The Curse of Brimstone #6 – Justin Jordan, Writer; Denys Cowan, Penciller; John Stanisci, Inker; Chris Sotomayor, Rain Beredo, Colorists
Ray – 8/10
Ray: The New Age of DC Heroes books have been all over the place with their artists, but I can safely say I was not expecting to see a comic book legend like Denys Cowan stop in for a stint on The Curse of Brimstone. He’s done work for DC on the recent Deathstroke Annual, but this is such a random choice. And, as it turns out, a brilliant one for the demonic thriller’s most horror-based issue yet. Joe and Annie’s quest for answers as to the nature of the Salesman and Joe’s new power has led them to a town plagued by an army of possessed children in the thrall of the demonic, doll-like Slackjaw. This child-sized agent of the Salesman is easily the creepiest villain in the series yet, and Cowan’s art gives the entire issue a tense, claustrophobic feel. Complicating this is the duo’s new ally Jack, who turns out to be a violent madman even as Joe is hesitant to let Brimstone out of the trunk to take on the children. He doesn’t want to hurt them – something Jack has no problem with.
Between Jack’s violent attack on the children and Annie being in danger, Joe has no choice but to let Brimstone out by the halfway point, and Cowan’s depiction of the fire demon is easily the best of the series so far. His features are just distinct enough to be chilling while still capturing his power. As Brimstone rages out of control and Slackjaw panics as his mad kingdom collapses around him, the truth of Slackjaw’s nature becomes clear – and Joe displays the first true bit of control he has over Brimstone. In many ways, this series and Damage have a lot of parallels. They’re both about an inherently decent young man who is lashed to a destructive monster. The difference is, The Curse of Brimstone has given us a reason to care about the man, and a reason to fear the monster. With the truth of just how far the Salesman will go revealed, it feels like this series has some new momentum. I’m hoping Cowan is sticking around for the next arc, because I’m expecting there to be some real horrors coming.
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GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.