by Ryan Mogge
This article contains SPOILERS. If you haven’t read the issue yet, proceed at your own risk!
Hubris is like the ultimate pair of shades. You think you look pretty fricking cool but meanwhile you are not quite seeing what’s in front of you. In Curse Words 9, both Wizord and Botchko are too self-absorbed to see the trouble looming. Charles Soule and Ryan Browne play straight with the audience, creating a layer of dramatic irony that makes the attitudes of Wizard and Botchko easier to endure.
There is something inherently distasteful about watching a boorish and cruel man succeed. However, watching one think that he has things on lock when you know that he is headed for a downfall is delightful. Soule and Browne seem to relish squeezing every bit of anticipatory schadenfreude during Botchko and Lady Violet’s pre-fight conversation.
Throughout the conversation, each of Violet’s responses is dripping with disdain and a subtext of impending betrayal. Soule has some of these ideas echo in the post-fight scene as Botchko tries to understand what happened. Violet was never satisfied to just “look good” and there is something in Botchko’s character that doesn’t allow him to hear it even as she says it right to him. To be fair, the reader is aided by Browne’s artwork which gives us enough of Violet’s body language to know that she is over it.
Meanwhile, Margaret is starting to notice that Wizord’s power is refueling by draining the power of people’s faith. This has a few implications, most notably that it implies that the magic Wizord needs to keep his power (and beard) is a finite resource. His lack of interest in the effects of his behavior on the planet are contrasted with the smaller, more internal struggle of Ruby to figure out how to get along in New York. Because Ruby is brought low by circumstance, Soule and Browne are able to garner investment in her success while encouraging the reader to regard Wizord with a distant concern. Wizord’s self-absorption is nothing new, but the contrast with Violet’s vindication and Ruby’s earnest struggle could move him from anti-hero to villain.
The conversation doesn’t stop there. What do you wanna talk about from this issue?