Or – “Clang.”

Years ago, after the original Valiant Comics line had nearly folded, the remaining creators made a go at a second wave of brilliance.  As part of what has become known as the VH-2 line, Mark Bright and Christopher Priest created the oddball adventures of Quantum and Woody, an unlikely team of quasi-heroes whose adventures are still fondly remembered today.  Will this new version be able to recapture the magic of those lost 90’s tales?  Your Major Spoilers review awaits!

SUMMARY

Pros
Not bad art…
An interesting couple of characters.
Cons

Feels a little bit generic…
Why not have Priest and Bright onboard?

Overall Rating: ★★★½☆

READER RATING!

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (1 votes, average: 3.00 out of 5)
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QUANTUM AND WOODY #1Quantum&Woody1Dover
Writer: James Asmus
Artist: Tom Fowler
Colorist: Jordie Bellaire
Letterer: Dave Lanphear
Editor: Jody Leheup
Publisher: Valiant Comics
Cover Price: $3.99

Previously in Quantum And Woody: After the death of their father/step-father, Eric Henderson and Woody Von Chelton were accidentally imbued with incredible powers, but were forced to work together due to the nature of those abilities.  Whether or not that origin is still in play, we know one thing:  There will be a goat, and that is good.  ON with the show!

A WHOLE NEW ORIGIN…

In the first couple of pages, I realize that the creators are going out of their way to emulate the original Q&W series, from the use of the “white letters on black background” set pieces (Frasier stole those from Clerks, but who knows where Priest and Bright got ’em) to the overall tone, which helps to lessen my disappointment that the original creators aren’t a part of this revival.  Granted, Valiant seems to have legal ownership of the rights to the characters, and I don’t know anything about what may have happened behind the scenes at Valiant, but I would have liked to see at least SOME involvement by the creators in this book.  Things feel a little bit heavy-handed in the early pages, though, as we see a TV interviewee calls them “the world’s worst super-hero team” in dialogue, and a television pundit analyzes their actions in a very heavy-handed manner, driving home the point that this is a comedy book.

…MUCH LIKE THE OLD ONE.

The second half of the book works better for me, as we meet scientist Derek Henderson, who has created some sort of experiment that has gotten him attention of the wrong sort.  When he is murdered, his son Eric and foster-son Woody are both shocked into action.  There’s some nice work done with the characters (Eric is ex-military, very aggressive, while Woody is a laconic drifter/con man who has accumulated many questionable talents) and their fight during their dad’s funeral is well-done, but it skirts the line between comedy and drama, seemingly unwilling to take a side.  They’re arrested, both men find out that something’s up with their father’s death, both break into his lab…  Boom!  As the issue ends, our heroes are surrounded by police, glowing with strange energies, each wearing one protective wristband left over from the one protective garment they were fighting over when everything exploded…

THE BOTTOM LINE:  INTERESTING, BUT PACED A BIT SLOW…

There’s a lot of interesting stuff going on in this issue, but I find myself a little bit bothered by the slow build.  Yes, we get a good look inside the minds of Eric and Woody but, like the opening, it feels like they’re trying a little too hard.  It has been a while since I read the original Quantum And Woody issues, but this issue just feels like it’s trying a bit hard to recapture the tone of the original while keeping the requisite “bad-ass” necessary to sell a comic book in today’s market.  Quantum And Woody #1 is a decent issue, even if it doesn’t quite fully capture the late-90s zeitgeist of the original, and I’m at least interested in seeing where this first arc ends up, earning 3 out of 5 stars overall.

Rating: ★★★☆☆

The Author

Matthew Peterson

Matthew Peterson

Once upon a time, there was a young nerd from the Midwest, who loved Matter-Eater Lad and the McKenzie Brothers... If pop culture were a maze, Matthew would be the Minotaur at its center. Were it a mall, he'd be the Food Court. Were it a parking lot, he’d be the distant Cart Corral where the weird kids gather to smoke, but that’s not important right now... Matthew enjoys body surfing (so long as the bodies are fresh), writing in the third person, and dark-eyed women. Amongst his weaponry are such diverse elements as: Fear! Surprise! Ruthless efficiency! An almost fanatical devotion to pop culture!

And a nice red uniform.

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