Wednesday, May 2, 2018

The Curse of Brimstone #2 Review

Brimstone Is Not in the House

Storytellers: Philip Tan and Justin Jordan
Art by: Philip Tan, Rain Beredo, and Wes Abbott
Cover Price: $2.99
Release Date: May 2, 2018

The first issue of this series was interesting enough, but I was holding out until the release of #2 to really confirm if this series would work at all. Does it? Let's find out!

The issue opens a bit after the destruction that ended the last issue, which is a shame since I actually wanted to see that. Joe wakes up in bed, naked, and his sister Annie walks in and immediately pesters him as to how he found himself lying naked in the middle of the nowhere. He gawks at the destruction outside since he thought he dreamed it all. His powers manifest as he gets emotional, and Annie sees for herself who exactly caused all the chaos.

Joe tells Annie everything about his encounter with the Salesman. Annie shows off her excellently toned legs, achieved due to her skill at jumping to conclusions; she assumes that whatever the Salesman did to Joe and to York Hills is something he must have done to other towns as well. I have no idea where Annie got that idea from, but hey, the plot needed to move I guess. Annie and Joe manage to find the room that the Salesman is staying in. I have a few questions. I picture the Salesman as some teleporting, demonic character. What exactly does he need a room for? The only reason Annie was able to find this room was because it was the "only room rented out in town". How did she find this out?

 Right before this scene, we meet a character called the Hound. Does she have a room? Why not? Where else could she be staying? There are just leaps of logic that Justin Jordan throws in because the plot moves a bit too fast for my taste. Annie confirms her theory by finding a sort of ledger in the Salesman's room, detailing everything he has done to other towns. 

This might be the goofiest thing I've read in a comic in a while, because the image of this mysterious, scary character just keeping track of all the harm he's done makes me chuckle. As an aside, Annie, upon finding the ledger, congratulates Joe since HIS theory was correct. That's not right, because Annie told Joe that the Salesman goes town to town and screws things up. Is she just trying to make him feel better because he probably killed a lot of people?

I'll end the spoiler stuff here. This is an alright issue. The structure of this issue feels incredibly off, mostly since the events of this issue feel like they should be taking place in #4 of #5. I just don't know anything about Joe, Annie, their father, or the citizens of the town in order to care about what's going on. In addition to this, I'm not entirely sure what the status of the town is following the opening. Have people died? Is everything just coated in ash or is there any physical devastation going on? 

I can see some skeleton-looking things in a few panels, but that's it. If you've been reading most of the New Age books, you can pretty much predict the ending of this one; it teases a fight! We haven't seen that before! Only in the pages of Damage, The Silencer, and Sideways are these cliff-hangers evident! We also barely get Brimstone in this issue, and his appearances are easily the most fun and interesting parts of the issue.

Philip Tan's art is alright as well. I'm not exactly a big fan of his style but it does tell a proper story at least. It's more than readable, and I think he shines whenever Brimstone appears. 

Bits and Pieces:

This was a disappointing and mostly boring issue. Nothing in this issue feels earned in the slightest because I don't know the characters and I'm not connected to the setting just yet. Whoever's editing these New Age books must be implementing some sort of formula because a lot of these books are ending the same way and feel telegraphed similarly overall.


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