"The Curse of Brimstone #2" Comic Review
Written by James Ferguson
Published by DC Comics
Written by Justin Jordan
Illustrated by Philip Tan
Colored by Rain Beredo
2018, 32 Pages, $3.99
Comic released on May 2nd, 2018
Joe Chamberlain has made a deal with the devil and you know how those go. He wanted to put his town on the map and make people want to visit it again. He got his wish, although not the way he figured it would happen. Joe was transformed into a being of fire named Brimstone, creating fires that decimated the town and covering it in ash. Now people will want to come check it out to see what an unnatural disaster looks like up close.
It becomes a constant struggle for Joe to keep this raw, fiery power in check. Artist Philip Tan captures this pained look on Joe’s face as he slowly pushes the fire down within himself. Small flames are still popping up all over his body as he fights to extinguish them. His very existence looks like pure agony, both physically and mentally as he comes to grips with the destruction he’s caused.
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The opening pages feature a nice juxtaposition between the bright, fire-filled panels of Brimstone and the dead, grey ash of the town. We bounce between the two settings as Joe’s new status quo sets in. Colorist Rain Beredo does a great job here. All the while, the devil, known here as The Salesman, explains what’s going on and the fine print of Joe’s deal.
This issue picks up right where the last one left off with Joe’s transformation into Brimstone and the destruction that follows, but then quickly pumps the brakes. Joe wakes up in his own home after his sister Annie finds him passed out and naked in the street. The town hasn’t been entirely destroyed, but it’s been through hell.
Annie takes to the whole story a little too quickly. You’d think if your brother explained he made a deal with the devil, you’d have a few more questions. She just goes with it and starts looking stuff up online about it, making some pretty big leaps in logic. Conveniently, all of her theories are correct and validated after finding a subreddit about supernatural disasters. While the story was going to go here eventually, it feels like some pieces of dialogue are missing for Annie to make these connections, like there is a conversation filling her in that is glossed over or implied, but not actually stated.
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As with the first issue, some of the artwork is a little rough. There are rarely formal lines around the characters. Instead, they’re differentiated with the color, which is a great effect in something like Samurai Jack, but doesn’t work well in this case. It makes the images look jumbled, like a mosaic that doesn’t quite come together.
Things heat up (do you see what I did there?!) with the introduction of Brimstone’s polar opposite. Where there’s heat, there must also be ice. This creates an interesting battle, as Joe is still figuring out his powers and what to do next to prevent further damage to those around him. The Curse of Brimstone lives up to its name. Joe’s life has become torturous. Can he rise up out of this as a hero? Or will he burn it all down? Or will Superman come in and just throw him into the sun? All of those things are possible.