So to start this off, I am largely unfamiliar with Brubaker and Phillips past works. What I do know about it is that Criminal is highly lauded and it is on my to read list and so is Brubaker's Captain America run. Now with that being said this also my first Image book besides the Invincible Compendium but that really has nothing to with the rest of this review.
I picked this up today at my local shop after seeing the stellar reviews and I was not let down. This is an amazing first issue and it is up there with boh Swamp Thing and Animal Man #1 from the New 52 (My two favorites currently). The prologue gives us readers a little bit of background on Raines' grand father and we are introduced to Jo. The rest of the issue involves Raines finding an unpublished manuscript of his grandfathers that had a picture of his grandfather and a women that looks like Jo. He is then targeted by men but Jo shows up and saves him. He then reads the manuscript in the hospital. The n the issue shifts to the investigator meeting a women who looks like Jo in a bar, police investigating a bizarre cults crime scene, back to the investigator and the lady, and ends with one of the cops from the scene investigation trying to use some sort of magic and being encountered by people that look like the guys that tried to attack Raines earlier in the issue.
This issue was a very pleasant surprise and I now have a new book to add to my pull list. The letter from Brubaker and the piece on Lovecraft in the back only sweetened the deal. Go out and buy this issue now!