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I’ll give Zenescope one thing, their books do not shy away
from racially offensive descriptors when appropriate for the story. Even still
some readers may be taken back by just how many are in Brimstone, their new
western that was recently released. You may have missed it since it didn’t have
a beautiful seductress on the cover, unless you tracked down the Greg Horn
variant. No, Brimstone is not your average Zenescope release as its main characters are all male and lacks
their usual Fairy Tale element.
The story begins with a Priest talking to a Native American about a cave they want to start digging in for gold or something. The Native says no due to the evil spirits the cave houses, but the settlers say screw it and blow up the entrance of the cave with the Native still standing near it. Two weeks later the settlement is overrun by monsters that are killing and eating everyone in sight. They get a distress call out to their employer who then hires a bunch of criminals with different specialties to accompany him to the town to find out what happened.
The group is full of minorities for the most part. There’s a Chinese man, an African American and an Irish man just to name a few. There’s also a legendary outlaw that has recently killed five sheriffs and a little kid. All of them are true to their stereotypes to a fault which makes them two demenional characters at best. What’s worst is the character that calls them all racist terms based on their ethnicity. None of the characters respond to it, even though their all outlaws. You’d imagine that at least one of them would get upset, but then again they’re not much of characters.
The story is actually interesting, but the dialog and characters are forgettable and downright laughably bad at times. The book is actually written by two people, which leaves me to believe that one plotted the story and the other one handled the dialog. It’s the only thing that makes sense with such a huge disconnect between the two elements. It’s not the worst thing out there, but it’s average at best.
The art is pretty inconsistent. It’s not bad, but it’s not good either. There’s a good style to it and it matches the western era very well, but with so many characters introduced it looks like it was difficult for the artist to design that many original looking characters. The biggest confusion in the art came when the African American character was established through dialog as being as such; the art really makes him look more like a Native American than African which can be confusing.
As far as westerns go it’s pretty average. Personally, I’m always happy to see a western comic since companies rarely take chances on them; usually because they turn out like this book did. As a whole this book is pretty forgettable unless you’re looking for a western with horror mix. The idea is there, but the creative team just didn’t quite deliver.
Overall Score – 5.3/10