Publisher: Image Comics
Writer: Charles Soule
Artist: Ryan Browne
Release Date: 22nd February 2017
Wizord the, uh, wizard has been tasked with using his magic to destroy the world. Thing is, he actually kind of likes it here, especially after deciding to cash in on his unique gifts and becoming a wealthy quasi-celebrity in the process. Unfortunately, his “boss” Sizzajee isn’t as understanding, and dispatched rival wizard Cornwall last issue in an attempt to bring Wizord back under control.
Things didn’t go so well for the newcomer, and after Wizord was forced to brutally execute his rival in front of a baseball stadium full of onlookers at the conclusion of the previous chapter, he now finds himself forced to use his powers to cover up the indiscretion faster than you can say ‘sandwich bag full of shrunken witnesses’. Yeah.
Writer Charles Soule is clearly having a lot of fun, but with the ‘fish out of water’ shenanigans of the first issue now a distant memory, we’re left with a fairly inconsistent tone here. On the one hand there are some straight-faced fantasy moments, like Wizord’s apparent frustration at being seen as a ‘monster’ and his allusions to a troubled childhood, and on the other there are several comedic wrinkles to the story (such Wizord’s Koala companion Margaret) that make it difficult at times to really know how we’re supposed to be taking things.
One thing that’s easy to know how to take is the art. Ryan Browne, man. Beautiful work from start to finish once again, and he – along with Michael Garland and Michael Parkinson – combine to provide a wonderfully distinctive colour palette for the series; all pinks, purples and pale blues. Browne also does a terrific job with the more fantastical aspects of the story – winged bird women, the effects which accompany Wizord using his powers, and basically everything that happens in “the Hole World” with Sizzajee and his minions. It’s a great looking book, and the strength of the art makes it a lot easier to overlook the aforementioned tonal inconsistencies, leaving Curse Words as a thoroughly enjoyable ready from start to finish.
Ultimately then, while this latest chapter doesn’t quite hit the heights of the first issue, this is still a series that comes highly recommended, with Soule and Browne combining to create something truly unique, from the artwork to the lead character himself. And, providing it can decide whether it’s a fantasy with dashes of comedy or a comedy with hints of fantasy, this could wind up becoming something truly special. I’ll definitely be sticking around to find out, that’s for sure.
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