Comic Book Review: The Curse of Brimstone #11
Hard to believe that here we are at part one of the two-part series finale to The Curse of Brimstone. It was just a bit easier to accept this after the series of exciting stories told through the events of the Brimstone Annual. As a fan of the series it hits hard that this story could have gone much farther, but here we are with a finale that is more than likely going to be rushed through just for the sake of giving us a conclusion. I’d hope to be wrong, but that is the realities of cancelled series like this.
As part one of the two-part series finale, little time was wasted when we have reached that point where the Salesman has to make that one bold move to ensure that Joe and Annie can’t further interrupt their plans. The only question up to this point was what form their retaliation would take. We knew from the look of the over that this would involve the agent who they faced in the very first issue, though there was still much more to this that you would expect. For the Salesman, it added a lot of depth to it’s existence that we could learn such things as how he exists in so many places at once, or what role he plays to the Home Office. Even better that this time could be taken to show that they are an enemy capable of thinking ahead, the same as these siblings. Joe and Annie have made it this far because they are cunning, but the fact remains that the Salesman wouldn’t be who he is if he wasn’t able to think on his feet either. The plan he set into motion was clever for the fact that he took advantage of the facts about this situation that Joe and Annie aren’t aware of. Their enemy was always the unknown elements, and that is what made this retaliation of theirs so cold (no pun intended).
For Annie and Joe, no matter how this ended I enjoyed their continued dynamic. The worst fear for these two was always that they might go their separate ways if Joe lost control, fortunately that scenario played out very differently from what we assumed. This story could not be the same if you didn’t have Annie as the bold older sister who knows how to pick her fights. Not only just for her ability to pick them, but how to assess the situation too. Then you have Joe who simply knows how to make the hard call. He’s one of those characters where it will always be for better or for worse, which matters a lot considering what is consistently at stake.
This issue was for the most part the battle, and that was executed with good pacing for the way that it was straightforward from start to finish. There was satisfaction for the way that we were seeing Brimstone pushed to some of his upper limits too. With each passing battle he continues to pull some new tricks out of his hat. It makes it that much harder to accept that we might be seeing the last of a character with so much potential to tap into.
Despite what was said above, I was only felt disappointed by the artwork. The change of artists and style could not have come at a worse time for this series. When a book is reaching its end like this, you can somewhat understand that some might be already moving on. However, when you are at the same time reaching a climax? Not a great call if you ask me. if you change artists, then they need to at least be as good or better. When they are anything less than what you had before, that becomes an instant strike. These are by no means bad artists, but they did not meet the expectation for visual quality that you needed from the confrontation delivered in this part one of the finale. To put it bluntly, I would actually say that what we got was lackluster. It was all flat, and the impact was just not there from the colors. Brimstone is a book where the visuals I might say are more important than the story. This is horror, so you need to engaged by your belief in that. This came off like a rush job to put something out there.
I don’t like to be too harsh about certain things with The Curse of Brimstone, but this was not that time where you should favor the story but feel let down by the interiors. This is an important chapter for Brimstone being part one of the finale, I do hope that the art picks up when the next issue drops because that will be the one where you want readers to say this is memorable. Anything like this will tell us that they gave up.