The Curse of Brimstone Annual #1 Review - Good comic but feels like a rerun
• DC Comics (Publisher)
The Curse of Brimstone Annual #1 is the first issue in the series where I questioned how much gas was left in the series.
I say this because the opening act of the book is nearly identical to the last issue I reviewed. The only difference is that Dr. Fate has been swapped out by John Constantine. It's a legit concern but in a vacuum and without prior knowledge of the previous issue the story here is solid.
The episodic nature of the book has been one of it's selling points of the series. It delivers the classic trope of the hero rolling into town, getting into trouble, and resolving a crisis. All of this is done with tinges of horror elements thrown in. The twist is that the hero actually being an agent for the villain. It's basically Spawn meets Ghostrider.
The central premise of this installment involves Brimstone and Annie teaming up with Constantine and Swamp Thing to take down another of the agents ensnared by The Salesman. It's another entertaining issue but the story suffers from the same hangup of the rest of the "New Age of Heroes" line of comics. All of the stories were nearly a year deep at the time and most had not evolved beyond the initial premise of being rip-offs of other characters. The notable exception of the trend being Sideways.
I'd love the characters to be moved to an anthology series a la Heavy Metal or Marvel Comics Presents. Shorter stories would benefit all of these newer characters and allow them to continue to be fleshed out. There is so much potential in this line that its a shame that all of the characters have been shelved completely.
The annual also contains two backup stories. The first gives an origin to one of the Agents that escaped the Salesman's deal. The other story follows a potential antagonist that has been stalking our heroes since the first issue.
There isn't much else to cover. The series doesn't have many issues left. This is a series begging to be collected into a trade or omnibus.