“Quantum & Woody,” as a whole, is the sort of reboot that I’ve found myself enjoying despite my initial reservations. I don’t think I was the only one who was worried about a book that was so strongly identified with its original creators (Christopher J. Priest and M.D. Bright) that a new version would potentially come up short, at best. But with James Asmus and current artist Ming Doyle, “Quantum & Woody” #7 is another addition to a strong of strong installments, as these creators find their own brand of humor while not losing sight of what made the original so popular.
Asmus’ current storyline, with Quantum sent in to try and stop a white supremacist splinter group while Woody discovers that Quantum’s been set up to die, has just the right mixture of silliness and drama. Too much in either direction and I don’t think this title would work that well. Nothing but madcap exploits gets tiresome (something quite a few “Deadpool” writers over the years have failed to understand), but too serious and it’s just another average superhero comic.
With “Quantum & Woody” #7, Asmus keeps the two halves in perfect balance. On one page Woody’s pleading for his life; on the next in a moment that feels straight out of a lost Looney Toons short, he’s convinced the bad guys that first he needs to be baptized. And likewise, one moment Quantum’s being attacked by the separatists, the next minute he’s discovered that he’s also their idol and experiencing tears of joy. (Admittedly, they hadn’t figured out that he’s African-American under the mask.) With Quantum and Woody themselves being the serious and the silly halves of the partnership, it makes sense that their comic would also have those two different halves of tone connected together in it script.
Doyle’s art is good here, although I must admit that I think the previous two issues looked a little better. There are still some great scenes drawn here with Doyle’s slightly oily, textured looking art; the baptism scene, for example, works because of Magnum’s beatific expression. Likewise, the previously mentioned scene where Quantum starts crying is pretty much gold, with that mixture of shock, relief, and pure happiness. On the other hand, Buck comes across a little more sketchy than we saw in the past two issues, and near the end of the issue Quantum’s has a few pages (like when he makes the force field to show Buck) where his head looks a little misshapen. Still, on the whole, I’m glad that we’re getting more Doyle artwork.
“Quantum & Woody” #7 is another fun comic that juggles both its main story as well as subplots, and hasn’t forgotten about additions to the comic like 69 or Johnny. It’s a silly and enjoyable comic, and it’s working quite well as its own creation, not just in comparison to the original. I’m definitely back for more next month.