Quantum and Woody #1

by kanchilr1 on July 09, 2013

The Team
Writer James Asmus Artist Tom Fowler

Quantum and Woody is a property created specifically by Christopher Priest in 1994. Frankly it's hard to imagine anybody else except for the original creator tackling the world's worst superhero team. The book had a specific tone rarely achieved by anyone in comics. That being said new writer James Asmus writes with an astonishing amount of realism alongside absurdity. The titular characters go through a comedic journey that is greatly lacking in the space of comic books. The plot presented here is fairly average including an investigation of a homicide by two unremarkable people. Woody is not a great human being, he is a deadbeat that did not even finish High School. Quantum on the other hand is a good guy, meant to mellow out the slacker attitude of the opposite hero. Together the pair get into all sorts of interesting trouble, which serves as the crux of the series. This is the second more comedic based series at Valiant next Archer And Armstrong. The writing here is so interesting, that there seems to be room for both.

It is great to see a series like this take time to breathe with the characters. Costumes are not revealed here for the heroes, nor is the goat on the cover to this issue. If they had been given outfits the pacing would probably not have felt genuine. This new trend in the comics medium of giving origin stories a place to play out at an appropriate pace is wonderful. Q and W go through a journey into this strange world that feels appropriate. Even though the cliffhanger from this issue is visible from light years away it is still entertaining. At times it is even possible that the reader may forget that this is even a book about costumed heroes with giant superpowers. This issue also sets up some darker elements from Woody and the funeral, and even delivers on them at a certain scene in this installment. Hopefully going forward Asmus will not shy away from those dark tones and let this only be a humor title.

Tom Fowler's pencils are a delight, they never stop the flow of action on each page. His storytelling sense is also uncanny. Fowler is highly aware of how to lay down in a page in a way to make the scenarios interesting, yet still allowing for a sense of movement in this static medium. Characters have some great expressions in this title as well. This sense of clarity really adds to the subtext here, and makes the absurdity feel grounded. Another important part about the art here is that it perfectly balances the comedic timing in the issue at hand. This book could be in danger of falling into one specific tone, but in this issue the art is so dynamic readers do not have to worry.

This may be the strongest of the Valiant issues on hand if the first issue is any indication. Quantum and Woody is a fearless title as it does not shy away from humor, drama, or superheroics. This book has a lot to live up too in the subsequent issues. I wish the best of luck for Tom Fowler and James Asmus to continue the brilliance.

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A Look Inside