Thursday, October 16, 2014

Q2: The Return of Quantum and Woody #1 (New Valiant)

Finally, my most anticipated comic series of the year is out-Q2: The Return of Quantum and Woody!

Quantum and Woody was an extremely popular comedy superhero series from Acclaim Comics back in the '90's, and it's gotten more fans with age. It's so good that as of this date, it's the only original comic from Acclaim's Valiant lineup that New Valiant has remade! And naturally, the current version is a joy to read too! The reason behind this new miniseries existing is that the original Q&W series was cancelled in 2000, and its story was never finished. Now, Valiant has awesomely let original series creators Christopher Priest and MD Bright to make a sequel miniseries! That is so cool of them to allow that!

It's been twenty years since the superhero duo Quantum and Woody were at large, and they seem to have since retired. One night, however, Woody van Chelton finds out that Quantum is back in the game, fighting a powerful superhuman soldier at a museum. Quantum loses the fight, and Woody helps him out, soon realizing that this isn't Eric Henderson, but a new hero taking up the mantle...

This issue is really just an introduction to this miniseries. We don't get a huge insight into the personalities of the title characters, nor do we know who the two new ones are, or who apparent villain Koro is. We don't even know what the story is yet.

With all these problems into account, if this was the first issue in a regular series, its structure's execution would be terrible, but as Q2 is a miniseries, I'm willing to give it the benefit of the doubt, as this is just the first section of a bigger story, rather than a regular first issue (not that such a thing exists in today's comic industry though).

As this issue is mostly an introduction, there's not a whole lot of humour on display. Hopefully there's more as the series continues.

One thing I can judge about Q2's writing at this stage is that it's good. It's too soon to tell if the non-linear structure will complement the rest of the story at this stage, but it seems interesting so far. This issue is mildly accommodating to readers who are new to all things Quantum and Woody, but only come the end. If you don't know what this franchise is about, you'll be pretty lost until Woody starts explaining the duo's origin to the other 'Woody'.

The art here is very good, although Woody's face does look a bit odd in a couple of places. As for the cover, it looks neat and stylish, though Woody's face is blocky and weird, especially thanks to the shadows covering him.

On its own, I'm not sure what to think of this. As this is Quantum and Woody, I can't not recommend Q2's first issue, but I suggest getting it when the whole series is out, so you can read the whole story at once, and get the proper effect. If you've already read it and have immediately lost optimism, finding it a confusing mess and hoping for the return of the current Quantum and Woody series ASAP, well you don't need to worry, as it's just on hiatus because of the duo co-starring in Valiant crossover The Delinquents, and following that, it'll be coming out concurrently with Q2, so you won't be missing out on the iteration you prefer...

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