Quantum and Woody (2020) #1
Writer: Christopher Hastings
Artist: Ryan Browne
Colorist: Ruth Redmond
Letterer: Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou
Cover Artist: David Nakayama
What you need to know:
Quantum and Woody were created back in the late 90s, their creators Christopher Priest and M. D. Bright were told to create a superhero duo similar to Marvel’s own Luke Cage and Iron Fist, only this time the white character was going to be the main source of comic relief. The duo is Eric Henderson and Woodrow Van Chelton, adoptive brothers caught in an accident that gave them both energy powers…. but they have to klang their wristbands together every 24 hours otherwise they dissolve into energy and die. So they have to be together all the time even when they don’t want to be. So the two became superheroes, Eric became Quantum and takes his job seriously, while Woody is just… Woody. And together they are…. the worst superheroes ever.
Following a news report proclaiming Quantum and Woody known fugitives and incompetent heroes, Woody seemingly gains a new power, and sees a vision of the future and recites a prophecy about how he and his brother(and their pet goat) will screw up everything. And during an attack from a group of supervillains at the Capitol Building, well…. you can guess how that goes with this in mind.
Chris Hastings knows how to make a good comedy comic. He’s good at making me laugh, even with characters I never heard of before reading. There were quite a few scenes where I genuinely laughed at what was happening, I’d go into detail in one in particular but it’d be a bit of a spoiler, so all I’ll say is this comic was able to make slow motion work with comic panels and speech balloons. Quantum and Woody’s dynamic is good, Quantum is uptight and takes things seriously, Woody is the relaxed one who jokes around. Because of that, it’s hard for Quantum to tell when Woody’s being serious about stuff or not. It works well and makes for some good comedy and conflict. The villains in this issue are also pretty cool, they’re like a “perfect family” but they’re all crazy killers who wear masks and live in a flying house, my kind of comic book goofiness.
The art by Ryan Browne is also pretty solid. The action has a good amount of energy to it, it’s easy to tell what’s happening, and powers are used creatively. He makes pretty expressive characters, even guys like Quantum who wear full face masks still have plenty of expression to him. Though some things feel a bit off, mainly dead people have X’s for eyes and their tongues stick out like a cartoon. I dunno that part just felt out of place compared to the rest of the art. Other than that it’s well done and fits the tone of the book. This was a fun time, I don’t usually read comedy focused comics very often, so this was a nice surprise. I recommend it, and because of this issue, I’ll probably check out some of the past runs as well now.