Monday, July 8, 2013

1st Impressions: QUANTUM & WOODY # 1

Written by James Asmus
Art by Tom Fowler & Jordon Bellaire
Valiant Comics

                We start with our heroes falling out of a building … and work our way backwards.  We get a few flashbacks to the boys when they were younger.  We learn about the two brothers Henderson, Eric and Woody. Woody was adopted by the Hendersons and we get a clue as to why during the issue. Yet, we find out a lot about each bother individually … like how Woody is a dandy (yes, I am using the word dandy … look up the answer) who ran around and skips out on bills. Eric, on the other hand, is a bit more straight laced, good ole soldier that seems to be working hard on doing “something else.”

                After the death of their father, the police are monitoring them as Eric and Woody have a very … unwelcomed reunion during their father’s funeral.  At the end of the book, we get some clear indications of their origin as well as finding that the mystery only deepens.


                Fowler draws a very solid first issue. Clean inks with good levels of detail on all his people. Younger Eric was very skinny and his face and body reflect that. Older Eric has muscle on him which Fowler remembers and performs as such.  Fowler’s people were very well detailed … in such a classic way with some modern sensibilities that Fowler’s style stands out.

                The action seemed to flow well. And expression really capture the feelings and emotion of the characters. The death of Derek Henderson visually held impact. Bellaire’s colors were good and I can see style choices made. My only real complaint was that some of the coloring seem muted when it shouldn’t be.  Part of me things it is a tone choice, like in the dinner but it just felt too bright for that scene.  Otherwise, we got some great colors and solid art from Fowler & Bellaire.

                Asmus writes a very gripping, intriguing and funny first issue. There was a great level of humor with touches of heart and seriousness that blend together seamlessly. This book has been a hot topic amongst the comic book community since it’s relaunch announcement. Asmus more than assuages people’s fears with this issue alone.

                The characters are varied and interesting. Our leads are so very different that their relationship works.  Woody is more carefree, womanizing while Eric is more straight laced with a very large sense of responsibility.  Their relationship as brothers seems to be as deep as it is varied. The Henderson brothers drive us along throughout the book with their personalities and their family. 

                With the death of their father being so visually realistic yet brutal, we got to see a little of what he meant to both boys. Woody’s adoption is now shrouded with a little mystery as it seems that Derek may not have wanted to adopt Woody but his wife did. Eric, for all his straight-laced, very honorable attitude, has some mystery himself as he was definitely training … to be a hero? Who knows? He’s military so that opens a lot of doors.  The origin of the two also was built up so very well.

                The overall story was paced well.  The dialogue is smart and witty but does not insult readers intelligence. I get a very 90s movie feel to it … particularly making me recall Woody Harrison & Wesley Snipes in “Money Train.” Hmm … coincidence?  A truly wonderful, witty and engaging first issue.

                This was one of the best first issues of the year. The story was engaging. The art was great. Besides the slight issue with color, it really was a strong first issue. The characters are engaging, relatable and fun. The situations and stakes raise throughout the course of the first issue. The interpersonal relationships were very well thought out, fun and full of heart. Asmus, Fowler & Bellaire have something to be proud of.


                Besides the color for a few panels, it was exquisite. I give Quantum & Woody #1 an 8 … out of 10.

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