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Review: Quantum and Woody #4

QUANTUM & WOODY #4

Home Alone, the boys are left to defend their lair against would-be bandits! What is Woody’s dark secret? The truth is finally revealed in Quantum and Woody #4!

The finale to the four-part miniseries finds writer Christopher Hastings, artist Ryan Browne, and color artist Ruth Redmond coming together one more time (though hopefully not for the final time) for a comic I have waited nearly three months to read. Was it worth the wait? Was I able to just pick it up and enjoy it without refreshing myself by reading the first three again?

Two kill two birds with one stone, the answer is yes.

While not everybody will want to just pick the book up and dive in after three months, the way the Hastings has been crafting the story over three almost standalone issues means that while there are some elements that cross the four issues, the specific events don’t need to have been memorized to enjoy Quantum and Woody #4 (though if you do want a refresher, there’s no reason not to go back and read the other three).

Hastings has once again packed a full story, start middle and end, into a single comic, though with the finale he also wraps up the threads he had left over the course of the previous three issues. It is in many ways a bitter sweet comic, because as far as we currently know, there aren’t any plans to bring Hastings back to Quantum and Woody, but he ends his story on a high note without leaving any real loose ends dangling – but you’ll be wanting more from him and the creative team by them time you turn the final page.

Browne’s art has been perfectly suited to the chaos that has been this series, and both he and Redmond shine in the final issue. There’s often a lot occurring on every page, but the comic never loses its ability to tell a coherent visual story. The art is bright, bold, absolutely insane, and I love it. There’s a lot going on in almost every page, but you’re never lost; this is a book that you’re going to want to take your time reading, or read it a second time so that you can really appreciate the talent on display here.

I’ve never really been the biggest Quantum and Woody fan, but Hastings, Brown, Redmond, and letterer Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou have delivered one of my favourite series this year. This is a nigh-on perfect comic book in its own right, but when you take it as the final part of a four-part miniseries, then it becomes an absolute must-read book.

If every comic that I read after Diamond started delivering again was half as good as this, I’d be happy.

Story: Christopher Hastings Art: Ryan Browne
Colors: Ruth Redmond Letters: Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou

Story: 9.6 Art: 9.6 Overall: 9.6 Recommendation: Buy

Valiant provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


Purchase: comiXologyKindleZeus Comics

Review: Quantum and Woody #4

QUANTUM & WOODY #4

Home Alone, the boys are left to defend their lair against would-be bandits! What is Woody’s dark secret? The truth is finally revealed in Quantum and Woody #4!

The finale to the four-part miniseries finds writer Christopher Hastings, artist Ryan Browne, and color artist Ruth Redmond coming together one more time (though hopefully not for the final time) for a comic I have waited nearly three months to read. Was it worth the wait? Was I able to just pick it up and enjoy it without refreshing myself by reading the first three again?

Two kill two birds with one stone, the answer is yes.

While not everybody will want to just pick the book up and dive in after three months, the way the Hastings has been crafting the story over three almost standalone issues means that while there are some elements that cross the four issues, the specific events don’t need to have been memorized to enjoy Quantum and Woody #4 (though if you do want a refresher, there’s no reason not to go back and read the other three).

Hastings has once again packed a full story, start middle and end, into a single comic, though with the finale he also wraps up the threads he had left over the course of the previous three issues. It is in many ways a bitter sweet comic, because as far as we currently know, there aren’t any plans to bring Hastings back to Quantum and Woody, but he ends his story on a high note without leaving any real loose ends dangling – but you’ll be wanting more from him and the creative team by them time you turn the final page.

Browne’s art has been perfectly suited to the chaos that has been this series, and both he and Redmond shine in the final issue. There’s often a lot occurring on every page, but the comic never loses its ability to tell a coherent visual story. The art is bright, bold, absolutely insane, and I love it. There’s a lot going on in almost every page, but you’re never lost; this is a book that you’re going to want to take your time reading, or read it a second time so that you can really appreciate the talent on display here.

I’ve never really been the biggest Quantum and Woody fan, but Hastings, Brown, Redmond, and letterer Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou have delivered one of my favourite series this year. This is a nigh-on perfect comic book in its own right, but when you take it as the final part of a four-part miniseries, then it becomes an absolute must-read book.

If every comic that I read after Diamond started delivering again was half as good as this, I’d be happy.

Story: Christopher Hastings Art: Ryan Browne
Colors: Ruth Redmond Letters: Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou

Story: 9.6 Art: 9.6 Overall: 9.6 Recommendation: Buy

Valiant provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Exclusive: Christopher Hastings Talks Quantum and Woody Plus an Exclusive Look at issue 4!

Quantum & Woody is the world’s worst, to us one of the best, superhero teams. Fans will be able to get their hands on the finale to the current volume, Quantum & Woody #4, on July 8 with the final order cut off on June 15th from writer Christopher Hastings, artist Ryan Browne, colors by Ruth Redmond, and lettering by Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou.

Home Alone, the boys are left to defend their lair against would-be bandits! What is Woody’s dark secret? The truth is finally revealed!

Quantum & Woody #4

Writer Christopher Hastings talked to us about the series and we have an exclusive first look at the final issue.

Graphic Policy: Before we get started, I’ve got to warn you that the first three issues have been some of my favorite comics from the last year. I’m really enjoying the approach you’re taking with the story and the characters; how did you end up writing the World’s Worst superheroes?

Christopher Hastings: Well, thank you very much! I’ve been a lifetime fan of these characters, and it’s a massive honor to contribute to their ongoing story. As for how I wound up writing them, that’s all on our editor, Heather Antos. Heather was my editor on Unbelievable Gwenpool, and thank goodness it seems like I did a good enough job that she thought I would be good for Valiant’s best action-comedy characters.

GP: As I read the first three issues, I’ve noticed that the creative team has been in a groove from the first page. Did you know any of the creative team prior to the first issue?

CH: As our scheduling went, I don’t think we actually had our full team set by the time I finished the script for the fourth issue, which is unusual. Heather and Valiant really did me a kindness as far as getting the story down well ahead of time, which allowed us all to really make sure that the story across all the issues is cohesive. That said, Ryan Browne and I came up in a similar time of webcomics, and I think we always had similar sensibilities, so when Heather suggested putting us together, it was a no-brainer. Ryan and I are two celestial objects that have been in a decaying orbit for years, and Quantum and Woody is the project where we finally collided.

GP: How does working with Valiant differ from working with other publishers?

CH: I think the biggest thing is how much I’ve been able to get to know the sales and marketing folks. These are the people who take my insane little fantasies and have to get them into comic shops. It’s been a really wonderful experience getting to talk to them on a regular basis, take road trips to signings with them, and just get to see what that side of the comics industry looks like. It’s easy for the writer of a comic to be removed from the whole picture, but with Valiant, I feel like I get to be along for the whole trip, from inception to every individual reader.

GP: Do you approach writing for an ongoing series differently than a miniseries?

CH: Certainly! If I know a miniseries is 4 issues, I’m not going to introduce something in issue 2 that I’ll “pick up later”. When I write, I’m really conscious of the beats of various plots, and I want to make sure there is room for all of them. I don’t want to do a beat 1 and 2 if I can’t do a 3.

Quantum & Woody #4

GP: Each issue so far has essentially been a self-contained story; did the series initially set out that way, or did it evolve as you were writing?

CH: This was probably my top priority/artistic goal when I got the chance to even just pitch for Quantum & Woody. I miss episodic comics, and I wanted to make a real effort at putting them out myself. A comedy is especially well suited for this style of serialized storytelling. Drop in for a particularly funny issue, even if you haven’t read the previous! You can watch any episode of Cheers without seeing another one. Why can’t we do that in comics? I’ve also read just about every comic Marvel put out in the 60s thanks to their Essential collections, and it was the same there. If it’s good enough for Stan Lee, it’s good enough for me.

GP: Can you talk a little about your inspiration behind Woody’s “disguise” in the first issue? I thought that the sewer sequence was a great reminder to not see what you wanted to see.

CH: Clark Kent can convince people he isn’t Superman with a dumpy suit, glasses, and his hair parted on the other side of his head. Why can’t Woody?

GP: You’ve been using the brother’s powers in unique ways throughout the series; do you ever feel you’re in danger of making them competent heroes?

CH: Haha, no I think they are far enough down on the ability ladder that it left some room for them to get a little better without totally destroying their entire deal. That said, one of my favorite things in comedy is when the all around idiot happens to show off the one tiny thing they are good at. A little bit of competence goes a long way as far as character likability goes.

Quantum & Woody #4

GP: Ryan Browne’s linework and layouts have been really exciting at times in this book, especially around the ice-skating scene. I’m always interested in how much direction writers give to artists in scenes such as those. Did it come out how you expected?

CH: Ryan is in my favorite class of artist where he can look at a fairly specific, panel-by-panel, shot-by-shot written out script, see what I’m *actually* trying to communicate, and make changes from the script to do it better, punching up the whole thing. Ryan gets down everything important in the story, and then he just PEPPERS the rest of it with a million fun extra things. It makes the book a very satisfying one to reread several times, honestly.

GP: Was there anything you wanted to include in this series, but had to end up saving it for the next?

CH: I have SO MANY ideas for what I would want to do with Quantum and Woody after this. I sure hope I get the chance. Fingers crossed x1M.

GP: If you could write any other Valiant character, who would it be?

CH: Top choice is easily Archer & Armstrong. Such a great premise, great world, infinite potential for hijinks. Close for second place is Ninjak, just because I am a long time fan. And third place, I’d love to do Bloodshot like an 80s action movie.

GP: Thanks so much for answering our questions!


Check out the exclusive preview below!

Valiant Hero Of The Week: Bloodshot vs. Ninjak vs. Punk Mambo vs. Quantum & Woody

Every Monday for the next few weeks, Valiant Entertainment is running a poll on their Twitter feed to provide fans with some escapism while new comics are in short supply. The poll allows Valiant fans the opportunity to select the Hero Of The Week from four choices – this week, the poll features Bloodshot, Ninjak, Punk Mambo, and Quantum & Woody. That week’s hero will then be the focus of free pdfs featuring the character, videos from Valiant staff, giveaways and more.

At Graphic Policy, we’re going to be running a spotlight on the winning character all week through various features depending on the character, but at the very least you’ll see our favorite covers and stories.

But Valiant has a lot of great characters, and it’d be a shame to not let you know which stories to read to get to know some of them a little more in case they don’t end up winning the fan vote. This week’s characters are a prime example of this, and the exact reason that we wanted to shine a little light on all four ahead of the week. Today’s poll is between Bloodshot, Ninjak, Punk Mambo, and Quantum & Woody.

Below you’ll find a brief snapshot of the character and a trade paperback or two to check out. For fun, I’ll also note who I think is most likely to win (bear in mind this is being written on Sunday).

Bloodshot

Who is he? A dead man brought back to life with billions of tiny machines in his blood that grant him enhanced strength, stamina and an incredible ability to heal from anything. This dude makes Deadpool look frail. Bloodshot is also the only Valiant character to be featured in a major motion picture with Sony’s Bloodshot released just before North America began to shut down due to the pandemic. You can find it digitally now if you didn’t see it in theaters, and because of that, I won’t go too much into his background because the movie does a pretty solid job of capturing the essence of the character. If I was putting money on anything, it’d be that Bloodshot wins this week’s poll.

What should you read? Valiant have published a lot of really good Bloodshot comics over the years, but if I had to tell you to read just one story arc it would be Bloodshot Reborn: Colorado. Written by Jeff Lemire with art by Mico Suayan, this is the beginning of one of my favorite runs in comics. Picking up just after Bloodshot has regained his humanity after being freed of his nanites, the former super-soldier finds himself a shadow of what he was. So why does he feel so guilty about a string of murders he has no connection to? You’ve really got to read this to appreciate how well Lemire toys with your emotional connection to the character – and Suayan’s art has to be seen to be believed.

Ninjak

Who is he? A blend of Batman and James Bond. Colin King is at the peak of human conditioning, both physical and mental, has access to near limitless financial resources, and also works on contract for MI6 as a high tech ninja operative. If you’re looking for something familiar from Valiant, then you’d think that Ninjak would scratch the Batman itch, but unlike Batman, Ninjak has no problem using his weapons to their full deadly potential. Although Ninjak has yet to feature in a movie, he was the star of Ninjak Vs. The Valiant Universe, a webseries produced by Bat In The Sun that you can probably find on Youtube now.

What should you read? Ninjak: Weaponeer. This collection covers the first five issues of Ninjak’s Valiant Entertainment relaunch, and is written by Matt Kindt and features Clay Mann, Butch Guice, and Juan Jose Ryp‘s artistic talents. This is where you’ll want to go for your introduction to the character, despite his first appearance coming in an issue of X-O Manowar a couple of years prior. We’re (re)introduced to Colin King and discover how he became Ninjak in flashbacks that twin with the present as King hunts down the Shadow Seven.

Punk Mambo

Who is she? A sarcastic biting magician in the vein of John Constantine, Punk Mambo has very few figs to give about anybody. Her complete disregard for authority is fitting given the character’s name, and as such she works incredibly well against characters with a more straightforward motivation seen in books like Rapture or her self titled miniseries.

What should you read? Of all the characters in today’s poll, Punk Mambo is the one who hasn’t had that many appearances I’ve actually read. She first appeared in Shadowman #13, which is a series I haven’t even come close to finishing yet (I’ve got the first eight issues, so haven’t seen her introduction). My introduction to the character came in the story I’m going to recommend to you; Ninjak: Operation Deadside. Watching Punk Mambo and Ninjak interact with each other is one of the absolute highlights of the story as she ends up being the foil to everything Ninjak says and does. It was this story that got me hooked on the character, so I’m hoping you’ll have the same result.

Quantum and Woody

Who are they? Yes, they. While one can wonder about the technicality of including two characters as one, Quantum and Woody are inseparable. Including one and not the other would make as much sense as playing football without a ball. It’s just not the same. Quantum and Woody are adoptive brothers who must touch the golden bracelets on their arms once every 24 hours or they’ll explode into nothingness – potentially taking the planet with them. That the brothers are polar opposites only makes the comics even better; Eric Henderson, aka Quantum, hides his identity to protect those around him because he wants to be a hero. Woody Henderson doesn’t. He’s all about the fame.

What should you read? Honestly, the Quantum and Woody story I’m the most taken with is the one being released currently. However, that’s not ideal for you if you’re looking to check them out now because the last two issues will be released…. eventually. Instead, then, I’ll point you to Quantum And Woody: The World’s Worst Superhero Team because it’ll introduce these guys to you in the most honest way possible. The title alone should give you an idea as to what you should expect; this book isn’t dark and moody but is injected with humor as it deals with the estranged brother’s relationship and their new place in the world.

Review: Quantum and Woody #3

Quantum and Woody #3

Quantum and Woody are back in high school – this time to solve a murder!
But are their combined powers a match for the haunts that await them? Find out in Quantum and Woody #3!

When I read this comic the first time verses the second time, a lot had changed. And it changed my appreciation of the comic, too. It went from being a fun diversion to a life raft.

Y’see, because my wife has lung issues, we’re effectively in quarantine already, and so I was in desperate need of a distraction. Even having read this book once, the second time through still allowed me to escape for just long enough to reset myself. So judging this book critically will be tough but then sometimes you just have to judge a book in the moment. And in this moment Quantum & Woody #3 was perfect.

Written by Christopher Hastings, with art by Ryan Browne and colors by Ruth Redmond, this book was everything I didn’t know I needed. Don’t get me wrong, I really enjoyed it the first time I read it; this isn’t a comic that went from average to amazing simply because I read it after a tumultuous weekend.

Hastings has once again packed a full story, start middle and end, into a single comic. He has so far given us three complete stories in three issues that have all tied together with elements that are bound to come together in the finale next month whenever the fourth issue comes out. It isn’t often you get as much story in a comic as you have with Quantum & Woody #3 these days, which is a refreshing change of pace and it feels like you’re getting far more than you’re paying for in comparison to other books.

Browne’s art is absolutely perfect for this comic; there’s an energy to his line work that jumps from the page. Whether it’s Quantum punching somebody or Woody running out of a panel this comic has a lot to look at at, and Browne is able to make the art tell a complete story despite how much is happening between the covers. His art flows and makes sense. There’s no need to make a logic jump from panel to panel (you know how when you’re reading a comic and all of a sudden it feels like you missed a panel or two? That’s not here), which is a testament to Browne’s ability to tell a story visually.

Ruth Redmond has the unenviable job of coloring the insanity taking place in this comic, and does so in a way that nothing is lost on the page. Quantum & Woody #3 is a bright book because of Redmond’s vibrant colors as much as the story itself.

I also want to highlight Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou‘s lettering in this book. Hastings has a lot of words in this comic, and Otsmane-Elhaou’s work is so spot on to be almost unnoticeable. I say almost, because once I noticed his lettering because of the sound effects. I realized just how impressive the work is in this comic. Read the book, then read it again paying attention to the lettering and you’ll see what I mean; the font choices, the sizing and the sound effects are perfect for this book.

I don’t know when we’ll get to read the fourth issue at this point, and just typing that sucks. We’re all living in a time that few of us ever expected. Things have changed on us overnight. If you need a moment of brightness, a distraction from the news, then the third issue of this series is ideal for that.

It’s absolutely a perfect way to distract yourself. It’s a pretty stand alone book you can enjoy this without reading the first two issues. I’m going to be reading those three comics a lot over the coming months. Join me, won’t you?

Story: Christopher Hastings Art: Ryan Browne
Colors: Ruth Redmond Letters: Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou

Story: 9.2 Art: 9.3 Overall: 9.5 Recommendation: Buy

Valiant provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Preview: Quantum and Woody #3

QUANTUM AND WOODY #3

Written by CHRISTOPHER HASTINGS
Art by RYAN BROWNE
Colors by RUTH REDMOND
Letters by HASSAN OTSMANE-ELHAOU
Cover A by DAVID NAKAYAMA
Cover B by CASPAR WIJNGAARD
Cover C by WILL ROBSON
Pre-Order Edition Cover by STEVE LIEBER
Cover E 1/20 “Extra Virgin” Variant by DAVID NAKAYAMA
On sale MARCH 25 | 32 pages, full color | $3.99 US | T+

Quantum & Woody are back in high school – this time to solve a murder!
But are their combined powers a match for the haunts that await them?

QUANTUM AND WOODY #3

Review: Quantum and Woody #2

Quantum and Woody #2

The world’s worst superheroes unleash brand-new superpowers in Quantum and Woody #2! Can Woody’s new visions of the future be trusted when it leads the duo to face their arch-rival DOCTOR TOILET?!

(No, they most certainly cannot.)

Sometimes you read a comic that you’re expecting to be average because you’ve decided that you need to read everything that a certain publisher or series puts out. Over the years I’ve read almost every Valiant comic I could get my hands on. Some are far better than others. There are always the odd one or two that take me entirely by surprise. I hoped that I’d enjoy Christopher Hastings Quantum & Woody. I had no idea that with a single issue it’d take me by the ankles and rip the rug out from under me.

The first issue struck such a chord that I’ve been waiting for this issue for what feels like months and not weeks. Hastings, artist Ryan Browne, and colorist Ruth Redmond have been able to capture something that I’ve often missed in American comics. Quantum and Woody delivers a quintessentially British feeling. I’m aware that none of the creators are British. They’ve been able to capture the spirit of comics like weekly anthology comic 2000A.D. For me that’s a huge plus. I was always amazed at how much was crammed into the short space in the anthology’s stories, and the same is very true here.

Hastings has packed a full story, start middle and end, that could have easily been spread across multiple issues. Probably at least four to six if it was a bi-weekly comic from a certain dedicated company. Even so, the issue doesn’t feel like the story is being stretched thin. Which isn’t to say this comic is too packed; between Hasting’s writing and the art of Browne and Redmond this comic strikes the perfect balance.

Where the first issue reintroduced us to the brothers and their relationship this issue focuses on their attempt to become legitimate superheroes by attacking an ice dancer. It’s as glorious as it sounds. But this also gives us one of the best sequences in the series so far with Woody sliding through the panels which only adds to the chaos of the brothers and the ice dancer on the page. Visually, this is a great example of why comics are such a unique medium; Browne is able to turn what is essentially a sight gag into the border of the panels while highlighting the frantic pace of the page.

It’s a simple trick, but it’s impact cannot be denied. You simply can’t do this in any other medium.

I’ll make no apologies for the love-letter to Quantum & Woody #2 that this review has become. I frankly don’t care. This comic is utterly fantastic in every way. Genuinely gutted that we’re only getting four issues of this creative team at this point, but these four issues are on pace to be some of the best comics featuring the World’s Worst superheroes I’ve ever read.

Story: Christopher Hastings Art: Ryan Browne
Colors: Ruth Redmond Letters: Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou

Story: 9.2 Art: 9.3 Overall: 9.3 Recommendation: Buy

Valiant provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Preview: Quantum and Woody #1

QUANTUM AND WOODY #2

Written by CHRISTOPHER HASTINGS
Art by RYAN BROWNE
Colors by RUTH REDMOND
Letters by HASSAN OTSMANE-ELHAOU
Cover A by DAVID NAKAYAMA
Cover B by JOE QUINONES
Cover C by REILLY BROWN
Pre-Order Edition Cover by TODD NAUCK
Cover E 1/20 “Extra Virgin” Variant by DAVID NAKAYAMA
On sale FEBRUARY 26 | 32 pages, full color | $3.99 US | T+

The world’s worst superheroes unleash brand-new superpowers!
But can Woody’s new visions of the future be trusted when it leads the duo to face their arch-rival DOCTOR TOILET?!
(No, they most certainly cannot.)

QUANTUM AND WOODY #2

Around the Tubes

X-Men/Fantastic Four #1

It’s a new week and we’ve got lots coming at you! While we get things rolling, here’s some comic news and reviews from around the web in our morning roundup.

KOB – Struggling Farmington comic book store fights to stay open – Go support your local shops!

History – The MLK Graphic Novel That Inspired Generations of Civil Rights Activists – Some comic book history.

The Mary Sue – Archie Comics Editor in Chief Victor Gorelick Has Passed Away at 78 – Our thoughts are with his friends and family.

Reviews

Talking Comics – Quantum and Woody #1
Talking Comics – X-Men/Fantastic Four #1

Around the Tubes

Just Beyond: The Scare School

The weekend is almost here! What geeky things will you all be doing? Sound off in the comments below! While you wait for the weekday to end and weekend to begin, here’s some comic news and reviews from around the web.

Newsarama – Kubert School To Offer Classes During Five Fan Expo Conventions This Year – This is a great idea.

Newsarama – Kickstarter Launches Bluestockings Comics Festival to Showcase Queer and Trans Creators – Will Kickstarter’s issues with unionization impact this?

Reviews

The Beat – Just Beyond: The Scare School
ICv2 – Magia Record: Puella Magi Madoka Magica Side Story Vol. 1
Comic Attack – Quantum and Woody #1

Almost American
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