The Curse of Brimstone: Inferno by Justin Jordan

details
Title: The Curse of Brimstone.
Story-Arc: Inferno.
Volume: 1.
Writer(s): Justin Jordan.
Illustrator(s)Philip TanEduardo PansicaJúlio FerreiraJose LuisInaki MirandaDaniel HenriquesDenys Cowan & John Stanisci.
Colourist(s): Rain Beredo & Chris Sotomayor.
Publisher: DC Comics.
Format: Paperback.
Release Date: December 18th 2018.
Pages: 144.
Genre(s): Comics, Science-Fiction.
ISBN13: 9781401283476.
My Overall Rating: ★★☆☆☆.

thoughts

As I continue my quest to sample the latest stories in DC Comics’ The New Age of Heroes line-up, my hopes of landing on an original, captivating and beautiful story shrinks and my expectations for the remaining couple of series achieves new lows that I’ve never attributed to anything I anticipated reading before. Following the aftermath of DC’s cosmic event Dark Nights: Metal, new and old heroes surge out of their corners of the world and bring forth brand new desires for heroism as they face new deadly threats from the dark multiverse. While many of these series have been cancelled in recent days, it’s to be seen how the new cast of heroes will fit within the DC Universe henceforth that makes these titles so tantalizing. Collecting issues #1-6, this volume looks to introduce new and old fans to a brand-new character who is on the path to figuring out his destiny.

The Curse of Brimstone (Vol. 1): Inferno follows the story of Joe Chamberlain as he finds himself at a dead-end in his life. Desperately wanting to save his long-lost little town in America from being completely forgotten, things align themselves for him to reach a turning point in his life. Crossings paths with a mysterious figure who goes by the name of the Salesman, Joe Chamberlain contemplates shaking hands with the devil to obtain powers that could potentially save his town from extinction. What he ultimately gets is the curse of Brimstone that slowly devours him from the inside when he turns himself towards it for its irresistible powers. As the story progresses, Joe Chamberlain and his much-more mature sister learn about the Salesman, the Home Office and all of its agents that look to convert the forgotten lands of America into entry points for the creatures of the dark multiverse, into new homes for them to settle into.

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While I saw potential in some ideas that were present in this story arc, a lack of coherence and transition from one issue to the other has made this a bit of a bumpy ride. The first part of the story looks into Joe Chamberlain’s character, his entourage and his encounter with the Salesman that will lead him to discover his new powers. During this part, there was an intrigue being teased that makes you wonder where exactly the story might lead, until the moment you realize that it ventures into “horror” territory. Once Joe Chamberlain is acquainted with his curse, the story turns into a cycle of monstrous confrontations where Joe and his sister take a car trip around America looking for deserted towns where the Salesman might have in fact made a deal with individuals and created monsters. Their goal? Eliminate them all.

And then there’s the artwork. If your comic book story looks to play in the world of horror, it will clearly need to find a style that manages to convey the proper emotions. Fear, disgust or sadness rather than joy and love, for example. Unfortunately, as it seems to be the trend with The New Age of Heroes line-up, multiple artists worked on this first story volume and the constant change in artists made for a truly inconsistent and unpleasant experience. To add the cherry on top of the cake, most of the artwork was mediocre at best to my eyes with very little effort put into the character designs, action sequences or setting. With a very scratchy style, disproportionate at times and with sometimes horrible transition from one event to another, the only redeeming element about the artwork was the design of Brimstone, yet his action scenes were often too messy and sometimes impossible to comprehend and appreciate.

The Curse of Brimstone (Vol. 1): Inferno is the uninspiring origin story of Joe Chamberlain as he becomes Brimstone and showcases his generic and fiery powers to the world.


EXHIBITA

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Thank you to Penguin Random House Canada for sending me a copy for review!

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15 comments

  • Bummer. I like the premise, even if it reminds of nothing more than an updated Ghost Rider. While I’m not a fan of horror, for whatever reason, whenever comics go into horror territory, I find it terribly intriguing.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I sort of didn’t want to mention Ghost Rider, but man, it pretty much is DC’s version of Ghost Rider unfortunately. I too am quite fascinated by pure horror in comics. Hellboy is considered horror, but… I mean… it’s not the “scare your pants off” horror. Hopefully I’ll visit some Constantine, Lucifer or Preacher throughout the year to give y’all some of that “comics” horror.

      Liked by 1 person

  • I liked the story theme Lashaan… It excited me… But only you can say if the artwork and the dialogs supported it… Great review… I never thought about comics till I started reading your reviews..

    Liked by 2 people

    • It is indeed a pretty cool premise! Unfortunately there’s a lot that left me wondering what exactly went through their minds when they came up with this story arc.

      I’m glad to “introduce” you to this side of literature, Shalini! Hopefully some day it’ll get you to pick up a comic book, graphic novel or a manga! 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  • I’m sorry your search has continued to come up empty… I understand your concerns with consistency. For me, it’s one of the key to comics. You have to be sure of a art style and the character will follow. If that makes sense.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yep. And I believe the remaining 2 series in this “line-up” won’t be any different. Hopefully they prove me wrong. And yes, consistency from cover to cover is everything! But with artists changing all the time and the story going in all kinds of direction, it was a bit hard to find consistency in this one.

      Like

  • Have multiple artists working on it seems like a strange choice. Like you said, I would imagine the constant change in artwork to be a distraction rather than a welcome addition to the story.

    I like the theme of the story though – the idea of someone being totally consumed by their power, or an idea of themselves born of their power has always appealed to me. Shame the execution was off!

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s a lot more bothersome when it’s one story arc. If it’s a collection of different stories, I’d have understood the change in artists.

      The premise is indeed really descent and there’s a lot of potential in the idea, but the execution is off in my books. 😦

      Like

  • Wow, these titles seem never ending – I remember quite a few being advertised as they came out and again I’m going to be giving it a miss. It really is as a shame that the New Age of Heroes has turned out to be such a messy waste of effort and they could have benefitted from coherent visuals at least.

    Ah well, more great analysis from you my friend – I look forward to your next Tom King Batman review!

    Liked by 1 person

    • They really are. They got super ambitious with this “New Age of Heroes” thing, but what disappoints me most is finding out that 99% of them are rip-offs of something Marvel already has going for countless years. And then to sell this as something focused on the artists, yet they change the artists after every issue within the same story arc is ridiculous. There’s no surprise why “DC events” since the New 52 have often been looked down upon (like Convergence…).

      I need to schedule a date to review the next King stories indeed! Will have to look at my planner to see where I could sneak it in. I do however plan on reviewing Snyder’s Batman really soon. A special surprise for January! 😀

      Like

    • You… pretty much unveiled it with that line alone. I didn’t want to say it explicitely since not a lot of people know about Ghost Rider’s stories, but that’s really what they took and “adapted” to DC’s universe…

      If anything, the only thing I’m enjoying from the whole Metal event is the Justice League run. There’s a Batman Who Laughs series that’s ongoing right now that I look forward to trying out too. I feel like it might have great potential. To be determined.

      Liked by 1 person

  • Horror and fear or not I think the drawing is really beautiful! I did not expect this while I was reading your review and you told us that if you go for horror the drawing has to convey fear etc. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • I might have actually picked some of the better pages, but I can assure you that I had a tough time with a lot of the pages in there, especially when the artist changes to someone I’ve never heard of before. Glad to bring extra emotional insight though! 😉

      Like

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