Image Comics’ new Curse Words series is pure fantasy fun, telling the hilarious story of an evil wizard, Wizord, that comes to Earth to conquer it for his boss, but has a change of heart when he realizes that he actually really likes this planet and the people that inhabit it. Working with his talking koala partner, Margaret, Wizord is trying to figure out how to protect the Earth from Sizzajee and his band of evil wizards, a mission that has gotten a lot harder because Wizord just got cut off from the source of his magic. Written by Charles Soule with artwork by Ryan Browne and colors by Michael Garland (with assists from Browne and Michael Parkinson), Curse Words is a clever exploration of one man’s internal conflict, presented with dazzling spectacle and a raucous sense of humor that immediately pulls the reader into Wizord’s fraught circumstances.
It’s been a while since writer Charles Soule was allowed to engage in the more irreverent type of storytelling that made his She-Hulk run so delightful, and teaming up with Browne, creator of the extremely gonzo God Hates Astronauts, has inspired Soule to go bigger and sillier with the plot for Curse Words. These creators previously worked together to introduce DC’s popcorn Swamp Thing and Soule narrated an issue of God Hates Astronauts, and they’ve developed a strong creative rapport that invigorates the content of their new series. This preview of Curse Words #3 showcases that energy as it catches up with Wizord’s ex-girlfriend Ruby Stitch, who uses the ruby Wizord gave her to forge a devastating new weapon she will use to take him down.
One of the big things giving Curse Words a distinct look is Browne’s use of W-shaped panel borders for scenes that emphasize the magical elements of the narrative, and the magic changes the way visuals are presented on the page. That idea is even more aggressive in this preview, which features a two-page spread of jagged panels that accentuate Ruby’s fury as she makes herself a new weapon while recalling key moments from her relationship with Wizord. The combination of Browne’s bold layout and linework with Garland’s searing hot palette brings a lot of intensity to this sequence, building to the two-page title spread revealing Ruby’s new sword held tightly in her burning hands. Readers can see what Ruby unleash the power of her weapon when Curse Words #3 goes on sale next Wednesday, and for those that missed the first two issues, new printings are also hitting stands on the same day.