Dana Atkinson, a dishonorably discharged army investigator, is pulled back to the Middle East when a group of American oil technicians disappear under bizarre circumstances. With the help of an Iraqi investigator, what Dana discovers is unimaginable: a series of unusual incidents at the drill site lead her and her unlikely ally to discover a mythic evil that has been released, one that threatens both the lives of the entire region and the fragile peace that exists.
As the recent furore over the Oscar nominations and American Sniper have shown, no matter how you try to ignore it, life itself is political. Boom! Studios’ new series realises this, but gives it a supernatural twist. Set in the modern day Middle East, an area which has uneasily become used to US Military occupation and private contractors stomping around as if they own the place, Dana Atkinson is sent back into a situation where the real danger is more mundane and human.
From the first few pages, it’s an engaging read, though perhaps not one for the squeamish. Opening on a scene that would make most modern horror films seem tame in comparison, it dovetails into scenarios that are electrified with tension.
Colin Lorimer’s use of cool colouring and shadowing highlights the uneasy situations the characters find themselves in, as they move from situations where one false move could end in a firefight. Hanging over it all, even when not present on the page, are the looming shadows of the oil fields, the machinery seeming to extract not only oil, but the souls of those who spend too much time around them.
The tense situation, complex characters and unusual setting for a supernatural story are great. Now if the comic can keep those elements in play, without them descending into action movie farce as so many supernatural comics and films do, we may just have a contender for the best horror comic of the year.
Image courtesy of Boom! Studios
Burning Fields can be bought from Comixology or your local comics retailer.
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