Review – Burning Fields #6 (of 8) (BOOM! Studios)

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Click to enlarge.

Publisher: BOOM! Studios
Writer(s): Michael Moreci, Tim Daniel
Artist: Colin Lorimer
Release Date: 22nd July, 2015

While it may have initially set out its stall as a gripping political thriller with some distinctly supernatural overtones, BOOM! Studios’ Burning Fields has made the gradual shift to all-out horror over the last few issues, leading to a tense, gripping showdown here as the series nears its conclusion.

Callous Private Military Company “The Verge” take things to a whole new level here, bolstered by the return of their leader Decker. I’m skirting around any potential spoilers here, but as you can see from the preview artwork below, we’re dealing with a whole new Decker – something that should certainly raise a few eyebrows, given his utterly chilling he was before. Dana and Aban’s investigation puts them right in the crossfire as Verge and Carapace collide, leading to a fraught, horrific realisation and yet another spine-tingling cliffhanger.

The character development noticeably takes a back seat to the action here, which is an acceptable shift given just how well Daniel and Moreci have developed our two leads over the preceding five issues. No existential soul-searching or dramatic reveals here, just two characters doing their best to adapt to an almost unthinkable situation as the supernatural aspects of this series are thrust right into their collective faces.

I could almost cut and paste my glowing praise of artist Colin Lorimer’s work from my reviews of any of the previous five issues. At this stage it’s the consistency which is perhaps most impressive as Lorimer continues to match his jaw-dropping start with one horrifically grotesque visual beat after another, accompanied by an ever-present sense of choking, claustrophobic tension.

Two aspects that I have somewhat overlooked in my gushing over the visuals of this book so far been the striking colours of Joana Lafuente and the typically slick lettering of Jim Campbell. As impressive as Lorimer’s artwork surely is, Lafuente gives it an extra flourish, and her desolate backgrounds and haunting shadows paint a vivid picture of the oilfields of Iraq. Campbell gets ample opportunity to shine too, shifting fonts and colours to convey the hissing of the followers of Asag and using the world balloons almost as characters themselves as they swarm and swallow up their prey.

For my money, Burning Fields is the best comic on the shelves right now, hands down. The pacing is top-notch, the artwork is dark, grimy and dripping with atmosphere and the characterisation is absolutely spot-on. Horror, politics and drama all churned together into an utterly intoxicating mixture, this is a creator-owned triumph that deserves to be seen by as many eyes as possible.

Rating: 5/5.

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The writer of this piece was: 576682_510764502303144_947146289_nCraig Neilson (aka Ceej)
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