- Writers: Michael Moreci & Tim Daniel
- Illustrations: Colin Lorimer
- Colors: Joana Lafuente
- Letters: Jim Campbell
- Publisher: BOOM! Studios
The conspiracy thickens as Dana is plunged into a world of blind faith and violent ritual in Michael Moreci and Tim Daniel’s fiery third instalment of hard-hitting military crime thriller, Burning Fields. Up until now, Burning Fields has been a slow-burner, but issue 3 builds on that solid foundation with a stylish and tragic action sequence, as well as some much-needed insight into the lives of Dana and Aban.
After stumbling into an arcane and blood-thirsty cult at the end of last issue, Dana soon finds that her partner, Aban, has a somewhat questionable history that makes The Brotherhood of Ninurta an unlikely set of allies. Meanwhile, the uneasy peace between the angry citizens of Kirkuk and the Military Police who protect the nearby oil-fields comes to blows, as brewing discontent turns to riot as the result of an armed assailant.
Moreci and Daniel have slowly but surely been ratcheting up the tension in modern-day Iraq, and this issue they begin to release the pressure with explosive results.
Penciller Colin Lorimer vividly depicts the city of Kirkuk as it finally implodes, depicting evocative panels; a one-eyed child screams bloody murder whilst a single hand-gun plays havoc on an already-riled crowd. Colorist Joana Lafuente simplifies her style to great effect during these tumultuous scenes, highlighting the chaos of the mob by coloring in broad strokes. Joana chooses to drench the background in blood-red whilst driving out the humanity of the book’s morally ambiguous cast by rendering them in grey-scale.
Lorimer focuses heavily on reaction shots to show the brutality of such a war-torn area, culminating in a simple splash page that shows Dana’s haunted gaze as she watches one of her own fall to the bullet of a furious citizen.
Whilst Burning Fields #3 contains solid artwork throughout, special mention must go to the eye-catching final splash page, colored solely in red, green and black. It truly is a stand-out piece of artwork, and Lorimer’s striking cover is another provocative image to add to Burning Fields‘ impressive collection of cover images.
On a less positive note, Moreci and Daniel almost immediately choke last issue’s cliff-hanger, casting the veil off the violent cult that we had only seen glimpses of and revealing them as unlikely allies. This reveal dampens the sense of threat that Moreci and Daniel had been painstakingly building over the last few issues whilst simultaneously lessening the gravitas of any future cliff-hangers. Fool me once…
Despite this minor irritant, Moreci and Daniel build on the compelling foundation they’ve set for their murky protagonists, shedding some light on their hushed-up histories. Should you embark upon a re-read of the series of far, this fresh sense of perspective adds an extra layer of meaning to earlier scenes; enriching the story as a whole.
Despite its tension-cutting misstep, Burning Fields #3 is the strongest issue yet. With eye-catching artwork and a layered script, Burning Fields #3 makes for a unique and compelling read.
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