I just finished reading Curse Words #1 and had to dash down into my alchemical dungeon and conjure a spirit whom can do my bidding, at a blistering 60 wpm mind you, so as to get this all down for you scrape your eyes over. Prithee, “scroll” further down this electronic devil paper!
I have long been a fanatic for Charles Soule’s writing and a zealot for Ryan Browne’s art. You may know Soule from Daredevil, Uncanny Inhumans, Star Wars: Obi-Wan & Anakin, All-New Inhumans and his creator-owned series Letter 44. Browne is a self-described 40,000 pound endangered silver-back gorilla who created God Hates Astronauts and Blast Furnace and also worked on The Manhattan Projects and Bedlam. With their powers combined, a new comic was forged. A magical comic with nigh endless possibilities. A comic for the ages (but not All Ages)!
Curse Words tells the tale of Wizord and Margaret. Wizord is an extremely powerful magician from another dimension, or plane, or planet or somewhere not here. We don’t know where just yet, except that we are shown glimpses of slaves and evil looking baddies. Margaret is his familiar who functions as a right-hand man (koala), helping Wizord in his daily life. The setting is modern-day New York City, where people casually dismiss Wizord’s eccentricities…at first. This first issue is high octane, extremely kinetic action laid over big character hints and a dash of plot. They also explain the horse in the office in the first issue! When was the last time you read a comic that introduced AND closed a plot thread in ISSUE ONE?!
Soule’s writing on this series is clearly geared towards fun. The characters are fairly well defined and the pace can be described as “magically delirious”. The universe created here is not like Dr. Strange or Lord of the Rings; no one is concerned with hand gestures or long incantations for spells, but potions?! Potions are serious work. Magicians shoot from the hip, fast and loose. For characters, Wizord is the main focus (so far) and he seems to careen recklessly through life, flinging spells left and right first. I don’t know why, but I imagine Wizord as equal parts Dumbledore, Darth Vader, and Jack Burton. Margaret, while initially a helper, could also fill the role of Wizord’s conscience, helping him control his impulses. Cornwall, another wizard, shows up to spoil the fun dressed in Shakespearean garb and wielding an interesting…scepter. In my mind-theater Cornwall sounds like Toyman from Super Friends, maybe it’s his “He he ha ha ha’s”. The doors truly feel wide open for imagination in terms of plot. While some of the characters feel a little stereotypical out of the gate, the on-going nature and complete lack of logic buffers means anything goes. We have NO idea where this could lead.
Browne’s art is visually electrifying. Literally, there is magical lightning EVERYWHERE. If Browne were a chef, magical lightning would be his salt & pepper. The visual style is much the same as in God Hates Astronauts with lines that are sharp and heavy. Browne has always had a knack for action sequences and in Curse Words the creators sprung the extra $2 to get the footlong knuckle sandwiches with double knuckles. I have always been a fan of Browne’s use of visual onomatopoeias as well.
I met him at a comicon in Columbus Ohio and asked him to please, NEVER stop using them. He has obliged so far, and I really appreciate it. His use in God Hates Astronauts is the funniest use of them I have ever seen, but it’s a bit explicit. See if you can find the tiny “WIGGLE” in Curse Words #1. He also includes little nods throughout the issue for long-time fans. I saw a couple of Easter eggs, which I will leave for you to find.
Jordan Boyd is on colors for the series and is God Hates Astronauts alumni. He handles the palette perfectly and NYC has never looked so vivid! The blending and shading choices just smack of 80’s nostalgia (Day-Glo!). For fans of God Hates Astronauts coloring, Curse Words is your eye-torso’s favorite sweater.
Curse Words is a mystical, magical tour de force for anyone who like their Fun fermented in a wizard’s chaotic cauldron. It’s also bursitis-aware.
For fans of: Birthright, God Hates Astronauts, Big Trouble in Little China, Dr. Strange, and The Tudor Ruff
A feeling in mine bones thinks ye may enjoy this! Curse Words makes excellent braintinder, get issue #1 today.