By Daniel Vlasaty
Issue #5 of Curse Words marks the completion of the first story arc of Wizord and Margaret and all their crazy adventures. And if you’re one to judge a book by its cover it looks like we are in for some wild wizard fighting action, as this one shows Wizord and Ruby Stitch fighting on top of a fighter plane. So far, I’ve enjoyed much of Curse Words. Some issues better than others, but still it’s been a fun read through and through. So how does this final issue of the first arc stack up to the four that came before it, read on for my review of Curse Words #5 by Charles Soule and Ryan Browne.
Not to give too much away, but this entire issue is basically an extended fight scene. We see Wizord and Ruby fighting in an airplane while the pilot tries to keep the aircraft in the air to save the “over two hundred people on this thing.” We see Wizord and Ruby fighting in the air while falling out of an airplane (although Ruby can fly on her own, but Wizord can’t because he’s used most of his magic reserves). We see Wizord and Ruby fighting on the Vegas strip, Wizord with the help of an anthropomorphic Eiffel Tower (the Vegas replica, not the real one, but it’s still a very nice one all the same). Wizord discovers the true magic of Las Vegas and uses all the luck the gamblers believe in to recharge himself up.
Also along the way we are given a juicy bit of information regarding Wizord’s and Ruby Stitch’s and Margaret’s past together. And we also check in with Sizzajee in The Hole World in a bit of foreshadowing for the next story arc.
I’m just going to say the Charles Soule writes a pretty good wizard fighting scene. He keeps the action ramped all the way up while still managing to sprinkle in a bit of back story without getting in the way of the action. I am interested in seeing where what is revealed about Wizord and Ruby Stitch’s past goes, although I have a fear that it begins to border on a little too soap opera-y for my tastes. But we will see. As always with Curse Words the background characters and the way our main characters interact with the world around them is great. There is always something going on and I like the way that it doesn’t completely ignore the outside world. We are shown how this fight scene affects other people, whether that comes in the form of seeing people scatter to get away from the fights or through the running twitter commentary and news coverage of this long fight. While the writing never loses its flare in this issue, we are given a bit more drama. Which I guess is something the story needs if it is going to continue onward. Drama is okay with me and I think Soule has set up a pretty good lead in to the next arc.
Ryan Browne’s art is, as always, great. I thoroughly enjoy it. It’s the way he shows action and movement that makes it feel like we are actually there with the characters fighting it out in all their wizardly glory throughout Las Vegas, as opposed to just looking at pictures. I think I might have commented in my other reviews of this series about Browne’s panel work, and I still really enjoy it. The changing panel shapes, the way they all ebb and flow together really adds to the movement and rush of the story. I think Ryan Browne’s art is a good combination of fun and serious. It’s wacky when it needs to be, and also brutal when the story calls for it.
Soule and Brown have really seemed to find their flow with this book. With each creator working off the other. Working to each other’s strong suits. It comes through in the writing and presentation of the book. They’re having fun with it and this in turn allows the reader to do the same.
Listen, I know Curse Words isn’t reinventing the wheel here or anything. There is nothing outright groundbreaking happening in this book. But it’s a fun read and a needed bit of absurd escapism. I, for one, am excited to see where this thing goes in the next arc. I think it will be nice to be able to explore this world through other characters, which seems to be where the next arc is heading. Maybe. Hopefully. I like Wizord as a character but he’s kind of a one trick pony. His story keeps recycling itself. He loses his powers, he finds more magic to absorb, he wins the fight. How long can this continue to carry the book. We shall see, I guess.
Curse Words #5