CURSE WORDS #6 by Charles Soule and Ryan Brown
Plot
Art
Characterization
Summary
CURSE WORDS #6 is a perfect entry point into this rockin' Image series. With stellar art and interesting villains, the only thing holding this issue back is some faltering characterization and pacing. Follow our villains on a sunny picnic in the fires of Hole World, while Wizord attempts to ally with former villain, Ruby Stitch.
90 %
Heavy Metal Magic
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Urban fantasy has seen a recent surge in popularity with titles like The Dresden Files, The Iron Druid Chronicles, and Image Comics’ BIRTHRIGHT taking center-stage. These tales of magic in the modern world tend to adopt grave, end-of-the-world tones. Heroes leap into the shadows of cities’ underworlds, taking on myriad monsters with nothing but their sarcastic wit and years of magical training. CURSE WORDS #6 by Charles Soule and Ryan Brown takes all of that high energy magical action that has defined the Urban Fantasy genre but transforms it. Soule and Brown take a potentially somber tale and thrust it into the daylight, shining a light of self-aware humor and ’80s action personalities.

With CURSE WORDS #6, Soule and Brown open a new story arc for Wizord and his familiar, Margaret, as they form an uneasy alliance with Ruby Stitch. After battling Wizord in the last issue, Ruby has lost her magic. As the forces of the Hole World rally against their former allies, can Wizord and Ruby survive the coming onslaught?

READ: Need a CURSE WORDS refresher before you read this issue? Check out our review of CURSE WORDS #5.

Hell-Scape Picnics

CURSE WORDS #6
Courtesy of Image Comics

CURSE WORDS #6 opens not on our heroes, but on the villains of Hole World. As they have… a picnic. Lord Sizzajee, the demonic ruler of Hole World, has gathered his multi-colored minions to dine and plan. With the dual betrayal of Wizord and Ruby on their minds, the group discusses their next steps. After the murder and magical resurrection of the prideful Violet at Sizzajee’s hands, the sunny picnic ends with new resolve for our happy-go-lucky villains as they assume their new motivations.

Meanwhile, back in the human world, Wizord has taken Ruby to his office in Fortune Tower. He has plans. BIG plans. He wants Ruby to join him in this world, fight alongside him to protect humanity against Sizzajee’s forces. Wizord reminds her that they are both fugitives of the Hole World and Ruby is without her abilities. Promising to return her magic, Wizord doesn’t realize the coming of a new adversary, one that isn’t fond of his destruction of Las Vegas. The US government has come to call with any force necessary.

READ: Image Comics just released LOOSE ENDS, a Southern Crime Romance with loads of high-intensity action. 

Soule and Brown: Wizards in Awe

Curse Words #6
Courtesy of Image Comics

CURSE WORDS #6 comes alive through its art. Ryan Brown approaches each page with a restrictive realism. Each page balances bright, high energy colors and character designs with focused anatomy and structured landscapes. This comes to light in Sizzajee, who is a hulking humanoid made from black smoke. He is realistically drawn, but with a rainbow of colors mixed into his flowing, smoky hair and a pristine white suit. It is rock-and-roll in every way, grimy yet trippy.

Rock and Roll is about the only way to describe CURSE WORDS #6. Wizord rocks a hipster hair-do and sunglasses alongside his majestic beard and staff. For a modern fantasy tale, I’ve never seen anything quite like it. The story takes a sharp detour from the very beginning, thrusting you into a hellscape that is filled with green grass and sunny days (to an extent). More importantly, it is self-aware. I found myself actually laughing at the dialogue between Sizzajee and company. In a world where necromancers can simply bring the dead back to life, Sizzajee eradicates one of his guests for insulting his leadership. He then gets worried that he ruined his hell picnic.

READ: INJUSTICE boasts one of the longest and most interesting comic book storylines. Click hear to learn more!

Coming into this issue, I didn’t know what to expect. I’m not an avid CURSE WORDS reader, and I missed most of the previous arc. My biggest worry was jumping into this story and being lost without that background. While I did have some hiccups, Soule did an amazing job crafting an entry point for new readers. He balanced retroactive summary with new plot threads, and though this issue lost some momentum for being dialogue-heavy, it kept my attention throughout.

Heavy Metal Sorcerer

CURSE WORDS #6
Courtesy of Image Comics

While CURSE WORDS #6 did have its slow moments, mostly in the sections between Wizord and Ruby Stitch, Soule made up for this through brilliant characterization. Sizzajee’s band of sorcerers feels varied and unique. I might even say funny in the case of Carbuncle, the miniature mobster mage, or Botchko, the nudist centaur. This type of characterization can often fall into the realm of inanity or immaturity, but it works so well in CURSE WORDS because it never strives to be anything more. It thrives on that immature, high school humor, and you have to accept it! Especially when you are laughing your ass off at Silly Bee, the necromancer who carries her dead father’s head strapped to her chest.

Having missed the last three issues of the series, many of my qualms about Wizord’s characterization can be forgotten. He is our protagonist, after all, and CURSE WORDS #6 does an adequate job of anchoring him and Margaret on the page. Ruby Stitch, though, is somewhat forgettable. For a newer character, Soule does not give much time to her sudden change of heart. She goes from being Wizord’s mortal enemy to a hesitant ally, but she spends most of her time complaining about her lack of magic or Wizord’s inane place in the world. I see potentially great things for the character, but they just weren’t coming across in this issue.

READ: Image Comics is known for its brilliant characters. Explore the representation of Native Americans in EAST OF WEST.

FINAL THOUGHTS: CURSE WORDS #6

I really enjoyed reading CURSE WORDS #6. I enjoyed it like I enjoy a good rock tune. It is visceral and at the same time kind of silly. Charles Soule isn’t afraid to dip into the waters of immature humor to craft his story. However, he still obviously takes CURSE WORDS seriously. This is a funny story, not a literary joke. While some of the characterization and pacing faltered, CURSE WORDS #6 impressed me with its beautiful art and interesting story. More importantly, for new fans, this might just be the perfect point for you to jump onto the CURSE WORDS train.

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