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Q2: The Return of Quantum and Woody #1 Review

by  in Comic News Comment
Q2: The Return of Quantum and Woody #1 Review

One thing that I think is fairly important to look at with the return of Christopher Priest and M.D. Bright to their original creations, Quantum and Woody, is that this is the second time that they have returned to these characters after a long absence. Of course, the big difference is that in this case, the absence was fourteen years. But before there was a gap of over a year between seeming end of the first series and the short-lived revival of the series. So Priest has had some experience with living up to heightened expectations from the absence. The first time around, he totally pulled it off, with some inspired comic book issues (including an ill-fated Black Panther metafictional crossover that was almost awesome). But fourteen years is a whole other story, right? Or is it? Let’s find out by taking a look see at Q2: The Return of Quantum and Woody #1 by Christopher Priest, M.D. Bright, Dexter Vines and Allen Passalaqua…

First off, I don’t know precisely who colored the original volume of Quantum and Woody, as it was two studios, but I am pretty darn sure Allen Passalaqua did not work for either of them at the time, so if that is true, then he does a great job evoking the same feel as those old Quantum and Woody stories. If he DID work for either studio back in the day, well, then that would explain that (I’m pretty sure he didn’t, though).

Early on into the story, Priest taps into a really good area to explore with this series. You would naturally think that a series that is picking up the story fourteen years later would concern itself with those missing fourteen years (on top of the present, of course) but Priest goes all the way back to how the ORIGINAL Quantum and Woody began, an area where there is obviously a lot more room to work with, namely a flashback to Eric (the first Quantum) and Woody (the first, well, Woody)’s youth, which clearly informs so much of their personality and interactions with others (which is why he did it in the first place way back when). In fact, doing the math, the very first issue of Quantum and Woody opened with five pages of flashbacks before we got to the present. This issue opens with SEVEN pages of flashbacks before we get to the present. And in both cases, they jump cut to a person staring straight ahead. In the original, it is Eric at his father’s funeral. Today, it is the mysterious villain (since this is Quantum and Woody, there should likely be a question mark there – “villain?”) who the NEW Quantum and Woody find themselves tracking down, which does not go so well for the new Quantum…

This then leads to the main moving plot point of the first issue, which is Woody tracking down Eric and finding instead the brand-new Quantum and Woody. Hilarity ensues…

The actual reconciliation of Eric and Woody doesn’t come until the end of the issue, but Priest has certainly wet our proverbial whistle for the rest of this series – an intriguing flashback (that is yet another one of those flashbacks where it’s like, “Damn, Woody, how messed up WAS your childhood?”), an intriguing villain (?) and an intriguing new Quantum and Woody (plus an intriguing new respective status quos for Woody and Eric).

M.D. Bright just keeps on keeping on – that dude should always draw comic books. He is just as strong today as he was when he first broke into comics. Sharp lines, good expressions, traditional but effective storytelling. You’re never going to pick up an M.D. Bright comic book and see the art negatively affect the story. Dexter Vines is a great new partner for him on art duties.

This isn’t quite as strong as the first time Priest and Bright had to pick up the characters, but come on, it’s fourteen years later, the level of difficulty is much higher – so with that in mind, this is likely an even MORE impressive return. While any old school Quantum and Woody fans would naturally automatically be picking this up anyways, there is enough here for new fans, as well. Just a good comic book period.

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