Valiant-Sized Quantum & Woody #1

Valiant continues to give readers exactly what they want: more Quantum and Woody. In this instance, "Valiant-Sized Quantum and Woody" #1 features three interconnected tales that bring readers face-to-face with infinite Woody possibilities. Writers Tim Siedell and James Asmus pack in the usual slapstick, dark humor and adolescent innuendo readers have come to expect from Quantum and Woody, but in this case, with artist Pere Perez handling most of the art, they include some extra visual guffaws as well.

Recruited by men in black and dragged to a top-secret military base in New Mexico, the brothers find themselves forced into a team-up with Thomas Edison and the forces of Edison's Radical Acquisitions (or E.R.A.). Actually, E.R.A. is fairly scarce in this issue, but Siedell and Perez make up for that with a dramatic heroic entrance that Woody undercuts as most grizzled and jaded comic book readers would. That doesn't make the delivery any less funny as Red Very Good Fox Champion Nice joins Quantum, Woody and Edison. Siedell serves up another chuckle in explaining that name as Woody quickly makes it known that he is, and always will be, an insufferable pig.

And just when you think you've seen everything, there's something even more bizarre and ridiculously laughable on the next page turn as Siedell reveals why Quantum hates Christmas and just what terrors lurk in another reality where Woody is the brains of the outfit. Perez is the perfect visual foil for Siedell's tale, delivering a wide range of expressions and gestures on the level with Kevin Maguire's work. The artist's storytelling is magnificent, helping the tale glide across the pages as colorist Allen Passalaqua makes everything bold and bright.

Dave Lanphear's letters break up the landscape for dramatic pauses and scene shifts nicely, threatening to intrude on Perez's art, but stopping short of violating the story flow. The letterer provides a smart range of tones and tenors, sound effects and exclamations, rounding out the twenty-six-page lead-in tale of "Upsidedownside" quite nicely.

At that point, the story is complete, but Siedell steps over to the side, letting James Asmus step in for a five-page, verse-laden tale titled, "Miracle on 34th Earth." Perez sticks around for this chapter, with Wil Quintana taking on the coloring chores. Quintana uses a heavy batch of shading in his colors, expressing depth on Perez's drawings. This story is a sly transition that carries on the temperature, if not the direct continuation of the previous story. This segment investigates Woody's observations as he traveled from the parallel dimension back to "his" world.

Eight pages close "Valiant-Sized Quantum and Woody" #1 out in "A Woody Rises." In addition to the fully-loaded innuendo, this Siedell-written chapter packs in the debut of Turkeyman. Brian Level relieves Perez of art chores, and Jose Villarrubia joins him, adding "retro" bold coloring, fewer gradients as the tones do the work in Level's harsher-lined art. Even though this chapter is the darkest segment of "Valiant-Sized Quantum and Woody" #1, there's still more humor in eight pages than most full-length comics ever hope to provide.

Self-contained, approachable and funny, "Valiant-Sized Quantum and Woody" #1 is such a fun comic book in the mirthful Valiant manner. This encapsulated offering sets up adventures to come for Quantum and Woody, giving readers plenty to get excited about while entertaining them the whole way through. If only every comic were as entertaining and visually compelling.

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