Curse Words Vol. 2: Explosiontown

Curse Words Vol. 2: Explosiontown
  • North American Publisher / ISBN: Image Comics - 978-1-53430-472-7
  • Volume No.: 2
  • Release date: 2018
  • UPC: 9781534304727
  • Contains adult content?: no
  • Does this pass the Bechdel test?: no
  • Positive minority portrayal?: no
  • CATEGORIES: Fantasy, Humour

Wizord is a wizard. He’s arrived here from another dimension, one called Hole World and ruled by a demon, Sizzajee by name, who for reasons as yet undisclosed wants Earth destroyed. Wizord was supposed to the job, and so was Ruby Stitch, but neither managed. Wizord instead set himself up as Earth’s protector, with a mishap or two along the way, and Ruby Stitch isn’t quite as taken with Earth’s delights, but equally knows there’s no going back. That about sums up The Devil’s Devil, and we pick up with Sizzajee displeased at the way things have been going.

Once again artist Ryan Browne channels Hieronymus Bosch to good effect in depicting the horrors of a dimension controlled by the demon Sizzajee, with some splendidly fearsome opening pages set at his annual barbecue. You’ll have to take our word for that (or look them up online) as we don’t want to upset sensitive stomachs by showing them online. That’s where Browne’s at his best. Otherwise it’s uncomplicated storytelling with some nice designs. Mike Norton steps in for a chapter dealing with the holiday season in Hole World from a time before Wizord arrived on Earth.

Curse Words zips along very nicely until any thought is applied to Charles Soule’s plot. There are laughs, some unexpected turns and the occasional comment on humanity’s more regrettable fallback behaviour, but the underpinning is flawed. A narrative limitation is that Ruby Stitch is unable to communicate in English, but given that magic is thrown about with such gusto, it’s artificial. Sizzajee is concerned about losing the power to protect his realm, so why organise a contest where there’s a fair chance his henchmen will perish? It’s meant to be funny, but the lack of logic undermines events. Soule could still pull things round with what’s meant to be a finite series, as there are plenty of other aspects in need of explanation, not least Margaret’s fondness for becoming Australian animals. One explanation is nicely provided in what was originally the holiday special, revealing Ruby’s affinity for Earth dance music, but it’s not enough.

The Hole Damn World follows.