I am a huge admirer of Brubaker, and he’s done a lot of his best work with Cap, so I had high hopes for this, but I am slightly deflated after reading it. It does a great job of introducing the essentials of the character, thankfully eschewing a millionth showing of the origin, but flashing back to WWII, showing him with the Avengers, bringing in Nick Fury, Dum Dum Dugan and Sharon Carter, giving him some action as Steve Rogers and finally as Cap.
I was very slow in getting onto Brubaker, but I’ve become a big admirer in recent months. Criminal tells different stories with different characters with almost every run (apparently a sequel to ‘Coward’ is coming, so this isn’t always true), so it’s easy to jump on here with no prior knowledge. And it’s well worth doing so.
This is certainly the best of the .1 issues I’ve seen so far, which actually isn’t saying much. It tells a story, complete in one issue, which along the way tells us where Steve Rogers is right now, and sets up a key emotional theme for the immediate future.
Fear Itself is Marvel’s big crossover event for the next few months – I can’t tell you how many months or how many comics you’ll have to read to make sense of it, because to my surprise there is no checklist included with this. This first comic in the story is also by a different writer from the main series (that’s Matt Fraction), which also surprises me.
Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips have been making comics together for some time now. Incognito is an attempt to apply the approach seen in their Criminal to something bearing a closer relationship to mainstream superhero comics.