Quantum And Woody #9 Grapples With A New Reality And Embraces Absurdity

by Tony Thornley

Quantum and Woody has been many things. It’s almost always been a comedy, but sometimes it’s a relationship sitcom. Sometimes it’s a slapstick farce. But it’s best when it tackles the absurdity of comic books. That’s exactly what Quantum and Woody! #9 does.

I praised writer Eliot Rahal’s first issue of Q&W! for deconstructing the characters and showing them as effective heroes. Now a few months later, Rahal, artist Joe Eisma, color artist Andrew Dalhouse, and letterer Dave Sharpe take that further by leaning into superhero tropes.
Eric and Woody are dealing with the fact that their most recent adventure has left them irrevocably changed. Instead of needing to “klang” every 24 hours, their powers don’t work when in proximity of each other. Eric is now married. Woody is in therapy. It’s all very strange. As they try to deal with that, they also find themselves dealing with a massive kaiju landing in DC and the effects of its arrival…

One thing I’ve really liked about Rahal’s run on this title so far is that he’s played the stories relatively straight without completely removing the humor. This is a very funny book, and it’s full of the trademark absurdity that Q&W! specialize in. However, because of the change in writing style, they feel like real people instead of caricatures.
Playing with the altered status quo is very fun, too. Rahal breaks this trope by first removing time travel from the equation (the alterations are an effect of their travel to another dimension instead of another time), and then having the guys embrace the change while dealing with the weirdness. The change to their powers is very cool, too. It eliminates a restriction on the characters but adds a new one that is probably a little more interesting.
Eisma is such a great comedy artist. He draws body language and facial expression really well. In this issue, it helps you see the internal struggle each character is going through. It sells it very well.
He also does a great job at capturing the absurdity of these heroes’ world. The kaiju looks great, but it’s intentionally a little silly. Woody bursting into his therapist’s office with Goat is just hilarious.

Dalhouse’s colors are lighter and a little more bright here. It helps with the more cartoonish elements of the story. I always love seeing a color artist adjust to the line artist’s style, and Dalhouse has exhibited that over and over in his work. Colors need to fit the pencils, and Dalhouse embraces that.
Things have definitely changed for titular twosome. That new dynamic makes this issue work in a totally new way, that fans should definitely check out!
Quantum and Woody! #9 is available now from Valiant Comics.

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