Curse Words #17 Puts Work Into Its World

by Tony Thornley

What happens when the craziest comic in publication decides to get crazier? That’s been the question Curse Words has asked… well each issue actually. But in the series’ newest arc, the crazy seems to point towards one thing – an origin to the series’ magical world.

Curse Words #17

Last issue, Charles Soule, Ryan Browne, Addison Duke, and Chris Crank reset the series status quo. In Curse Words #17 they take a step back from that new status quo to deal with world-building and some of the revelations of the last few issues.

[**Spoilers ahead!]

Curse Words #17

Wizord and Ruby Stitch have formed a partnership, planning to become heroes and bring magic to Earth. Their new business is bustling, and they decide to take a break – trying to figure out a cryptic statement of one of their enemies. Meanwhile, Margaret is trying to find out more about her parentage (which might be Wizord and Ruby), and Jacques Zacques begins to train with the Opaque Man – learning the difference between working and wishing. And that lesson could ruin Wizord’s new life before it starts!

The series’ story so far has largely been about the misadventures of Wizord and Margaret. This story arc seems ready to do something different, though. It presents a new wrinkle to the world, while still presenting some of the comfortable tropes of the series to date.

The two big revelations Soule presents fit so well into the series while deepening it. The first is that Wizord somehow may have created the Hole World of his origin. The second is the nature of magic, in which putting actual work into the spellcasting creates long-term, lasting effects. Both of these are logical extensions of the world that has been built already, especially in the “anything can happen” nature of it.

Browne and Duke’s work on the art continues to shine. Browne includes some great new design every issue. This issue it’s an enchanted shark crafted from the Titanic. That’s on top of engaging layouts and well done action. Duke’s color work adds so much to the art, especially in the effects.

After nearly a year and a half, buzz often dies down for a book. In the case of Curse Words, it shouldn’t be so. The series is worth checking out all over again, whether you’re a lapsed or new reader.

If you’re interested in more about the series, check out our recent interview with series artist Ryan Browne!

Curse Words #17 is available now from Image Comics.

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