Thursday, August 7, 2014

Quantum and Woody #1, #2, #3, and #4 (New Valiant)

Valiant Comic's series' are generally straightlaced and serious (complete with way, WAAAY more gore than necessary just to show how 'mature' and 'adult' they are), but it has comedies too. Firstly, there's Archer and Armstrong, and then there the remake to Quantum and Woody. This is actually very noteworthy, as it's a remake of an Acclaim Valiant comic! New V has plenty of either aspects, or just names from Acclaim's V iterations (If the dreadful Shadowman: End Times miniseries is any indication, we might get a new Shadowman in Michael LeRoi in the future), but it's never actually remade one of their original series' before! But then again, it shouldn't too surprising, as the Valiant fans who hate Acclaim so much are just trolls who have no idea what they're talking about (I mean that literally-I'm not just speaking from opinion here).

Eric and Woody Henderson are brothers (Woody being adopted) who haven't seen each-other for years, as Woody ran away for reasons unknown to the rest of his family. Years later, the two 'reunite' at their father's funeral, and after a somewhat hostile questioning by police detective Cejudo, the brothers realize that their father was murdered, and they're prime suspects. Reluctantly teaming up, they check out their dad's top secret workplace, which they believe to be the reason someone killed him. However, in a fight, Eric accidentally sets off a machine of their father's, which goes critical, devastating the laboratory and imbuing the two siblings with strange superpowers. Meanwhile, a mysterious group known as the E.R.A., responsible for Derek Henderson's death, set their sights on the two new heroes...

Due to Valiant's style of storytelling, it takes four issues just to tell this first story, but that's not too bad here, as said story is packed with hilarious humour, character, and a fun, full plot. Just like the original Acclaim series, Q&W not only has gut-bustingly funny moments, but, despite its immature nature, genuinely emotional scenes, which definitely strengthens the relationship between the two main characters.

As for the other characters, the villain is entertaining, as is her crazy cadre of mutations, like the two Johnnies, Beta-Max, etc. And Detective Cejudo is fun, although doesn't do a whole lot.

The villains, Edison's Radical Acquisitions, are pretty funny, and the explanation of how they came to be is hilarious if you know the truth about the dick Thomas Edison. Yep, Thomas Edison was a fucking asshole who, among many, many other thing, electrocuted poor Topsy the Elephant to death in order to prove a psychotic, profiteering point (that is that the AC electricity Nikola Tesla was offering for free was 'dangerous', and that Edison's much suckier DC electricity could be sold for trillions of dollars)! That adds a whole new level of hilarity to the proceedings!

The only real problem I have with Q&W's first arc is that there's only one issue where the villains and their plan is truly in full-front, and once said issue is over, they're defeated! On that same note, the main villain of the arc is dispatched a little too easily. It'd be one thing if she was merely defeated easily, but she's killed really easily! Although while Valiant in any incarnation has never been one for ever going back on deaths, it might in this case, as the ERA could conceivably have some way of bringing this villain back in the near-future...But having read ahead, they haven't...

A slight problem to Issue #4 is that it feels like there's a page missing at the end, in-between the brothers escaping the ERA island, and being on the boat with their new company. There isn't really a scene establishing the two parties  and the brothers realizing they're now on their side.

Also, the bands and powers are poorly explained. In the classic series, they're part of the project that Eric and Woody deliberately put on, but here they literally come out of nowhere! As for the powers, we haven't yet really gotten an explanation on what they are. And due to the series' non-linearity, we never see a scene with the two brothers realizing their newfound powers in a controlled situation (that is, not when they first discover them, while in a hectic battle).

And that's it. No more complaints out of me. This series is too good for 'em!

The artwork is definitely good! It's not photo-realistic, but is instead more comic book-y, if that makes any sense. Some characters, mainly Eric, can look a little craggy, but that's no problem. It's an art style, and it works, so no complaints here.

Unfortunately, this series is set in the same universe as all the other Valiant lines. This wouldn't be a problem on face value, but look at what's going on in Valiant right now-Armour Hunters! You have this goofy hysterical comedy set in the same universe as the worldwide destruction being caused in that event comic! DOES. NOT. MESH!

To compare this with the Acclaim iteration, the two series' are different, but similar. There's no fourth wall breakage at all in the new version (except for a minor one in #12), but it shares both the non-linearity, flashbacks to Eric and Woody as kids, as well as the mix of both comedy and drama between the two. One touch I like is that in the original series, the two are fighting when the accident is enveloping, whereas its the opposite in the new series, where they're simply saying their goodbyes. There's also a funny callback in the switching bodies joke Woody makes to himself.

To finish, Quantum and Woody is a hysterically funny comic series, and it has my absolute recommendation-It's so good that I was willing to buy multiple issues of it at once, when they cost $3.99(/$2.99 after price-drop) each, and I never do that! That's the mark of a great series, for sure!

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