In "Our Lives Together," I spotlight some of the more interesting examples of shared comic book universes. You know, crossovers that aren't exactly crossovers.
Last time out, I talked about a time that Mister Mxyzptlk basically bridged the gap between the Marvel Universe and the DC Universe. That probably took the concept of "shared continuity" a bit further than the term was initially intended, but it was a fun story, so it was well worth covering anyways!
Anyhow, that story then reminded me of a similar tale involving Christopher Priest's time on Quantum and Woody and Black Panther where the writer attempted an extremely clever sort of shared universe crossover between the two titles. Due to a delay, it did not work PERFECTLY, but hey, it came pretty damn close. And it was still cool anyways and, let's be frank, does anyone really remember that Watchmen had major delays between #1 and #2 and #10 and #11? No. So in other words, as far as you are concerned, this might as well have come out just as it was intended as that is how you will be reading it now!
In the mid-1990s, Christopher Priest had one of the biggest critical successes of his career with Quantum and Woody, a series he created with artist M.D. Bright. The series was about two young friends, Eric and Woody, whose parents worked together. The boys drifted apart over the years (over a miscommunication when they were younger), but they had to meet up again when their fathers died working on an experiment. The men found the invention that their fathers were working on - it was a pair of bracelets. They squabbled a bit over who now owned the bracelets before they each ended up with one and then in their struggle over them, they made contact and whammo! A huge explosion and they discovered that they were now bonded by the bracelets and if they were to separate from each for longer than a day, they would die. The bracelets also gave them a modicum of energy powers. Eric decided that they should use these abilities to become superheroes. He took the name Quantum and Woody, well, Woody stayed just Woody.
Their misadventures as superheroes was a delightful blend of comedy and real strong character work. In any event, sadly, Acclaim fell under hard times and the book was canceled. Priest then moved over to Marvel and began writing Black Panther.
Luckily, Quantum and Woody was then revived! They began with a hilarious bit where Priest told the story for the issue that they should have been up to had they not been canceled and then went back to fill in the rest of the issues.
In an attempt to hopefully maybe boost sales (but mostly because it was funny), Quantum and Woody #20 (art by M.D. Bright, Greg Adams and Romeo Tanghal) showed the two heroes reading a comic book based on their lives that is clearly that month's issues of Black Panther!
The only problem was that due to a delay, that WASN'T that month's issue of Black Panther!
Still, when the correct issue of Black Panther came out, it was a really cool bit!