Quantum and Woody

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Quantum and Woody
Cover art for Quantum and Woody 1
Art by Ryan Sook.
Publication information
Publisher Valiant Comics
Schedule Monthly
Format Ongoing series
Genre
Publication date (Valiant Entertainment)
July 2013
(Valiant Comics)
June 1997 - January 2000
No. of issues 22
Main character(s) Quantum, Woody
Creative team
Created by Christopher Priest
M. D. Bright
Written by (Valiant Entertainment)
James Asmus
Artist(s) (Valiant Entertainment)
Tom Fowler
(Valiant Comics)Tom Fowler

Quantum and Woody is a comic book series co-created by writer Christopher Priest and illustrator Mark Bright. Editor Fabian Nicieza called Priest because he wanted a buddy super-hero book similar to Power Man and Iron Fist. Priest then suggested they use the artist of that series, Mark Bright. Originally reluctant to work on this, Bright suggested they make the white character the comic relief for once. Drawing inspiration from the characters played by Woody Harrelson and Wesley Snipes in White Men Can't Jump, they created Quantum & Woody.[1] After Acclaim Entertainment purchased the rights to the Valiant catalog in 1994, Quantum and Woody was introduced to the Valiant Universe. In 2013 Valiant Entertainment began publishing a re-imagined version of the characters written by James Asmus with art by Tom Fowler.

Publication history[edit]

Volume 1[edit]

The first volume of Quantum and Woody was published by Acclaim Comics for 17 issues beginning in June 1997 and ending in October 1998. It returned for five issues released between September 1999 and January 2000.[2]

Volume 2[edit]

On March 21, 2013 Valiant Entertainment released a teaser signaling the return of Quantum and Woody, stating "The World's Greatest Comic Company Presents...The World's Worst Superhero Team".[3]

On March 26 a new series written by James Asmus with art by Tom Fowler was announced. It received a July 2013 release date. The characters in the new series are re-imagined and do not continue the story line of the previous series.[4]

Miniseries[edit]

On October 12, 2013, Valiant announced that Priest and Bright would be returning to produce a five-issue miniseries (scheduled for release in 2014) featuring the original Quantum and Woody, set 20 years after the last issue of the original series.[5]

Fictional character biography[edit]

Valiant Entertainment (2013)[edit]

Eric Henderson and Woodrow ("Woody") Van Chelton are adoptive brothers. After years of estrangement they are brought together by the mysterious death of their father (Woody's foster father). They set out to find their father's killer and, in the course of their investigation, are accidentally imbued with powers.

Straitlaced and earnest Eric Henderson always strove for a life of disciplined achievement—in school, in the Army and in his career. In contrast, Woody, has been irresponsible and undisciplined, living on the streets, gregarious but promiscuous, and leading a life of petty crime. Where their father Derek is killed at his top-secret experimental energy lab, the brothers reconnect at the funeral which leads to a fistfight and resultant jailtime.

Distraught, suspected of murder, and determined to bring the real killers to justice, Eric and Woody decide to investigate the crime themselves, despite having no qualifications for doing so. They break into Derek's lab to gather clues, but they accidentally activate a machine which emits strange energy to which they are exposed before causing a massive explosion. Miraculously, they survive and moreover, they possess the ability to shoot energy and generate shields of pure power. However, another result requires them to slam their metal wristbands to each other's every 24 hours to avoid being dissolved.

Utilizing their unstable energy powers, Eric and Woody learn of a mysterious group, Edison's Radical Acquisitions (ERA), which was seeking Dr. Henderson's research. Woody convinces Eric that they could find out more about Derek's secret science by snooping around in superhero equipment stolen from Eric's job at private security contractor Magnum Security. Calling themselves Quantum and Woody, the duo infiltrate a ERA gathering in Washington, DC, but Woody is subdued and taken hostage. As Quantum, Eric tracks ERA to an island base brimming with pilfered scientific secrets, mad scientists, robots, and genetic experiments.

ERA's decrepit matriarch is a geneticist known only as the Crone. She has prolonged her life for decades by harvesting parts from clones. She conducts experiments on Woody in an attempt to unlock the secrets of his power. Eric frees Woody, but they accidentally destroy the island, barely surviving and accompanied by a mysteriously powerful goat and a teenage Crone-clone named Sixty-Nine.

Because their wristband limitation requires them to remain in close contact, the brothers reconcile, and Woody moves into Eric's apartment. Soon after, Eric is enlisted by his boss, Terrence Magnum, to act as Magnum Security's private superhero. Magnum sends Quantum on a suicide mission to destabilize a white supremacist (and possibly other -ists) movement in Montana, and because the brothers need to remain in close proximity, Woody accompanies him. Discovering that Magnum is only using Eric as a pawn to start a profitable domestic war, Quantum and Woody ally with the separatists to defeat Magnum's goal.

Resettling in Washington, DC, Quantum and Woody notice a sizable increase in the amount of robo-crimes reported there, which may be an indication of a return of the ERA.

Characters[edit]

The Goat[edit]

The Henderson brothers haven't realized it yet, but this curious creature, named Vincent Van Goat by Woody, has a history with their family that goes back many years, back to the days when their father was a lab assistant to the bombastic Dr. Platzhalter. Platzhalter's work aimed to develop a device capable of backing up and restoring the full mind and thought patterns of any chosen subject, a possible cure for Alzheimer's disease or the key to a smarter artificial intelligence. During an impromptu demonstration for the representatives of Edison's Radical Acquisitions, a lab accident resulted in the transfer of a copy of Henderson's mind into the goat. Unaware of what had truly transpired, ERA took the animal into their care and spent the next several years performing unethical scientific upgrades on the Goat. Over time, these experiments entirely changed the Goat's physiology to the point where the true extent of the animal's abilities—including heat vision, enhanced strength, and limited flight—may never be known.

Years later, when Quantum and Woody desperately try to escape the ERA's island headquarters, the Goat recognizes the "heroes" as his "own" wayward sons and rescues them, deploying a terrifying array of combat abilities to wreak havoc throughout the ERA compound. The Goat initiates the island's self-destruct sequence. It goes to live with Eric and Woody to live in Eric's Washington, DC apartment.

Despite the Goat's repeated and non-subtle attempts to let Quantum and Woody know that he is somewhat their father, the duo has yet to realize this. Regardless, the Goat continues to assist them as a significant powerhouse.

Original version[edit]

Eric Henderson is a decorated Army tactical officer. Woodrow Van Chelton is a goofy man with a guitar (but no band). His idea of detective work is hanging a suspect out of a window. They are childhood friends who have lost touch with one another as they entered their teenage years. Reunited after the deaths of their fathers in a suspicious helicopter crash, they begin investigating the fathers' deaths and become victims of a high-tech industrial accident that turns their bodies into pure energy. The metal gauntlets they each wear must be slammed together every 24 hours to reset their energy matrix, or their atoms will break apart and their bodies will fade away. Eric adopts a code name, Quantum, to work undercover and find his father’s killer. Woodrow wants to avenge his father’s death too, but declares that as "code names are stupid", people can call him Woody.

TV series[edit]

A TV series developed by the Russo Brothers has been announced.[6]

Awards[edit]

  • 2014 Shortlisted for Excelsior Award for Quantum and Woody vol. 1.[7]

Nominations[edit]

  • 2014 Nominated for Harvey Awards[8]
    • Best Writer: James Asmus
    • Best Letterer: Dave Lanphear
    • Most Promising New Talent: James Asmus
    • Best New Series: Quantum and Woody
    • Special Award for Humor in Comics: James Asmus

Digital Publication[edit]

In October 2012 Valiant Entertainment announced it would release every previously published Quantum and Woody issue via Digital Distributor comiXology. The first half would arrive on 10/24/2012 while the second arrives a week later.[9] After the initial announcement it was leaked to Bleeding Cool News that two unpublished issues existed and that those issues would be released as well.[10] These issues were not released with the previously published material and no announcement has been made as to their availability.

Notes[edit]