So, here we are again, folks – another week, another world-ending crisis, and another Pulp facing you down like a rampaging Thanos a finger-snap away from the end of the universe. It really is a great time to be a comics fan – there’s some seriously great content going around at the moment, and our favourite Marvel characters are going great guns on the silver screen, with plenty more to come. Speaking of great content, I’ve got a cracker of a book to talk about this week – Curse Words volume 1, The Devil’s Devil, written by one of my new favourite authors, Charles Soule (Daredevil, She-Hulk) and drawn by Ryan Browne (God Hates Astronauts).
New York City has just been turned on its head. A wizard has appeared in Central Park brandishing tremendous magical powers, and he proclaims that he’s going to save humanity from the dark force that threatens them all. The problem? That “dark force” is his boss, and he’s meant to destroy the world. His name is Wizord, and he intends to show everyone that he’s the best wizard of all time – if only so he has somewhere to hang out that’s not a blasted hellscape. Unfortunately, Wizord’s former master has become aware of his new philanthropic lifestyle, and is pretty peeved about his apparent failure to destroy the world. Things are going to get worse before they get better, but Wizord’s pretty sure he’s got things handled – as long as no-one finds out the truth.
I wasn’t sure what to expect with Curse Words. I thought it could’ve been pretty average, but once I realised Charles Soule was at the helm, I was sold. Soule has quickly become a favourite of mine – I loved his run on She-Hulk a while back (despite its often piss-poor artwork), and his later run on Daredevil was pretty darn great as well. Who’d have thought that an ex-lawyer could write some excellent legal-centric superheroes? But I digress. Wizord’s rogueish charm – as well as his excellent sidekick, a talking koala named Margaret (yes, you read that right) – made for a big part of my enjoyment, and while the inevitable magical battles between Wizord and his former allies made up a lot of the story, I had a blast reading about a wizard from another dimension messing around in New York.
If it wasn’t already obvious, Curse Words is a lot of fun. It’s not exactly designed to be a particularly in-depth, dramatic story like some of the other titles I’ve picked up recently – though is certainly has the room to explore that territory in later volumes – and it pretty much goes balls-to-the-wall action from about page 2. I get the impression that while the magical battles will likely continue, there’s going to be more serious consequences once the truth about Wizord’s presence on our earth starts to come out, and I think it’d be a treat to see how he’d try to weasel out of taking responsibility.
All things considered, I can’t actually think of anything I disliked about Curse Words, and that surprises me. There’s nothing that stands out as egregiously bad (not that I expected there to be), but neither is there anything that classifies as a minor gripe. I’m not saying that Curse Words is perfect – I’m sure that I could find something to criticise if I tried hard enough – but I had a blast reading it, and hopefully you will too!
Written by Alastair McGibbon