Deadline’s just revealed that Fox has acquired the rights to INCOGNITO, the Ed Brubaker/ Sean Phillips comic, and hired a Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright to adapt it for film. I haven’t kept up on this series from ICON, but the premise sounds pretty interesting. It’s about an ex-supervillain, Zack Overkill, who’s renounced his villainous ways and agreed to go “incognito” by surrendering his powers in exchange for help from the witness protection program. Reduced from a larger-than-life criminal to a lowly mail clerk, he starts longing for the old days and that desire leads him to moonlight as a vigilante. The “seduction of good” proves as powerful as the “seduction of evil”, though. Zack finds that being a hero is more appealing than being a villain, but his “face turn” will be put to the test when his superheroic activity draws the attention from his old foes.
The interesting thing about this story is that it draws a more direction connection to the pulp “science heroes” who inspired our modern superheroes. The world depicted in this series has a 200-year-old history of costumed vigilantes, with analogs of Doc Savage and the Shadow inspiring generations of imitators. I think that’s pretty cool, as readers often times neglect that Superman’s debut was really following the success of characters like Tarzan, Buck Rogers and John Carter of Mars. I even see Millar and McNiven’s NEMESIS, another Icon title, drawing from France’s tradition of grand pulp anti-heroes like Fantomas and Diabolik.
Anyway, have any of you maniacs in the Comic Vine community read INCOGNITO? How well was it executed? Would you like to see it on screen? And who should play Zack Overkill? I better get some answers, or you’ll all have to go into witness protection, yourselves!