“BRIMSTONE” #1 (Comic Review)

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Originally published at Fangoria.com on June 12, 2011

In BRIMSTONE #1 (Zenescope Entertainment), a bunch of gritty, tough-talking gunfighters have been hired to invade an abandoned minefield in order to recover gold. In doing so, these outlaws have to stroll past the haunted spirits that have seized the territory, resulting in a solid blend of horror and western.

At the height of the Civil War, Brimstone Mining Outpost has hit its peak, but in order to reach the riches, the miners have to destroy an Indian reservation and when the Shaman refuses to give in to money, they deviously decide to steal his property. Without thinking of the deadly consequences, they foolishly continue with their plans, igniting the explosives. Caught in the blast, the Indian Shaman uses his last breath to curse the land and his dying words bring forth furious demons from the darkness that attack swiftly and butcher the miners. Soon after, Walker Mining HQ hires a gang of lethal and wanted gunmen to unknowingly face the malevolent ghosts.

In just a few pages, authors Michael Lent (PREY: ORIGIN OF THE SPECIES) and Brian McCarthy create a cast of trash-talking and morally ambiguous characters with each protagonist given their own proper vernacular. Given the individual prices on their heads, none of the brutes trust each other, building suspense and animosity as they travel towards their destination.

Artist Hyunsang Michael Cho lends an interesting look to the western landscape, illustrating the mornings with a beautiful bright yellow and candle-lighting the nighttime interiors. His character design, meanwhile, fits each protagonist’s grizzled skill set.

With a setup neatly established, this seven-issue miniseries really kicks off with a quick pace and copious action and serves to whet a reader’s appetitive for all the guns, demons, and explosions in store for upcoming issues.