Comic hot off first a series of their own and then an insane, utterly over the top and hobo-tastic crossover mini with the equally awesome two-some of Archer and Armstrong, it’s safe to say that the expectations from this new volume would be pretty high! (See our full preview here.)
As shown through issue #1, our heroes are now back in their hero-for-hire flow, back in their own home, Vincent the goat (a.k.a, their Dad) for company and things actually looking up for a change.
Except for the slight wrinkle that they’ve made a group of enemies – not super-villains, but people whose lives were… shall we say, negatively impacted by our heroes’ er… heroics. They’ve banded together to discredit and take them down and are led by the very man Q&W go to for the psychiatric needs and he’s been messing with their heads. There’s also an evil corporation (of course!), Goat being due to deliver his/her spawn (whatever it will be…) and a whole lot of misunderstanding and unexpected crazy.
Almost everything. I mean that, not just as a fan of the series, but in general. You cannot read this series and expect high-art of great depths of human drama.
Once you’ve done that it’s a breeze to enjoy the banter between the characters – not just the heroes, but practically all of them. There’s a hint of pop reference, there’s great gags and clever character-based jokes and it’s all done in a way that be you an old reader or a new one coming on board, you can enjoy the book for what it is – which is precisely the purpose of the new volume (new readers!) and I have to give James Asmus credit, with his work at Valiant, he really has made me a fan.
I particularly like how they’ve worked the dynamic between the brothers, how the characters are true to themselves but have noticably evolved in subtle ways between the first issue a couple of years ago and this latest volume, which is a plus for old-hands.
Even the artwork – they found a flow and a visual style that worked well with this kind of story in the original, modified it with the Delinquents mini and with Steve Lieber her have hit pay-dirt. I can see a lot of people drawing Q&W but this art just feels right. It is greatly enhanced by a muted but stull effective colouring job, but as a baseline, I like it.
What’s Not So Good
This is that rare occasion when I have very little bad to say about a comic. I can try, but honestly I can’t find much. I could say it’s cheesy and over the top in a lot of ways, that it borders on low-brow – but it makes no bones about it and so even that argument fails.
The only thing that I’m going to hold as a bit of a negative are two things:
1) That I am getting a wee bit tired of Valiant comics having so very many corporations as evils. I mean I get that it’s a good trick and is indeed a commentary on the world today and what it would be like with super-powered folks around, but it seems like they don’t tend to have as many villains/powered baddies, etc as would be good for variety – particularly in this comic.
2) What the hell is going to happen with that Goat? It’s due to give birth and the big reveal of that has been building so long that now it feels like it really better be something completely brilliant. …ok this ones not a major negative, more an apprehension but what can I do?
The Last Word
Go read it.
If you like your comics with a sense of humour, if you want a superhero comic that isn’t Batman, Superman, Avengers or X-Men or even some long running melodramatic well of human emotion – then go read this comic.
It’s insane, it’s clever, it’s inventive, irreverant, strangely honest, quite well drawn and just plain “Good!”.
Story Score: 10 / 10
Art Score: 8 / 10
Overall Score: 9 / 10