INTERVIEW: Valiant Brings Back Quantum and Woody -- To Break Them Up

Quantum and Woody are back in a new series from Valiant Entertainment -- except this time around, "The World's Worst Superhero Team" aren't on speaking terms.

The new Quantum and Woody! -- note the exclamation point -- debuts in December from writer Daniel Kibblesmith and artist Kano, the first ongoing starring the duo since the 2013-2014 series launched by James Asmus and Tom Fowler. This time around, the oft-bickering siblings are estranged, due to Woody discovering that Quantum knew the whereabouts of Woody's biological father, but decided not to tell him. Of course, thy can only be so estranged -- true to Q&W tradition, they need to clang their metal wristbands together every 24 hours or they'll both disintegrate.

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CBR talked with Kibblesmith -- who you may know as the writer of Valiant High or for being very funny on Twitter -- earlier this month at New York Comic Con discuss how the new series builds on what Christopher Priest and Mark Bright created 20 years ago, the marketing push behind the series (which includes "The Most Variant Cover of All Time"), the creative compositions by Kano and how involved the rest of the Valiant Universe will be in Quantum and Woody!. CBR also has the the first look at two new pages of interior art from issue #1 by Kano, plus a variant cover to January's Quantum and Woody! #2 by Mike Allred.

EXCLUSIVE: Quantum and Woody! #2 variant cover by Mike Allred.

CBR: Daniel, Quantum and Woody have occupied a very unique space in the Valiant Universe since they were first introduced in 1997. What do you like about these characters and the concept?

Daniel Kibblesmith: Really, it’s the limitless possibilities. I like that they had these fully formed personalities right out of the gates, whether it’s the Priest/Bright stuff, that set the mold -- which hasn’t really changed that drastically since -- and I was also a huge fan of the 2013 Asmus[-written run].

I love their personalities, and I love the high-concept — the fact that their adult sibling relationship is just literalized by these two bands that they have to clang together every 24 hours. Everybody has family members that they feel like they can’t get rid of, and this just takes it to its logical comic book conclusion. On top of that, they live in a world of mad scientists and talking goats, and it really feels like the possibilities are limitless.

How closely does this pick up after the last series?

It’s the same continuity, it’s the same characters. It’s a new #1 and a new jumping-on point. We’ll be very friendly to new readers or people who have heard good things about Quantum and Woody, and know it’s one of the funnier, less continuity-heavy titles. But it’s the same guys. There’s going to be dangling cliffhangers, and we’re going to jump ahead a little bit in the future to show a new status quo for Quantum and Woody. They’re as estranged as they’ve been since they got connected by the laboratory explosion. They’re not on speaking terms. Woody shows up once a day to clang their bracelets together to buy them another 24 hours of existence. Other than that, Eric has no idea where he goes all day. This first arc is about filling in the blanks of what happened in the meantime, and the fight that actually broke up the two brothers, who seemingly could put up with each other doing anything.

EXCLUSIVE: Quantum and Woody #1 interior art by Kano.

Tone-wise, how does that affect the series? The dynamic between the two, the bantering, is a big part of what people think of with Quantum and Woody.

If people know the character of Woody, [they know] he can only keep up the silent treatment for so long. It’s a balance. We follow them both in their new lives, and we see them bounce off of other people. All of a sudden, they’re thrust back into each other’s lives in a very confrontational way, without giving away too much. Then all of a sudden, like any fight that’s been brewing for a really long time, it all comes exploding out. And when you’re dealing with families, there are no boundaries. Siblings really know how to hurt each other -- they know exactly the right thing to say to just destroy each other’s confidence.

Based on what's been revealed about the series so far, it's somewhat surprising that the schism between the two it’s Eric’s fault -- he at least seems to be in the wrong here. What can you say about that and how he handles that, and how that propels the drama?

If you had to place money on who destroyed the Quantum and Woody relationship, you’re probably assume Woody. But it turns out that Eric has been concealing the fact that Woody’s birth father is still alive. Our first arc is a lot about exploring why he did that -- whether it was really to protect Woody from this deadbeat dad that he doesn’t owe anything to; or whether it’s a more selfish motivation, trying to keep together the only family that Eric really has in his adult life. That’s why the fight endures, because it’s the unstoppable force and the immovable object. Eric is just trying to protect Woody, and Woody never really asked him to. That’s been their dynamic this entire time. Finally they just pushed each other too far.

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