Thursday, April 16, 2009

Updated Schedule for Incognito, and What Lies Beyond.

Since the debut of Criminal in October 2006, there has been the occasional delay in Brubaker and Phillip's Icon comics, usually a delay of only a week or two from the original solicitation date, sometimes a little bit more. Because I so look forward to new issues, the delay can feel unbearable, but I cannot stress how minor these delays really are.

Even the occasional one-month delay is nothing in comparison to other books, even high-profile projects involving DC and Marvel's most popular characters. Funnybook Babylon has an interesting summary of how the rest of the Marvel universe kept moving during the 25-issue run of Whedon and Cassaday's Astonishing X-Men. If their collaboration had a somewhat overstated reputation for delays -- they ended up releasing the book every two months, on average -- the same cannot be said for Action Comics' "Last Son" arc from Johns, Donner, and Kubert, a fiasco which FBB also documents in all its gory detail. And All-Star Batman & Robin's delays have become a punchline in their own league.

Beyond that, with Criminal and Incognito, we're dealing with a creator-owned title by guys who are juggling other projects. I wouldn't want their work to be rushed, and fill-in work makes no sense whatsoever. For such a well-made labor of love, the delays are not only minor, they're understandable and even desirable compared to any realistic alternatives.

I say all that to say this: I like Ed Brubaker's personal page or two of notes and letters in the back of every issue, and I really appreciate his apology for the one-month delay, opening the notes page in this week's issue. It wasn't necessary, but it's appreciated as a small recognition of the connection between the creators and the readers.

In this week's issue, Brubaker also writes, "from here on in, we should be monthly for the rest of the series and then we're going right into the next run of Criminal, with no break this time."

I'm looking forward to it, and I have some details for our readers here.

As an update to yesterday's news, I see that Marvel has corrected its announcement and confirmed my initial suspicion that the double-issue reprint is scheduled to go on sale on May 13th.

Yesterday, I talked with one of my good friends working at Great Escape Comics, and he found that the March 25th Diamond Dateline -- the weekly newsletter for Diamond customers -- listed updates for the next two issues of Incognito. Though issue #4 was originally scheduled for April 22nd, and issue #5 was originally scheduled for May 27th, Diamond reported that the issues have been rescheduled for May 20th and June 17th, respectively.

I have not found a page for issue #5 yet at Marvel.com, but the official site now lists a release date of May 27th for issue #4. Since that issue has been delayed one more week, I'm guessing issue #5 will also be released a week later than Diamond's update -- that is, June 24th.

The sixth and final issue was not included in the June solicitations, so I imagine a release no earlier than late July.

Taking these dates and adding info from the original solicitations and press releases along with some final cover art from Sean's blog, I would say that this is, essentially, the current schedule for the remaining issues of Incognito.

  • INCOGNITO MUST-HAVE ONE SHOT: May 13

    Marvel is pleased to announce that INCOGNITO #1 & #2, which quickly sold out of both their first and second printings*, are collected in the all-new INCOGNITO MUST-HAVE ONE SHOT. From the Eisner-winning, noir dream team of Ed "The Man Who Killed Captain America" Brubaker, Sean Phillips and Val Staples, INCOGNITO presents the gripping story of a former super villain in the witness protection program. But when he starts using his powers once more, does this spell the end of his rehabilitation…and his very life? Collecting the first two issues of the acclaimed limited series, INCOGNITO MUST-HAVE ONE SHOT is the perfect jumping on point for the book that critics and fans agree is a hit! Plus, this collection features a new cover by Phillips!

    (* - Completists and other collectors should note that I do NOT believe issue #2 had a second printing.)



  • INCOGNITO #4: May 27th

    THE MOST TWISTED SUPER-VILLAIN TALE OF ALL TIME TAKES A SHARP RIGHT TURN... AS THE HEROES FINALLY ARRIVE! Zack's masked mayhem hasn't gone unnoticed by the authorities or the bad guys he's been in hiding from. Now, Zoey Zeppelin [sic], granddaughter of the legendary Professor Zeppelin is here to find out just which side he's on -- even if she has to kill him to be sure. (cover art)



  • INCOGNITO #5: probably June 24th

    Doc Lester is the mad scientist's mad scientist, and he may just be the only person who knows the truth about Zack Overkill and his twin brother...A truth that Zack will soon have to kill for, as all sides are closing in on him. (cover art)



  • INCOGNITO #6: late July, possibly July 29th

    A description has not yet been made available. (cover art)

    UPDATE, Apr 21: Newsarama has just posted Marvel's full solicitations for July, including a description for issue #6, which is scheduled to go on sale July 15th.

    THE HARD-HITTING CONCLUSION TO THE MOST TWISTED SUPER-VILLAIN STORY EVER! It all ends here. All of Zack Overkill's planning and scheming has brought him face-to-face with his own past, and now he's the one man left who can save the world... but does he care enough to even try?



The later dates are my best guesses, and, of course, all dates are subject to change. Since Brubaker mentioned a return to Criminal without any further delay, I would guess that the series will return in late August or early September.

Depending on how long that next arc is, I also imagine that the sequel to Incognito that I mentioned yesterday will probably reach stores around the beginning of next year.


Buy Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips comics from Amazon.com

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