Newburn #1 COMIC REVIEW: a great new crime mystery/thriller, even if the character feels familiar.

Written by: Chip Zdarsky, Art and cover by: Jacob Phillips.

Easton Newburn is an ex New York City cop who now works on retainer for the big crime families of the city. His no-nonsense attitude means he can get places and do things that the police can’t or won’t. The police hate him, but the Families respect him, which means he’s untouchable. When a son of one of the Families is killed, he’s called to the scene. One dead, ten kilos of coke missing...just another day for Newburn in the city that never sleeps.

I’m actually disappointed in myself for this one coming in under my radar. I’ve always been interested in crime thrillers, and this has only been escalated since the debuts of That Texas Blood and the Reckless series. So for this one to be released without me knowing about it until just the day before, was quite disappointing. This does bring up the question of marketing. Image aren’t known for putting too much time and money into marketing their books, especially when they have a different structure to that of Marvel and DC. However, with the success of the previously mentioned books, and a big-named writer in Chip Zdarsky who is coming off a critically acclaimed run of Spider-Man: Life Stories, I would have thought that a little push might have been a good idea.

One thing that confused me while I was looking into the book was the writers and artists. On both comixology and the Image website, the writers are labelled as Chip Zdarsky and Nadia Shammas, whereas on the book itself, it’s just Chip Zdarsky. Similarly with the art saying it’s also Ziyed Yusuf Ayoub. Now over the last few years I’ve gotten to know the art style of Jacob Phillips, I might be wrong but I see nothing different here. So unless both outlets have the names there for the whole series in which they may contribute later on, it’s very confusing.

Now this is only the first issue, so I do have to take that into consideration, but so far we have a lot of the standard tropes in place, including a grumpy, old, curmudgeonly character who doesn’t really care about anything. This does seem to change towards the end, and maybe it will go in a different direction to other crime books. At just the first issue stage, we have a great start at what could be a fun and exciting book going forward.

I don’t feel like there’s much to say about the art from Jacob Phillips. I’ve become used to seeing his classic, pulpy style which lends itself very well to this genre. Like his past work, his art alone can make a scene, expressing so much without having any dialogue, which is just such a great talent. I especially loved the first image of Newburn under a lamppost in the night glow of New York. The quiet, eerie mood sums up both the character and the case. I also want to say how amazing the front cover is. It really looks like a poster for a tv detective series: all black and white except for the glow of the window, as the hero seemingly hovers above the police cars, suggesting that he’s untouchable, despite not being a classic hero draped in white light.

Overall, this was a great start to a series that I’m fully invested in. A great team and an interesting concept has me excited for what’s to come.

Newburn issue 1 was released by Image Comics on 3rd November from your Local Comic Shop as well as comixology


Andrew Carr was blessed to grow up watching the animated series of Batman, X-Men, and his favorite, Spider-Man.This started his dive into the comics world, which resulted in meeting his amazing cosplaying wife Imogen. They live in England with their Sinister Six dogs.

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