Writer: Christopher Hastings, Artist: Ryan Browne, Colorist: Ruth Redmond, Letterer: Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou, Cover: David Nakayama.
Quantum & Woody is one of those deceptive titles that is actually a lot smarter and funnier than you think it’s going to be. Q&W has been around since 1997 and has been revived several times in print, so it must have something entertaining to offer, right?
First, some background: Quantum and Woody was created to be a humorous buddy book, and featured two adoptive brothers Woodrow (Woody) and Eric (Quantum), the sons of a scientist whose lab experiment they get caught up in, giving them both quantum energy powers that are still developing. The experiment involved backing up the human mind into another container, and in this case the father’s mind ended up in a goat, named Vincent Van Goat by Woody. The government’s scientific exams resulted in the goat achieving as yet uninventoried superpowers. The lads now have the goat in their possession, unaware that their father’s mind is alive and “well.” They fancy themselves superheroes and have a mutual love/hate relationship with the U.S. government.
In the latest incarnation from Valiant, the duo have graduated to a much cooler ampersand between their names, but their adventures are just as ludicrous, meta, and goofy as ever. They are apparently quite popular for their exploits in pop culture and social media, and are always looking for ways to increase their views and public reputation.
This issue reunites the duo with one of their classic villains, Dr. Toilet (“It’s pronounced TWAH-LEY!”), a disgusting, literal brain parasite in horn rims that can control the body of his victim. Prepare yourself for battles in the middle of ice capades and the zoo, with lots of pop culture references and satirical superhero humor.
Artist Ryan Browne’s style is rugged, jagged, and organic-looking, and colorist Ruth Redmond proves how a colorist is just as valuable as the artist in the look of a comic these days. Her skill and subdued palette elevates the look of the book and adds visual sophistication, as much as is possible on a humor title like this!
I love how the writer/letterer make actions or emotions into sound effects, like embarrassment (“CRINGE”), and frustration (“CRAP”), and ripping the floral afro off of a woman's head ("DEFLOWER").
Intelligently written with a wickedly enviable sense of humor, Quantum & Woody is getting lots of attention, including an announcement of a TV series being developed by the Russo Bros. (of Avengers movie fame).
Quantum & Woody #2 from Valiant Comics is available February 26, 2020.
Look for the beautifully detailed cover by David Nakayama; Q&W never looked this good.