THE FIELD #1
Written by Ed Brisson
Art by Simon Roy
Published by Image Comics
Release Date: April 2, 2014
The Field is the latest mini-series that comes to us from the mind of letterer turned writer Ed Brisson. Ed has struck success in the past at Image with the time travel/crime mini-series Comeback, with artist Michael Walsh, and continues to surprise readers with the pre-apocalyptic ongoing series Sheltered, with artist Johnnie Christmas. This time around he is accompanied by powerhouse Prophet artist Simon Roy. The result is pure christian rock and cocaine madness. The story of a man not knowing who he is or where he came from is a familiar one, but Brisson and Roy, along with colorist Simon Gough, manage to make the book feel totally unique and unlike anything currently on shelves.
Like many great comics, The Field sets up a lot of mystery with the first issue. What brought this man to be stranded in a field only in his underwear? Who is texting him? Why is this Christian guy named Christian (yes, his name is Christian (this book is awesome)) being so incredibly reckless, and what are his plans? Those are just some questions this issue leaves readers with, and I trust that Brisson and company will not let readers down when we learn more in the next 3 issues.
Ed Brisson has emerged as a major writing talent in the comics world, showing again here that he has some writing chops. To the credit of the issue, the dialogue is fairly sparse, which allowed me to really get absorbed in the artwork, and overall mood of the book. He allows for a lot of story to be told through the artwork, following the golden storytelling rule of “show them, don’t tell them.” His approach to the story of The Field works really well here, and it is his some of his strongest work to date. He feels like a writer finally hitting his stride, with everything story-wise firing on all cylinders. Brisson is dealing with many interesting themes and ideas, it is just a joy to read. He skillfully mixes sci-fi, Christianity, small town America, family, and ultra-violence into a big stew. It all mixes together nicely, creating something that feels fresh, smart, and most definitely worthy of the reader’s time.
The issue succeeds due in large part to the work of artist Simon Roy. Ladies and gentlemen, this guy is a rock star. In The Field #1 he captures the night sky and farm county barrenness like no other, making the location of the book so distinctive it almost looks like another planet. Roy also draws incredibly interesting characters. Each character is distinctive looking. The designs say so much about who they are, and the detail he provides to each one adds greatly to my enjoyment of the book. In this issue, Roy conveys a lot through character acting and facial expression. The faces of anguish and confusion displayed by our underwear wearing protagonist and the coked out faces of Christian really go a long way in conveying their mental states while fleshing out their characters. I should also mention colorist Simon Gough, who does a fine job, particularly in his use of lighting. The way he reflects light off characters in the night creates a devilishly sinister mood to scenes.
The Field #1 is an incredibly strong start to an absurdly twisted mini-series. Ed Brisson, Simon Roy, and Simon Gough have introduced us to some interesting characters in a very peculiar situation, and I can’t wait to see where this goes.
The Verdict: 9.0/10