With so many different comics on the stands every week it’s a wonder there aren’t more out there, fun books. Consider the cover of Curse Words #1, out from Image this week, and you know you’re in for fun. But is it good?
Curse Words #1 (Image Comics)
So what’s it about? The summary reads:
The new ongoing series from CHARLES SOULE (Daredevil, Death of Wolverine, Star Wars) and RYAN BROWNE (GOD HATES ASTRONAUTS) is COMING FOR YOU! A wizard has appeared in New York City, and he’s casting wonderful spells, getting famous, getting rich-it’s great! But it’s not. This wizard has everyone fooled. He is actually an EVIL WIZARD, and EVIL THINGS are on the way. CURSE WORDS is a gonzo modern fantasy, full of darkness, light…and MAGIC.
Why does this book matter?
Charles Soule is all over the place these days, writing some of my favorite comics (his Lando series was fantastic), but this is new, even for him. Bring in artist Ryan Browne of God Hates Astronauts fame and you know Soule’s story is in good hands. Nobody can draw humanoid animals funnier than this man.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
First of all, the colors by Ryan Browne, Jordan Boyd, and Michael Parkinson are flat-out jaw-droppingly good. This book pops with color and looks retro doing it. This is particularly important for a book like this due to the magic flying about. While Wizord (a name he gave himself) casts magic and makes people’s dreams come true, he looks great doing it.
It’s not all bright lights and fun however, as the issue opens with Wizord having a very different plan than getting rich helping folks get what they want. Soule reveals a more dastardly plan to destroy Earth as we know it. Fortunately for us however, he grows to like the freedom we have and realizes maybe he too is a slave. A life of leisure is pretty great and it’s a fun twist on the medieval type wizard seeing how good we have it.
The general premise is funny enough, but Soule and Browne infuse it with a few running jokes that are worth a chuckle. A sidekick koala for instance, who never leaves Wizord’s side, or fun montages that convey the average day life as a wizard attempts to reflect.
The art by Browne is quite nice, with plenty of detail and creative juice flowing in the book. The two montages help flesh out what the wizard has been up to in quick succession and they’re great fun. The general look and feel of Browne’s work has a cartoonist’s flavor with additional detail that makes it feel quite unique.
It can’t be perfect can it?
While this issue does a good job establishing the protagonist’s purpose and the overall premise, it doesn’t leave you knowing who he is quite yet. Clearly he’s a complicated hero/villain, but aside from knowing he came to Earth for villainous reasons it’s unclear if he cares about anyone but himself or even what he cares about at all. His purpose is clearly to live it up, but beyond that whether or not he has a moral core remains to be seen.
Generally the book is fun, but not really all that funny with little in the way of laughs. It’s big, colorful, and intriguing, but it’s going to need to do more to carve out a spot on many pull lists.
Now he needs new glasses.
Is It Good?
The premise is fun and feels quite fresh, but it’s still early as far as what its purpose is as the protagonist is a bit of an enigma. Regardless, this is out there fun that’s weird in all the right ways. The colors and art are so much fun it’s hard to put down.
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