Curse Words #3 is a slower, slightly more introspective issue than the previous two. For the most part, there isn’t much action–instead, Charles Soule and Ryan Browne opt to flesh out the world and characters more. The issue succeeds in further establishing the world and setting up some plot threads, while having some laughs along the way.
Curse Words #3 (Image Comics)
This issue picks up shortly after the last. Ruby Stitch prepares for her fight against Wizord, when she is redirected by Sizzajee to take care of some business in Hole World. Meanwhile, Wizord drinks himself into a stupor after losing his powers, much to Margaret’s chagrin. Luckily, by the end of the issue, Margret is able to snap Wizord out of it, just in time for the promise of some trouble.
I think after the relatively fast-paced, action-packed first two issues, taking a break might have been a good choice for Soule. It gives him an opportunity to explore the Wizord/Ruby Stitch relationship, which neither of them seem to be completely over. I’m sure this will add an extra dimension to their fight when they actually meetup. Sizzajee’s mission for Ruby seems like a bit of a diversion, but sending her off to take care of some invaders showed us other denizens and other parts of the Hole World, which we haven’t seen a lot of. Not only that, we also get a glimpse of Ruby’s very formidable power. Wizord definitely needs to get his groove back if he hopes to stand a chance. Oh, and Margaret taking Wizord to see Titanic to convince him there is still magic in the world is pretty great. I missed the joke at first, but on my second read it clicked and made me chuckle.
Ryan Browne continues to really deliver on pencils, with thick lines that are expressive and detailed. His panel layouts also add some nice variety to the story, particularly towards the end, where Ruby is sizing up the invaders. It makes the whole sequence really stand out. Even in the bar, though, where Wizord is drowning his sorrow, Browne nails the expressions and frustration of the drunk wizard. Like, I’m pretty sure I’ve seen people in bars that look exactly like that mix of angry, depressed and indignant. Polishing off the art is Michael Garland on colors, and he really kills it. The palette they use is bright and bold, making the magical elements really pop off the pages. The tonal shifts between the dark, cool colors used in the bar contrast real nicely with the red-tinged battle scenes in the Hole World.
Curse Words #3 is a solidly entertaining read, if not a complete story in itself. What the issue sets out to do, expand the scope of the book, it does well, and does so with style. Soule and Browne have me excited to see where these story threads go.