Be Very Careful What You Wish For – Curse Words Vol. 1: The Devil’s Devil

by Brendan M. Allen

A wizard has appeared in present-day New York! His name is Wizord, and he’s here to save us all from dark magical forces bent on our destruction. He’s the best wizard of all time! Or…he’s not, and he’s lying to everyone, and secretly is the dark magical force, but wants to hang out in our world for a while because it’s so much nicer than the hellhole he comes from. Secrets, and spells, and talking koalas—Curse Words is a gonzo dark fantasy from Charles Soule (Daredevil, Letter 44, Star Wars) and Ryan Browne (God Hates Astronauts). Collects Curse Words #1-5

No Cures. No War. No Love. These are the three rules Wizord will hold you to when you’re begging for magical favors. There doesn’t appear to be anything he can’t do, if the price is right, but he draws the line at curing disease, decimating enemies, and brewing love potions.

Wizord constructed an image for himself as some sort of benevolent magical superhero, but he was actually sent to New York City by the demon lord Sizajee to conquer Earth and enslave humanity. However, when Wizord arrived in the Big Apple, he was at least temporarily stunned into foregoing his initial dark plan. The lure of freedom and vice may keep him from fulfilling his mission.

Sizajee, meanwhile, doesn’t know what to make of Wizord’s inaction. He’ll have to send one of his other minions to suss out the truth and either bring Wizord back around, or kill him.

Charles Soule’s script is full of odd and compelling characters. Soule describes his main character as a sort of reverse Walter White, a really bad guy trying his best to be good. The dialogue is laced with acerbic wit and sardonic humor. There are well placed pokes at hero worship and social media. This is a story that doesn’t take itself or its genre too seriously, and it elevates both.

Ryan Browne does an amazing visual job with the duality of Curse Words. The fantasy elements are, well, fantastic, and stick out against the mundane arena of NYC. Wizord is the conduit between two distinct elements at play. He retains some of the fantastical with his beard and accessories (the staff stays), while choosing to blend in with the locals with haircut and wardrobe.

Curse Words is a great book. It’s funny and original. Between Soule’s written jabs and Browne’s illustrated humor, there’s plenty of meat on the bone for a second and third pass.

Story: Charles Soule
Art / Cover: Ryan Browne
Published: July 19, 2017
Diamond ID: MAY170612

Brendan M. Allen

Brendan Allen has probably had more jobs than you would reasonably believe. Dog trainer? He’s done it. Flooring contractor? You bet! EMT? Army NBC specialist? Road dog for a Celtic rock band? Yes, yes, and och aye! Now he reads comics and writes about them. It’s a rough gig. You can follow Brendan on Twitter @SaintAmish where he mostly tweets about comic books and cystic fibrosis awareness.