The Field is a mind fuck and I loved every page of it. It’s actually hard to know where to begin and really with the way the story is structured we’re without solid details meaning most of what I’m going to say is speculation on my part. But then it’s been so long since I’ve had to speculate about a comic book that I’m actually looking forward to it. That’s one thing no one can take away from The Field… it’s very enthralling. The story begins in a… field. That’s right this isn’t just called “field” because no one had named a comic that before. The first page is a quick scene that won’t make any sense at first and I’m not going to explain it just yet. On the second page we find our dude from the cover waking up in his underwear in said field. He’s very confused. I mean wouldn’t you be if you woke up in a field wearing cheap underwear with only a cell phone? Oh I didn’t mention the cell phone… well it’s ringing so you better pick it up. Better yet let’s have are unknown protagonist answer… oh he missed the call.
Anyway, our undies guy attempts to unlock the phone when it receives a message saying “Run.” He looks around and then hears a car driving towards him. He receives another text message saying “don’t get in the car”, but when the guy driving the car points a gun at him… well he gets in the car.
It’s pointless to tell you what’s happening on the page so I’m going to just go into what I think is happening. It might be a bit spoilerish so you might want to skip to the next paragraph. I think its Groundhog’s Day, but instead of the main character remembering everything from the day before… it’s everyone else that remembers. There are several clues that support this theory, the fact that the sun is rising in our first panel, but then nowhere to be found in our second and the constant attention brought to the time. Then there’s the dialogue which is most telling if you’re looking it for it. It doesn’t explain what’s happening or why, but it does give us some insight as to the status quo of the world so we can so we can begin to solve the mystery.
Most of dialogue in the issue comes from our “good” Samaritan Christian that picks up underwear guy in the field at gun point. His regional twang comes through as he talks and really he never stops talking. He’s always on about something and it’s actually really great. This makes it so that Christian isn’t a two-dimensional character, but also as interesting as the mystery. Our nameless dude doesn’t really talk, but when he does it gives us the impression that he’s educated. These two characters do very little and they say even less in terms of moving the plot forward and yet writer Ed Brisson has fleshed them out in just one issue.
If you haven’t figured it out yet this is a complex mystery. Because of that the art plays a huge role in the success of the story. The visuals can make or break the entire thing. Simon Roy is the hand of God on this story and he brings everything to life. Teamed with Simon Gough on coloring, the two of them play an intricate role in making this mystery work. Without the stunning visuals, which as I pointed out hold some clues in and of themselves, this story wouldn’t be as trippy and mysterious.
Roy brings out the human qualities of the characters from body language to habits. There’s a panel in which Christian is blowing smoke out of his nose from a cigarette and it looks natural to the character. It looks like he’s always smoked his cigarettes that way even though the narrative never brings attention to it.
I’m not one to throw out hyperbole like “best issue of the week” or “a mini-series everyone should read” because it’s just overused buzz words. It’s a shame to because both apply to this comic. Maybe it’s the fact that we’re in April and I can only think of one or two mini-series that have been good this year, but I have a feeling that from here on out The Field is the bar to beat. This book definitely has my attention and it’s the first mini-series in a while that I can remember being really excited for. If you want a good mind fuck this week, this is it.
Writer/Letterer: Ed Brisson Artist: Simon Roy Colorist: Simon Gough Publisher: Image Comics Price: $3.50 Release Date: 4/2/14 Format: Mini-Series