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Curse Words: The Devil’s Devil (Image Comics, 2017; #1-5)

If you only know Charle Soule’s work from Clearing the Backlog, you might think that he only writes comics about superhero attorneys.  I’m here to tell you that that isn’t the case.  Exhibit A: Curse Words, which features no caped counsellors—instead, it’s about wizards, ‘Arry.

One wizard in particular, Wizord, forsakes his responsibility to destroy Earth for his boss and instead sets up shop to help people.  He’s not exactly pure in intention; he’s out to make a profit, and he’s not above some mephistophelian irony in the wishes he grants.  But all in all, he’s making a positive difference as he protects Earth from complete annihilation.

And if you don’t believe me, ask his talking koala, Margaret.  #TeamMargaret

Curse Words balances fun moments with careful world-building and character development..  At its core are clever ideas about magic infiltrating the real world, with little moments—like magic bird-people singing a legally distinct, parody version of a pop song—that make the world feel lived-in.  And Wizord learns valuable lessons about finding joy in life and living for others, but those lessons also feed over-the-top, aerial wizard duels.

Zany moments inform Ryan Browne and Michael Garland’s art, which gives the book a bustling, cartoony vibe.  Thick lines and rich colors keep even the book’s darkest moments from becoming grim or dour.  Most of the action takes place on Earth, but there are occasional panels with mythical creatures, and even those designs balance whimsical fantasy with relatively realistic choices. 

If you like goofy, fantasy comics, you definitely need to check out Curse Words.  Soule starts from clever ideas and character work and fills out the world with humor and detail that make the book stand out.  Plus, how can you say no to a talking koala?

Collected in

  • Curse Words, Vol. 1: The Devil’s Devil (#1-5)


Writer: Charles Soule | Artist: Ryan Browne | Colorists: Ryan Browne, Michael Garland | Letterer: Chris Crank | Color Flatter: Michael Parkinson | Logo: Sean Dove | Designer: Ryan Browne

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