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Review: Quantum & Woody #1

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“Sometimes…you embrace your destiny. And sometimes…you and your troublemaking adopted brother find yourselves trapped in a scientific lab explosion that grants you $@&%ing awesome superpowers. As a result of their accident, Eric and Woody Henderson – aka Quantum and Woody – must “klang” their wristbands together every 24 hours or both dissipate into nothingness. Which makes superhero-ing pretty awkward when you’re not on speaking terms at the moment. See, Eric has been keeping a pretty big secret: He knows who Woody’s birth father really is…and where he’s been hiding all these years.”

There is a lot to talk about Quantum and Woody #1. Firstly, the sheer number of variant covers is unreal, almost comical, really, because there is the ultimate variant cover that will out variant any variant by design (which is utterly brilliant), as well as the “oh shit we ran out of foil so lets just use a bunch of different types for cover 1B” accidental variant that will inevitably drive sales high as completists look to collect every possible variation of the numerous different foil covers available. Oh, and there’s also quite a few meme variants where the title characters are mimicking different popular internet memes. And this doesn’t even begin to cover the single issue second printing to benefit the CBLDF.

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To say that Valiant are embracing the idea of variant covers with this comedy series would be fairly accurate. Once you  get past all the bells and whistles of the metric fuck tonne of variants, you’re left wondering whether the series has any hope of sustaining enough of a readership on its own merits, or whether the sales will drop off once the variants are done.Coming into this issue, I had read one issue of featuring these characters before (Q2: The Return Of Quantum And Woody #1) and then never went back for the second issue – that should tell you what I thought of it. Needless to say, I was going into this with some trepidation and with a whole lot of fog regarding who the characters were. I needn’t have been worried. Written by Colbert Report writer Daniel KibblesmithQuantum & Woody #1 features art and colours by Kano, the opening to the new series starts with an appropriately titled Don’t Call It A Threepreat (which immediately put the utterly unrelated LL Cool J song in my head) that lets you know from the outset that this is a continuation of Quantum and Woody’s story, and not an attempt to reboot the pair for a new audience.

But that doesn’t mean new readers (such as myself) will be lost. QW2017_001_007There’s a useful recap blurb at the beginning that gives you the basics (such as that the pair need to Klang to stay alive, but not why – which is ultimately irrelevant), and the rest is filled in throughout the issue itself in some well placed exposition. Kibblesmith packs a lot of story into this issue, and yet the comic never feels crowded or rushed; it has that unique quality of moving the story along without sacrificing the pacing or characterization. That being said, the issue strays dangerously close to feeling like a collection of moments rather than a cohesive single issue as we explore several different (yet still relevant) points in the lives of our heroes.

Where there is no little niggles is the brilliantly chaotic art. Credit for that belongs to Kano and the way his pages are laid out. They’re great. The early issue chase scene involving an ice cream truck is kinetic, the shit from the fan nearly splatters your hands and face as you read the scene, all while enveloped in a colour scheme that will leave your eyes bleeding.

That probably sounds awful, doesn’t it? But it’s not; far from it, in fact because Quantum & Woody #1 is a visual treat that stands above the numerous variant options available.

Gimmick covers aside, the content of the comic itself does more than enough to pull you in for the second (and possibly third) issue on its own merits. A successful return for the worlds worst superhero team, and one that doesn’t require any familiarity with the two.

Story: Daniel Kibblesmith Art: Kano
Story: 8.2 Art: 8.98 Overall: 8.8 Recommendation: Buy

Valiant provided a FREE copy for review, but I picked my copy up from my LCS today.

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