Comic Book Review: The Curse of Brimstone #7
As one adventure ends, another begins. I don’t know what to say. DC has been on a roll with their darker stories this year. The ones that go to places that none of the other series can, and making bolder moves because the rules work very differently when the situation calls for more than your average brand of heroics. The Curse of Brimstone is one that you hold your breath for when you never know what the next town has in store.
Now my only problem was exactly what I feared happened almost right away in this issue. I mean I love that they simply threw us into the next batch of craziness. There was no need for build-up, or a need to know the person who turned into the monster. It was just this creature versus Brimstone. That was great, but it was what came after which I feared. That being the rising tension between Joe and Annie. I have said numerous times that I enjoy their dynamic, but this story is always teetering on that line where someone is going to begin acting dramatized. Unfortunately that person had to be pretty easy to figure out. The mission here was to stop the salesman from doing anything more to other towns, but that didn’t mean there was time to play hero along the way. Not with everyone. I get there are some actions which must come into question, someone has to see the early-warning signs, but it never means you have to fully agree with the approach. It could have been less on the nose.
With that said, you can still clearly see the difference in Joe with each transformation. That is something to take notice of when at the end of the day we want to see what happens if he relies on this power too much or begins to doubt in his ability to keep as much of himself without becoming like the others. This is essentially a losing battle, but the horror is in awaiting for that one moment where he finally goes too far or reaches a place where there’s no return. At worst, it will be Annie who suffers from that loss.
This new town was as messed up as it gets. I had an idea of what to expect when the image of a town of amputees came to mind, but this was not at all what I braced for. The evil of these deals really do take unique forms. I was impressed by the work that went into creating an uncomfortable situation. The way these amputees are drawn makes you quickly feel sympathy for them. Clearly someone took their limbs. But the question still remained, how? Was it willing? Forced? Do any of them even act on their own accord? The answers we have to wait for, but it was in the revelation of their actions which throw us into the next moment of escalation.
What I did like that was new this time around was seeing a bit more teased of the Home Office. I don’t know if their existence has ever been pronounced in the Metal storyline, but I do know that if you jumped straight into The Curse of Brimstone, there is much that you will find a mystery about them. Every bit helps towards understanding the cards they are playing to work their way into the main universe.
The art team pulled out some quality work for this issue. From the first scene they had me hooked visually. For the most part the interior work is excellent, but this art team is usually at their best when the monsters come out. The introduction of these two new demons were very creative and distinct fro the rest. The first one was another which captured a soul too far gone from anything resembling salvation. The other was another which walked that line between demon and still carrying some human traits. I would say that I loved the first one best only because of the form it took, the face, and close-up expressions which were the stuff of nightmares. This one nailed the excitement that comes with those who are actually aware of their actions. Now as for Brimstone, there was nothing to say but how awesome he looked in action. You never get tired of the fiery intensity that comes when he unleashes his power. A perfect use of warm colors yet again. Aside from that, it made a big difference to also give more emphasis to the actual transformation from Joe to Brimstone. In just those key panels, you can see where the boy ends and the demon begins.
The Curse of Brimstone #7 spent more time pushing us into that area where it is now becoming a race against time to put a stop to this madness before it consumes Joe and Annie. Some may say the quickening of the pacing was sudden, but we did ultimately need to see some problems arise given the time Joe has already spent as Brimstone.