The Curse of Brimstone #7 – Justin Jordan, Writer; Eduardo Pansica, Penciller; Julio Ferreira, Inker; Rain Beredo, Colorist
Ray – 7/10
Ray: Following last issue’s excellent art by Denys Cowan as the heroes faced off against Slackjaw, the demon-hunting sibling team of Joe and Annie are back on the road in The Curse of Brimstone #7. Eduardo Pansico does a good job with the art this time, but he’s not a legend like Cowan and without such a distinctive artist it accentuates that this series isn’t quite there yet story-wise.
As the issue opens, Brimstone is in battle against a new demon-influenced agent of the Salesman – this time a decomposing witch named Detritus. Unlike his earlier battles, Brimstone now shows no hesitance towards destroying the witch and burning her to a crisp. Annie notices that Joe is getting more comfortable with his other self – something that worries her – but he insists he’s fine as they head on the road to their next destination. Meanwhile, a trucker is conned and mind-controlled by an agent of the Salesman into delivering a mysterious, horrible cargo to the next town on his agenda.
That town would be Vernon, Florida – a seemingly normal-looking, idyllic southern town. At least the buildings look normal. As Joe and Annie get settled, they notice that every single townsperson seems to be missing at least one body part – an eye, a leg, an arm. It’s a classic horror visual, but I can’t say I’m thrilled with DC using the disabled for horror visuals here.
When Joe tries to question a waitress, even using his powers to try to force her to talk, he learns that no one in town is scared of him – they all know what he is and they’ve seen worse. When the cargo that the trucker is carrying is revealed, it becomes clear that Vernon’s deal with the devil is worse than any we’ve seen before – and they’re answering directly to a high-level agent named Bel Dame Sans Merci. It’s a good, creepy issue, but it still feels like there’s very little substance to this comic. Joe and Annie wander from town to town, fighting demons, but any progress in terms of story development is slower than molasses.
Corrina: I think, underneath, this might be a commentary on how people like Joe and the citizens of this Florida town are not only willing to sacrifice themselves in a deal with the devil but people of color as well. As a metaphor for our criticism of the current Republican leadership, that’s pretty on-the-nose.
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Disclaimer: GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.