Death, Destruction, And Cyborg Marsupials Face Our Heroes In Quantum & Woody! #5

by Tony Thornley

I’m going to be honest. In the feud (that’s not really a feud, but roll with me here) between funny Valiant duos, I’ve always been more of an Archer and Armstrong guy than a Quantum and Woody guy. Daniel Kibblesmith and Kano have done a lot to convince me of how wrong I am in that though. After reading this issue, I’m definitely glad to be proven wrong.

Eric and Woody are in the custody of Kid Tesla, a megalomaniacal twelve year-old who’s set on being able to use their unique energy to better the world.  As Eric talks to Tesla’s henchwoman, Negative One, he realizes what “KT’s” horrific plan is, while Woody gets drunk with his birth father, who tells Woody the plan…in a completely nonsensical and drunken manner. They’re going to brainwash the world. The only thing in the way is Quantum and Woody.
Kibblesmith’s script sparkles here. It’s silly, funny and smart. It contains the perfect level of absurdity that we’ve seen in the past with Valiant’s more humorous books, while still telling a compelling superhero story. The jokes are solid, but it doesn’t slip into parody. For Big Two junkies, this reads like Nextwave, but played a bit more straight. He also hits some great emotional beats, building up the relationship between the title characters that he tore down earlier in the series.

Kano continues to prove that he’s one of the best artists in comics, even though not enough people realize it. One thing that I don’t think enough critics notice is how the skillful use of page layouts can add to the story. Kano does that perfectly here. At first, he vertically splits the page in half between Eric and Woody, then when they reconnect, the panels expand to the entire width of the page until the centerpiece action scene explodes mid-issue, and the action is split into a FORTY-EIGHT panel double-page spread. It really drives the action wonderfully.
That’s not even talking about how well done the action is. Between the fights, the body language and the facial expressions, this is one of the better crafted books I’ve read recently.  It’s just pure fun, beginning to end.

If you were on the fence about the series up to this point, give this issue and try, THEN go back and catch up. I think you’ll be pretty happy.
Quantum and Woody! #5 is currently available from Valiant.

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