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

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Publisher: BOOM! Studios
Writer(s): Michael Moreci, Tim Daniel
Artwork: Colin Lorimer, Joana Lafuente
Release Date: 23rd September, 2015

And so we reach the finale of Burning Fields. The team of Moreci, Daniel and Lorimer have done an truly fantastic job of building this series up over the last seven issues, weaving a wonderfully nuanced military horror tale with a pair of utterly compelling characters and some of the best artwork going today, and now it’s time to see if they can stick the landing.

Ha. As if there was ever any doubt.

Honestly, I can’t think of a more poignant and powerful finale for this series that the one contained within these pages. Throughout the story, Dana has continually struggled against the inner demons of her past, and as her burning thirst for vengeance leads her into the jaws of hell itself, it’s tough not to see her actions as a potential source of retribution. For me though, it’s not about that for Dana. She knows and accepts that the things she’s done in the past have tarnished her with an indelible mark, and at this point, it almost seems more like she’s fuelled by a desire to prove that she can still do something good rather than any naive desire to ‘wipe the slate clean’.

The relationship between Dana and Aban has been masterfully crafted throughout the course of this series, as we’ve watched the pair go from reluctant partners to kindred spirits to – well – friends. The depth of this relationship and the strong investment we’ve built up in these characters over the preceding seven issues gives this finale even more of a sense of genuine tension, a sense of danger that – given the incredibly high stakes – makes for a truly gripping read.

Then there’s the artwork. Oh, the artwork. Blah blah, Colin Lorimer. Blah blah, career-best work. I’ve said pretty much the same thing in each of my reviews of this series until I’m blue in the face, but somehow Lorimer actually manages to surpass himself here, putting forth some absolutely stunning panels – the majority of them based around Dana’s liberal use of a sickle – and giving us a truly spine-chilling look at Asag in all his demonic glory. Once again, Lorimer’s work is given a fantastic sense of depth and atmosphere by Joana Lafuente’s colours, keeping things dark and moody yet still somehow clear and sharp at the same time.

Okay, so I’ve said it before on no less than seven occasions, but I’ll say it again here… Burning Fields is hands-down the best comic of 2015 so far. Now obviously, if you haven’t jumped on the bandwagon yet, this isn’t exactly the best place to start, but consider this review to be a ringing endorsement – if not an out-and-out demand – to pick up the trade paperback of this series when it becomes available. Moreci, Daniel and Lorimer have set the bar for what qualifies as a truly great comic, and with just a few months left in the year, I’m not sure if there are many other titles out there who stand a hope in hell of matching the creativity, characterisation and sheer gripping intensity of Burning Fields. Utterly fantastic from start to finish.

Rating: 5/5.

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