It’s a story as old as the fantasy genre: An evil wizard comes to our world to end it. But what if that evil wizard pokes around, meets the people, and decides it’s a lot better than the crappy alternate reality he comes from? What if he uses his magic powers to set himself up in business? That’s the basic premise of Charles Soule and Ryan Browne’s Curse Words (Image), launching this week.
Soule is no stranger to putting a sharp twist on an old story, and what anchors this tale is Wizord, the “hero” who turns out to be a lot more morally complicated than his supposedly heart-warming backstory would indicate. He can help you, but he’s not a nice guy, and you forget that at your peril. Browne, meanwhile, is perhaps something of an odd choice for a book like this; while he’s skilled at fantasy, his thick lines and his taste for psychedelic colors (along with colorists Jordan Boyd and Michael Parkinson) tend to lend themselves more to comedy than action. Still, Browne can deliver the action scenes, and he has a taste for working gags into his depictions of magic; the introductory villain’s scepter is, uh, a bit phallic.
Curse Words has the virtue of being something unique on the increasingly crowded stands, and that makes it a great place to start. Besides, who doesn’t want to see Justin Bieber turned into a statue and blown up?