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“CURSE WORDS #1” (Comic Book Review)

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With only a month and half left of the current year, Image Comics already has its sights set on the endless possibility of 2017 by announcing new plans for a new year. Along with plenty of high-end adventures and creative endeavors, the most interesting and hilarious work to hit early January shelves is CURSE WORDS. The black magic mini-series revolves around a wizard who one day showed up to Earth claiming golden intentions, even when old enemies catch up with him. Full of hipster quips and monster hits, CURSE WORDS kicks in the door of the parody genre and brings back what made the initial draw to satires so popular: respect for the source and genuine understanding of its roots.

CURSE WORDS starts off like any other comic: a wizard, a horse, and a koala meet a multi-millionaire popstar in a NYC high rise. Sounds ridiculous? It gets weirder. The popstar wishes to be solid platinum, like the actual material, and after fulfilling his wish, the wizard (known as Wizord), is suddenly attacked by a rogue magic user who was once an old friend. Soon we learn that not everything is as appears and Earth’s first and only wizard is in fact running from a dark past. As the story careens through Wizord’s early days in NYC, he explores the culture clashes of big city living with his own, more humble life as one of the most powerful magicians in the universe. But with ancient adversaries hot on his heels, how long can he keep his secrets contained from the rest of the world?

CURSE WORDS is a ton of fun. If you’re a fan of dark fantasy and are a bit burned out on all the doom and gloom, CURSE WORDS is the way to go. It’s got that classic ‘country boy meets big city’ if that country boy was an all-powerful wizard with an undercut hairstyle. It pokes a lot of holes in the seriousness of fantasy without going full-on goofy which really adds to the appeal of the work. It’s the classic what –if story.

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You can tell that the writer, Charles Soule, has definitely read and loved his share of fantasy works and knew exactly how to play it out. Having worked primarily with Marvel and DC, it’s interesting to see Soule stretch his creative wings and though it’s not his first creator project, they are much too few and far between.

The accompanying art by Ryan Browne is as hilarious and on-point as Soule’s words. The designs of the characters perfectly plays on the Manhattan magic angle, with Wizord frequently sporting his wizard beard with a rolled up suit sleeves while his enemy, painfully out of fashion, wears a renaissance style tunic with full on neck poofs and butt shorts. Browne casts that same eye on the entirety of the NYC landscape, creating vivid and varied extras and backgrounds, perhaps to show us what Wizord saw when he decided to be our divine protector. Of course, for anyone who has read his most accomplished work, GOD HATES ASTRONAUTS, they would know that Browne is a great go-to choice to illustrate the bizarre, something that he continues to prove in CURSE WORDS.

CURSE WORDS does for dark fantasy what CABIN IN THE WOODS did for horror. It’s fun, clever, but never dismissive of the fans of the source, instead working with the tropes to create something wholly entertaining. Grab your copy on January 18!

About the author
Svetlana Fedotov http://facebook.com/vladkicksass
Svetlana Fedotov hails from the wild woods of the Pacific Northwest. She loves horror and comic books, and does her best to combine those two together at any cost. She also writes for the horror site Brutal as Hell and sometimes for the magazine Delirium. Svetlana has recently released her first novel, Guts and Glory, under the pen name S.V. Fedotov on Amazon digital.
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