Comic Book Review: The Curse of Brimstone #10
The Curse of Brimstone #9 was everything you could have wanted to see and more from what happens when Joe is completely taken over by Brimstone. That issue was one of my favorites from 2018 for the action between forces that would not clash under normal circumstances. I was left wanting more because I did not know how this serious could possibly top Brimstone sending the likes of Doctor Fate on the run. Or how Annie would walk away from a confrontation with Wandering Jack.
Starting with Annie was great for the fact that she has gotten herself into quite the situation since leaving Joe behind. Running into Wandering Jack was probably the worst case scenario for Annie. Well the worst would be the Salesman, but that is still something you would expect us to work up to. So Wandering Jack is the worst case scenario for her by herself, and you had to wonder what brought her to this madman. I liked the reason which meant that she didn’t abandon all hope with Joe. This encounter created the perfect segway for us to also get to know Wandering Jack and where he came from. My only negative is small, but if you’re referencing to a book for clarity to something, it is best to add a date as well if the book has not come out yet. This isn’t his full origin, but it is more than a start for those who were anxious to figure this guy out. I loved understanding how he connects to all of this chaos. It was not at all the answer you were expecting from someone who seems to follow the trail of these unfortunate events.
For Annie, this was the kind of character exploration that she has been deserving for some time now. Up to this point we have been challenging Joe for where he crosses the line. Where Joe ends and Brimstone begins. This was that time to say the same for Annie. Where does the righteous sister end, and the girl who makes the tough call begin? The answer to that was chilling, and I don’t think I could have loved this character more than I already did. She almost lost me when it seemed she was ready to run away, but that isn’t the kind of character she has been built up to be. Annie coming close to going over a fateful edge against another supernatural foe made things even better. You would think that a regular person like her would be easy to overlook, and she would prove you wrong for her ability to think on her feet.
There was but one moment that you saw coming from the start, and that was who you knew would save Annie from this supernatural foe. Where you could overlook that was the heartwarming nature of what came next. For everything maddening about this story, it was good to know that this creative team was not willing to part with the heart that lies at the core.
The flashback this issue was as touching as they come when we are given a genuine reminder of the kind of relationship that Joe and Annie share as siblings. They added fuel to the fire that is what happened when she finally began to see him as a monster, instead of her brother. You want to see more of that, but this is not that kind of story. So instead, you await to see what could go wrong with both willing to make some bold choices for the sake of the other(s).
This issue of Brimstone was as well some of the best work that this art team has produced for the series. Up to this point I was generally giving praise to the quality of work that came out of the presence of Brimstone and the other supernatural terrors. This time around I was able to say that it was the effort put into the characters, the humans to be specific, that stood out. Without the spectacle of Brimstone, there was nothing but the human elements to shine through. The madness of Wandering Jack captures through his excited facial expressions and body language, the coldness of Annie in response. Every detail for them was in clear view. This was their time where words mattered more than fists or fire. With that said, some things supernatural did pop out like this supernatural foe. I found the design of the armor to be creative for the patience that was put into the composition of metals that created this person’s body. Having a face also made it easier to empathize with the kind of deal that this person made as well.
The Curse of Brimstone #10 I believe solidifies this title as the most consistently thrilling book from the New Age of Heroes line of books. Self-contained, character driven, action-packed where it counts, and it has so much heart shared between two siblings. This was just the issue that Annie needed to elevate herself to the character you hoped for her to be existing in a world of monsters and demons.