He has no identity. He has no history. He leaves no fingerprint. What's the past that John Doe is trying to hide? And how can he find the keys to it in Potter's Field, the cemetery for the unnamed dead? More brilliant storytelling from the creator of Kingdom Come and writer of 52!
Gwen: As much as I loved the story itself here, I was completely blown away by the imagery. The art and coloring on this book is amazing. There are a few scenes that I'd love to own the art for. There's a fight scene in the woods that's almost completely done with silhouettes, the constant emotion done with bodily language... then there's this one page where Abel Tannori thinks that he's shooting at John, but shoots his own good instead. John is standing right behind the goon as he falls. Then when Tannori tries to 'deal' with John and makes a fatal mistake there's this amazing picture of John 'merging' with the fire that's burning down the building... just wow. Seriously, the imagery was just incredible!
As for the plot, it was nicely done and left you thirsting for more. Honestly I will be jumping up and down with excitement to see more of this character. In three issues we barely learn anything about John Doe, and yet I care more about this character than some characters that have been around since before I was born. Mark Waid is a master storyteller and I continue to enjoy everything I've picked up of his work.
Potter's Field had a strong ending that wrapped up the current arch, but left you wishing for more. I hope to see more of this character, and I really, really hope that the creator team will stay together for any future installments.
Jim: It is amazing how much of a story that Mark Waid packed into a three issue mini-series. We have a lot of background on what John Doe does and how he goes about doing his job. We also have plenty of mysteries and question marks about who he is, and why he does it, to keep us coming back for more.
This issue wraps up the two part story where a bad guy set-up John Doe and played him for a sucker with a pretty woman. John escapes from digging his own unmarked grave and ultimately takes out the bad guy at the cost of losing what appears to have been his home.
The ending was such a nice little poetic justice where the bad guy ends up in an unmarked grave but John knows who it is already and goes about carving into the marker. Of course whether he gave Abel Tannori his name back or not is never shown, a perfect ending to this tale.
The artwork by Paul Azaceta is well done and my favorite panel is where he shows John hiding behind a file cabinet and you can only see the slightest hint of John’s hand. The colorist did a great job in keeping the book dark as it is all happening at night, but allowing the art to actually be seen.
I’m looking forward to a series of mini-series in the same vein as Dark Horse and other small press companies have built some franchises.
As Potter’s Field is written by BOOM’s new editor-in-chief, I think it is also appropriate to say that BOOM has had a rocky year, but now seems to be back on track. Regardless of their sporadic publishing schedule almost every book has had a great and interesting premise. If the end of 2007 is any indication 2008/2009 could see BOOM rise up and be in the same class as Dark Horse and Image.