Advance Review: CURSE WORDS #1


Written by Charles Soule
Art by Ryan Browne, Jordan Boyd, Crank
Published by Image Comics
Release Date: January 18, 2017

Poof! What’s that noise? The sweet sound of a magic spell of a new Ryan Browne book? And Charles Soule is masterminding it?! Count me in!

The world is a magical place. It’s filled with energy and crackling and random happenstances. But what if…all that weird stuff that happens was the magical desire of a wizard? That’s what we have here, with a brand new Image series from super-scribe Charles Soule and unstoppable artist, Ryan Browne, with colors by Jordan Boyd and letters by Crank. This superstar team (minus Soule, though he’s still a superstar) brought us the glorious God Hates Astronauts, one of my favorite series of all time. When I heard there was a new book coming out, where Browne’s unbelievably imaginative mind would be popping out all sorts of weird things, I was first in line to preorder the crap out of this book at my store.

Curse Words follows a battle between wizards, both with long-glowing beards, plenty of spells to cast, and an intense flow of all things magical thrown out into the real world. The story starts and ends with a dude being turned into metal, so, you know. Things are weird. Wizord, our sort of protagonist, has the ability to do some wild Harry Potter like things, though he’d probably punch you in the beef for comparing him to that. Equal parts hipster and Merlin, Wizord will pull out all the magical stops for you, if you so desire. But be prepared for magic to go awry and for rival wizards to demand a headhunt, because that’s what Curse Words is all about. You know, sort of. But I’m not giving away the magical secrets of this book.

I’m going to start with the things I had some trouble with. Don’t get me wrong, this book is entertaining and beautifully drawn, but I felt like a lot of it was jumbled and hard to follow. There’s a ton of fun magic and great things to look at, but I didn’t feel particularly attached to any one character by the end of the book. I do think that this might just be a case of the first issue blues, where there’s a lot of ground to cover in a short space, but I think it would have been good to slow down in some cases and really let the reader get a feel for the world. The beginning sequence was fun, but I felt like this was my only chance to get to know Wizord a little in the issue.

But, those are my only real gripes with the book. At the end of the day, this books is fun as hell. The possibilities for story-telling are limitless with the kind of world created here, and the story feels like it could splinter off into a ton of different directions. I like that kind of feeling, where you know the team is capable of doing a hundred different things based on the talent they have, and you’re bound to enjoy what’s to come. I know Soule is a skilled writer, and his knack for witty dialogue and astoundingly imaginative plot is evident throughout. I have a feeling this book will be something totally different than what it seems, and that’s exciting.

Ryan Browne proves once again why he’s one of the best artists out there for the strange and hilarious. Every character is wonderfully designed, especially his typical bizarre anthropomorphized-animals. His art never misses a beat, hitting comedic strides beautifully. He laces each panel with little funny details that, especially when coupled with Soule’s great story, makes me want to read the book several times over. Jordan Boyd provides a wonderful colorful complement to Browne’s goofy, but clean art. Each panel pops with energy, sizzling with a bright color spectrum that leads the eye on an endless goose chase across each page, following action and detail easily. Crank’s letters suit the book well, providing clear and unencumbering paths of dialogue throughout. Basically, this book looks as magical as its content.

Curse Words is a book I’ve been waiting for for quite some time now. It certainly doesn’t disappoint. While the pacing could have been a bit better, I sincerely enjoyed the ideas presented in this first issue and the promises of more entertainment yet to come. Curse Words just might be the most unabashed fun I’ve had this year.

The Verdict: 9.0/10


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