozen North
Title: Last Man on Earth
Formerly: Armin Tamzarian


Re: Review Group Week 246 - INCOGNITO: BAD INFLUENCES #1

Postby Zero » Thu Nov 11, 2010 3:47 am

The reason I give lower scores is because an average book should get an average score and that's a 5. Above five is a good comic and below it is bad. I don't rate them against each other but rather on how much I enjoyed them myself. When I do get round to reviewing this it's getting an 8 or 9 because I really liked it and while it doesn't reinvent any wheels it's interesting, pretty and fun.

Punchy
User avatar
Staff Writer
 
Posts: 34481
Likes: 0 post
Liked in: 89 posts
Joined: Mon Mar 27, 2006 10:27 am
Location: UK
Title: Shitlord


Re: Review Group Week 246 - INCOGNITO: BAD INFLUENCES #1

Postby Punchy » Thu Nov 11, 2010 3:51 am

Zero wrote:The reason I give lower scores is because an average book should get an average score and that's a 5. Above five is a good comic and below it is bad. I don't rate them against each other but rather on how much I enjoyed them myself. When I do get round to reviewing this it's getting an 8 or 9 because I really liked it and while it doesn't reinvent any wheels it's interesting, pretty and fun.


I don't think above 5 is a good comic, 5 and 6 both count as bad for me.

It's all personal opinion really, but when everyone seems to be on such a downer, claiming we haven't had a good book for 25 weeks or something stupid, I think a bit of positivity is needed, this group shouldn't be so down on everything.

Zero
User avatar
Zombie Guard
 
Posts: 9251
Likes: 20 posts
Liked in: 65 posts
Joined: Mon Mar 27, 2006 7:00 am
Location: The Frozen North
Title: Last Man on Earth
Formerly: Armin Tamzarian


Re: Review Group Week 246 - INCOGNITO: BAD INFLUENCES #1

Postby Zero » Thu Nov 11, 2010 3:53 am

If you only allow 7 and up for good comics, then you're limiting the scores you can give to comics you like. How do you feel about a star system, does *** make a bad review?

leave a comment with facebook

PreviousNext

Return to The News Stand



Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bianco and 88 guests

Advertisement