Some folks like their superheroes to be gritty and serious. Others may prefer a more fantastic take. They want their comics filled with high octane action, with humor. Valiant’s latest series, Quantum and Woody, is clearly for the latter. And Valiant fans, both old and new, will find both action and humor and a great story too.
Like Valiant’s other ongoing comics, Quantum and Woody relaunches a series from 90’s. However this is the first title to re-introduce characters from Valiant’s Acclaim era. In fact, the previous version was one of the few bright spots from Valiant’s later days. (If you never read it, the entire series, by Christopher J Priest and M.D. Bright is available digitally.) This new Quantum & Woody series stays true to the original, but updated with modern storytelling sensibilities. Two childhood friends, foster brothers Eric and Woody Henderson separated when they chose different paths in life. Eric is driven, ambitious, but not quite finding the success he expected. Woody, the wild child, dropped out of high school, and has become a small time criminal with an eye for the ladies. Whatever childhood bond they shared is gone. They hadn’t spoken in years, when they are brought back together by the tragic death of their father, a research scientist. Not satisfied it was an accident, they investigate. They head to his lab and accidentally expose themselves to an exotic energy. It should have killed them, so naturally they get superpowers. What else can they do but put on costumes and fight crime.
If they don’t get themselves killed (or kill one another) first.
James Armus’ story doesn’t get weighed down by trying to tell too much back story or exposition. Instead he focuses on giving us a great picture of who Eric (Quantum) and Woody are as characters, and a taste of how they got there. We are left wanting to know more, but we are not clueless about what is going on. Then he sets their world in motion, setting over a chain events that will bring them back together, and change their lives forever. Tom Fowler has an expressive and dynamic style which help set the book’s humorous tone. It reminded me a lot of Keith Giffen: comic, but not cartoony. His work is nicely paired by colorist Jordie Bellaire. It’s the coloring that, for me, links this book’s style to the Valiant Universe. It nicely complements the art of the other series’, connecting them all with a bold, but not flashy palette, grounded in the real world.
It’s hard to say how great this story will be. But just by the first issue, and Valiant’s track record, you’d be crazy to not be back next month (and every month after that).
QUANTUM AND WOODY #1
From Valiant Comics
a $3.99 Comic, 32 pages
Written by James Asmus
Pencils by Tom Fowler
Colors by Jordie Bellaire
Letters by Dave Lanphear
Cover Artists: Ryan Sook, Marcos Martin, Andrew Robinson, Tom Fowler
Editor: Jody LeHeup