Publisher: Image Comics
Writer: James Asmus & Fred Van Lente
Release Date: 20th August 2014
Featuring Valiant’s two main double-acts – Archer & Armstrong and Quantum & Woody – crossing paths for the very first time, new series The Delinquents initially faces the same uphill battle that most crossover titles find themselves being forced to overcome… Why? Why are these two characters, duos, whatever, meeting? And in that respect, James Asmus and Fred Van Lente absolutely knock this one out of the park, putting together a gloriously offbeat concept works perfectly to unite the worlds of these two utterly distinctive partnerships. Featuring corrupt corporations, lost hobo treasure and a treasure map that… well… that has to be seen to be believed (check out the preview artwork below if you don’t believe me), the premise of this series is unashamedly goofy and is, in my opinion, all the better for it.
As you would expect from these two writers, the comedy is absolutely spot-on, and both Woody’s goofy schtick and Archer’s born-again straight man routine are absolutely hilarious. Sure, not every single gag hits the mark, which would perhaps be a problem if Asmus and Van Lente were crouched like snipers, firing off gags with deadly precision. However, their approach is a little more akin to spraying wildly with a machine gun as they charge into the breach, screaming “this is awesome!” without a care in the world. And, in spite of the amount of rounds they’re popping off, they still somehow manage to hit the target an inordinate amount.
Artist Kano rounds the team out perfectly, portraying the main characters perfectly but also putting together some fantastically creative visual ‘background gags’ along the way. Rather than limiting the humour and creativity to the famous foursome and their dialogue, he throws in some brilliantly neat touches that ensure that the reader needs to keep their eyes open to experience the full unbridled awesomeness of this issue. It also bears mentioning that this issue also boasts one of the coolest ‘opening credits’ scenes I’ve read for a long time, and a large portion of that credit lies squarely at Kano’s feet.
To be honest, perhaps the only negative I can see about this first issue is the fact that – tantalizingly – the two double-acts don’t actually cross paths during these pages. However, the groundwork is set up masterfully, and given the four amazing personalities involved, you can bet that when they finally do meet, the sparks are really going to start flying.
The Delinquents manages to take two incredibly strong double acts and integrate them in such a way as to ensure that not a single character is lost in the shuffle, all the while making sure the humour keeps flowing and the whole thing doesn’t end up feeling forced. So whether you’re familiar with the worlds of Archer & Armstrong or Quantum & Woody, do yourselves a favour and pick this one up. I promise you won’t regret it.
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The writer of this piece was: Craig Neilson (aka Ceej)
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