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Review: Newburn #1

Newburn #1

I’m a sucker for crime stories. If it involves the mob, even better. The noir/crime/mob comics coming out today have been fantastic, charting their own twisted path while also paying respect to what has come before. Newburn #1 kicks off a new series that focuses on a former cop who now works for the various crime families to solve their issues. Yes, I said families, which puts him dead center at the heart of the various mobsters of New York City.

Chip Zdarksy weaves the tale of Easton Newburn. First up, a man is murdered after stealing from his own mafia family, but they aren’t the ones who ordered the hit. It’s a solid introduction, not for the crime itself, but the details Zdarsky focuses on. This is solid introduction setting up what’s to come and giving us a good idea as to who we’re dealing with. Newburn features a lot of the details we’d expect. A “detective” at the center who is calm and collected, showing little emotion. One that notices the small details. And someone who has friends in all the right places. It’s like Zdarsky looked at what works in pulp noir stories, made a checklist, then went with it.

But, it’s the small details here that stand out. A police officer scolding Newburn mentions how he was a good cop and now he works for the mob. Newburn responds who couldn’t have been a good cop if he’s working for the mob. It’s a back and forth that’s so quick but adds so much to the character. It makes the reader take a step back and think about what we’ve read and what we might have missed. Newburn goes from a possible honest broker to a possible crooked cop.

The art by Jacob Phillips nails the style of Sean Phillips. That’s not a bad thing as Sean’s work is so fantastic. Jacob has a knack for focusing in on individual reactions allowing their faces and body language to tell so much of the story. It’s fantastic work where the visual details stand out. There’s also a pacing about it that feels right for this sort of story. It’s not fast action from panel to panel but a slow roll.

Newburn #1 also features a backup story by Nadia Shammas and Ziyed Yusuf Ayoub. From what we can tell for now, a separate story, it follows a crime and another person it impacts. It’s a solid start to something to come. Part one of… not sure. But, the hook is really good and has me wanting to explore more.

Newburn #1 is another solid entry in the growing noir/crime section of comic shops. The first issue is a great setup of what’s to come with some intriguing characters and a solid visual take for it all. If you’re a fan of the genre, this is a must get.

Story: Chip Zdarksy, Nadia Shammas Art: Jacob Phillips, Ziyed Yusuf Ayoub
Story: 8.5 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy

Image Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

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