Subway Shorts – Incognegro: Renaissance 4

Zane Pinchback’s investigation into Xavier’s death takes more twists and turns in the penultimate issue of Incognegro: Renaissance.

Incognegro: Renaissance 4
Written by Mat Johnson 
Art by Warren Pleece 

I really hope Mat Johnson doesn’t take another 10 years before he writes another comic book story about reporter Zane Pinchback, because this 5-issue miniseries is easily one of my favorite stories of the year. Johnson’s writing is engaging, his characters flawed and relatable. Maybe I’m biased, because Incognegro is about a young newspaper reporter, but I don’t think it’s just me. I imagine anyone who picks up Johnson’s story would fly through it. The story is enhanced by Pleece’s distinctive art style, done in black and white.

As we approach the inevitable close of the mystery of who killed Pinchback’s friend Xavier at Arna Van Horne’s party celebrating his book about Harlem, the fourth issue is full of revelations and new information. Pinchback learns more about Van Horne’s writing arrangement with Xavier from both Xavier’s cousin and his former paramour. Each see Xavier’s abilities and his contributions to Van Horne’s book differently, and Zane is the only one who has two different sides to put together.

However the mystery is solved in the next issue, I have absolutely loved this story. I can’t wait for the inevitable collected edition, as I think it will be one of my increasingly rare physical book purchases.