Publisher: Image Comics
Story: Charles Soule
Art: Ryan Browne
Release Date: 19th July 2017
The second arc of Charles Soule and Ryan Browne’s Curse Words kicks off this week, with Wizord doing his best to sell the now magic-less Ruby on the humble charms of Earth. And, while this uncomfortable partnership is unfolding, ‘big bad’ Sizzajee decides to host a little get-together with all of his remaining high-powered wizards to discuss – and hopefully deal with – the whole Wizord situation.
Soule’s writing here shows a little more humour than in some of the previous issues, particularly during Sizzajee’s “family picnic”, with the assembled monsters, demons and, yes, nudist centaurs bickering and making small-talk like any other extended family. Oh, and after being name dropped in the previous arc, we finally get to meet the much-feared “Silly Bee”, and, well, let’s just say that she… is… AWESOME.
On Earth, things aren’t really going much better, with the aforementioned tension between Wizord and Ruby making for some awkwardly enjoyable exchanges. Elsewhere, the President has decided to get a little pro-active about his own wizard situation, and has taken steps to enlist a familiar face to assist him, resulting in a final page reveal that’s almost comical in how underwhelming it is. Our reaction is pretty much the same as Wizord’s, in that respect.
Oh, and Margaret’s an eagle now too, so there’s that. Although by the sounds of it, she may not be in her new form for too long.
However, as slick and humorous as Soule’s writing undoubtedly is, Curse Words still very much feels like Ryan Browne’s baby, with his intentionally bright and garish colours working alongside creative page layouts and some utterly fantastic character designs. It’s a great looking book for sure, packed with dynamic moments and a heady blend of supernatural excess and spot-on visual comedy, and Browne’s distinctive palette of turquoise, pinks and blues really helps to make the pages pop.
Ultimately, this very much a set-up issue for the next arc, but with so much fantastic world-building at play, it’s still a thoroughly enjoyable read. Soule and Browne are onto something truly special here with their entertaining mix of magic, humour and fantasy drama, and with a willfully unconventional approach, Curse Words is all but guaranteed to make you yell “Abraca-DAMN-bra!”. Sorry… I’ll get my coat.
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