The high fantasy comedy mash-up Curse Words reached the end of its first arc this week with issue #5, as written by Charles Soule and illustrated by Ryan Browne, with colors by Michael Garland and Michael Parkinson. Letters are by Chris Crank.
It’s a very good sign when you come to the end an an issue, see a little text box reading “End Book One.” and you think, “What? What issue is this?” And only then fully realize you’ve just read an entire arc of a series, when it feels like you’re probably only on a third issue.
That’s not to say the story doesn’t feel complete–but expresses how the pace of each issue has kept the series moving by so quickly that you have never realized you were in a “middle” or nearing an “end”. Thankfully, we don’t have long until the next arc starts in early July, either.
Curse Words revolves around the unwaveringly self-focused Wizord, magician from The Hole World, who sent by a dominating dark god Sizzagee to destroy Earth, instead repented, and claimed it for his own self-interest. Now, hunted by his ex-partner Ruby Stitch, who has been sent to kill him for betraying Sizzagee, and robbed of his powers by that god, Wizord is seeking alternate powers via the pockets of magical belief left on earth. But his time is running out.
Despite himself, Wizord has always been an occasional do-gooder. He’s done terrible things, but by contrast when he does something okayish, we feel a little burst of sympathy and end up liking the guy. Overlooking his arrogance, we may also admire that he admires Earth. He seems to have fallen in love with the place, and in particularly, America, as a zone of freedom compared to his previous service to a dark god who gave him magic.
And some of the dialogue in this issue, mixed in with the breakneck pace of a massive fight scene between Wizord and Ruby Stitch, is about that idea. That freedom, even in limited quantities, is a bigger kind of magic than even Sizzagee seems capable of generating.
But let’s not forget that Margaret is awesome in this issue. There are some spoilers I will withold about her, but look out for her back story starting to come together in this issue. Not only does she get to ride in First Class as a service animal koala in this issue, but she faces some terrible and scary things, meaning hard times for #teammargaret. But buck up, koala fans, there’s more of her story yet to tell.
I think we begin to see, actually, why Margaret is loyal to Wizord in this issue. There’s something so “out there” about him, that his big personality and annoying qualities can be seen in a different light. He has a big soul, to be sentimental about it. And we see that he has big loves and big desires this time around. He’s a unique combination of dangerous bombast and appealing self-love. And magic. And that would be hard for an intelligent koala like Margaret to turn down. Maybe she knows more than we do about what positive things Wizord is capable of. That will all probably be shattered by further hijinx in July, but until then we can have a “moment” about Wizord, Margaret, and their goals.
Speaking of this “moment”, look out for the Van Tour 2017 that’s happening this summer for the Curse Words team, and look out for the upcoming new arc on July 12th where more of Sizzagee’s nine evil wizards are supposed to be revealed.