By Davey Nieves
BURNING FIELDS #1
Story: Michael Moreci, Tim Daniel
Art: Colin Lorimer, Joana Lafuente
In 2014, Curse did something I didn’t think possible. It told a werewolf story that didn’t suck. The 21st century has been all about glamourizing horror to some extent. It was awesome that a book like Curse could come along and craft a raw story about one of the monsters that’s never really received their due, the Werewolf. Now in 2015 the team of Michael Moreci, Tim Daniel, and Colin Lorimer are back to work through more of their demons while sending a chill up your spine.
Their new book, Burning Fields is an analog combination of old school horror like The Thing in combination with the geopolitical drama of a Zero Dark Thirty. Where it plants its feet and sets itself apart is in the perpetual insecurity these pages bring and that is far from a bad thing.
Burning Fields is the story of Dana Atkinson, a dishonorably discharged army investigator, who’s pulled back to the Middle East when a group of American oil technicians disappear under bizarre circumstances. Dana is a true badass with the inner demons to match. In the first few pages we see her razor wit in arguing with her former commander and later her toughness as she dispatches would be assassins. The first issue also touches on the unstable political nature of the Middle East as we see both the American Military and Iraqi people’s side of the conflict. Indeed this entire opening issue leans heavy on tensions of various kinds from interpersonal to political and still manages to let the characters build through this tense fog.
Colin Lorimer’s illustrations are perfect for a dramatic horror story like this one. He’s no stranger to emotional drama having done books like X-Files, Harvest, and of course Curse. What sets Burning Fields apart from his previous works is how he masterfully brings out the necessary emotion on a page and seamlessly shifts it to a different mood without jarring the audience. On one page he can capture the turmoil in Dana’s eyes to evoke distress while on the very next page call forth the restlessness of local Iraqis in a marketplace standoff. To go along with this exquisite line work are Joana Lafuente’s colors. She uses tones similar to what Patricia Mulvihill used towards the end of 100 Bullets and gets the same moodiness on the pages in a very horror friendly way.
If there’s any flaw with the book it’s that it may not feel necessary to have eight issues by the end of the story. My only minor gripe about issue one was that I’d like to have known more about the supernatural evil Dana uncovers in the oil field which could have cut it down to seven issues. Being fully on for all eight issues I hope they allow all the volatile elements in the story to be breathe enough.
Boom Studios isn’t known for the number of original books but the quality of them. Burning Fields has the potential to not only join Irredeemable, Incorruptible, 2 Guns, and Curse but also surpass them.
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