What’s up everyone! Welcome to Beyond The Panel. Coming at you today with talk about the debut of Quantum & Woody #1! Sometimes you need a break from the usual heroes stories. The ones where the world is at stake, your hero’s suffering from an existential crisis, or they are facing some danger that hits close to home. Sometimes you need some shenanigans in your pull-list. Well, Quantum & Woody is that kind of book to fill that need.
Now as with every new #1 from Valiant Comics, it is always important to address how accessible this book would be to readers both old and new. If there is one thing Valiant does better than most publishers, it is the effort they put into making sure that every new book, mini, and ongoing is something you can easily jump right into without have to read everything else which came before. So in the case of Quantum & Woody #1? I would say they did a solid job of opening us to this new chapter in the lives of Quantum and Woody. Just enough space was spent towards summing up the gist of what you need to know about these brothers. The only question you might be left with if you are a new reader or someone getting back into these books like me, is how they ended up becoming fugitives. It’s not as if these two were ever held in high regard by anyone who respects superheroes, but this story started off with them at their lowest in reputation.
With that said, things kicked off just right with these two struck by a sudden vague prophecy. It was nothing you could really make sense of right now, but it was something which sent these two off on their next adventure. In this moment the story was also welcoming for the fact that we were all on the same page about the dynamic that these two share. You see how Woody is the rash and irresponsible one. On the other hand you see how Quantum is the brother who actually has a sense of direction and is responsible. Even if this makes him come off stiff at the same time.
The best takeaway from this first issue was seeing that this was still going to be that fun book. It helped that not everything was even so random this time around. They actually had a goal, a plan, and the humor was definitely in the fact that this was not one of those situations where Woody was more trouble than he was worth. at a certain point you get so used to what each of them will do in certain situations that it becomes absolutely refreshing and entertaining when one of them steps outside of that cycle of predictability. Especially when that person ends up being Woody.
As a first exposure to this “evil Brady Bunch”, I didn’t hate the twist they put on doing the criminal family thing. Nothing we haven’t seen before, but usually a family like that would not be as bold as what the Kammerjager Family did in this first issue. Now when I said Quantum & Woody was a pretty fun book, even then it didn’t fully click that this was still that kind of book where real **** happens. Nothing about this was something you would have prepared for when this evil family sprang into action. I quite enjoyed being caught off guard by their actions since the message was also sent that this is one of those books where we should expect the unexpected. That is even if the unexpected is mass slaughter.
When it comes to a book like Quantum & Woody, I like to think that the artwork matters more than readers think. It’s one thing to get a laugh out of the dialogue, but that only matters as much as the way this is visually presented to you. The characters have to sell you on the humor, and I would say that this art team nailed that. Off the bat, I enjoyed the fact that Ryan Browne is the kind of artist who does not skip a beat with his pencils. Fairly clean pencils, detailed in his approach to characters and settings, not to mention gives you full renderings of scenes which always goes a long way towards engaging you in the story. As for the colors, Ruth Redmond did a great job with a pallet that went from grounded colors to colors which popped. For all the objects Browne took the time to draw, you admired the same patience Redmond put into naturally coloring it all without resorting to overlays. One thing I found interesting was the way that the letterer decided that to put emphasis on a character raising their voice, their text would change red. Not many will do something like this, so it goes without saying that the effort to create that distinction in tone is smart.
The world’s worst superheroes are back at it again! Quantum & Woody #1 was an exciting return to the world of screw-ups and failures. Because even when a team like this saves the day? You can hardly call it that when they miss accomplishing just about everything superheroes are supposed to take into account when fighting the good fight.