The eponymous characters of Quantum and Woody were complete unknowns to me and yet held my smile while reading this book. The book begins where the last installment of the previous series ended. In much of this issue there are panel-filled callbacks to the original two series concocted by Christopher Priest and M.D. Bright, which originally functioned as a book reminiscent of Power Man and Iron Fist. The more pertinent aspect of this series is that it’s inspired by the comedy film White Man Can’t Jump. With this iteration, the story is being heralded through writer Chris Hastings, artist Ryan Browne, colorist Ruth Redmond, and letterer Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou. Down to the lettering and coloring, there is a clear sense of execution and clarity within the absurdity of this narrative.
It borrows from the expansion of things that are theoretical by Michael Schur shows, writer of The Good Place along with the ideas and execution of the TV show Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency. In this, they are taking all of these convoluted threads and piecing them into a jigsaw puzzle whilst your hands are tied. Despite the complexity of coming into this somewhat established canon, Hastings and his team pull together a rip-roaring joy in moving along this story. The characters bring this joyful heart whilst they fight a murderous family and try to deal with being on the run. For most series, these plot points are drawn out; in this series, these points act as the punchline.
Moving forward in the narrative, this team pulls all of the stops in their debut to keep this fantastic comedic momentum that is comparable to the thrill of speeding on a highway. Their ability to risk so much in the first issue, whilst managing to successfully relate to the reader the history and premise of this new series is an impressive feat. The art paired with the fluid forms of lettering allows for us to move into the pace but enrapture the dichotomy of the “worst super duo”. Even the coloring helps to give variation in a fairly bloated plot.
For all of the moments that a comic book issue can fail, Quantum and Woody steers itself into a successful comedy. In the span of 21 pages, the team serves as a great successor to hold the baton of this series. It captures the absurd history, establishes fantastic characters, and pushes new narrative momentum.