Publisher: Valiant Entertainment
Writer: James Asmus, Fred Van Lente
Release Date: 17th September 2014
The first issue of Valiant’s eagerly-anticipated Quantum & Woody/Archer & Armstrong crossover The Delinquents provided a masterclass in satire, humour and gloriously offbeat storytelling. Well, I’m thrilled to report that issue two picks up exactly where the first left off, providing a zany, ridiculous and downright hilarious experience – with the added bonus of actually having the two double-acts meet this time!
At the end of the last issue, our pairings were each in possession of one-half of the “ass map” (yeah, you heard me) that is reputed to lead to the fabled ‘Lost Treasure of the Hobos’. And as this issue kicks off, any mild frustrations I had from the previous chapters are quickly allayed as it takes no time at all for our teams to cross paths and for the inevitable smackdown to ensue. The conflict between the teams splits into two separate scraps, as Quantum goes blow for blow with Archer and Woody trades wise-cracks and roundhouse kicks with Armstrong. It’s brilliantly done, with so many laugh out loud moments as the four distinctive personalities clash with one another.
Once again, Asmus and Van Lente demonstrate the firm grasp they have on their characters, showing some great balance as they manage to give each of the four protagonists ample ‘face time’. Thankfully, the book once again features a ton of great little background moments and sight gags along the way to encourage multiple readings, with artist Kano seemingly relishing every opportunity to cram the panels with humorous asides and neat little ‘in-jokes’.
If you’ve not been following the exploits of these two partnerships in their separate titles to this point, then this series is all but guaranteed to convert you. I’ll freely admit that I’ve only dipped in and out of the individual books previously, but based on what I’ve seen here, there’s absolutely no doubt in my mind I’m going to be checking them both out in the future. Superpowered goofballs trading insults and wise-cracks in a ludicrously bizarre situation? What’s not to like? It seems like there’s an almost endless barrage of titles out there at the moment trying to be ‘zany’ and ‘offbeat’ but missing the mark spectacularly. The Delinquents is not one of these comics. If you like to laugh, then you owe it to yourself to pick this one up. It’s just that simple.
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