Review – Burning Fields #2 (of 8) (BOOM! Studios)

BOOM_BurningFields_02_A_MainPublisher: BOOM! Studios
Authors: Michael Moreci & Tim Daniel
Artist: Colin Lorimer
Release Date: 18th February, 2015

After a stunning opening chapter, Burning Fields settles down into a slightly more relaxed pace here in its second issue, letting the relationship between polar opposites Dana Atkinson and Aban Fasad take centre stage as their investigation into the shocking oil field murders begins to gain some traction. One of the luxuries of having eight issues to tell this particular story is the fact that writers Michael Moreci and Tim Daniel are clearly in no hurry to force things forwards; the mystery and intrigue is being allowed to build slowly, with the supernatural aura that permeates the story steadily increasing without the writers having to rush things towards the inevitable reveal.

We also get a glimpse of shadowy military contractors ‘The Verge’ conducting their own investigation into the murders, with head man Decker continuing to exude an impressively restrained – yet utterly chilling – presence. This is very much a dialogue-driven issue, with Moreci and Daniel having a field day with the verbal sparring between Dana and Aba; neither wanting to let their guard down too much during their bout of enforced cooperation. While it may not necessarily have the same standout scenes as the first issue, this is still an utterly gripping chapter, and the work being done here is most definitely going to pay off later in the series once the pace picks up again.

Colin Lorimer continues to produce his career-best work here – in my opinion, at least – infusing the story with a dark aura of menace, while managing to keep the book visually interesting, in spite of the abundance of conversational scenes in this issue. His heavy use of shadow goes a long way towards achieving this, emphasising some character’s emotions while shrouding others in secrecy. Dark without ever becoming too dark, Lorimer’s work continues to push this book to a whole new level, and his occasional flashes of horror give the ongoing narrative a genuinely unsettling vibe – in a good way, of course.

While the restrained pace in this second issue may not necessarily appeal to those readers looking for a ‘quick fix’ or instant gratification, I’m more than happy to allow myself to sink gradually into the utterly compelling world that this team has created. A tense military drama with a powerful message behind it and a faint, unnerving horror lurking on the periphery, Burning Fields is a series that continues to live up to my ridiculously high expectations from this creative team, and is – once again – a series I can’t recommend highly enough.

 Rating: 4/5.

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576682_510764502303144_947146289_nThe writer of this piece was: Craig Neilson (aka Ceej)
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