REVIEW: 'The Ribbon Queen' #1 by Garth Ennis, Jacen Burrows, Dan Brown, and Guillermo Ortego



Writer: Garth Ennis

Artist: Jacen Burrows

Inker: Guillermo Ortego

Colorist: Dan Brown

Letterer: Rob Steen

Publisher: AWA

Release Date: July 26, 2023

Cover Price: $3.99

There is something ancient and terrible loose in the world of men. Something that hates them with a burning passion, that bears a grudge born of ten thousand years. Something that wants its revenge.

NYPD Detective Amy Sun has a problem: Three years ago, a young woman was rescued from a serial killer by a police tactical unit. Now she's dead, and Amy has a bad feeling that the SWAT team leader is responsible. As she investigates the existence of a corrupt cabal within her own precinct, Detective Sun soon discovers that there is something else on their trail - a force of vengeance older than the human race itself has awoken, invoked by the tormented murder victim in the weeks before she died, and is out for the blood of the guilty, who soon find themselves suffering a fate more gruesome than anything they could have dreamed of. The Ribbon Queen has come to New York City...and when she learns the truth, Amy is not at all certain that it should be stopped.


★★★★☆ (4/5)

Garth Ennis, Jacen Burrows, Dan Brown, and Guillermo Ortego have conjured a doozy of a supernatural thriller. In 'The Ribbon Queen,' a detective investigates the murder of a woman who years earlier survived the kidnapping of a serial killer only to be stalked by the cop who saved her. The hero cop becomes the prime suspect but Detective Sun soon realizes there's more at stake when a force of undescribable evil is unleashed. 

Ennis sets a trap for readers. He lures them into this disturbing and compelling police investigation worthy of a 'Law and Order' episode as Sun starts to put the pieces together. It all seems like a conventional cop thriller until it isn't when Ennis finally springs his trap and readers are sucked into a gruesome body horror story. It's really masterfully executed and exactly what you want from a veteran comic book writer. Ennis delivers. 

The artists aid in making it appear like a straightforward procedural. Burrows designs and pencil work is clean and well-defined. The characters resemble the diversity of a city like New York. The composition is crystal clear, and Brown's colors are rich and earthy. Ortego's inks add the proper depth and dimension to everything. Once again, you're lulled into complacency when, like in a musical jam session, they all come together and rock out in a blazing closing set. All the artists' talents are revealed in one bloody heap. 

'The Ribbon Queen' offers an irresistible start to one horrifying new thriller from AWA Studios. Executed with precision using an enthralling set-up, Ennis takes readers on a ride from one disturbing level to a whole otherworldly one. Frankly, I think you'll be hooked.