Writer: Charles Soule
Artist: Ryan Browne
Publisher: Image Comics
Release Date: January 18th, 2017
One of the most blatantly fun Image books to come out this early into 2017, full of magic, mystery & badassery is the new series Curse Words. This is a wizard-out-of-water story about a powerful wizard who gets a pompadour hipster haircut, rides a motorcycle and hangs out with a Koala named Margaret. This book is about wizards from a brutal magical realm where it seems a cabal of wizards are looking to destroy Earth and send a powerful wizard named Wizord to destroy it; however last minute Wizord decides that he respects Earth and decides not to destroy it but rather help it!
I wasn’t immediately sold at that premise either but after reading issue one you discover that this book is charming, the characters are very interesting, and the art is well thought out and full of detail. The moment this book went superhero/wizard mode with Wizord in a mid-air fight against a court jester looking villain named Cornwall, I was hooked. How could this premise be compelling enough to add yet another Image book to my already massive pull list? Keep reading and find out!
The book starts off with our lead character comfortable on Earth having a meeting in his office with some rapper guy Johnny One who wants to be turned into pure platinum; however after being turned into pure platinum the meeting is interrupted by the first villain-wizard to attack since Wizords arrival on Earth. This sends “Platinum Johnny” flying down and out of the skyscraper while Wizord is flying up to retaliate. This is the intro to this book you get a great feeling from this start is that we are dealing with a badass wizard who has gone against some sort of lord who wants him and the Earth destroyed. The art is solid as everything is well realized and the colours really make everything pop when you have lots of outstanding colours coming in with auras & magic.
We then get a “ground zero” moment of when Wizord appears in a big city public park meeting up with a rat named Margaret from his home world. They are then confronted by police who are speaking a completely foreign language from theirs but when Wizord feels he is being made fun of he casts a freezing spell that turns these police into glass statues. Wizord and Margaret then head to a secluded building where they begin to develop a potion that will be powerful enough to destroy the Earth. While this potion develops Wizord begins to adjust to this world, experiencing the many freedoms that Earth genuinely has for its people in comparison to his home world where we discover has enslaved its people and Wizord is one of the best wizards under the rule of Sizzajee whom wants the Earth destroyed.
In a final moment after the potion was brewing for a month, right before commencing the spell that would destroy the Earth, Wizord decides that the people of Earth and the freedoms they have are precious and decides not to destroy the Earth, but instead to help the people of Earth.
This is where the book gets really fun as we follow Wizord modernizing himself to the cultural styles of Earth. As Wizord unfreezes the police he froze in the park when he first arrived, he becomes a magical pop-icon on Earth saving people from disasters and being followed by paparazzi wherever he goes. He gets a hipster haircut, while not having his magical beard cut. Margaret the rat becomes a koala because she was tired of people being afraid of her and wanting to be something more people friendly. Wizord is granting spells to people under the guidelines of his three rules, “No Cures, No Wars, No Love”. Getting wrapped up in all the fun however, we forget that he took up protecting Earth for a reason. By not destroying the Earth, Wizord knows that one day Sizzajee will be sending people to destroy him and the world, effectively bringing further danger to the Earth by not completing his mission for Sizzajee.
The story then cuts back to the battle with this jester-looking villain wizard who is in battle with Wizord and as they fight Wizord gets tossed into the middle of a baseball stadium. The villain threatens the arena and then threatens Wizord, but Wizord takes sapphires he got from Platinum Johnny, crushes them up, and blows the dust into this villains face. His skin begins to melt! The villain shouts at the people in the stadium in his magical realm language, telling them that Wizord is there to kill them all and he is not what they think he is. Lucky for Wizord, nobody in the stadium understands that language and didn’t understand what he was saying…. however this book takes a huge left turn at the end of the book as Wizord shrinks the baseball stadium and everyone in it, placing it in his pocket while apologizing.
The book then cuts to Sizzajee and his cabal of wizards who decide that they need to send more champion wizards to kill Wizord on Earth. When Sizzajee wants to send this centaur wizard Botchko to Earth, he is asked by Wizords magical realm lover Ruby Stitch to send her instead. We get a great inside look at what is happening on the other side in the magical realm, and what Sizzajee is thinking.
This is only the first issue and I am hooked by the writing, the art and the colours. This book is fun and it seems like a lot of things have been fleshed out in this universe and the characters have been well thought out & developed by writer Charles Soule. Ryan Browne is great at the background details and the gags here and there, and it seems he is having fun drawing all the wacky fun things in this book. The colours are outstanding as you have the many layers of colours in this book from background, characters, foreground, and then magics & auras and I find it all makes the art pop much more than your typical book.
I for one am stoked to read more Curse Words, and I was such a fan of this first issue I was obligated by my collector self to seek out one of the Retailer Appreciation variants of this book (beveled glossy gold title words on the cover with a retro Image imprint look) that each comic shop receive only one of each. The B cover was done by one of my favourite graffiti style artists who does amazing covers for Marvel & various other books, Scottie Young. I obviously had to buy cover B as well. The cover C (Margaret the koala on a motorcycle) and cover D (a cat in cosplay with an 80s style background) are also pretty special and I will certainly be seeking them out. Find/order your copy of Curse Words #1 at your local comic shop today, you will not be disappointed!
~ T.J Head