Newburn #2 is published by Image Comics, written by Nadia Shammas and Chip Zdarsky, art by Jacob Phillips and Ziyed Yusuf Ayoub, with letters by Frank Cvetkovic. With Newburn offering Emily a job at the end of the last issue, this story finds Emily following along with Newburn as he investigates a possible arson case. Whether or not the arrangement between the two of them will become permanent, however, remains to be seen.
While Newburn’s investigation into a potential arson incident serves to focus our leading duo’s efforts throughout Newburn #2, the real purpose of this story is to further flesh out Newburn, his reputation, and whether or not he and his line of work will make a good fit for Emily. This focus only partially works. As the book moves along, it keeps the impressions of Newburn strictly surface level. Little is revealed of the character on any deeper level, or with any specific detail. While it’s understandable that the writers wouldn’t want to tip their hand with the star’s secrets already, focusing the story on the character’s personality, while not saying anything specific about him, makes the story feel a bit listless. It feels like there should’ve been a way to make a more interesting story to provide more meat to this book since the character dive only goes so deep.
Despite how thin the plot is, Newburn #2 does a good job of expanding the world in which the ongoing story will take place in. Numerous individuals are introduced that feel like they will be appearing again. These appearances help to further justify the story’s place in the series but keep the issue feeling more like a setup than a full-fledged story.
With so many aspects of this book being fleshed out in this story, perhaps the best aspect the book builds up is its tone. Newburn #2 fully commits to the slower-paced, noir style of story. This sort of story approach can be tricky in comic book format, as it often makes individual issues feel less purposeful than those with a bit more punch woven into each issue. Given the writing team behind the story, it feels likely that there will be a solid payoff, in the end, just whether or not one can get there will be a question readers will have to answer for themselves.
The art in this book continues to deliver the hard, dirty, lived-in look of the previous issue. This story takes place on the less than affluent streets of a big city and doesn’t mind showing the rougher aspects of its setting. Little that is seen in this book looks new. Rather it’s all rumpled, banged up, or worn down a bit. This makes the slower pace of the story almost feel like an extension of its setting. Like the city and its residents are too worn to move along at a faster pace.
The coloring in Newburn #2 further commits to the worn look of the book’s line art. Most of the colors throughout this story feel purposefully toned down. This keeps the energy of the art in line with the story the writing delivers.
Wrapping up our look at this title is the lettering. The lettering does a great job of delivering the story in a clear and well-laid-out manner. The simple lettering design complements the art nicely, allowing it to fit in with the rest of the visuals perfectly.
When all is said and done, Newburn #2 spends its time fleshing out some of its characters and elements to help build up future stories. While it never hooked me, it doesn’t truly fail either. If you enjoy a more paced story that takes plenty of time to develop this one may be up your alley.
Newburn #2 is available now wherever comics are sold.
When all is said and done, Newburn #2 spends its time fleshing out some of its characters and elements to help build up future stories. While it never truly hooked me, it doesn’t truly fail either. If you enjoy a more paced story that takes plenty of time to develop this story may be up your alley.