Near the start of Queen Margaret Charles Soule gets to the essence of Curse Words. Back on his homeworld Wizord is a magical badass, feared by almost everyone he meets, but on Earth it doesn’t have to be that way, and setting up as a problem solver on Earth he’s discovered the feeling of being liked has its own rewards. He’d prefer to keep it that way, and a little name change to the business allows Ruby to be part of it as well.

A fair amount of this volume is spent transforming Jacques Zacques from rambling idiot into credible threat, as a fair amount of the previous The Hole Damn World was spent transforming him from ordinary idiot into minimal threat. It doesn’t work. Soule over-eggs the comedy. We know Jacques is never going to be any real threat, so spending so much time with him takes space away from the book’s interesting plot, which is Margaret’s background. And if that’s the real plot, what’s Wizord got to do? Not much, actually until the penultimate chapter of the regular continuity. There is a good use of Jacques in the final chapter of that, but reaching there has taken an age of decompressed storytelling and a lot of big pictures from Ryan Browne. Curse Words may look slightly thicker than the average graphic novel, but in terms of content it’s considerably thinner.

There is a bonus story, set back in the days when all was well in Hole World. Sizzajee is happy with his underlords, and so has provided them all with a day at the beach. Wizord finds a way for he and Ruby to get together and the rest of the Hole World cast each have a few words reinforcing their one note personalities. If you’ve become wrapped up in the background Soule has established for Curse Words you may like it, but anyone approaching it cold will realise it’s the same padding Soule uses for his main continuity where a lot of pages don’t supply very much. Joe Quinones draws, and Browne joins regular colourist Addison Duke to ensure the correct vivid quality is maintained.