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Valiant Comic Book Alphabet of Cool – Q

It’s the one a lot of you all have been waiting for!

Enjoy!

Quantum and Woody

There was this period, around late 1996, about the time Heroes Reborn started, when the pickings were pretty damn slim if you were a fan of superhero titles. Then, in the span of a few months, Warren Ellis took over Stormwatch, Grant Morrison took over JLA, Kurt Busiek launched Thunderbolts and Christopher Priest and MD Bright launched Quantum and Woody.

So as good as this book is (and it is good) it stood out even more due to the time it was released, where things looked bleak.

The concept of the book is that Eric Henderson and Woodrow “Woody” Van Chelton were best friends whose fathers worked together as scientists, and they both went to the same exclusive private school. One day, Woody disappears without a word. Another boy tells Eric it is because Eric was black. It really was because of the divorce of Woody’s parents.

When their fathers die in a suspicious helicopter accident, Eric and Woody meet for the first time since they were teenagers. While investigating their fathers’ murder, they come across metal bracelets. Each one takes one bracelet, but when the bracelets come into contact with each other, a huge explosion occurs. They were both now turned into pure energy. Now, to avoid dissipating into incorporeal energy, the two must make contact with each other’s bracelet every 24 hours.

The bracelets themselves have powers, so since they have to be with each other all the time, anyways, and they still want to solve their parents’ death, the two decide to become superheroes, of sort. Eric takes the codename Quantum, and essentially becomes Batman, while Woody just wears a matching bodysuit and carries a gun and a zippo.

They have a number of comedic adventures, even including getting their bodies switched with one another.

The book had some darker moments, but in the last storyline of the comic, Priest decided to get REALLY serious, with a very dark story…

At the end, the pair were allowed to break up (the issue was the cancellation of the title).

A year later, Priest and Bright were allowed to bring the book back, and as a joke, decided to publish #32, the issue that WOULD have been released that month…

The next issue was #18, but sadly, Acclaim went bankrupt three issues in, so the book ended (so far, for good) with #21.

Hopefully, with Valiant Entertainment Group around, they will make some Quantum and Woody trades!!

It was a great series – a lot of humor, but a lot of action, great MD Bright art, and a particularly adept ear for characterization by Priest. It rivals Black Panther for the best Priest book.

18 Comments

Tom Fitzpatrick

May 8, 2008 at 5:37 am

After BIG NUMBERS, QUANTUM AND WOODY is the title I’m soooooo hoping for a return.

Maybe IDW will get to reprint those issues and reunite Priest and Bright to fill in the missing issues and continue the series.

Brian Cronin

May 8, 2008 at 5:40 am

Well, again, Tom, Valiant Entertainment owns the rights, so if anyone does the series, it’ll be them.

Jeremy A. Patterson

May 8, 2008 at 7:06 am

Now that Jane from Troublemakers and Q&W have been featured, you should include Kevin Maguire’s criminally overlooked Trinity Angels, a great series that combined great stories, a wicked sense of humor, & positive role models for the female readers. The main reason it deserves praise is that Mr. Maguire actually decided to avoid the then-overglutted ‘bad girl’ by casting the three female leads as more ‘good girls’. The only other books of this type in comics at the time of the series’ publication were Mixx Zine’s serializations of the ‘Sailor Moon’ & ‘Magic Knight Rayearth’ manga & AC’s classic (& still published) Femforce. This short (12 issue) run is a good-natured breath of (good girl) air in an era cluttered by bad girls!

I think that this great series is a better choice for your ‘T’ entry than the overhyped likes of Turok & Torque, as it, along with Troublemakers & Quantum and Woody, was one of the three completely new books of the 1996 ‘Valiant Heroes’ line-up, & thus deserved some respect!

J.A.P.

There was some gossip that there was some clause in their contract that would either revert ownership of Quantum and Woody back to Priest and Bright after a certain number of years without being published or that Priest and bright were working on buying the characters.

I was out of comics while this game out and never got to read it so I would like to see a trade put out.

Stephane Savoie

May 8, 2008 at 7:37 am

I seem to remember Valient making a big deal about a goat in Q&W. Surprised you didn’t mention it.
Unless you plan to do so later. (Under ‘T’ for ‘The Goat’?) In which case, just ignore this.

Brian Cronin

May 8, 2008 at 7:46 am

There was some gossip that there was some clause in their contract that would either revert ownership of Quantum and Woody back to Priest and Bright after a certain number of years without being published or that Priest and bright were working on buying the characters.

Just gossip, I’m afraid.

I still have a “Quantum and Woody are back!” magnet on my fridge, from the 2000 or 2001 San Diego Comicon. Valiant was so optimistic that weekend…

I managed to find the entire run sometime last year. And what struck me was how little of it was “ha, ha” funny. There was a lot of humour of course but like the Giffen Justice League what really drove it was good writing and solid characterisation.

This is one series that deserves a proper continuation.

Stephane Savoie

May 8, 2008 at 9:38 am

As I recall, didn’t issue #32 also pick up the story from where it would have been if it had continued? Several books picked up numbering like that (or joked about it, like Byrne’s She-Hulk), but Q&W implied that with the return of the regular series, we would get to see what brought them to that point. (That was Q&W, wasn’t it?)
Pretty innovative.

Easily the best book put out under the Valiant label. Damn near every issue rocked hard and was good for at least two laughs. And yeah…there was a goat. Vincent Van Goat, aka HAEDUS (Heavily Armed Espionage Deadly Uber-Sheep), had his own one-shot, which was fun to read, and included an afterword from Doc Bright about how much he hated the goat.

Brian, are you sure that was only gossip? I dug up this old report from three years ago or so http://www.newsarama.com/deadpublishers/PriestQ_W.htm

So at least at one time at least Priest was under the impression the rights would or had reverted to him and Bright again. Who knows where that stands now as obviously no new series came out. Valiant Entertainment’s website lists Q&W on their webpage, so maybe they somehow got ahold of the rights.

The rights would have reverted, but Priest has never gotten around to triggering the reversion. Whether he sitll can or not is something he knows (or might not).

Annoyed Grunt

May 8, 2008 at 1:19 pm

Since Woody won’t get his own entry, what are the chances ‘W’ is going to be about WWF Battlemania?

….

Hey, it does have art from Steve Ditko.

LOVED Quantum and Woody! And still have a goat inaction figure MOC. It’s the only Valiant title I ever collected and it’s really just as good as everyone says it is. I must have quit comics in the year it was on hiatus because I don’t remember anything past #17. That’s some real temptation to enter a comic shop right there.

Best book Valiant ever published, and probably second only to Black Panther of all of Priest’s work. As I recall, the relationship between Eric and Woody was based on the relationship between Priest and Bright. If that’s true, I’d pay good money for “The Adventures of Priest and Bright.”

I goofed…it’s Heavily Armored Espionage Deadly Uber-Sheep.

And while I’m thinking about it: “We’re not a couple!” Great running gag, especially in the first body swap issue in the bathroom. Great times.

Interesting that Brian mentioned Thunderbolts, since both that and Q&W debuted on the same day: February 14, 1997. I remember the ads saying that Valiant wanted to give us a Woody for the holiday.

One of my all-time favourites. I should have put it on my list. It also enabled me to get my best friend into comics.

There’s a lot of haters out there of the Acclaim stuff, but many in the knew really loved Q & W. I’m kind of surprised to hear from Jeremy A. Patterson giving some luy to Trinity Angels. I’ve never heard anyone say anything about this overlooked series. I think it’s some of the best work of Kevin Maguire’s career. Lots of fun.

I’m confident that Valiant will definitely be going back to publishing Q & W hopefully by striking some deal with Priest and maybe even bringing him and Mark Bright back to the title. This title, like the Milestone line, had black creators. If I understand correctly, both Priest and Bright are black. The Milestone creators were all black too IIRC. I love both Q & W and the Milestone line. What does it say about the freshness that these black creators bring to their game ? Sort of a BET vibe or something ? I don’t know but I like it.

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