‘The Field’ was clearly pitched as a high concept story that merges two or three different broad themes and serves them with varying levels of success. For those who have been following this mini-series from the start, it will probably come as a relief to hear that some of the questions raised in the previous two issues (and there are a lot) become slightly clearer. This issue is a bit of a mixed bag however.
So far, very little within the story has suggested that the main character has any form of agency, and has basically been pressganged at gunpoint by characters around him. This issue allows the character to regain some form of self, but it feels as if little has been accomplished. Ed Brissons dialogue is also a bit stilted. Whilst situations the characters are in are in no way normal, the conversations between characters reads as if computers from the mid-nineties were talking to each other. On the scale of the greater narrative though, interwoven blurred snapshots of past, present or future keep raising more questions.
Herein lies the problem with a mini-series that is only 4 issues long. Whilst expansion of character backstory of the likes of ‘Battle Royale’ - where each character is given a detailed history, only to get offed moments later - isn’t required, 4 issues is simply not enough. The result is a mini-series that so far has left either a lot of exposition for the 4th act, or story that feels drastically half baked.
To their credit, Simon Roy and Simon Gough are bringing consistently decent pencils and colours respectively. Considering the carnage and incredulous expressions that the characters are required to express, everything is executed with surprising detail. Notably, there is two pages of speechless layout that is worthy of an action film and is incredible to track on the page, breaking apart the traditional panel layout and toying with it superbly well.
Primarily though, based on the current state of the series, The Field #3 does not convince as a mini-series. Part of the problem is the length, but it suffers from a form of narrative that emphasises decompressed storytelling and fails to scratch the surface of character motivation or the logistics behind the predicament the characters are in. Perhaps all will be rectified in issue 4, but there will need to be a fair amount of exposition. This is not to detract from the overall quality of the art, but the story is too shallow to be recommended.