This interview was supposed to run at the end of the month, but they ran it, I guess, a few days ago. In it, I mention “1999” and refer people here to my website, where there is no mention of “1999” yet. πŸ™‚ Details coming by the end of the month, which, ironically, was when this interview was due to run πŸ™‚

Newsarama Interview

I think I mention Milestone about 3,000 times. πŸ™‚


This link is to Part 3, with links to the previous 2 parts.


  1. Dave Van Domelen says:

    Re: 1999 – Huzzah!

  2. circ says:

    Some good reading. Thanks!

  3. Priest Priest says:

    In the Newsarama comments, there was a very complimentary one which nonetheless referred to me as “difficult” and a “pain in the butt.”


    I’ve actually heard that before, out there somewhere, floating around the phlogisten. But I don’t understand how I gained a rep for being “difficult.” So far as I know, I’ve never been difficult.

    I’ve never, ever, given an editor grief, I’m not late–in fact, usually the eds end up chastising me for being too far *ahead* of schedule. And, even when the art is going south, I’ll offer suggestions and flag problems but I don’t park myself in the editor’s office and harass him.

    So, in what way am I “difficult”?

    The real problem: I am hearing this from people who don’t even know me, who have never worked with me. Just folks wandering the halls, I guess, saying, “Boy, that Priest is difficult,” which is patently untrue. I mean, I gave them Vin Diesel, without complaining, for Pete’s sake.

    There was also some speculation I was ragging on the artist for my Deadpool wedding story. That is also incorrect: he did a terrific job and, in fact, went way out of his way to get things right.

    A third comment had to do with my example of the line omitted from that story. He rightly pointed out that Marvel takes a lot of grief from internet posters and comments and, funny or no, its possible the line would have caused more grief than it was worth.

    Maybe if i sent every editor at DC and Marvel a note: “I AM ***NOT*** DIFFICULT!!!” that would fix it?

    “So, Priest, when did you stop beating your wife?”

  4. Trev Trev says:

    Hi Mr Priest, you mentioned you wanted to write Iron Man, what ideas did you have for him and which other characters would you like to write? Forgive me for posting in this topic if it’s inappropriate then feel free to delete.

    • Priest Priest says:

      I actually don’t do that “stick to the thread!” thing here. Sadly, I can’t recall specific ideas, though I’m vaguely certain when I saw the IRON MAN movie I was incredibly jealous because it felt a lot like what I might have done. The main thing: I’d have wanted to focus on the *man,* as they did in IM 3. My vision of Iron Man was the old Gene Colan episode of IM crawling across a floor to get to an AC outlet (which, btw, his armor likely would have blown, but I digress).

      I’d have written IM much more like Apollo 13, where all the tech in the world can’t save you. Every time Tony Stark puts that armor on, he’s taking an incredible risk. Why? Is he suicidal? I think, at the time of my begging for the book, IM had become far too invincible–which is why I had Panther take him out near-effortlessly: to point out that no matter how much Tony tricks up his magic underpants, he remains terribly vulnerable.

      I’d have also pushed for more emotional depth, which I felt, at the time, had been missing. But, actual nuts and bolts, gee,it’s been more than a decade. I really like Iron Man, I really like Batman. It’s unlikely I’ll ever be assigned to either title.

      • Trev Trev says:

        I’m not a fan of invincible super-heroes either, it’s why I’ve never enjoyed Superman or Batman. I like the idea Ironman would be taking a huge risk putting on his armour to save someone’s life,etc. I’d also de-gadget Batman — if I had the chance to write him — as he has a gadget for every situation possible, which doesn’t make sense to me.

        • Priest Priest says:

          Any idea why movie universe IM did away with the arc reactor in his chest? Also: any idea why that arc reactor couldn’t power the armor…why he had to ditch it and wait for it to power up? And, is it just me, or is the notion of every piece of the armor having a built-in (apparently) supersonic jetpack enabling it ot be recalled from hundreds or thousands of miles away seem… a little campy? Are we jumping the shark, here?

  5. circ says:

    Good to know. One q about the interview:

    “The worst thing a writer can do with a relationship like that is move toward the logical end because it ends everything that was interesting about the relationship. It buys you an event
    book and maybe a sales bump, but ends up causing more harm than good in terms of long-term characterization. When Jeannie married Major Nelson in I Dream of Jeannie, the series
    had nowhere to go.”

    I have heard this since the Spider-Marriage. It cracked me up a bit since most of the naysers, aka pros, were either married or divorced. Curious, considering that POV would be invaluable to the creative process. There is so much potential in a married super (or not so super) team. I am not just talking about the fights and make up nook. What about the teamwork, bone-headed field work, and scars of loss by death? Not talking about the vacations (like Batman, etc) characters go on – actual write-offs, I mean. Does the “relationship like that” comment umbrella all storyline marriages? Is there no fertile ground for long-term storytelling of a married couple, etc?

    • Priest Priest says:

      No. Super-heroes, traditionally, have been for kids and maybe teens. Kids and teens don’t fantasize about being married. Now, today, of course, kids and teens by and large do not read comic books; adults do, and adults may indeed be interested in a married couple. I told Jim Shooter Spider-Man would get married, exact quote, “Over my dead body.” Two months later I was out. And, ironically, I wrote the honeymoon issue.

      I think a comic about married superheroes can be brilliantly written *if* the writer is willing to expose him or herself emotionally. For me to write something like that, I’d likely hear from my ex’s lawyers because so much of who we were would go into that writing. Marriage is a terribly complex proposition, more difficult than most people realize: I write extensively about it here.

      The question is, does anybody really want to read a super-hero comic written realistically about marriage? I am now hopelessly cynical about marriage. An ordained minister, I won’t even perform weddings anymore because I don’t believe marriage works, and I’d rather not stand there and tell God that lie–that “for better or worse” stuff, because, when “worse” comes, one party or the other usually starts packing.

      If I could write *that* truth–of how hard marriage is–well, maybe that would interest me. But if you’re looking for some kind of whimsical Marvel Team-Up of Mr. and Mrs. Super, count me out. Forget Lex Luthor, real marriage will be the biggest challenge you’ll ever face in your lifetime.

      • Dave Van Domelen says:

        I don’t even really think it’s so much that married couples are inappropriate for superhero comics, but just that you’re ending not just a story but a whole THEME when you have characters get married. And if you don’t have a really solid idea going in what’s going to replace “romantic tension/uncertainty” in your stories, it starts to tread water.

        But, as Moonlighting showed, you also run a risk when trying to keep the uncertainty and tension going too long, because that’s like having Doctor Doom always around and threatening Reed Richards, but never letting them actually fight.

        • Trev Trev says:

          I’ve got to admit I was a kid when the whole Spider-Man marrige thing came out and I was very excited about it and wanted the annual the story was told in. I think the main problem I have is Mary-Jane being a super model it just didn’t seem realistic as I think they were still living in some crappy apartment. Also, it took the ‘average guy’ aspect away from Peter.

          The marriage aspect still doesn’t bother me although I understand your point about writing about it realistically.

        • ireactions says:

          MOONLIGHTING falling apart had nothing to do with getting the two lead characters together. The problem was that after they got together, there were cast availability issues — MOONLIGHTING was unable to get Bruce Willis and Cybill Shepherd on set at the same time. It was impossible to tell stories exploring them as a couple when you couldn’t get the actors in the same room and the season that followed was unwatchable. But it was production issues that blew up the show.

          The Spider-Marriage wasn’t a bad idea for the next 5 – 10 years of stories. Writers like Paul Jenkins and J. Michael Straczynski and Mark Millar did a really nice job writing the Spider-Man family of Aunt May, Mary Jane and Peter Parker. Other writers and editors did poor work and would blame the marriage for their creative shortcomings.

          However, Spider-Man is going to last a lot longer than 5 – 10 years and I don’t blame Marvel and Quesada for wanting to open the door to stories about Peter’s romantic entanglements again. Mary Jane’s still in the book. The stories that Mary Jane was in still stand — it’s just that when referred to now, Mary Jane was Peter’s live-in girlfriend as opposed to his wife. It’s inelegant, but understandable and reasonable even if the story that to that point was clumsy and silly.

          • I still hold to the idea that instead of what saw print, a divorce arc would’ve been for the best. If any franchise of this sort could survive – nay, thrive in the wake of such an arc – it would be the Spider-Man franchise. It would have been more true to the spirit of the series up to that point.

      • Craig says:

        I don’t think you can categorically show marriage is bad for super-hero comics; there are some characters it works for and some it doesn’t. After all, no one’s really arguing that Reed Richards marrying Sue ruined the title because a) it merely reinforced the family dynamic that was always the heart of the title and b) has been the status quo for fifty years now.

        Similarly, I think Superman marrying Lois Lane was a great dynamic fifteen years ago. The traditional Lois Lane motivation (must trick Superman into marriage / prove he’s Clark Kent) was hopelessly outdated, and Superman has always had that air of being Dad about him anyway. It also worked for Wally West as a cap to a decades-long character arc about maturing after the death of Barry Allen. For other characters, of course, it’s insane β€” what well-though out character motivation could there possibly be for marrying Green Arrow?

  6. ireactions says:

    I don’t think of Priest as difficult, although I’m merely a fan with some inside knowledge (mostly shared by Priest). Having followed Priest’s work and career, I would say that in most projects, there is frequently a weird mismatch between Priest’s words and the artist’s art. It’s to be found in TOTAL JUSTICE, DEADPOOL, CAPTAIN AMERICA AND THE FALCON, BLACK PANTHER, and even both the classic QUANTUM AND WOODY and the Q2 series — scenes where the art and the words do not mesh correctly and cause confusion for the reader.

    Even in Priest’s best work, this can sometimes be present — such as in the original Q&W series where Eric and Woody are, in one scene, inexplicably not wearing control bands after the lab accident, creating confusion as to when scenes are set during an achronological story.

    Priest once said, over a decade ago, that his attitude to comics was to submit the script and move on. Which meant that the comic that would see print would often see the script applied to artwork that didn’t match the words. The average Priest script is more ambitious and complex than most. Meaning there’s a lot more room for an artist to fail to convey information.

    A lot of comic book writers — Paul Jenkins, Mark Waid, Felicia Avery — would take an additional step after submitting the script. They’d receive copies of the artwork and perform dialogue and caption placement — essentially, indicating to the letterer where the words should go. If the artist failed to convey information or if the art made certain text redundant, Jenkins, Waid, Avery and others would rewrite the dialogue to account for any issues.

    Now, I can’t see this step having helped much on Bart Sears’ CAPTAIN AMERICA AND THE FALCON artwork, and there was absolutely no saving catastrophes like TOTAL JUSTICE with any amount of post-art rewriting. But I think Q2 could have been helped with a post-art redraft — even if it was just putting name-captions over the characters so that you could tell Eric and Koro apart!

    However, I would not be surprised if time and deadline issues have prevented Priest from getting involved in this pre-lettering stage.

    • Priest Priest says:

      Actually, for a long time, now, the balloon placement task was not offered to me. I believe Waid works “Marvel Style,” where he submits a plot outline, whereas I submit full scripts, which the editor can take from there. In defense of Q2, I have a sense that the editors at Valiant are, or at least were at the time, incredibly overloaded, so things got missed. I did see some art from issue #1, which included promo art of Quantum running with a forearm crutch. Somebody–either at Valiant or maybe it was Doc–thought that was funny. I found it deeply offensive. People who use such devices obviously cannot run. So that’s kind of where the wheels began to come off of the wagon, my explaining that *Eric* uses a forearm crutch due to MS, which is why he trained a replacement–Q2. In the finale, *Quantum* is supposed to be wearing an exo-skeleton which, by definition, means it’s on the outside of his weak leg. Doc instead drew this high-tech knee pad because, well, I actually don’t know why, but there was nothing wrong with Eric’s knee. Eric has multiple sclerosis and needed a full-length leg thingy which Woody mangled, but presumable Eric could have straightened it out in time for the finale. It is not there in the comic book.

      There were dozens of other things discussed, approved by Valiant (and Doc) that Doc later decided to move a different direction. After some discussion and pleading with my friend the good Doctor, I told Valiant I preferred not to see any of the art in progress because Doc was making creative choices to not follow the script and, more problematic, ignore the character descriptions. Looking at the art just escalated my blood pressure, which sounds funny but really isn’t as I am hypertensive.

      With Q2, it wasn’t a matter of things getting missed, these were deliberate choices to make changes, and most of my repeated requests direct to Doc and to Valiant were seemingly ignored. Now, Doc is the artist and de facto film director: is his storytelling better or worse than mine? That’s for somebody else to decide. More on this next month.

      Everything written, every character description (separate dossiers and biographical sketches of the characters developed in advance of the scripting with Valiant) was reviewed and approved by Valiant. Almost none of that stuff actually appeared correctly in the series. I addressed those concerns as best I could, so it’s likely my repeated attempts to resolve this conflict has earned me a reputation for being “difficult” at Valiant; nothing I can do about that. We developed a green cat. They signed off on a green cat. Everybody, including Doc, agreed: green cat. The book’s got a blue dog in it. Your mileage may vary.

      • ireactions says:

        If that’s the case — then I wish Q2 had never been commissioned and published. Yes, it was worth it to see Eric and Woody and even Holly (!) one last time and see them given a second chance.

        Unfortunately, it seems to be a miserable final note for the Priest/MD Bright friendship and partnership. Bright had no business — absolutely none — going against your scripts. He has worked with you to know that this would result in your original dialogue and captions placed on top of artwork that would no longer match the words.

        Q&W was a beloved book. Tragically cut short. You had fans waiting for this reunion. It is almost certainly the final QUANTUM AND WOODY story for the original continuity. For Bright to steer this closing chapter of Q&W into incoherence is unacceptable. It is disgraceful. An insult to the fans who waited so long to see you and Bright get back together on these characters. If Bright wasn’t going to take over re-scripting the dialogue to match his off-script artwork (and you have indicated in a podcast that Bright is a good writer and that he would be welcome to write QUANTUM AND WOODY with your blessing), he shouldn’t have gone off script.

        I am disgusted that Bright would treat his legacy, your legacy and QUANTUM AND WOODY in this shabby fashion. That he would treat ME this way. And every other fan who has followed your work and his.

        I am outraged and hurt. This isn’t a disagreement between two collaborators; this is outright sabotage. Bright deliberately created a product that wouldn’t hold together despite knowing how long and how desperately we’d waited for this last chapter.

        I have lost all respect for MD Bright. He’s dead to me now.

        • Priest Priest says:

          Whoa, whoa whoa– let’s take a deep breath: it’s only comics. πŸ™‚ I can’t speak for Doc, but I did express myself to him–some would call it begging, yes, I believe there was some literal groveling involved. He never changed the story per se, he just told it his own way, as if we were working Marvel style rather than from a full script. And there were communication problems all through the creative chain, problems that had nothing to do with Doc. Bottom line: he saw some things his way, I saw them my way, but he was the guy holding the pencil.

          There were lots of places where he delivered exactly what I asked for; I don’t mean to imply every panel of every page was wrecked. This is just what happens sometimes: creative differences, and the poor editor gets caught in the middle. I wouldn’t want to be written off just because I disagreed with my artist; let’s not cast stones at Doc–that’s not what I intended to do or would ever do.

          Denny O’Neil went through something similar when Neal Adams drew Superman vs. Muhammad Ali. Neal had his own opinions about the story, and there was some undefined changes made. This stuff happens sometimes. But Supes vs. Ali still ended up being a great book, one I still wish I had a copy of. Q2 is still a fun read, if confusing in places. That confusion is not exclusively Doc’s fault; I’ll take my lumps for whatever *I* was unclear about. I’d love to read the Supes vs. Ali script just out of curiosity to see where the changes were.

          Quantum and Woody is a book about two guys who love each other like brothers but who nonetheless don’t get along. This is the literal dynamic between Bright and myself. Doesn’t make me love him any less. As for whether or not we’ll see this version of QW again, that’s a question for Valiant, and which of QW’s two creators they’ll decide to work with.

          • ireactions says:

            Well. I got upset — QUANTUM AND WOODY was the first superhero comic that my sister read where she asked to see the next issue. I am heartbroken that Q2 isn’t all that it could be and I sensed trouble when you did not promote the series on this website.

            I’ll step back from my anger towards Bright — but as you said, you and Bright and Valiant discussed the story and character designs before a single page was penciled. If Bright wanted to go in a different direction, that deliberation stage was the time to make changes, not when producing artwork and making changes that would no longer match the script.

            I really missed QUANTUM AND WOODY. It’s silly to allow this, of course, but Q&W’s second cancellation left a hole in my heart. To have Q2 offer closure was a dream come true, except it seems to have turned out like most dreams — confusing with odd and contradictory elements and somewhat baffling in the end.

            Waid does indeed supply an outline of what’s to happen on each page. He writes the dialogue after the art’s come in. I would say that the average Waid comic creates the illusion that the art and words were produced by the same mind, the same person. That’s probably because he writes the dialogue upon seeing the art. It’s a shame you weren’t offered the option of dialoguing finished art on so many projects and that Q2 was too upsetting for you to engage in this step.

            I wish you, Bright and the colourist and letterer could regroup, work out some revisions in the words and art and colours (rewriting / performing some art corrections / recolouring characters’ hair and getting the times of day correct) and release a Director’s Cut on Comixology and for the trade paperback. But Q2 had a surprising lack of buzz upon its release — possibly because Valiant was aware that the writer and the artist were now at odds over the series.

          • Priest Priest says:

            I’d hardly say we’re “at odds.” I wrote: “Guy walks into a room and sees a green cat.” Somebody wondered why and, not understanding why the green cat was there, decided it wasn’t important or changed the angle so we really didn’t see that cat or whatever. Now, I shouldn’t have to explain every little thing–there should be enough trust that simply the fact I mention Matt Murdock holds his fork in his left hand–and emphasize it in the script–really should be enough to have that appear on the page. And, all that literal begging on my part should also have been a hint that the green cat was important to the story.

            Here’s what they teach you: in a short story (or film script) EVERYTHING is important. I mean, when we comb over the story, anything that seems superfluous, anything not absolutely necessary to the plot or characterization, gets cut. So, even if the other guys on the team don’t quite get the importance of, for instance, a red dress hanging somewhere in Woody II’s bedroom–please trust the script and draw it anyway. I wouldn’t have asked for it if it wasn’t important. But there was no dress. And, when we finally did see it, it was blue. Then it was red πŸ™‚

            Creative choices were made. It happens. The artist has every reason to insist he’s the final arbiter of what these characters should look like. I’m not disputing that; I’m saying we, all of us, talked this through well before any typing was done. I’d never insist an artist draw something exactly “my way,” but here is the basic concept we all agreed to: let’s try and keep it on that grid.

            Per my notes: “Woody should be *completely unrecognizable* as the original Acclaim character, so much so that the reader should be startled when he tells his replacement (Woody II) who he is.” Ignored.

            These choices dealt a body blow to the story because there are no captions going, “Look how *old* these guys are now!” because I assumed the art would tell that part of the story. So we have Koro and Eric being confused for one another because Eric still looks 27. The reader doesn’t know I submitted detailed character descriptions about Eric’s age, his posture, his MS, and, for instance, a photo of Bill Cosby as the archetype for Old Eric.

            The entire story was supposed to be a gentle send-up of The Dark Knight Returns (including the gender-bending sidekick). Old Quantum would be wearing an older uniform since Q2 was wearing his last newer costume and it had been destroyed (it was not, those directions in the script were ignored). So when Old Quantum and Old Woody leap back into action, I wanted Quantum drawn like Miller’s DK–just a bit wider and bulkier, his costume’s blues faded to gray with the wrinkles in the suit. Nope. Old Q goes back into action and looks no different than he did 20 years before. That was a creative choice; but it violated the premise of the story. I’m left to assume (which is always bad because you’re always wrong when you do that), that Doc simply did not want to draw the guys as old men.

            The visuals are assumed to be based upon the script, and the reader can’t possibly know that different choices were made. And, usually, I take the hit for things being unclear in the finished book, while the art looks lovely (and it does). But a lot got lost in translation. *shrug* It’s an occupational hazard, as is my talking about it. But, there are no “odds.” I wrote it, Doc drew it, Valiant published it. God bless us everyone– so far as I’m concerned he’s still my buddy and my brother; we just have a creative difference of opinion, which is not new. What is new is, in the past, we worked those things out before pages got drawn. Not at all sure whuhoppen, but also not losing sleep over it.

      • Oscar Jimenez says:

        Jim, I’m currently catching up and reading this wall of text(s) right now. I’m just making a pause to state that, although I can’t make a 100% accurate statement about Waid’s methods outside of The Flash, he did indeed use full scripts when I worked with him on the book.

        Also, you’re not difficult, you’re just complex XDXDXD. I’ll get back to the wall of text now and I’ll email you later today if I can catch a break.

      • Oscar Jimenez says:

        Finished. I just re-read what I wrote and I feel the need to clarify that the “you’re complex” bit is meant as a compliment. You know I love your work and I ALWAYS tried to take and translate it to the page literally. Even those crazy Black Kitty, Marble Comics bullpen pages we did. What a blast, really XD.

        Shake the dust off, man, I’d love to work with you again one of those days.

        • Priest Priest says:

          LOL! I am finishing a new eBook, “KLANG! A Writer’s Commentary,” which I expect to post to my Kindle store next week. It contains the six unpublished “lost scripts” of the post-Acclaim run as well as the six original, unpublished drafts of the Q2 mini, and 40 pages of commentary on the series as a whole. Three bucks.

          The first thing you see in the book is a wonderful sequence of Marvel Comics editor Ruben Diaz answering the phone. Art by Oscar Jimenez. πŸ™‚

          “Complex”? Ha! Yes, that’s a polite way to put it.

          • Oscar Jimenez says:

            Damn, I don’t have a kindle thingy!

            BTW, I’ll email you later today, I swear. Just after I’m done with what’s on my table. Cursed T-Rexes… all kinds of fun to draw, until you have to add the scales…

            “Yes. Apparently, I am”. Right off the bat, no need to look it up. CLASSIC XDXDXDXDXDXD

          • Dave Van Domelen says:

            Don’t worry, there’s free apps for phone and desktop programs for reading Kindle books on just about any device. I’ve been reading Priest’s Kindle offerings on my iPhone.

          • ireactions says:

            I cannot wait to get KLANG! I am so excited, Priest!

          • Priest Priest says:

            It’s just a bunch of old scripts. πŸ™‚ I’d literally lost them for several years and just stumbled across them in an archive on my HD. The new Valiant may use them to reprint QW #21-22, but #23-27, which is an arc that leads to Woody becoming a villain, uses the dinosaur kid whatsisname, Master Darque and Solar as guest characters, which may present problems for the new Valiant. I can’t imagine them wanting to use them for anything.

            It all got very complex just as corporate pulled the plug on publishing, which was really irritating because we were building a long arc towards issue #32, which had already been published.

            There’s also, like, 20 or so unpublished pages from Q2.

  7. Jason says:

    Priest, I’ve never been able to get my hands on it, but was the Valiant book ‘Legend of the Black Lion’ an attempt at a ‘Milestone’ Panther?

    • Priest Priest says:

      Jason: sorry for the delay, your post ended up in spam with the MILF’s Seeking Sexy Paper Boy ads πŸ™‚ Actually, “Concrete Jungle” was an *Acclaim* property that was cancelled before the first issue shipped, so Acclaim literally gave away all of the copies–retailers paid nothing for them or recieved a credit if they had. The book was cancelled along with the entirety of the Acclaim comics line.

      No, it was nothing at all like Black Panther. Concrete Jungle/Black Lion was an extremely cynical urban crime + politics story about the comedian Sinbad (for whom the idea was originally developed) gaining super-powers and going up against a massive criminal political infrastructure. More on Concrete Jungle here, with links to exhibits on the right sidebar. Thanks for the very kind words re: Panther.

  8. Jason says:

    And just to compliment, I’m really, really, happy these books have been reprinted and the press is looking to give you some love, respect, and due for your take on the character.

    I was there for each issue as it came out and it moved me. Kept me in comics and felt… important. It made me feel like a part of something larger. A change in what comics could be and what they could mean. And if not that, I felt like I was on the ground floor for a new, exciting, and amazing mythology that surely everyone was gonna love once they had a chance with it to.

    I’m still courting getting that Marvel Knights Panther logo tattoo’d somewhere. Sure its crazy, but its also the only way I know, other than buying these books over and over again, how to pay respects to something that mattered to me so much.

  9. ireactions says:

    Very long post here:

    I’m really excited to hear that Q2’s scripts will be published for Kindle! (Any Android, Blackberry and iOS device can read a Kindle book via an app.) I can’t wait to read KLANG! and get a sense of Priest’s creative process and original intentions for Q2. I love reading Priest scripts. I’ve never read the TRIUMPH comic or BATMAN: THE HILL — but I loved reading the scripts and visualizing the story in my own head. I actually prefer reading screenplays to seeing movies.

    The unpublished issues of Q&W created a huge continuity issue for Q2. I wondered, when Q2 was announced: how do Priest and Bright deal with telling a new Q&W story when, as last seen:

    i) Quantum was an out-of-shape, traumatized mess;
    ii) Woody was a supervillain fighting Quantum;
    iii) the new Woody was Woody’s long-lost daughter;
    iv) Amy Fishbein and Woody were married, which is most certainly hurtful to Eric;
    v) Warrant was now Eric’s enemy after Eric stole his power, although Warrant was absent from #32;
    vi) and the control bands had come off in #16.

    Q2 dismissed it all. The flashbacks to the last days of the Q&W partnership show that Eric and Woody were wearing their control bands and fighting crime until they broke apart. So how did the control bands come back on? How did Woody and Eric rebuild their friendship? Why isn’t Woody the new Dr. Eclipse anymore? Why doesn’t the goat fly?

    The flashbacks offer a gentle shrug and indicate that Amy and Woody were never married; they’re secretly a couple and Eric has no idea — suggesting some time travel erasure at the end of incomplete the #18 – #32 arc. Everything went back to normal. Somehow.

    It’s a cop-out. A complete and total failure to address the issues at hand. And it was a sensible and rational choice. No reasonable resolution was possible; it’s best to act like however the unfinished arc ended, it ended with the reset button being pushed.

    It’s darned *peculiar*, however: Q2 contradicts not only #18 – #32, issue #13 (in which Eric, in Woody’s body, learned that Amy and Woody had previously had a sexual relationship) and #16 (in which the control bands came off when Magnum shorted them out). In Q2’s flashback, Eric is shocked to see that Woody and Amy are a couple and that the control bands can come off.

    Q2 asserts that regardless of what happened, everything went back to normal, specifically to the status quo as of #5 and onwards. Quantum and Woody are crimefighting partners who wear control bands that force them to meet at least once every 24-hours or they will dissolve into energy. And they have a goat.

    I didn’t like it, but I also did — in that the flashback reveals that Woody had found a latch in the control bands that could detach them. He never told Eric that the bands could come off. Without in-dialogue explanation, Priest and Bright left it to the reader’s discretion as to why Woody kept this secret — and I like to think that Woody didn’t tell because he *loved* being Quantum and Woody, *loved* being a superhero, *Ioved* Eric and wanted their partnership to be so strong and survive so much that it would be able to withstand the inevitable revelation that Amy and Woody were in love.

    This was so heartwarming, so moving that I found myself willing to accept the continuity contradictions.

    I’m still, of course, curious as to the behind-the-scenes reasoning.


    The de-aging of Quantum and Woody was also an interesting creative choice. In a movie or a TV show, that sort of story is impossible with a decades-later revival — at least not in any way that’s convincing. X-MEN III’s de-aged Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen don’t look younger; they look blurry.

    Q2 ends with the boys restored to youth and possibly immortal should they keep klanging those bands; I’d be curious to know what the thoughts were behind that direction. It was delightful and heartwarming and absurd and preposterous and exactly what I wanted — but it would have had more impact if Eric had been drawn as Bill Cosby and Woody as Mark Waid. For God’s sake, Doc!! What the hell were you thinking? What is so wrong with you that you —


    I’m calm. I’m calm. Clear blue ocean. Clear blue ocean.

    As I said, I’m looking forward to buying KLANG!, supporting Priest’s work and learning more about the creative process behind Q2.

    • Priest Priest says:

      Ibrahim: Valium. πŸ™‚ Sadly, my KLANG! rant addresses none of your questions, but for the five people who’d actually be interested in this (now way, way off-topic), in short strokes:

      I gave some thought to dealing with the old Acclaim continuity but thought it made no sense to burden Q2 with a bunch of unnecessary history, especially since I can’t imagine the new Valiant publishing this stuff. Q2 takes place at least 15 years after QW #32; that’s a long time in which to reconcile continuity issues. I mean, of course we would have eventually circled back to the status quo. Whether Amy and Woody had *actually* been married is a question for another time, and Eric’s shock at seeing them together in Q2 may not have been about them having a relationship; it could have been about their having *resumed* a relationship after they hurt him the first time.

      In “Switched,” my rusty memory suggests Eric discovered they’d had sex–not that there was a love affair going on.

      Woody being able to remove the band did not necessarily mean he would not disintegrate if he didn’t klang with Eric every 24 hours. There was nothing in the story to suggest Woody had been cured or released from that obligation, despite his having found a way to remove the band.

      I’d imagine the boys were, by that time in continuity (the Amy sequence in Q2 was, likely, at least several years after #32), wearing David Warrant’s control bands, having defeated him (or perhaps Warrant defeated them, saving them from themselves and dying in the process). That sounds very likely, although I never got that far in the Apocrypha (the unpublished scripts).

      I’m truly impressed by your command of QW continuity; I can barely remember their names πŸ™‚ I also was kind of glad, in a sense, that the arc was interrupted; it was becoming far too burdensome in its complexity: too many characters running around, Quantum as god, Woody as an ersatz devil. It was a lot to keep track of and I’d imagine those books would have been virtually impenetrable for new readers.

      I do specifically recall feeling, around issue #26 or 27, that I’d dug myself a huge ditch. I was thinking seriously of having the Vincent wake up in Wody’s bed; the whole mess having been a terrible goat nightmare πŸ™‚

      I can’t imagine Valiant producing those issues; they’d need a second Omnipedia just to explain it all.

      BTW: dude, you gave away the ending of Q2 without a spoiler alert (which I’ve added). Please be kind. πŸ™‚

      Oh, and don’t beat up Doc; leave that to me πŸ™‚

      • ireactions says:

        Sorry about the spoiler! Man. Can’t believe Q2 only ended six months ago. Feel free to edit that post some more and delete the talk of the ending!

        I re-read QUANTUM AND WOODY #0 – 17 and the GOAT one-shot shortly before Q2’s first issue came out. My memories of those issues are razor sharp right now. And I was happy with Q2. A little confused at times. But happy.

        I chose not to re-read #18 – 21 or the script for #24 that you posted — which is probably why the side-stepping of that unfinished arc didn’t bother me very much. I remembered all of it completely, however — mostly because it was unfinished and a bit painful because of that.

        You’re correct that in #13, Amy refers to losing her virginity to Woody but also indicates that she hasn’t seen Woody in *ages*. In fact, I wasn’t even clear if Woody and Amy’s encounter took place in their youth or after Mr. and Mrs. Van Chelton split.

        I cannot say I was deeply enamoured of the #18 – #32 direction. This is unimaginative of me — but I felt that Q&W was a simple concept: two guys who can’t stand each other are stuck with each other FOREVER. This drives them so insane that they become costumed superheroes. Once you lose the control bands holding them together, split them up, turn them into enemies, etc., you’ve lost the core concept.

        However, Q&W was hugely popular, so maybe your readership was sufficiently large that they’d keep reading just to see what happened to Eric and Woody and the craft and skill of the writing and art.

        Turning Eric and Woody into enemies was a *very* interesting way to explore that constant tension between them — an irritated tolerance that could have easily twisted into enmity and hatred. So, on that level, I think it was a story worth doing — so long as it ran its course within a reasonable period and put the pieces back together.





        I would have liked to see how it would have turned out, but I always wondered if #33 would have used a similar plot device to Q2’s final issue: the control bands are somehow used to trigger a ‘restore’ function to put Quantum and Woody back to what they were before #16.

        I thought Q2 indicated that the control bands’ removal would liberate the boys from being bound to each other — because that flashback shows why the partnership broke up and then, in the present day, Eric and Woody aren’t wearing their control bands and are living on opposite ends of the country? Unless this is some issue resulting from the art having altered the story.

Leave a Reply