The Curse of Brimstone #3 – Justin Jordan, Writer; Philip Tan, Artist; Rain Beredo, Colorist
Ray – 6/10
Corrina: Now, I’m Interested.
WARNING: SPOILERS BELOW
Ray: Three issues in, The Curse of Brimstone is a gorgeous, haunting comic that is unfortunately devoid of anything resembling forward motion or characters to care about. Well, not entirely on that last front. The so-called lead character may be a useless lump who has done nothing to endear himself to us, but I’m starting to suspect that he may not actually be our lead character and we may be being played in a sense. The last issue introduced another one of the devil’s servants, a mysterious woman who made a deal long ago and is here to enforce the devil’s will on the hapless Joe. As the issue opens, Joe’s been thoroughly beaten and left for dead by the villain, and Annie runs into the fray to protect him. They make their escape in their beat-up car, with the villain chasing them and generating ice spikes to slow them down. They manage to escape after a tense chase, but when they arrive at their destination, the Salesman is waiting for them.
This is all a pretty classic “be careful what you wish for” story, with the exception that the Salesman and his deals are very much a blunt instrument. You make a deal, you immediately get transformed into a monster to burn your town to the ground. That’s not so much a twisted consequence of the deal as someone who just likes to see things burn. The death of a major character in the book is unexpected in that it comes a lot sooner than I expected, but it also seems inevitable in terms of setting the stakes for this story. I don’t think this is a particularly good story, but it does have potential in the character of Annie. She’s the only person who is here who is remotely likable, and her grit and determination drive the story. She doesn’t understand what her brother’s done, but she’s determined to save her family. If in fact, Joe winds up being a plot device to kick-start her heroic journey, this title could turn into something special. There’s a long way to go to get there.
Corrina: When this title started, I was leery of the premise, seeing it as a showcase for the rage of the poor whites who feel they are forgotten in America. It’s not that towns like the ones where Joe and Annie live don’t exist, it’s only that I wondered if this was a story that needed to be told right now, in this political climate.
Three issues in, and I’ve changed my mind.
That’s due to the new prominence of Annie, who seems to have her act together far more than Joe ever did (or does), and the mythology surrounding the Salesmen and the mysterious woman who seems to be calling Annie out for something. Something is going on with this family, there seems to be a reason Joe was chosen, and a reason for their father’s death and that reason intrigues me, far more than the politics of saving the small town. I’d love for DC to give this title enough time for the story to play out.
To find reviews of all the DC issues, visit DC This Week.
Disclaimer: GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.