The Curse of Brimstone Annual #1 – Justin Jordan, Writer; Mike Perkins, Artist; Neil Edwards, Denys Cowan, Pencillers; John Stanisci, Donald Hudson, Inkers; Rain Beredo, Colorist
Ray – 6/10
Ray: An annual two issues before the series wraps isn’t a common event, but then few things have been normal with the New Age of DC Heroes line. The Curse of Brimstone Annual #1 is somewhere between a regular issue of The Curse of Brimstone and an anthology.
All the book is written by Justin Jordan, but three different artists flesh out the world. The first story is essentially a regular issue, with Joe and Annie encountering an unusual ally of sorts – John Constantine. He’s interested in finding out the true nature of Joe’s powers, and they’re hoping for help with controlling Joe’s curse. They wind up teaming up to take on a cannibalistic false God created by a deranged family. Swamp Thing also appears, because apparently Constantine keeps him around in his cigarette. The guest stars were fine, but with these two doing so much more interesting stuff in Justice League Dark, it fell a little flat.
The two backup features are devoted to expanding on the backstories of some of the wild-card characters we saw before in the series. The rogue monster-hunter Enoch was one of the more interesting players in the series’ early going, but he sort of disappeared from the narrative after a while. This issue gives him a pretty compelling backstory as someone whose small town was left behind by progress, which led him to make a deal with the literal devil – only for it to backfire on the person he cared about most.
The second story focuses on Wandering Jack, the serial killer who stalks the towns targeted by the Salesman. Unlike Enoch, there’s nothing compelling about him – he’s just a sadistic creep who seems to be lashing out at the world. That’s basically the problem with this series. It has a lot of interesting ideas, but the execution never quite carries them through to a fully formed narrative.
To find reviews of all the DC issues, visit DC This Week.
Disclaimer: GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.