There are a lot of ways to end a comic book series, but when the book is built around superheroic action, that's usually the way it goes out. Big explosions, superhero punch-outs, and at least one dramatic death tend to be the elements in the big final issue formula. But when Unity comes to an end in December with #25, following the world-shattering events of Valiant's big Book of Death crossover, that's not how it's going out.
Instead, they're doing an oversized All-Comedy special, featuring Valiant mainstays like Matt Kindt and James Asmus, and bringing in The Daily Show's Elliott Kalan, The Late Show With Stephen Colbert's Daniel Kibblesmith, and the comics writing debut of Steven Universe's Tom Scharpling --- and that's just the tip of Unity's final issue iceberg.
If you live near a Hastings store and want to learn a little bit about making comics from the creators behind some of the best books going, then I have some pretty excellent news. Starting on Saturday, September 19, Hastings is teaming up with Valiant Entertainment to offer a four-week series of in-store workshops called the Craft of Comics, where customers can drop in for a series of live lectures featuring an audience Q&A.
Comics carry a sense of physical prestige. When you pick one up from the shelf, it usually isn’t just lying there, blowing in the wind – it’s often wrapped up in a too-tight plastic bag, boarded with a thin piece of cardboard to ensure you don’t crease a single hair on Superman’s immaculate head. The experience is designed to make you consider each comic as a precious item, something best kept mint so you can sell it and get your grandkids through college in a few decades from now.
The thing is, sometimes we need to be reminded that comics are not immaculate, and actually there’s no reason not to mess them up a little in the course of reading. Some of the most enjoyable moments in comics over the last few years have been those moment where the storytellers step back, wave an arm towards the story they’re telling, and say, “Hey, let’s take a pair of scissors to this, eh?”
Quantum and Woody got problems, y'all. I mean, that's basically their entire deal. They're two brothers who hate each other but are forced to team up as superheroes under the threat of a quick and explosive death if they don't bash their magic science bracelets together every day. And the thing is, that's not their main problem. That's just where it starts.
Next week, things are going to get pretty rough for them once again as writer James Asmus and artist Steve Lieber send them into a new adventure with the ominous title Quantum and Woody Must Die! And if you thought things were bad already, wait until you see this poor sap who gets splashed with a truckload of radioactive chemicals.
Listen, folks: I was already on board for what James Asmus, Fred Van Lente and Kano were doing in the pages of The Delinquents from the moment that I found out it was a superhero team-up about going on a quest for hobo treasure. That is literally the only thing I needed to know before I decided to read it. But then the writers went one better by giving the third issue what may actually be the single best opening line of all time.
Seriously, if you have read a comic that starts out with a better piece of dialogue than "Well first off, what makes you so sure your sugar daddy was behind that ass menagerie?" I would like to read it, and I am not even close to kidding.
Ever since they were relaunched by Valiant Entertainment, Archer and Armstrong and Quantum and Woody have been two of my favorite books on the market, and it's no stretch to say that it's because they take a very similar approach to a classic superhero trope. They're both the stories of mismatched pairs, buddy comedies that throw in strange conspiracies, bizarre mysteries and wanton destruction into a blender and end up with a smoothie made of highly enjoyable comics. So naturally, it was only a matter of time before they joined forces to form a mismatched pair of mismatched pairs, which is exactly what happens in this week's first issue of The Delinquents.
And as you might expect, it gets pretty weird. Like, "mysterious treasure map made from the skin of a hobo's ass" weird.
Two classic Valiant Comics characters, Rai and Doctor Mirage, are set to make a splash in the new Valiant universe later this year, with the publisher introducing a slew of new titles in its Valiant First initiative all the while. There's a new team-up, a major crossover event, and a few spinoffs in the mix.
Valiant is planning to release seven new #1 issues between May and September. Creators include Matt Kindt, Clayton Crain, Robert Venditti, Doug Braithwaite, Jen Van Meter, Kano, Fred Van Lente, James Asmus, Trevor Hairsine, Joe Harris and more. Check out the full list of new titles and some exclusive art after the jump!
You knew it was coming. When Valiant first announced it was launching a new Quantum & Woody series, it was only a matter of time before their sidekick, the teleporting Vincent Van Goat, made his triumphant return. Readers didn't have to wait long, as the goat will reappear in October's Quantum And Woody #4, written by James Asmus and illustrated by Tom Fowler, and featuring a variant cover by Chew artist Rob Guillory. You can check out the cover, as well as some early art from Fowler, below.
On sale this summer from Valiant Entertainment is Quantum and Woody #1, the first issue of the revival of the beloved series. Created by Christopher Priest and Mark Bright, the comic reunited childhood friends Eric and Woody who, while investigating the murders of their fathers, are caught in a high tech accident. Their bodies now made of pure energy, the two must slam together the metal gauntlets they each wear every 24 hours in order to keep their atoms from breaking apart. The series served as a spoof of the black guy/white guy buddy cop genre of the 80s and 90s and a send-up of super hero comics in general, and remains a favorite for many.
As of this morning speculation has turned into reality, as the publisher has revealed that a new Quantum and Woody series, written by James Asmus with art by Tom Fowler and Jordie Bellaire, will debut this summer with a cover by Ryan Sook and a variant cover by Marcos Martín. And, to the relief of many, Valiant has already promised there will be a goat.
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