by Drew Baumgartner
This article contains SPOILERS. If you haven’t read the issue yet, proceed at your own risk!
What is Curse Words to you? As a series that wears its sense of humor on its sleeve, it’s easy to pigeonhole it as an irreverent romp, complete with magical beards and a talking animal sidekick. “Pigeonhole” makes it sound like a negative, so I want to make it clear that 1) goofy, fun stories are worthy of our collective attention, and 2) Curse Words worked beautifully as a goofy, fun story. But I suppose we always knew there was something lurking beneath that slick facade, whether it was some piece of Wizord’s backstory or the suspicious nature of his new magic-stealing powers. With this issue, Charles Soule and Ryan Browne take that several steps further, establishing some devastating emotional stakes that are so surprising, they can’t help but force us to question everything about this series.
I am referring, of course, to the heartbreaking disappearance of Jacques Zacques’s sons.
We always new Wizord’s imprisonment of everyone who saw him defeat Cornwall was monstrous, but seeing that same moment from the outside puts it in perspective. Not only does it help explain Zacques’s interest in Wizord, it also reminds us that Wizord isn’t really all that good of a guy. This moment theoretically played out millions of times all across the globe, all to protect Wizord from the consequences of his own actions.
And that choice is still reverberating through this series. Wizord blames the stadium’s disappearance on Sizzajee to cover his own ass, but when Zacques confronts Sizzajee about it, he’s able to genuinely point the finger back at Wizord. Wizord has only been mostly honest with the authorities, but because Zacques really only cares about the one detail Wizord lied about, Sizzajee’s side of things don’t seem all that unreasonable.
But here’s the thing: is Sizzajee any worse than Wizord? I mean, I get that Sizzajee’s plan is explicitly to kill or enslave everyone on Earth, but what if Wizord stealing our magic has the same results? I hate to use this space to advance a pet theory, but I’ve become obsessed with the idea that the Hole World looks the way it does because the magical beings had stolen all of the joy and belief from the wretched masses. I could definitely be way off with that, but it’s hard not to see Wizord’s actions as ultimately demoralizing and soul-sucking. It’s not that I want to see Sizzajee win, but I’m just not so sure Wizord is really any better.
The conversation doesn’t stop there. What do you wanna talk about from this issue?
Anyone looking for a treatise on the humor of this series need look no further than the footnotes on the pages I included, which tells us that French is the language of love, but not that kind of love, you perv.