Image Comics 2021
Written by Chip Zdarsky
Illustrated by Jacob Phillips
An arson case finds Emily talking to the community about the criminals involved—and about Newburn. If he’s as dangerous as they say, will Emily choose to help him?
I like the concept of this book. It kind of reminds me of The Mayor of Kingstown, which is a great show, in how Newburn operates and is considered a neutral territory, think Switzerland, who helps everyone and tries to keep the peace the best he can. He’s also getting up there in years and I’m not sure if he’s taking Emily on to be his replacement or just an assistant. I’m leaning towards replacement or having her trained as an insurance policy of some sort. Regardless of the real reason what she represents here and how she adds to the book is incredibly engaging and fleshes out what we all want to know about Newburn or at least how he’s seen by the general public. She is definitely a breath of fresh air that’s for certain and she manages to add a human element to his cold and methodical approach. They play extremely well off one another and I like her reasoning for working with him to boot and yeah the money is a huge factor but I think curiosity would get the better of any of us.
I am a huge fan of the way that this is being told. The story & plot development that we see through how the sequence of events unfold as well as how the reader learns information are presented exceptionally well. The character development that we see through the dialogue, the character interaction as well as how we see them act and react to the situations and circumstances which they encounter does a magnificent job in continuing to flesh out their personalities. The pacing is excellent and as it takes us through the pages we see how Newburn’s mind works and it is quite fascinating.
I’m pretty impressed with the way that we see this being structured as well as how we see the layers within the story emerge, grow, evolve and strengthen. I am also liking the way that these layers open up new avenues to be explored. I love how we see the general public responding to questions on Newburn which is where even more interest in this man comes from. These avenues add some great depth, dimension and complexity to the story. How we see everything working together to create the story’s ebb & flow as well as how it moves the story forward are impeccably handled.
I am a humongous fan of Jacob’s work on the interiors here. The linework is exquisite and how we see the varying weights and techniques being utilised to create this level & quality in the attention to detail is utterly marvellous. How we see backgrounds being used to enhance and expand the moments as well as how they work within the composition of the panels to bring out the depth perception, sense of scale and the overall sense of size and scope to the story is extremely well handled. The utilisation of the page layouts and how we see the angles and perspective in the panels show a masterful eye for storytelling. The various hues and tones within the colours being utilised to create the shading, highlights and shadow work and shows this great understanding of how colour works.
We don’t see stories like this and I cannot recall having read one before. So that this is as unique and original as it is and how we the reader sees the events play out we are spellbound and captivated. Newburn knows he isn’t liked all that particularly well and he’s fine with that but he does have a certain amount of respect among the families which I guess is something. This has that strong confident writing and characterisation along with these incredible interiors that really allow the reader to feel like they are a part of things.