Friday, 13 July 2018

The Curse Of Brimstone #3 - DC Comics

Selling just 15,949 units in June 2018, a disappointing drop of over four thousand copies on its previous instalment, Justin Jordan’s treatment for Issue Three of “The Curse Of Brimstone” arguably provided its audience with both a reasonably neat conclusion to the new title’s opening story-arc, and a moment of true tragedy which will doubtless haunt its titular character for the foreseeable future. Indeed, “Inferno: Finale” unquestionably packs plenty of punch within its twenty pages, as Joseph Chamberlain’s fiery alter-ego literally goes toe-to-toe with the ever-boastful Hound and Annie demonstrates a strength of will perhaps rarely seen before in a secondary cast member when she clobbers the Salesman straight into his next incarnation; “You kill me here, I am a dozen other places. It won’t matter--”

Luckily however, the co-creator of “The Strange Talent Of Luther Strode” doesn’t just use this comic to pen a straightforward fist-fight, and adds plenty of gravitas to its pulse-pounding proceedings by continually having the bizarrely-masked “persuasive operative working for… the Home Office” persistently offer the red-headed siblings deal after tempting deal. These emotional enticements, which initially start with the Faustian manipulator simply threatening to fatally slice the throat of Darren if the old man’s son doesn’t finish turning his local town into “human ash statues”, soon degenerate into bargains involving letting the demonic agent go, as well as him offering Brimstone’s sister the possibility of her not needing “to study for your nursing degree anymore”, and all add to the proceeding’s palpable tension through the possibility that at some point someone might actually yield to what’s being offered…

Coupled with the flurry of blows being exchanged between Joseph and his female super-powered adversary, plus the frail welfare of the human mutate’s evidently vulnerable father whose mortality constantly seems to lurch from one danger to another, such poignant story-telling genuinely produces a real roller-coaster of a ride, with every other turn of the page debatably causing the reader’s heart to race in anticipation of what artist Philip Tan may (or may not) pencil next. In fact at one point, just before the cold-blooded killer is momentarily surprised by Annie’s dad bodily bowling her to the ground, it actually looks as if Brimstone will be dispatched with an icy stake through the heart and his sister offered a similar deal to replace him in exchange for not bludgeoning the Salesman to death with a baseball bat.

‘First published on the "Dawn of Comics" website.'
Storytellers: Philip Tan & Justin Jordan, and Colorist: Rain Beredo

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