Written by: Michael Moreci & Tim Daniel
Art by: Colin Lorimer
Color by: Joana LaFuente
The investigation continues as U.S. investigator Dana Atkinson and Iraqi detective Aban Fasad embark on a tenuous partnership to uncover who’s behind a string of bizarre murders in the American-occupied region of Iraq. In a land occupied by military contractors, U.S. armed forces, American oil workers and native inhabitants it can make for a toxic cocktail but never more combustible than when a ritualistic killer or killers are on the loose. Burning Fields #2 by Michael Moreci, Tim Daniel and Colin Lorimer proves that the tension-filled debut issue was no fluke. It’s a gripping thriller that transcends genres and immerses the reader in a world as dark and slippery as the crude being pumped out of the ground.
As if the situation in Iraq wasn’t dangerous enough amid the shaky relationships between the Americans and the locals there’s the greasy belligerent security commander Decker that helped destroy Dana’s career. Throw in a murder mystery and a persuasive Iraqi detective you can understand Dana’s abrasive demeanor. However, it’s the dynamics between the two detectives that becomes the heart of the story thus far. Their dialogue exposes some sobering and honest discussions about the Iraqi occupation and the pickle the locals find themselves in. It hasn’t hardened or made Fasad completely cynical. Instead he’s a diligent investigator trying to keep this murder mystery from igniting a powder keg.
Dana and Fasad form a compelling duo that compliment each other thanks to the writers’ ear for realistic, insightful dialogue. It hints on hard-boiled pulp fiction but it’s more precise and evocative than a comic book should. Add Lorimer’s thick dark strokes of a his pencil and you have the perfect canvas for Joana LaFuente’s somber colors. The tone and theme of the book are totally in sync with the rugged and worn looks on the faces from everyone from Decker to the Iraqi militia leader to the oil field workers. There’s a dichotomy in that the setting is a vast desert but so much of the story takes place in confined dimly-lit quarters – in a car, an office, a cave. Lorimer masterfully drapes each scene not so much to draw you in but to slowly grasp you by the throat.
Burning Fields #2 delivers on the promises of the first issue creating a serious thriller built on character development and dialogue. This is not kid’s stuff but the kind of quality you’d pay a premium to your cable company for.