Arguably featuring the ongoing series’ first self-contained story, Justin Jordan’s “classic water verses fire showdown” for Issue Four of “The Curse Of Brimstone” must surely have pleased the majority of the comic’s 13,741 readers in July 2018, with its pulse-pounding pugilism and the welcome appearance of the mysterious Enoch; “a former agent of the Salesman, granted powers in exchange for working for the… Home Office”. In fact, having firmly established both the background to the titular character’s origin and his cataclysmic powers across this book’s preceding three instalments, “All That Remains” is debatably the Pennsylvania-born writer’s opening opportunity to pen a proper adventure for Joseph Chamberlain’s fiery alter-ego to undertake as a bona fide super-hero.
Interestingly however, it isn’t this twenty-page periodical’s main protagonist who captures either the spotlight or probably its audience’s imagination, but his truly horrific-looking adversary Detritus. Somehow transformed by the Faustian super-powers broker into a multi-skulled giant water creature, this gruesome monstrosity, superbly pencilled by incoming artist Eduardo Pansica, disconcertingly sets ‘alight’ every sequence within which he features, whether it be liquefying an unnamed victim in the now extinct town of Aitch or horrifically having his skeleton’s spine literally torn out from inside his liquid torso, and resultantly it actually seems a real pity that Elijah dies at the conclusion of his fast-flowing fisticuffs with York Hills’ Brimstone.
Similarly disheartening is the abrupt departure of the mysteriously powerful Enoch, who despite needing to have the red-haired Annie point a loaded gun at his head so as to prevent him from finishing off her battle-weary brother, would undoubtedly have made an intriguingly welcome permanent addition to the Chamberlains’ party. Shrouded in inscrutability, and somehow able to steal just “enough juice to finally stop” the Salesman’s creations, this lone ‘gunslinger’ raises infinitely more questions as to the strange world where “it’s always decaying, always rotting” than he answers. Indeed, his apparent ‘intimate’ knowledge of “the Batman Who Laughs… from Earth-22 of the Dark Multiverse”, as well as Detritus’ background, makes him fascinating to ‘listen to’ even when he’s simply catching a fish which would rival Springfield’s Blinky the Three-Eyed Fish when it comes to piscine mutations; “Corruption. This place is tainted, scarred. The Salesman is just an appendage. Imagine sticking your fingers in this water. To the fish, it would look like five worms. But they aren’t worms. All extensions of something bigger. Just one thing that looks like many. That’s what the Salesman is.”