Review - The Delinquents #1

"You damn, dirty hobos!"

Fans of Valiant Entertainment already know about two of their more dysfunctional relationships in Quantum and Woody and Archer and Armstrong. Sure, other characters like X-O Manowar, Bloodshot and Rai are fighting the good fight and trying to save the world, the aforementioned duo of duos are typically fighting amongst themselves and for themselves. So what would happen if all four characters came together in one epic book? The Delinquents #1 wants to answer that question. The issue is written by James Asmus and Fred Van Lente and illustrated by Kano.

Quantum and Woody are the world’s worst superhero team. Archer & Armstrong are a mismatched pair of conspiracy-busting adventurers. When a mysterious force unites these ill-suited and irresponsible “heroes” for a cross-country race through the darkest corners of American mythology, all hell is bound to break loose. Can two busted pairs become four of a kind in time to defeat the Hobo King, save the day and make it back home in time for happy hour? And don't forget about the goat.

As their own books, both Archer and Armstrong and Quantum and Woody have their own comedic sensibilities about them that really make them stand out among just about every book out there. Part of that humor comes from the dynamics of the two lead characters and each; a dynamic that both Asmus and Van Lente keep fully intact in The Delinquents #1. The story that unifies the two duos is also very believable in both of their worlds, as it's just outlandish enough that it could actually work. Both pairs are on something of a crash course and they don't realize it, which is part of the charm behind the impending ridiculousness they're all hurtling towards. And be satisfied in knowing that all the funniness and comedy from the individual series is on full display, with the respective comedians of the teams loving life, while the more serious are focused on keeping their eyes on the prize.

Both books have unique art styles that do share some similarities and Kano does a fantastic job of bridging those similarities into a complete work. All four main characters are easily recognizable and carry all their trademark distinctions, even if they do look slightly different than readers are familiar with. Kano's style is somewhat distant, in that panels look as if they're viewed from a distance. The characters stand amidst the background settings in a way that offers a sharp contrast between the two; many of the panels really just feature the characters acting against a solid colored background for whatever reason. It's an interesting style that gives the characters more attention at the expense of filling out the world around them.

The Delinquents #1 epitomizes what Valiant Entertainment is all about: books that feature somewhat dramatic storylines masked behind immeasurable amounts of comedy. All four main characters are in full form in the book, which promises an extremely fascinating dynamic when they all cross paths with one another. Asmus and Van Lente do an extraordinary job weaving together a story that features all of them in settings that are very convincing. Kano's art includes all the details of the characters that readers have come to know, love and appreciate, keeping up with the scenarios laid out by the writers. The Delinquents #1 is a lot of fun and maintains the spirit of the characters involved and if the first issue is any indication, their misadventures will be pretty freaking fantastic.

The Delinquents #1 is in stores August 20 with interiors below.