Comic Book Review: The Curse of Brimstone #1
Still for the most part I feel myself captivated by the titles that the New Age of DC Heroes has offered so far. Each one varies and brings something new to the table that none of the other books on shelves do. The expectation of The Curse of Brimstone is that this will be no different. When I read the summary of this series, I didn’t quite get the vibe that this guy could be a hero. So the interest was definitely to see what exactly is created through this curse.
The first thing this issue jumps into is the man behind the Brimstone. I must say I was surprised by the reveal of who this was. There was some image already in my head from the description of the series, and it did not match the young man we are introduced to. Not his look, his living situation, or the kind of town that he lives in. But that wasn’t a bad thing of course. They played a smart game making sure that the appeal was in Brimstone before the person behind the curse. With that said, the introduction of Joe Chamberlain was simple and fairly to the point. It’s hard to say that Joe is a character that you could quickly form an attachment to, but his story might resonate with the right people. Particularly those who find his struggles relatable. He goes through some things that many of us feel deeply about in this day and age.
Joe’s story was different from most for how grounded he was to a normal life before madness entered his life. Some of the other books so far jumped straight into these characters already changed. To some extent you could say the same for this first issue, but more time is put into working up to that point rather than working backwards. Now it did take some time to find it believable that this kid could make a deal with the devil to save this little town. I mean what kind of danger could his town really be in for that to happen? What kind of danger could he have gotten himself into? All it really took was an understanding of just how bad his situation is to see why such a drastic decision could be made. Saving his town wasn’t said in the same sense that you would expect, and that was probably for the best to fight predictability.
How they introduced this devil so to speak was unique to this story as well. There was so much vague about the deal that Joe made and who this demon really is. Not to mention what there is about this deal that Joe has to made for him to feel that he needs to return the curse. That air of mystery was good for creating investment in what comes next. This story pushes more into the supernatural corner of the DC Universe, and that doesn’t come without the appeal of the pursuit of truth.
One of the biggest selling points for a book introducing a new story and character will always be the artwork. Brimstone was already a step ahead when the artwork was as pictured on the cover. From the flip of the first page the artwork grabbed me for the painted look that you don’t get too often from DC books. The pencils were apparent in some areas, mostly those that required more definition and shading, though for the most part it felt like everything blended together. This approach worked for the setting in particular. There was a small town vibe given off by the way this town was rendered, especially when it came to the color choice. Going from organic colors for the town, and bolder for the characters added to the grounded appeal. For a book like this, Rain Beredo was perfect for the colors needed. From the books I have followed that Beredo worked on, one of the things that stood out was the range of colors used, and the excellent use of warm colors. Warm colors were very important when we got to the climax of this debut. The highlight of the issue was when the transformation came. The creativeness in the panels, the layout, and the spreads went a long way in terms of intensity and use of fire as the theme..
The Curse of Brimstone #1 delivered the start of another story that is unlike anything else we are getting from DC currently. A simple character, with desperate desires, and a curse that is more than he bargained for. Being careful of what you ask for is the big takeaway from this debut. Hopefully the second issue will reinforce exactly why that is.