by James Asmus, Steve Lieber

Quantum and Woody has always been the kind of book that never really fit into the rest of the Valiant universe even since its original incarnation in the late 90s. Over the past few years though, James Asmus has done a terrific job in continuously building up these characters from average nobodies, to a really formidable, and always entertaining superhero duo. To me, that progression became evident with the amazingly entertaining Valiant-sized Quantum and Woody #1 and has continued into Quantum and Woody Must Die, and this third issue, is the best yet.

What Asmus does so well is turning these two characters who could easily be dismissed as a joke and turn them into a duo that is really personable and likable. Quantum and Woody has always been about making fun of the whole superhero genre and this is definitely one of the key themes in Quantum and Woody Must Die. All the enemies that the protagonists have made over the years have gathered together and it is an all out fight to the death! Well, not really, at least not for Quantum and Woody, but what ensues is really entertaining. Asmus has a knack for the cinematic, no doubt heavily influenced by his media work outside of comics and it really shows. The story unfolds like a buddy comedy we’d see in films such as “The Other Guys”, a team who shares a similar dynamic as our heroes and it is a blast to read. The jokes in this miniseries have been toned down a bit in the raunchiness department, making some of the jokes a little more subtle which I tend to enjoy, especially when they play upon one another for a giant comedic payoff.

The use of the Goat’s pregnancy by the villains to get Quantum and Woody in one place for a showdown was a nice touch, and what better place to do that than in a zoo? Yes, there is plenty of animal action, and maybe some deaths which may shock some – I apologize to panda lovers everywhere in advance.

And of course what really makes this type of story work is the art, and what Steve Lieber has done with Asmus’ script is incredible. A farcical book such as Quantum and Woody begs to have someone with a cartoony style and this has always been the case for these characters (with the original iteration being the obvious exception) but Lieber’s work never comes off as something from a “funny book.” His line and panel work is among the most dynamic we’ve seen from a Quantum and Woody artist which makes this book a real joy to read, and particularly in this issue as our heroes battle all sorts of enemies and animals. The art is further enhanced by Dave McCaig who really compliments Lieber’s work well adding a whole new level of texture and depth.

Overall, Quantum and Woody Must Die! #3 is a really solid book with tons of humor and plenty of action. If you’ve dropped off the Quantum and Woody bandwagon, or are looking for something a little different, Quantum and Woody Must Die! is a book you should be adding to your pull list.

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