“Should I visit my local comics store today?’
Are you going to ask me that question every single day now? The answer never changes = of course! Wednesday always brings something fresh and different to read on New Comics Day. Why not stop by your local comics shop and see for yourself? Here are four good books that come out tomorrow that just may give you justification to make the trip.
QUANTUM AND WOODY! #7 (Valiant, January 08, 2014 release date) Writer: James Asmus. Art: Ming Doyle. Colors: Jordie Bellaire. Letters: Dave Lanphear.
If you enjoy Marvel’s DEADPOOL, then you should also be reading QUANTUM AND WOODY for some regular monthly chuckles. It’s the closest thing that Valiant has to a bonafide super-hero book (capes and costumes), yet it’s a humorous one that doesn’t take itself seriously at all. Some of the humor is middle-school caliber, but it’s a step up from DEADPOOL and also includes a generous amount of mild (usually) satire.
It’s the satire that brings me back, as I keep hoping that this book succeeds in its mission. I would welcome a laugh-out loud comic that entertains while it amuses. (The closest thing you can find on today’s shelves is TODD, THE UGLIEST KID ON EARTH – which always makes me laugh. You are denying yourself some inner mirth if you don’t check it out.)
Eric and Woody Henderson are foster brothers, brought back together by the death of their father and a lab accident that granted them powers but ensures that they stay together. They need to “klang” their metal wristbands together every 24 hours or they perish. (Don’t ask how or why. Just roll with it.) Eric is the serious one, mindful of the responsibility of their gift, and trying to make a difference in their world. It’s he who dons the Quantum costume concealing his identity. Woody is more of a pleasure seeker and less interested in doing the right thing. He does not bother to conceal his identity but wears a business suit matching the blue of Quantum’s outfit and occasionally wears blue-tinted glasses to hide his eyes.
QUANTUM AND WOODY #7 continues the story from Issue #6, but it’s very easy to pick up on what happened there. Quantum goes on a solo mission to deactivate a dirty bomb inside a separatist Montana village (Stronghold). He’s been duped and set up for failure, as his employer (Magnum Securities) is hoping to land a big government contract for security work as a result of Quantum/Eric’s failure. When Woody learns of this, he tries to warn Eric but ends up embroiled in the same conflict. That’s when the fun of Issue #7 begins.
Lots of prominent genre icons are name-dropped in jest, including Battlestar Galactica. There are asides to religious hypocrisy, hillbilly fireworks, white supremacy and even Duck Dynasty. For those not interested in satire, there are some well-timed fart jokes, armpit stank, phone sex asides, and “uncalled for gross metaphors.”
Eric gets all misty-eyed when he learns that Quantum is a role model for the villagers at Stronghold. The irony is when these white supremacists learn that Quantum is a black man, they become disbelievers and go into a rant against everything they can possibly name. A hilarious debate ensues between Quantum and their leader, who contradicts himself repeatedly and unintentionally.
Leader: “It’s simple. Ain’t no way that Quantum – a freedom fighter against our tyrannical federal government - - - is some hand-out-grabbing, pinko-commie, socialist, fascist, Black Panther!”
Quantum/Eric: “You – you know those are different political systems, right? No one can be all of those things at once.”
Leader: “Riiight. Spoken like a true elitist government stooge! Whereas the real Quantum fought the police state. Blew up cop cars and a military lab where the government was making Asian bird flu to unleash on regular citizens like us!”
Eric: “Why the hell would they even do that? And how can you claim to love this country but plan to overthrow a democratically-elected government?”
Leader: “I didn’t vote for ‘em.”
Eric: “But a majority of people did! That’s how democracy works!”
Leader: “Un-%$#(&^”believable . . . .”
It’s my favorite issue of QUANTUM AND WOODY so far. I have hope.
Quantum and Woody are not part of the original Valiant family. When Acclaim purchased the rights to the Valiant characters they added some original titles to their line, the most remembered of them being Quantum and Woody (scripted by the infamous Priest). Both writer Asmus and artist Doyle remain fairly faithful to the original spirit of the series, including the humorous chapter headings. The 1990’s version was the most successful of the Acclaim-originated series, but even it was cancelled due to low sales. The outcry and support from the fan base persuaded Acclaim to bring it back after a six month hiatus and continue from there until the decline and cancellation of all Acclaim titles.
I’m glad to see that the current Valiant editorial board has seen fit to revive one of the Acclaim titles. They definitely picked the best one. Here’s hoping this updated version of QUANTUM AND WOODY will click with readers, both new and old.