[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers]
Writer: Justin Jordan
Art: Eduardo Pansica
Inker: Julio Ferrera
Letters: Wes Abbott
In this issue, we learn that Annie is really a big softie, which we sort of already knew and that Wandering Jack is a sociopath killer and stalker, which we sort of already knew. Really, there is a lot of standing around and talking with very little action. Joe does show up when Razor Jane does and that is interesting, but most of this book is exposition where we learn what I already mentioned above.
You hate to begin a review by saying that the best thing about a book is the final page, but the best page about this book is the final page. What happens you ask? Well, you are going to have to read the book to find out. You could just skip to the end I suppose and hope that you didn’t miss too much. I guess you could, but that would be cheating.
The reason the best thing is the last page is because it is a huge splash and the work on this book by Pansica is really stunning. While the news came down last week that issue 12 will be the end of the road, the art will live on. Drawing fire is really hard. Part of what Firestorm so hard to deal with was the flaming head always just looked silly. This book has a huge flaming monster as the central character and Pansica makes it feel alive, which it sort of is.
Jordan has done some lovely storytelling with the real relationship between Annie and Joe. While Joe is Brimstone, this is really Annie’s story and it has been from page one. She is the brains and heart and soul of the book and once it is over, she will be missed.
The dialogue is pretty flat. So much of this is just exposition, but it is also done in speech bubbles. That just doesn’t work here and it has not worked this whole series. Not everything can be said to another person. Sometimes, we just need thought bubbles or boxes. What Bendis is doing in Scarlet is pretty great, but I don’t expect Jordan to break the fourth wall here. We just need to feel like these things will be said in this way. I can accept The Salesman, he is a great villain, and I can accept the curse, but in that world, people need to talk like people, not like they are reading lines. This whole book feels like it is being acted out on stage instead of being told in comic panels.
The final page is the draw on this book that means, issue 11 is going to be totally crazy and amazing because it will be all Salesman all the time. He/she/they are the draw of this book and having an entire issue without them/him/her doesn’t work.