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Newburn #9

Comicscore Index
Universal acclaim

Based on 5 critic ratings.


When Newburn is asked to investigate a missing mafioso, Emily begins to wonder how far he’s willing to go for his work—and to protect himself.

PLUS: the beginning of “GO BACK,” a thrilling backup story from acclaimed artist NICK DRAGOTTA (EAST OF WEST, GHOST CAGE) and writer DAVID BROTHERS (Good Devils).

Publication Date
Kindle Edition
Print Length
31 pages
Amazon ASIN

5 Critic Ratings & Reviews from:
  • 100

    Comic Watch

    Newburn #9 is an immediate return to form for Zdarsky, Phillips, and Martin, weaving episodic and serialized storytelling to continue the widening gap between Newburn and Emily. Each element of the issue works to deepen the world, as more components of this criminal society come to light. Phillips interjects strong emotional movements thanks to detailed linework and shifting colors. The backup from Brothers and Dragotta makes for an enthralling read that feels like a shout compared to the soft-spoken Newburn story. It’s an excellent pairing that emphasizes the dynamic nature of crime storytelling and the power art and color bring to the genre.

  • 90

    After a yearlong hiatus, Newburn returns with an outstanding issue that also serves to reset returning readers and provide new ones an excellent on-ramp. Newburn #9 does what every issue of the series does so well in delivering a taut and troubling mystery set amidst organized crime in New York City. The resolution of this specific mystery serves to highlight existing tensions within Newburn and between himself and his protege Emily. The addition of a journalist, Emily’s diary, and that conclusion lay out the rising stakes ahead in a series that’s already proven it doesn’t pull punches. Combine that excellent return with the series’ best back-up story to date, contributed by Nick Dragotta and David Brothers, and readers have a can’t-miss issue of crime comics that promises the best is still yet to come. I can’t wait.

  • 87

    The Super Powered Fancast

    The Story: Zdarsky continues to craft an entertaining hard-boiled detective story in this issue. I like seeing Newburn try to hold onto his cool and calm demeanor as the walls continue to close in on him and how Emily is trying to do the right thing surrounded by bad people. The plot is filled with great character moments and I continue to enjoy how dark things are getting for the character while I root for a way for him to get out from under.

    The Art: Phillips continues to craft art that perfectly plays into the gritty detective story aesthetic and I love it.

  • 80

    You Don't Read Comics

    There’s such a strong dedication to the overall look and feel of a guy like Newburn who works in Newburn’s line of business. It’s all perfectly casual, which makes the act of reading the comic book feel really slimy and illicit. It’s just people doing business that happens to involve murder and the darker side of human endeavor. Things are so strangely dispassionate that it’s difficult to feel a whole lot of engagement coming from the comic book itself until they get to the motel and shots are fired. Then the issue’s almost over.

  • 75


    Yes, the whole thing is another one-in-done tale, this time about someone from the Albano family trying to fake their death. But Newburn is always so much more across its various issues, and Zdarsky is a pro in connecting back to the larger happenings to build this rich tapestry of a story that’d make any MAX prestige drama feel woefully inferior.

    This issue also introduces “Go Back,” a backup story from David Brothers and Nick Dragotta. I’m a little unsure about how this tale fits in — it’s got a similar tone but much more of a street-level feel about a young thief’s misadventures — but then that’s the point. The whole power of Newburn is in that slow, methodical approach, and from the dialogue to the coloring, it’s about piecing it all together in real-time. Sure, you can binge watch this drama and get some true thrills and chills, but it’s the issue-by-issue approach, especially in this latest arc, that’s going to whack you in the knee like a collapsible baton.

More From Newburn (2021)

About the Author: Chip Zdarsky

In the ever-evolving landscape of comic books, Chip Zdarsky emerges as a figure of immense creativity and versatility. Known for infusing his narratives with both humor and emotional depth, Zdarsky has charted a course through the comic book universe that is as diverse as it is compelling. From the groundbreaking humor of “Sex Criminals” to the gritty streets of Marvel’s “Daredevil,” his journey is a testament to a talent that refuses to be pigeonholed.

The man behind the pseudonym, Steve Murray, became a household name with “Sex Criminals,” co-created with Matt Fraction. This series broke new ground with its audacious blend of comedy, romance, and the supernatural. It was here that Zdarsky’s knack for balancing wit with genuine storytelling first shone, earning the series critical acclaim and a dedicated following.

Zdarsky’s portfolio, however, spans a broad spectrum. His unique voice has breathed new life into “Howard the Duck,” where he explored themes of identity and belonging, and his run on Marvel’s “Daredevil” has been celebrated for its moral complexity and rich character development. But Zdarsky’s talents are not limited to writing. As an artist, he has lent his distinct visual style to numerous projects, enhancing his narratives with expressive artistry and dynamic visuals.

In recent years, Zdarsky has ventured into the shadowy alleys of Gotham City, bringing his distinctive flair to the world of Batman. His work on Batman titles has quickly garnered attention for its fresh take on the Dark Knight, blending the character’s traditional brooding intensity with new layers of psychological depth. Through stories that delve into Batman’s complex psyche and the morally ambiguous landscape of Gotham, Zdarsky adds to the rich tapestry of Batman lore, proving yet again his ability to navigate and innovate within established universes.

Beyond his impressive body of work, Zdarsky’s engagement with the comic book community — through social media, conventions, and insightful industry commentary — has made him a beloved figure among fans and fellow creators. His contributions have not only earned him awards and nominations but have also solidified his role as a pivotal voice in contemporary comics.

As Chip Zdarsky continues to explore the darker corners of Gotham City, his journey exemplifies the power of storytelling in comic books — where humor meets heroism, and the human condition is explored in the flicker of a bat signal against the night sky. For those drawn to the art of comics, Zdarsky’s work offers a masterclass in creativity, inviting readers into worlds both wildly imaginative and intensely real.

[Latest Update: April 8, 2024]