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Newburn #6 ADVANCE REVIEW: Emily-centric issue of her history may give Newburn cause for concern

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

Easton Newburn, an ex police officer with a hardened approach to his cases, now works for the Mafia families as an independent private eye. He takes no side, investigating the crimes that the police force don’t want to touch. With being the middleman to many crime families though, is he in over his head?

A man gets beaten up in a underground poker tournament. The loan shark didn’t take kindly to him asking for more credit. He vows that he’s got a way to pay him back, as he puts on his officer's uniform he knows he’s in deep. In 2016 he meets Emily as they both train to be police officers. She helps him after he’s bullied and during a party she accidentally kills the bully. Now with who she ended up being and how desperate he is, could this cause trouble for both her and Newburn?

The biggest criticism for this book that I had was its lack of long form storytelling. We had an element possibly being set up in issue 4 with Newburn's relationship with the police being stretched. This element could still come back, and it would be a great starting point. This issue however, is definitely part of a longer form. It could be going toward a two part story or something that has impact going forward, but either way I’m delighted about the direction that it’s heading. As I’ve said in my previous reviews, there’s nothing wrong with a one and done story, but with characters and a city so complex and interwoven, it just seemed like a missed opportunity. With a strong talent such as Zdarsky writing it, this had potential to be much more than just a police procedural, and now I feel like we are getting more. Even though this issue lacks the titular character, it’s one we definitely needed to find out more about Emily, and Zdarsky didn’t disappoint. From the very beginning, nothing about this book was black and white, most characters were grey. Emily was either good nor bad, and we didn’t know much about her, but knew she had to have issues or a past to be able to keep up with Newburn. So this issue shines a light on that, but also calls into question her character. For someone who we’ve seen as intelligent so far, we now see a flaw and an error in judgment that could cause repercussions.

Something else that was different about this issue was that there’s no diary entry by Emily. This could be due to the fact that most of this issue took place in the past and we knew what she was thinking, as she talks about everything. They were replaced by large full pages depicting the year's events. These did on occasion make things hard to follow as it was jumping around a lot.

Artistically, Jacob Phillips is stunning. His style of art fits so well with the gritty realism of the book...even with the signature blank background when something is happening in the foreground (as seen in the first panel above). Although what truly is the highlight of the book is the astonishing cover. I’m slightly ashamed to say that I didn’t get the full connotations, as I thought she has just done something to get covered in blood, but after reading the issue it dawned on me that it’s the symbolistic version of the popular saying that just clearly depicts what happens in the issue.

Overall, a really good issue that we needed, to get the context of Emily’s past. With the addition of a potential future storyline or story arc that have repercussions for both her and Newburn. Hopefully they continue on with the longer form storytelling.

I rate it 3 out of 5.

Newburn issue 6 will be released from Image on April 27th 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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