The Horror Continues in The Curse of Brimstone #2
The dark, horror-themed new series, The Curse of Brimstone, showed readers that they could expect something rather different in the DC Universe. The Curse of Brimstone #1 was a well-illustrated and well-written issue that really showed a lot of promise. The story was very interesting and offered some rather intense ideas about mortality and the unknown. It’s a Lovecraftian superhero story in the making. However, its follow-up, The Curse of Brimstone #2, offers some interesting lore, but little else.
Previously, readers learned that a figure known as The Salesman had come to York Hills. Joe Chamberlin, the protagonist, wanted to leave York Hills but could not find a job. After his truck broke down, he met The Salesman. He made a deal with him and became Brimstone. Now, in Curse of Brimstone #2, Joe watches in horror as he obeys The Salesman’s demands. Though, Joe realizes that this is not what he wants and believes he may be able to control his new powers. This is about where the story falls apart.
The fact that he realizes that he may be able to control his powers is fine. That’s usually what is at the heart of most superhero stories. What frustrated me was that no one reacts to anything in this issue. For example, Annie, Joe’s sister, wants to know what happened to her brother. She’s worried about him and about the town. When Joe, in a panic, explains what he thinks may have happened, Annie basically says, “Okay, cool.” Joe does not have to persuade her at all. She just believes him. Then, they do what happens in every bad SyFy Channel movie, they just start researching stuff online and find answers with no problems.
That’s not to say that all of the story is bad, there are some good elements. There are some intriguing ideas that are mentioned in Curse of Brimstone #2. Many of those ideas are somewhat Lovecraftian in nature. The supernatural aspect of this issue definitely adds a new depth to its story that will keep readers interested.
Justin Jordan has created a very cool world. Additionally, the lore that Jordan has established in Curse of Brimstone #2 is very intriguing. Though having characters research supernatural happenings online is cliché, the ideas established are at least fresh. The rest of this issue, however, felt very rushed. The dialogue seemed very choppy and awkward. Certain actions seemed as though they were out of order. And in a linear story such as this, that can become rather confusing. There is very little character development in Curse of Brimstone #2. The supernatural world is the main focus of this issue. This is fine as long as there is a balance. I saw no such balance in this issue, unfortunately.
Philip Tan’s artwork is impressive and unique. It makes Curse of Brimstone #2 very surreal and gives it a Lovecraftian aesthetic. This aesthetic enhances the depth of the world and highlights the eldritch horrors therein. Rain Beredo’s colors add an extra layer of horror and mystery. Beredo’s color scheme juxtaposes many different elements and themes throughout this issue. Tan and Beredo’s work is probably my favorite thing about Curse of Brimstone #2.
Curse of Brimstone #1 was very promising and unique. It offered something fresh. It offered a new kind of hero. Curse of Brimstone #2 continues to promise something very different and interesting to the DC Universe. However, the execution of those ideas seemed a little sloppy to me. As I mentioned previously, this issue felt very rushed. Characters just accept things without question and move on like nothing happened. That can be frustrating. Granted, things could really pick up in the next issue. The Curse of Brimstone #2 falls into some cliché territory and the story moved along a little too quickly, but it is entertaining. It is not necessarily a boring issue, just not as great as it could have been. Despite this, I am hopeful for the next installment and can’t wait to see where this series goes from here.