Of the New Age of Heroes books cancelled, The Curse of Brimstone hurt the most to reach the end of. This one I wish could have gone longer. So much potential from a characters like Joe and Annie who carved their own corner out of the DC Universe. They faced down Doctor Fate, teamed up with the one and only John Constantine, and they have had the strongest connection to the Dark Multiverse.
This confrontation with Infernal was every bit that you hoped it to be and more. While there was anticipation for the battle that would break lose, there was also a conversation that was a long time coming. Starting with that conversation, it was all of course formulaic when this was that time for the big villain to enact his villainous monologue. Villains like Inferno love to hear themselves talk, though this was that time for all the cards to be laid on the table. The best thing about the writing for Inferno was how they played into the unknown elements of this story. No matter how formidable Joe and Annie were, it was always a gamble tackling obstacles they were only seeing on the surface.
Who really catches you off guard in this last stretch of the story is Joe. Normally it would have been Annie who stood out for the way that she was able to handle a situation, but this time around it was surprisingly Joe. The pay-off was there when we finally reached that point in Joe’s growth where there was more to his actions than reacting off of his emotions. To really use his head in the moment shook things up in a big way once it came time to make decisions that weighed heavily upon being able to see the bigger picture.
I only had one disappointment with The Curse of Brimstone, and that was with the change in art team for the final two issues. For a book that has consistently impressed for the consistency in quality between the cover art and interiors, this was not that time to fall off the wagon when the series is coming to an end. I’m far from the type of person to say that you have to be that good in order for the visuals to appeal to readers, but if you are going to switch things up, the quality of work should be on the same level or better. Taking that step down in detail and perspective automatically creates a negative. The most redeemable quality to the interiors is the fact that they were able to gold on to Rain Beredo on colors. I feel that I have been fortunate enough to say that from start to finish Beredo has grabbed your attention for the explosiveness he has been able to bring to these pages through brimstone and hellfire. Intense and organic warm colors, just as powerful cold colors as well. Though above all an excellent use of dark colors which never failed to set the tone and atmosphere for a story that keeps you at the edge of your seat.
No matter how The Curse of Brimstone #12 ended, I knew that I was already going to be able to walk away satisfied with this series because it made it so much further and organically than those like Sideways which ended quite abruptly. That’s not to say that the cliffhanger wasn’t a bit questionable, but something had to be done to say that their story is far from over. With that said, Joe and Annie survived their tragedy, forged their own path from it, and made it exactly where they needed to be to confront the entity which runs the Home Office. If you wanted a supernatural thrill with heart? The Curse of Brimstone #12 was that book for you.
It would be a real big shame if characters like this were not seen past the pages of this series. I always told myself that this book could have done so much better if they even had the opportunity to cross paths with the likes of the Justice League Dark. They fit in that world so well and their name would have stood out so much more.