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Newburn #7 ADVANCE REVIEW: a shocking death creates thrills from start to finish

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

The head of the Yakuza family is killed in his own house, and Newburn wants to find out what’s going on. Not for fear of his paycheque, but his moral code of not wanting people to get away with murder, especially on his watch and it seems personal now. Emily heads to the precinct to look over the autopsy for clues, and runs into Sydney Talford. The very man she helped when they covered up a death all those years ago. Although he’s not looking so good, are things finally unraveling for Newburn and Emily.

Where do I begin? I’m still in shock from this book. It feels like it’s been a long time coming, and I’ve been wanting it to happen for a while, and now it’s here. I’m delighted, and feel like it was worth the wait, as this payoff could be incredible. As I have detailed in my previous Advance Reviews, one of the biggest drawbacks for me was that there was no overarching story. It was a series of crimes of the week, and as good as they were, I felt that the characters deserved more time to show off their skills, as well as giving the creative team some scope to play with dramatic dynamics. It was started in the last issue, which gave us backstory to Emily and how she dropped out of the academy after accidentally killing someone. The person she helped now could be the very one who puts her in harm's way. Connecting this issue set in the present day to the previous issue gives us the set-up for it. This I feel is definitely what the series needed, as all cases were just too quickly solved in a single issue.

At times throughout the series, I wasn’t sure if writer Chip Zdarsky would go through with it. Things were picking up, tensions were escalating, and there were hints to a longer story, but I wasn’t sure he would do it. I’m glad he did, and although I would have preferred it sooner, the way he’s crafted this issue was fantastic. Giving me a sense that it could be a quick fix, he then switches it up drastically. I was thrilled from start to finish, and I’m still excited by the possibilities that await us in the next few issues.

The characters are still beautifully written with depth, this is extended to non main characters, as we now see Talford as a desperate man riddled by guilt acting out irrationally in the situation. He’s become the loose cannon, and it makes for a great story as well as a great showcase for Zdarsky to flex his characters.

Jacob Phillips is quickly becoming one of my favourite artists. His often minimalist approach is the perfect match for such a gritty story. Nothing looks over the top hyper-realistic. It’s the perfect balance for a gritty crime book that oozes mood throughout the run.

Overall, this is definitely one of the best of the series so far, which is an accomplishment in itself, as the series has been wonderful throughout. I’m very excited for the future of this series as we go into a dramatic storyline that’s personal to both Newburn and Emily. A strong 4/ 5 and there’s a reason why I have this book on top of my pull list each month.

Newburn issue 7 will be released from Image Comics on 25th May 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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