Curse Words #1 (Image Comics)
With Curse Words, writer Charles Soule and artist Ryan Browne have truly created a one-of-a-kind comic. Focusing on the exploits of Wizord, an evil wizard sent to destroy Earth who has second thoughts after spending time in our dimension, the new Image series puts a lovingly absurd spin on the modern fantasy comic. There’s also a talking koala named Margaret.
Charles Soule’s script is where much of the absurdity lies. It’s very hard to get me to laugh at a comic, but Curse Words #1 has numerous moments that really made me laugh. Soule has a lot of fun skewering our world and obsession with celebrity, and seeing Wizord slowly come to love Earth is really entertaining. Once he decides to reveal himself to the world, there’s also plenty of humor in the media reacting to an actual magical being flying around New York City, the stand out being a recurring gag involving, you guessed it, Margaret the Koala.
If you’ve read God Hates Astronauts, then you know how crazy Ryan Browne’s artwork can get. While Curse Words doesn’t feature a tiger eating a Cheeseburger, it does give Browne the chance to show off some other artistic talents. Browne has a great knack for dynamic comic book panel designs, and he puts that to great use in this issue. There are beautiful full splash pages, great multi-panel layouts, and lots of other great layouts in this issue, and they’re given a really nice touch of the absurd thanks to Browne. Of course, Browne has a lot of fun designing the characters and world of Curse Words too, my favorite being Wizord spelling out his “three rules” above him whenever someone meets him to grant a spell.
Curse Words is unlike anything I’ve read in a while, and it’s got a really funny hook. Soule and Browne have created a series that’s going to be a lot of fun to watch unfold, especially now that Wizord’s master has discovered that he’s not going to destroy Earth. Without a doubt, Curse Words is a book that you should definitely check out.