Monday, October 13, 2014

Review - Q2: The Return of Quantum and Woody #1

"Son, you have highly overrated your attractiveness. Get in the truck."

Quantum and Woody need no introduction. What they do need, however, is a lot of help to function cohesively as a unit. That's made very clear by their very interesting past, one that's on display in Q2: The Return of Quantum and Woody #1 from Valiant Entertainment. The issue is written by Christopher Priest, illustrated by M.D. Bright, inked by Dexter Vines, colored by Allen Passalaqua and lettered by Dave Lamphear.

Whatever happened to the world’s worst superhero team? Twenty years past their prime, the unlikely crime-fighting duo known as Quantum and Woody (not a couple) have long since parted ways…until a middle-aged Quantum suddenly reappears with a brand-new teenage partner. Now Woody is out to break up the all-new, all-different Quantum and Woody and put an end to Quantum’s recklessness…just as Quantum takes on a life-or-death personal mission for national security. Can these former friends set aside their differences…and their age…and their numerous health difficulties…to join forces one last time without driving each other crazy?

Quantum and Woody as characters are like fine wine; they get better with age. In their newest incarnation, the duo is all sorts of insane and it's that insanity that Priest taps into to remind the reader that very little has changed. Q2: The Return of Quantum and Woody #1 boasts much of the same in the way of idiotic banter between the two "superheroes" and their unlikely good deeds. The script feels familiar to fans of the property, in that it follows the tried and true formula of putting them in the most ridiculous situations possible and watching them talk (or fight) their way out of them. Seeing the characters maintain their snappy approach to life in their youths was also a blast, giving readers a glimpse into what shaped them into the men they are today.

As far as art goes, Bright nails it, maintaining all the look and feel of the two characters. Young Quantum and Woody look very much like their more mature, adult counterparts and the fast-forward to their crimefighting boasts the same level of superhero effect. Bright's art gives the book a look very similar to that of Archer and Armstrong, another dysfunctional duo book from Valiant in that the characters are illustrated very deliberately. This comparison is further accentuated by Vines' inks and Passalaqua's colors, both of which imbue the book with a certain cheerfulness in a way. Tones are used to great effect to emphasize lighting in different situations as well, which helps keep the reader up to speed on everything that's going on.

Q2: The Return of Quantum and Woody #1 features more of the madcap madness you expect from a title boasting those two characters, with an extra level of crazy added in for good measure. Compared to the current run of the property though, the action feels a little tame in the sense that it actually makes some sense. Priest's script flows very well, presenting both characters acting and speaking with little hesitation and emphasizing their quick wit. Bright's illustrations effectively capture the essence of the property, presenting realized characters in a wide variety of settings and situations. Q2: The Return of Quantum and Woody #1 is definitely something fans of the two will want to check out and might be a good point for new readers to get in on some solid Quantum and Woody action.

Q2: The Return of Quantum and Woody #1 is in stores October 15.


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