Quantum & Woody #9 (Valiant)

CREDIT: Valiant Entertainment

Rating: 4.5/5 – One of the Funnest and Funniest Books on the Stands.
by ComicSpectrum EiC Bob Bretall.

Starting in on it’s third story arc with this issue, Quantum & Woody stands apart from the other Valiant comics due to it’s unique blend of action and irreverent humor.  Archer & Armstrong has humor too, but it doesn’t seem to be as central to the theme of the book.  While I won’t go so far as to say Quantum & Woody is nothing but jokes, the humor is a pretty integral part of the book.   Amateur heroes after a lab experiment gone awry, foster brothers Woody & Eric are making their way in a none too serious corner of the Valiant Universe.  Woody can shoot energy and Eric (aka Quantum) can generate shields.  If they don’t KLANG their metal wristbands together once every 24 hours, they’ll dissolve into their component atoms.  That’s the high concept.  On the pages of each issue the overarching plot serves to fuel witty banter as our heroes get up to lots of crazy hi-jinks.

Humor is a very subjective thing (a lot like art) so while I find this book to be uproariously funny, there are others for whom it will fall entirely flat.  For me, James Asmus riffing on pop culture, movies, relationships, etc. really hits my “humor sweet spot”.  The transitional blurbs when we transition from one scene to the next are another source of hilarity for me. For instance, in this issue we get “Goofus and Gallant Make Plans.”, which is a riff on a series of cartoons in an old children’s magazine that attempted to teach manners by showing a situation and having one kid do something inappropriate (Goofus aka Woody) and the other would do the socially acceptable thing that parents aspired to have their kids do (Gallant aka Eric aka Quantum).  VERY referential. VERY dependent on the reader making the connection. VERY funny when you do make the connection.  Another quick example is the name of the Law Office Eric visits: “MacGuffin, Archetype, & Exposition.”  I love it.

The art, by Kano on this story arc, is of the same general family of art styles that we got from Tom Fowler in the first arc and Ming Doyle in the second.  Clean and uncluttered, great job on facial expressions and body language, and masterful at injecting visual humor into the book.  Kano is a great match for Asmus’ story as well as the Quantum & Woody series in general.

Overall, this is a great series for people who don’t mind a comic that doesn’t take itself too seriously and can go with the flow on certain elements that, while they work in the context of the story, are clearly injected for humorous purposes.  I would recommend grabbing the collected edition of the 1st volume of this series and giving it a try.  You’ll love it (unless you don’t)!

Reviewed by: Bob Bretall
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