“The Delinquents” #4 concludes the team-up adventure of Archer, Armstrong, Quantum and Woody in a story by James Asmus and Fred Van Lente. Asmus is credited as the writer, but the story itself is organic, silly and organically silly, as the quartet (with Goat) conclude their quest to find the Big Rock Candy Mountain and wind up embroiled in a fatal confrontation with Mister E. Meat.
Atop the Big Rock Candy Mountain, the protagonists find the Hobo’s Paradise, centered on a mysterious cornucopia that produces anything and everything relevant to the story Asmus and Van Lente tell in “The Delinquents” #4. The “Horn of Plenty” (or, as Woody calls it, the “Horny Plenty”) produces yachts, bikes, flamethrowers and more, hitting the story at just the right moments, juicing up the comedy and ludicrous action in this comic book.
Despite the life-or-death consequences of this comic, Asmus injects plenty of humor, focusing on the absurdity of the situation. Woody realizes that he failed at teaching Obadiah Archer to swear, and Armstrong illustrates his priorities and his ability to carry a swear with the line, “I swear to scotch.” In addition to the silliness of pitting Mister E. Meat against Woody, “The Delinquents” #4 includes a do-it-yourself climatic battle scene, an attack by Meatstorm and the threat of a science-goat-feeding-frenzy.
Gerald Stano’s recollection of his backstory is showcased on a twenty-four panel page in which nine panels are formatted to resemble silent movie-type text frames, giving letterer Dave Sharpe just as much room to showcase his talent as series artist Kano. For his art, Kano jams so much into “The Delinquents” #4, packing details on top of details. In addition to twenty-four-panel pages, Kano presents story elements in silhouettes and drives the story through character expressions. Kano keeps the art reality-based, but animates the characters and story, with traditional comic book visual effects and bombastic colors that project vibrancy off the page.
Wrapping up the story of Mondostano’s quest for world conquest through the treasures of the hobo ass map, “The Delinquents” #4 gives readers a ridiculously fun comic unlike anything else on the stands nowadays. Van Lente and Asmus leave the door open for future adventures, sending the pairs of Archer and Armstrong and Quantum and Woody back in down their original paths, but they do so with fun and humor driving the whole scene. There’s plenty to like about this story, and despite being the fourth installment of a four-part series, “The Delinquents” #4 is remarkably all-inclusive, welcoming to new readers as well seasoned readers of either coupling. Just shy of a dinosaur and a gorilla, this comic book has a little bit of everything comic book fans read comics for, from rampaging, hulking foes to clever conclusions and goes far beyond any readers’ expectations, with opportunity for outrageous reader interactivity and chuckle-worthy innuendo.