One of the themes of Quantum & Woody! since the Valiant relaunch is that the brothers really don’t have a damn clue what they’re doing. They’re well meaning, and they have awesome powers, but that alone doesn’t make them heroes. This arc has been about fixing that.
That’s definitely what the creative team is going for. As Eliot Rahal, Joe Eisma, Andrew Dalhouse and Dave Sharpe wrap up their run, they seem to be determined to make the boys more than heroic idiots. This issue may have succeeded with meeting the goal they’ve been working towards since their run started.
The quantum power Infomercial is tearing apart reality, and the only way to fix it may be to reset reality. However, doing so by duplicating the experiment that gave Eric and Woody their powers may also erase Eric’s wife and Woody’s therapist. Unfortunately, GATE doesn’t give them a choice, but they end up with their powers restored to normal. That means they can try to defeat Infomercial, and more importantly, save the people they care about.
Since Rahal took the series over, his scripts have leaned away from hijinks and into playing the story more straight (with added absurdity). A few issues ago, I talked about how Eric and Woody were forced to be heroes and then succeeded. Here, that progression moves forward, with the duo acting the most heroic they have since the Valiant reboot, in many ways. It’s growth that I hope sticks in the next eventual incarnation of this series that pops up.
Eisma has quietly become one of the most skilled comedic artists in comics. He’s able to pull off gags extremely well. He’s also able to pull off emotional beats, best shown with his depiction of Eric’s emotional swings as he grapples with the fate of his wife. It’s so well depicted, and all without Eric removing his mask until the final page.
Dalhouse’s colors are bright and have a little lighter touch. It’s done perfectly to compliment Eisma’s lighter line. He also is able to help depict Infomercial’s reality-altering powers in a way that makes them feel like an actual cartoon.
I think this run has flown under a lot of radars, and it shouldn’t. This is good superhero comics, with the sort of growth you don’t see from most superhero comic companies today.
Quantum & Woody! #11 is available now from Valiant Comics.