This Review Originally Ran on Comics Bulletin
Quantum and Woody #1
(James Asmus, Tom Fowler, Jordie Bellaire; Valiant)
Valiant Comics continues to prove that its relaunch was a good idea with the release of Quantum and Woody #1. As Woody himself says when he accidentally sets off the Dynamo Systems in Zone Theta, "Ooo... Shiny."
Quantum and Woody #1 plays in a familiar sandbox. Two brothers, one an over-the-top, by-the-book law enforcement type and the other a ne'er-do-well, lovable, quipping rouge, are acrimoniously brought back together by their father's mysterious death. In the course of taking matters into their own hands, they are accidentally zapped by some kinda super power ray which, I guess, gives them super powers. It's your buddy cop story stitched up inside your basic "origin" tale -- like I said, we've built a lot of castles and moats in this sandbox before.
And it's obvious that Asmus and Fowler know this, but they use this knowledge to their advantage and use the tropes inherent in these formulas to propel the story. We already know this and that so they don't have to go on and on telling us why. Which frees them to have fun. And this is a fun book. A lot of fun.
Early on in the book, Asmus has on of the newscasters in this book ask if Quantum and Woody are really heroes or "dangerous overgrown children causing trouble?" The answer to that question is "Yes" -- these characters will be heroes, but, like all heroes, to do so they have to be "dangerous overgrown children" as well. Because heroes step outside of the expected, normal, don't-want-to-get-involved day-to-day behavior that we all, as adults, display constantly and consistently. We think that given the opportunity to be heroic, we would certainly step up to the challenge. But we're kidding ourselves. We won't and we don't. We bear witness to horrible things happening around us all the time, and continue to walk into the store, the office, the classroom, our home, without really doing anything about it.
Who is it that actually does something about trying to make the horrors of others' existence a little less horrible? It's the dangerous overgrown children, that's who. The one's who are still willing to risk, to challenge, to change. These are the heroes.
Are Quantum and Woody going to be those kinds of heroes? I think they will (albeit the "world's worst superhero team"). Asmus and Fowler are creating something fun and exciting with this series, using all the advantages of an often-told tale to have some laughs.
The other day I asked my Twitter followers, "If I write 'It's a fuck-ton of fun' in a review, will people think I'm not being professional enough?" As nobody responded, I'm going to make my own decision.
Quantum and Woody #1 from Valiant Comics -- It's a fuck-ton of fun. There's your pull quote, Valiant.
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