"The Curse of Brimstone #5" Comic Review
Written by James Ferguson
Published by DC Comics
Written by Justin Jordan
Illustrated by Philip Tan, Jose Luis, and Inaki Miranor
Inked by Daniel Henriques and Julio Ferreira
Colored by Rain Beredo
Lettered by Wes Abbott
2018, 32 Pages, $3.99
Comic released on August 1st, 2018
Joe and Annie's search for the Salesman continues. They discover another town that fell victim to the creature's nefarious schemes. This time his work affected the children. They all saw the same imaginary friend named Slackjaw. When Joe and Annie arrive, one man is the only adult left standing. What happened to this town and why are the kids so creepy?
I thought the monster in the previous issue was terrifying, but then we meet Slackjaw. The design for this thing so so simple. It's a little clownish in its appearance too, which adds to the unsettling quality. The look is little more than three lines. One is horizontal, along the jawline not unlike the Joker. The other two are vertical, going across the eyes. This is sketched all around the town and on children's drawings in haunting fashion.
Wes Abbott's letters add to Slackjaw's sinister quality. The word balloons are far from smooth ovals. Instead, they're these rough shapes filled with an even rougher font. You can imagine this dark and guttural voice coming out.
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Plus, is there anything more disturbing than weird kids? When that childlike innocence is corrupted and turned into an evil, murderous feeling, it's enough to send most people right to the doctor to get sterilized. They have these creepy grins, like they know far more than they're letting on.
There's a lot to like in The Curse of Brimstone #5 with this new town full of terrors. What hurts it is the inconsistent artwork. Three different line artists contributed to this issue and the styles vary greatly. This means the characters start with one look, then drastically change two more times. This really diminishes the overall story, as the shifts between artists are rather jarring.
Philip Tan returns to The Curse of Brimstone with this issue. His design for Brimstone is absolutely gorgeous and filled with fire. I still have issues with how he draws the human characters, as his style is rougher and looks more like a basic form instead of a detailed individual. Jose Luis and Inaki Miranor make up for this with some solid work, but again, it's a tough transition between them.
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Colorist Rain Beredo does some tremendous work with Brimstone. The character looks like he was pulled from Hell itself with flames billowing around him. His skin is dark, like smoldering charcoal. Everything about him screams pain and torment.
The town itself is dreary and dark, as if a storm cloud has taken up permanent residence above it. Hope has been sucked out of the place, leaving a crazed man and a bunch of possessed children. The sun will not shine in this area, which is why Brimstone looks so shocking when he shows up and flames on.
The Curse of Brimstone has become this journey through the new monsters of the DC Universe. Writer Justin Jordan has taken us on a supernatural trip for the ages so far. The inconsistent artwork is hurting the series, so I hope that gets more streamlined in future issues. Having three different artists in one issue is a bit much.