Comic Book Review: The Curse of Brimstone #9
I gotta say, I was not prepared to flip open the pages to this issue. There was nothing bit heartbreak when Joe finally began losing control of himself, and for Annie to unfortunately begin to lose faith that she can save her brother. Joe was always fated to begin crossing a line, but his reason for doing so hit hard. What do you do when you would do just about anything to save your own sister? What would you sacrifice for the sake of doing the right thing? That was the crossroads met, and what we got is an empty road ahead for two siblings headed in different directions now.
This issue of The Curse of Brimstone started in an odd way in my opinion. Of course there was no telling where Joe would go from where the last issue ended, but for the situation he quickly jumped into almost made you think you may have missed something. He went from one trouble into the next so fast without a true build-up. In truth I can’t argue with the fast pacing that has worked for this book so far, but at the same time I still wanted that little bit of time for Joe to be able to properly process everything he has managed to lose in such a short amount of time. If I am being fair, then I suppose you could say that this run-in with Doctor Fate was as good as any opportunity to show the state of mind that he has been thrown into. With that said, the guest appearance of Doctor Fate was one heck of a twist to throw at us. This was the last person you would have thought Joe might encounter in this book, but like most “New Age of Heroes” books you know that someone notable is bound to make an entrance. That is the best way to begin creating connections to the world at large.
The supernatural smackdown of Brimstone versus the Lord of Order himself, Doctor Fate was worth the wait. The fight that broke out here was everything you have ever wanted to see from Brimstone taking the gloves off. This here was exactly what you were preparing to see in an issue where Annie was not there to be his tether to humanity. The last fight that Brimstone got into didn’t go so well since the opponent was pretty powerful. I sat here wondering how in the world you could top that when anyone else that strong or stronger would steamroll him. I’m very glad this creative team proved me wrong. They pushed some boundaries and dug their feet in to give us the best that these two would throw at each other.
How this clash of titans ended was awesome for the fact that there was a strong nod to developments with Doctor Fate that connects to the events of Witching Hour. It is good to know that this is a story unfolding that is on the same timeline as other things going on in the DC Universe.
What we saw of Annie here was small, but I’m glad that this was not going to be a time where she would soon be forgotten. There’s nothing to ignore about a girl who still has a mission to uphold despite Joe losing his way. Where her journey takes her is going to be exciting since she does have a line in the sand that she will cross in order to make sure that innocents are not continued to be put through the same horrors.
Just when you think that this art team couldn’t give you anything better than they already offered, they go and outdo themselves yet again. I was blown away by the efforts of Eduardo Pansica, Julio Ferreira, and Rain Beredo. The best scenes in this book are honestly the action sequences, and this whole issue was nothing but that. I loved that the minute those flames began raging, they never stopped. The fire in general is some of the most stunning work I have seen from most artists. The warm colors are intense, the flow of the flames are organic, and there’s a convincing blend of both flames and actual brimstone. For the kind of fires they aim for, it takes more attention to detail than simply engulfing the object in fire. There’s a method to the explosiveness, the way it flows out of Brimstone, and the way it shapes an atmosphere. Everything about Doctor Fate’s powers was a great contrast with cold colors. At the same time I loved the detail that went into every sigil for his magic. As for Fate himself, the flow of his cape was amazing, his godly presence was for the most part consistent, and lets not forget the epicness of every point where he takes flight. Beyond this, the panel and page layout was the icing on the cake. This fight would not have been as visually engaging as it was if they didn’t take many liberties to give us a unique presentation. Much of it made a big difference towards the perspective that created an in your face experience.
The Curse of Brimstone #9 was everything you could have wanted to see and more from this monster when let off of his leash. We learn some things about the monster within Joe that is so much more than what we are seeing on the surface.