Saturday, February 11, 2017
Curse Words #1 Review
"Curse Words" #1 from Image Comics -
In present day New York (of course) a man appears in mid-air in a blinding flash of light and power. His presence would be the beginning of a new age of wonder for our mundane world, a world untouched by the white-hot fingers of magic. Wizord has come to us from another place, another dimension - a dimension in which the people are held in the evil thrall of powerful wielders of magic. The most powerful of these, Sizzajee, lords over all in that realm, and has sent Wizord, his favorite disciple, to our world to take it and all its denizens for the glory and power of Sizzajee. However, the unexpected, no, the impossible occurs: Wizord appears to fall in love with our world, and begins to set himself up as our new guardian, a mystical protector, and grantor of wishes who is "just here to help". This thrusts Wizord into direct and destructive conflict with Sizzajee and his mighty magical minions. As Wizord begins prepare for the battles to come, knowing that his betrayal will not go unpunished, his first challenger arrives - an insane sorcerer named Cornwall who just wants to show Wizord the error of his ways with some creepy, supernatural, tainted love. Can Wizord defeat Cornwall so that our planet lives to see another day? What about Sizzajee's other minions, one of which is the ruthless and powerful Ruby Stitch, Wizord's former flame? And just what does Wizord mean when he says that he's here to help? Will the world really be under his protection...Or crushed under his heel?
Charles Soule has hit this one right out of the freaking park! Soule has penned a science fantasy story that has a stellar protagonist that I latched onto right at the outset of the book. Soule takes us on a journey with Wizord, a journey in which the reader is always off-balance, and never quite sure of what the protagonist might do. Is he good? Is he evil? Does he really want to save us, or does he really want to corrupt and rule us? What does he truly want and what does that mean for us? We begin the story with Wizord committing an atrocious act, later, he seems to slowly soften towards humanity, and then the story ends with him coldly committing another atrocity without batting an eye. Besides being in the dark about Wizord's motivations, we are also not sure that he is powerful enough to stand up to Sizzajee, nor his minions - especially the vicious Ruby Stitch, Wizord's ex, about whom he seems to have particularly strong emotions. Does he love her, hate her, or just fear her? What could Wizord have possibly found in New York City that would cause him to risk such a terrible, and seemingly unwinnable, fight? Brilliantly, Soule has given us a first installment that feels full, complete, and fun; however; it has also left us with many unanswered questions which make the reader hunger for more. And Ryan Browne's artwork alone is worth the price of admission. While his characters sometimes look a bit stiff, there is no denying that Browne puts all he has onto the pages. "Curse Words" #1 shows off Browne's Kirby-esque work ethic with panels that overwhelm by their sheer volume, busyness and dynamism. One can almost see Browne sweating over this book - and it is a wonder to behold. Soule's iron-clad writing and Browne's boundlessly energetic pencils make "Curse Words" #1 a comic not to be missed, and a surefire hit. If you love wizards, weapons and warriors, "Curse Words" is just the story that you've been waiting for.
RATING: 10 out of 10. "Curse Words" is magically awesome.
Imagine my surprise when I walked into my LCS and found six copies of the Gold Foil Retailer's Appreciation Variant of "Curse Words" #1 celebrating Image's 25th anniversary! I don't usually buy many variants but...
Happy birthday, Image Comics! Thank you for changing the comics landscape forever!
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