The Curse of Brimstone #4 – Justin Jordan, Writer; Eduardo Pansica, Penciller; Julio Ferreira, Inker; Rain Beredo, Colorist
Ray – 8/10
Ray: I was pretty hard on the first three issues of this comic, finding it to be an overly grim supernatural thriller that buried its meditation on small-town depression under an overly violent veneer of demon action. However, last issue showed some interesting hints of a bigger idea and a potential new protagonist in lead character Joe’s sister Annie. The Curse of Brimstone #4 takes that potential and builds on it, as the siblings head out of their destroyed town in search of answers about the mysterious salesman. From the first few pages, when we see something else like Brimstone – but much bigger and much more dangerous – it’s clear that Jordan is opening up this world and exploring the larger concepts at play here. There is tension between the siblings, but that all has to be put aside when they arrive at another small town – or at least, what’s left of one. There, they encounter Enoch, a mysterious gun-toting man who knows a lot about the Salesman but is not exactly willing to help. Apparently the villain has been carving a path of destruction across small town America for years.
Enoch is an interesting character to add to the series and nicely changes up the dynamic which was basically just people running around confused and horrified. New artist Eduardo Pansica keeps Tan’s gritty style to a degree, but also makes the action a lot clearer. Out of all the books, this was the one that was least clear in how it connected to the events of Dark Nights: Metal, but the reveal that the Salesman is not actually the Devil but a parasitic creature from the Dark Multiverse here to corrupt the world fits pretty nicely. Also, Batman who Laughs cameo! The battle segment that ends this issue, pitting Brimstone against a horrific monster that was one of the Salesman’s earliest victims, is far superior to the action that we saw in earlier issues. More characters, better action and a richer mythology – it took a while, but this could be catching up to Jordan’s other New Age of DC Heroes comic, Sideways. It’s interesting that a good number of these stories got stronger once the initial arc was over.
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GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.