Valiant Comics Reviews (5/14/2014)
By: James Asmus
Sibling rivalries are always an intriguing topic when writing a story. It allows for a little family, a little heart and a lot of conflict. Quantum and Woody takes the familiar plot point and expands on it only like a comic book could. Eric (Quantum) and Woody are adopted brothers who never see eye to eye but when their father mysteriously dies they are forced to reunite. These brothers also share a bond unlike any other, after an accident in their father’s lab (caused by Woody) both were infused with super human abilities. Eric can produce energy shields while Woody is able to shoot powerful blasts. The only downside to these powers is they have to make contact every 24 hours or our heroes will dissolve into atoms.
With Issue 10 writer James Asmus is starting a new chapter in the lives of Quantum and Woody. The brothers have once again separated over differences in character and Woody is going back down a self-destructive path of criminal mischief and debauchery. By pure coincidence they must face off as Eric is the sole security guard at the Smithsonian National Museum and Woody and his gang are planning to steal a priceless and powerful Voodoo artifact.
This is the first time I have experienced this book and I must say I thoroughly enjoyed it and am kicking myself that I didn’t start sooner. Asmus injects a steady dose of humor in a book full of tension, drama and the supernatural. Every time I saw Woody on the page I couldn’t help but anticipate his next witty reply or sarcastic remark. Woody’s laid back selfish attitude is a perfect juxtaposition for Eric’s need to do the right thing. Watching Eric live out his morning without Woody was an especially eye opening scene. As you are able to gauge just how different these two are just from a couple of panels.
This is mostly due to artist Kano whom beautifully lays out the page like a top down video game. He plots out each of Eric’s steps as he goes about his morning routine, his brother noticeably absent. The page is highlighted with emoticons to show Eric’s mood and tasks. It’s quite fun to look at and is a great example as to why page layout is so crucial to comic book story telling. Kano’s art and Asmus’ writing seem to be a perfect marriage as both are fun, color and off the wall.
Quantum and Woody is definitely a book I will continue with after this initial introduction. The small and large story are both captivating and I can’t wait to see where the threads lead. This book is also extremely funny and doesn’t take itself too seriously which in a land of comics that are becoming increasingly dark, graphic, and grim it’s a welcome addition to my pull list.
Written By: Duffy Boudreau and Christos Gage
Art: Al Barrionuevo
Bloodshot is a book I instantly fell in love with. It has everything I look for in a new addition to the pull list. Bloodshot is a bio enhanced uber soldier with super human strength, speed and the ability to self-heal and hack any online system. This makes him a one man army controlled by a corporate entity deemed Rising Sun, or at least he was.
Bloodshot has broken the control of his masters unbeknownst to them and this creates quite the predicament. He is now leading a group of enhanced humans called the H.A.R.D corps. These private soldiers are humans with neural implants that allow them to download super powers on the fly. This issue begins a new arch were Bloodshot is seemingly framed for the murder of one of the H.A.R.D corps members. Now Rising Sun is on the hunt for Bloodshot for his crime and the H.A.R.D corps is their only weapon against them. Problems is Bloodshot’s abilities give him a huge advantage over the H.A.R.D corps as he can hack their implants and detonate the fail safe, killing the team member instantly.
Boudreau and Gage have crafted a universe that is exciting, action packed, and steeped in political ideologies that reflect today’s issues with privatized military. I found everything about this story extremely entertaining and can’t wait for more. Bloodshot is a very cool character and whenever a hero like him faces off against an evil corporate empire it makes for a great read. This was my first issue of Bloodshot but Boudreau and Gage make it easy for a new reader to catch up. After a few pages I was all in and didn’t feel the usual need to track down past issues or pour through a wiki.
The art of Bloodshot is fantastic. Al Barrionevo imbibes Bloodshot with a much needed emotional context. This maybe intentional but without Barrionevo’s art I feel much of what makes these characters unique and special would be gone. The only emotion I ever see from Bloodshot is a single panel and it’s all I needed to know what his place was amongst the other team members. Barrionevo also takes the action scenes to the next level with creative angels and layouts that highlight the action with each panel.
Bloodshot #22 is another great outing by Valiant. Ever since my comic horizons have opened up beyond Marvel and DC Valiant’s books have continued to surprise me with each read. I can’t tell you how excited I am to continue my journey not only with Bloodshot, but with Rai, Eternal Warrior and Quantum and Woody. Bloodshot is just another example of why indie books often outshine their mainstream brethren.