Valiant Comics‘ shared superhero universe is smaller and less familiar than those of its major rivals, but even a small shared universe can offer a lot to learn about. To help those readers looking to take the plunge into the Valiant Universe, we’ve assembled our own team of delinquents to break things down. Steve Morris knows Valiant inside out; J.A. Micheline is new to the universe. Micheline has the questions, and Morris has the answers.
In April, JAM and Steve covered Divinity and Unity, which sort of bummed JAM out as an exercise. So in order to see if we can get a bit of verve and fun back into Valiant, this month we’re going for one of the most entertaining books the publisher has put out since the relaunch --- Quantum & Woody, the adventures of two extremely dysfunctional brothers who are sort-of trying to be superheroes.
When it comes to shared comics universes, most people turn their mind straight to Marvel and DC, publishers that have mastered the concept over several decades. But a few years ago, Valiant Comics came roaring back, relaunching themselves for a contemporary audience, and providing a simpler superhero universe to get to grips with. Yet even a small shared universe can feel like a lot to learn about, and readers may have held back from taking the plunge.
To help those readers whose curiosity has been piqued, we've assembled our own team of 'delinquents' to break things down. Steve Morris knows the Valiant Universe inside out; J.A. Micheline is completely new to the universe. Micheline has the questions, like what exactly is a "psiot", and who is that bloke in the blue and yellow helmet, and why is everybody so afraid of a goat; and Morris has answers. We hope.
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.
Following the successful launch of a Valiant Comics roleplaying game on DriveThruRPG.com, the publisher announced this week that it will partner with the RPG site's sister site, DriveThruComics.com, to offer its entire comics library -- the old and the new -- DRM-free, as PDFs. New comics will be available day-and-date.
Not only that, but for the next 30 days, Valiant will offer eight of its number-one issues for free through the DriveThruComics website; Archer and Armstrong, Unity, Bloodshot, Eternal Warrior, Harbinger, Quantum and Woody, Shadowman and X-O Manowar.
Since its return to publishing in 2012, Valiant Comics has been focused on doing new stories with new creative teams involving the classic properties that debuted when the company was first formed back in the '90s. With the exception of a single hardcover collecting the first few issues of the original Bloodshot, that's been the company's focus, but this week Valiant announced that it would not only bring one of their classic titles back into print, but reuniting the original creative team to do it.
With Q2: The Return Of Quantum and Woody, original Quantum and Woody creators Christopher Priest and M.D. Bright are returning to the book they created, telling a new story set 20 years after the original. A 600-page omnibus of the original series will also be published.
When it comes to "cult followings" in comics, few cancelled series in recent years can match the level of attention, discussion and love Christopher Priest and Mark Bright's Quantum And Woody has engendered. Originally launched in 1997 under the auspices of Acclaim Comics, the series ran for an initial 17 issues, then briefly returned after a year off for five more issues, before seemingly shutting down for good.
Fast forward to 2013, when Valiant Comics announced a new Quantum and Woody ongoing series. Noticeably absent in the news, however, were creators Priest and Bright, replaced by James Asmus and Tom Fowler. But it turns out the two aren't quite done with the series yet, as today at New York Comic Con Valiant announced that Priest and Bright will reunite forQ2: The Return Of Quantum And Woody, a five issue miniseries set 20 years after the end of the original run, in that series' continuity. ComicsAlliance had the opportunity to talk to Priest and Bright, as well as editor Alejandro Arbona, about their return to Quantum And Woody, and what they've both been up to in recent years.
To that small but passionate group of comic readers who frequently say "I wish Ming Doyle drew more goats," your day has finally come: Valiant Comics has announced that Doyle will come on board to illustrate the second story arc of the newly relaunched Quantum And Woody, starting with issue #5.
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