Ed Brubaker is probably the biggest writer in comics today. He’s certainly the best who hasn’t been wasting his genius on DC Comics crossovers for the last few years. You might know Brubaker from his groundbreaking run on Captain America (and I mean really groundbreaking – he managed to bring Bucky back from the dead and yet didn’t fuck it up. Who saw that coming?), but for my money his best work has been outside of the exact mainstream. Books like Sleeper and Criminal are terrific, and either completely outside the superhero genre or do something very interesting with it.
Incognito (which I haven’t read… but I’m off to Free Comic Book Day at Meltdown tomorrow so I’ll pick up a copy!) is a book that does something very interesting with the superhero genre. What happens when a supervillain flips on his boss? He goes into witness protection, and that’s what the lead of Incognito is doing.
Superstrong Zack Overkill is given drugs that dampen his strength and given a new life as a mailman. But things don’t stay boring for Zack, who discovers ways to get his strength back but also discovers that he’s growing a conscience – his time in the civilian world is rubbing off on him. It’s a great concept that’s not gimmicky but honestly intriguing.
So the good news is that the book has been optioned for an adaptation. The bad news is that it’s at Fox. Brubaker feels very confident about the deal, especially since the powerful Peter Chernin will be producing, but any film nerd worth his salt will always shrink away when a good property ends up at Fox. Here’s hoping that Incognito bucks the trend.