I don’t keep up with either Archer and Armstrong or Quantum and Woody. I read both of their first issues and enjoyed them considerably (especially Archer and Armstrong), but I didn’t think either was worth making the monthly commitment.
But when Valiant decided to put both duos together in one series and limit it to just four issues — written by Quantum and Woody scribe James Asmus, co-plotted by Archer and Armstrong (and Action Philosophers) writer Fred Van Lente, and illustrated by Kano — they got my attention. It’s called The Delinquents. Is it good?
The Delinquents #3 (Valiant Entertainment)
Chris Sims over at Comics Alliance was not entirely accurate when he boldly proclaimed that “The Delinquents’ #3 Has One of the Best Opening Lines of All Time”, mainly because the line in question — “Well, first off, what makes you so sure your sugar daddy was behind that ass menagerie?” — actually doesn’t appear until page 7. Luckily, the good news is that The Delinquents #3, like the previous two issues, is chock full of great lines like that. This is a damn funny comic, people, and if it were a movie, frat boys would be quoting it for years on end.
Of course, it’s not that hard to find funny comics, but if you’re the kind of reader that only reads superhero comics you might think that it is. That’s part of the reason why The Delinquents is such a joy. It’s set firmly in a superhero universe (though not one that’s popular enough to have had any major adaptations in other media yet), and the humor isn’t merely incidental to the plot. This is a comic that actively tries to make you laugh. And amazingly, it usually works.
This is, in many ways, the ideal crossover. It presumably ties into the series that it’s spinning out of directly, but it doesn’t require any prior knowledge of the series or the characters to be enjoyed. It doesn’t have any direct tie-ins that you have to buy to maximize your understanding or enjoyment of the series. And best of all, for both readers and publishers, it makes you want to go back and learn everything that you can about these characters because you’ve had such a great time with them.
Plot wise, this issue now has Quantum, Woody, Archer, and Armstrong set more squarely in team-up mode, as they continue their quest for the treasure of a legendary hobo ass-map. This issue boasts some great action sequences, especially impressive for the way Kano renders them. He gets a lot of mileage out of using grids of numerous small panels, so the book feels “compressed” while maintaining a breezy quality in the writing.
Is It Good?
It’s a heck of an accomplishment if a creative team is able to make me laugh out loud once in a twenty page comic. I laughed out loud several times during my reading of this issue, sometimes more than once per page.