Fire vs. Ice – Round Two in The Curse of Brimstone #3
Thus far, The Curse of Brimstone series has been quite interesting. While The Curse of Brimstone #2 was rather lackluster compared to the first issue, The Curse of Brimstone #3 makes up for the second issue’s shortcomings.
Picking up right where issue #2 left off, readers find Joe and Annie locked in combat with the Salesman and the Hound. Curse of Brimstone #3 is an action-packed installment. It is fast-paced and thrilling to read. While there are a few hitches here and there, the overall story is pretty fun to read. Joe and Annie discover some new answers about the Salesman and the Hound. There is an ironic moment where a certain character discovers something about themselves. The reader will most definitely understand the discovery long before the character does. However, this moment–while a good use of narrative irony–falls flat due to its predictability.
Overall, most of the answers that the characters learn, and the nearly twenty pages of non-stop action, make this issue interesting and fun to read.
Justin Jordan’s dialogue really shines with the Salesman. It’s sarcastic, diabolical, and even a little obnoxious. While, yes, Joe and Annie have some great moments in Curse of Brimstone #3, their dialogue did not seem all that interesting to me. They mostly say a lot of the same stuff. For example, “It’s going to be okay, Joe,” “Hurry up, Joe!” and “I didn’t mean for any of this to happen.” I feel like Joe and Annie have been saying the same thing since issue #1. Brimstone, the Hound, and the Salesman have been the most interesting characters so far. Though, Annie does some things towards the end of Curse of Brimstone #3 that makes her a little more interesting. However, Joe–the main character–seems very one dimensional to me.
I feel like The Curse of Brimstone, in general, is more about the concept (being Brimstone) than about the characters or the settings around them. This frustrates me. The characters really need to be developed a lot more before this series can really take off in the direction it wants to go. I do have another gripe: Characters acting out of character. The Salesman says a joke that seems super out of character! I think it was meant to break the tension, but it just took me out of the story.
Additionally, Annie does some things in this issue that don’t fall totally in line with her character. It is as though the plot requires her to do some of these things, thus she does them. There is no motivation for the character other than to follow the plot.
Philip Tan’s artwork still looks as unique as it did in issue #1. In Curse of Brimstone #3, Tan appears to be playing around a bit more with rough lines. In several panels, it appears as though sketch marks have not been erased fully. This adds an interesting tone and depth to each scene, especially during the action scenes. Add Rain Beredd’s color schemes and technique in and you’ve got yourself a very gritty-looking comic. Beredd’s colors seem a bit more smudgy in Curse of Brimstone #3. The smudginess really works in this issue though. There is snow and ash falling over town and Beredd’s color effects add a unique sense of despair that complements the characters’ emotional states.
While the artwork makes Curse of Brimstone #3 great to look at and fun to read, so too does some of the story elements. Apart from my gripes with characterization, I found Curse of Brimstone #3 to be quite enjoyable. Curse of Brimstone #3 is action-packed and fast-paced. It is a quick read that will most likely satisfy most fans of the series.
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