Newburn #1 Review

(W) Chip Zdarsky (A) Jacob Philips

Another case of following creators leads to another quality title.  We talk enough about Chip and Jacob at this point for you to recognise their names, though this is the first time they have worked together.  And they have kicked off with another strong title.

Newburn follows Easton Newburn, a retired cop. He now works as an investigator and problem solver for all of New York’s organized crime families while using their information to hand low-hanging fruit over to the NYPD.  It’s quite the tightrope for any character to walk, but it comes across as second nature to Easton.

In the first issue, Carmine Albano has been murdered in his apartment after stealing ten kilograms of cocaine from his own family. The evidence doesn’t clearly indicate anyone obvious, and a gang war and desperate grab for power may ensue if the murderer is not found. Before that can happen, Newburn is brought in to provide impartial clarity.  He is an investigator in the classic mould.  Sees details other may miss.  Won’t resort to violence quickly but not afraid to indulge when called upon.  He doesn’t have a horse in the game so doesn’t have any personal feelings towards any victims or suspects.

This is a police procedural, played straight and with interesting characters.  As we’d come to expect from the artist and co-creator of That Texas Blood, this is right in Jacob Phillips wheelhouse, and the art fits the store perfectly.

Another great title from Zdarsky as well, and a bit different from his normal work.  Another genre conquered by Chip?  Keep this up for the following issues and it may just be.


The Magic Order 2 #1 Review

(W) Mark Millar (A) Stuart Immonen

The Magic Order was a cracking series that lived up to its premise of Goodfellas meets Harry Potter, with some great storytelling, brutal, beautiful art and great world building.  Coming from the team of Mark Millar and Olivier Coipel, I was always hoping for a sequel.  It has now arrived, and although there was a little disappointment that Coipel is no longer on art, the series barely misses a step with Stuart Immonen.

A new threat is rising against Cordelia and her family, the established top family in the world of magic.  It’s almost as if they’ve gotten a little too comfortable, an early scene at a children’s birthday party, and a one night stand establishing that things are all a little too under control in their world.  Or so they think.

Before too long we are introduced to the Korne family, from Bucharest, who are powerful magicians, and they are not afraid to show that power or to wield it in despicable ways.

This is an excellent first issue setting the tone for another great magic romp from the mind of Mr Millar.

That Texas Blood #11 Review

(W) Chris Condon (A) Jacob Phillips

Time for our monthly mention of one of Image’s very best ongoing titles…

When it comes to noir comics (one of my favourite genres), atmosphere is everything. Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips are the masters of this.  And Chris Condon and Jacob Phillips are fast becoming masters in their own right.  I mean, just look at the cover alone of this issue, dripping with atmosphere.

We are approaching the end of the second arc with issue 11, with Joe Bob and Eversaul locating and getting ready to confront the Cult of Night.  A thunderstorm rages; a couple of guys getting ready to do the right thing, when they should clearly wait for backup; a young girl in danger; a promise made by a man to a mother that he will save the child; a ticking clock.

All these tropes and staples are utilised, and because of how great the character work is, both from a writing and artistic viewpoint, we are invested.  We are genuinely fearing for these characters, and there may just not be a happy ending.

We’ve said it many times, but will happily say it again.  If you are not on this, you are missing out on one of the great modern comic runs.  Whatever these guys are working on, I’ll be picking it up day one every time.