Really I toyed with the idea of merely posting: "Christopher J. Priest and M.D. Bright are together again: what more needs to be written?" But the return of these two creators to comics in particular deserves more discussion than just one sentence. This week marked the release of the first installment in the five-issue miniseries, Q2: The Return of Quantum & Woody #1.
There are few writers like Priest in comics. There are many that aspire to write like him, but it is not easy. You can see his influence on many present day writers. But I lament that we have not had a chance to see his presence in comics for a long time.
Somehow I missed his 2011 essay explaining why he no longer was active in comics. If you've never read Priest outside his comics, you have been denied a level of candor that few creators reveal. This is a man who finds solace in his religious faith as well as "feeding the hungry, comforting the lowly ..."--a gig he admits "Doesn’t pay nearly as well, but the gig comes with amazing fringe benefits". He does not need the comics industry. But I think comics needs Priest.
When Valiant first revived the Quantum and Woody brand, Robot 6's Corey Blake was in the chorus of people concerned if Priest, Bright and other past Acclaim creators were being treated fairly. Once it became clear that Valiant strove to do right by the creators (and got Priest and Bright to return to Quantum and Woody), Blake was at the front line celebrating this return, rightfully so.
I do not mean to marginalize the absolute importance of Bright's return. While he has been clearly content storyboarding for television, instead of comics, for the past several years--he is essential to this project. Bright and Priest immensely respect each other as storytellers. I distinctly remember reading some of Priest's work at Marvel (Captain America & Falcon, in particular) and thinking the artist at the launch of the series was never on the same page in any way with Priest. The product suffered as a result.
I am not looking to review this first issue, a great deal is hinted at (as always with a Priest script). I am celebrating the return of two creators who delight in working together. Often you hear about two creators loving to work together, but more often than not, that strong bond does not reflect in the quality of the story. When Bright and Priest get together, however, that creative chemistry enriches the narrative from the start. I hope the two creators enjoy this return to comics so much, they seek a way to do further stories. It does not need to be Quantum & Woody--though I am happy with the miniseries. I just hope it's the beginning of even more from these two.
[Editor’s note: Each Sunday, Robot 6 contributors discuss the best in comics from the last seven days — from news and announcements to a great comic that came out to something cool creators or fans have done.]