The Curse of Brimstone #8 Review - Everything Burns
• Philip Tan, Rain Beredo (Cover Artists)
The current state of the comic book industry isn't great. Due to this unfortunate reality, there isn't much innovation when it comes to mainstream titles. Occasionally Marvel or DC will swing for the fences and launch new series with original characters but if the new characters don't immediately catch on the series will be canceled and they will go back to properties that are proven to generate sales. There is a reason there are several "Dawn of X" titles on the shelves and a handful of Batman related titles being released at any given time.
Because I review titles so sporadically I tend to forget how much I enjoyed The Curse of Brimstone. The premise is simple. A small-time guy makes a deal with the devil, gains power at the expense of his soul. He then spends the rest of the series riding along with his sister trying to break the contract while doing battle with other poor souls that have also entered into the same twisted arrangement. If you are a fan of Spawn or Ghost Rider you know the deal.
While the series isn't all that original what works is the horror beats and the twisted scenarios our protagonists keep running into. In the last arc, they dealt with a group of kids that murdered the adults in a remote town. In this arc Joe (Brimstone) and his sister Annie encounter another agent, La Bel Dame Sans Merri. Le Bel has complete control of the citizens of this town and also has the ability to raise the dead.
This comic follows the same formula as the prior issues which provides some positives and also some potential negatives depending on what you look for in your comic book reading.
Negative: You're getting a variation of the same story you've been reading since issue #1
Positive: The variations have all been imaginative and fun, especially the villains.
Brimstone tries his best to take down Le Bel but she proves too powerful, his sister is captured and he is overwhelmed and he is forced into making a particularly brutal and tragic sacrifice.
I post all of my reviews to the aggregator site, Comic Book Roundup. I'm surprised that this series has been hammered as hard as it has because generally speaking the story is solid, the $2.99 cover price makes the series a great value and the art from Eduardo is great.
Even the muted colors manage to shine throughout the issue which is surprising considering that this is a horror comic. I adore the art direction for this arc and had an audible reaction that I noticed that Eduardo had snuck a homage to Michael Jackson's thriller in this book, It was totally unexpected and cool.
As a single issue or part of an arc, this issue is great. If you've been here since issue one I understand if you're looking for more story progression. You can only go so far with a premise this simple and only one supporting cast member.
Even though I recognize the complaints that a series like this may receive I personally loved it. The Curse of Brimstone #8 appealed to my sensibilities as a comic reader and it pains me that the series isn't still going on. I would love to know where Justin would have ultimately taken these characters. If Spawn can run for 300+ issues we could have got more than a year of Brimstone.