Zeb Larson reviews Burning Fields #7…
After barely escaping the massacre of Carapace troops by the now Asag-controlled Decker and Verge, Dana and Aban find solace with Aban’s family.
Burning Fields builds to its denouement in this issue as Dana and Aban try to stop the unthinkable from happening. Even as they try, Decker is moving closer to a plan to unleash Asag on Kirkuk and the rest of the world. We also learn a bit about Dana’s past and the moral compromises she’s made that have shaped her into the hard person that she is. This is not exactly a cheery issue, and as with all penultimate issues, it’s somewhat frustrating to not be able to jump straight to the conclusion. I will be discussing spoilers here, so consider yourself forewarned.
Guns blazing, Dana and Aban manage to ditch Asag’s possessed followers after a few close shaves. They regroup back in town, where Dana and Aban talk about the nature of love and faith before planning their next move. Dana also tells Aban what happened in Chicago, where she murdered a gangster who had killed a child informant. They learn from one of Ghada’s followers that Decker and his men are planting explosives around the oil field to try and release Asag. Left with no other choice, Dana has to try and kill Decker.
In some respects, this is a slow issue. There’s a strong opening action sequence, but after that most of the issue is dialogue, followed by the news about Decker’s bombs. Yet the slowness is a strength in certain respects. We’re not going to get all of the answers we want anyway, and I like the conversation between Dana and Aban. Aban has always had a certain collected demeanor that has kept him surprisingly cool throughout all of this, and his take on faith and love serves as an anchor for him. By contrast, Dana doesn’t have that going for her, and you get the sense that she is profoundly adrift.
There’s an interesting philosophical conundrum here, too. Asag is an entity that feeds on violence, and his chief avatar Decker is a man who is wholly consumed by violence. But Dana is also perfectly comfortable with violence, and she relishes inflicting it on people who deserve it. How is she going to fare if she comes face to face with Asag? Is this confrontation going to be one she can’t solve with violence? I’ll be curious to see the resolution.
Well, as usual, I want the next issue to get here right now. I’m wondering whether Dana will be able to make this problem go away with another bullet. We’ll see.