Quantum TV

All I actually know about this– a potential Quantum & Woody TV pilot– is what I’ve been told by fans or read online. Valiant has not officially informed me of anything which, I suppose, could be that they’re just busy or it slipped somebody’s mind. Obviously, what’s good for Q&W is certainly good for Doc and myself, but a phone call would have been nice.

I also hope the developers lean more toward the Acclaim version than the Valiant one. This is for an objective reason: silly superheroes die at the box office. If anything has been proven true it is that, the more seriously Hollywood takes these characters and their fans, the more money they make.

The Green Hornet film came out around the same time as The Dark Knight, right?

With no offense at all intended toward the current stewards of Q&W, the title’s orientation is now farce– not a knock, but an observation. With farce, everything is comedic– the characters, their environment, the antagonists, etc.

Doc and I were writing a satire, wherein the humor is born out of the circumstance. Humor was never the focus of what we were doing, which is what made it funny. The spine of Quantum & Woody was the relationship between the guys. But the world was the real world, the antagonist weren’t silly, and there was at least as much drama as there was humor. Our book had one funny guy in it, which is what made it funny. When *everything* is silly, nothing stands out.

It’ always disappointed me that fans and critics seemed to miss the point of what we were doing, of the deeper infrastructure of the buddy superhero book we were writing, and instead focused almost exclusively on dumb things like the goat. The goat isn’t funny. They made us do a whole 1-shot starring the goat, which wasn’t funny.

Funny superheroes die at the box office. Die on television. It’s not ego, it’s math: I’m hoping any potential TV show gets back to the roots of this premise. Their success is Valiant’s success is our success. I wish them and Valiant all the best.


  1. Thad says:

    Let me say, first off, that I like the Asmus / Fowler / et al run, and that while I didn’t find it as sharp or funny as the original series, I think they did a good job with the relationship between the leads, which is, after all, the heart of the book. (That said, Archer and Armstrong is better, and it’s pretty clear why it’s lasted while Q&W got canceled.)

    To your point about the failure of funny superheroes: clearly right now all eyes are going to be on Deadpool, and I can only hope that people learn the right lessons from it: that it succeeded because the writer, director, and star clearly cared about it and respected the comic, because we in the audience cared about the characters and their struggles and motivations, and because it balanced its humor with genuine pathos — not because it had naughty words and butt stuff.

    Amazon’s recent Tick pilot was great too, and unexpectedly leaned more into satire than farce (though still far from grounded — it *is* The Tick, after all). While that’s not quite the sort of thing I’m looking for in Q&W, it at least indicates that there are some people who can make an interesting, quality superhero TV comedy, and have at least enough success at it to get a series order.

    On the other hand, sometimes you get something like Powerless, which I thought had a good premise and a great cast, but which fell flat for precisely the reasons you mention: too much winking at the audience, too much indulgence of its own wackiness. I think if they’d played it straighter, and focused more on the characters and less on the zany world they inhabited, it could have been something.

    I guess the last recent example of a superhero comedy I can think of is The Lego Batman Movie, which is so far from Q&W in premise, tone, and audience that it’s not much use as a point of comparison — except in the respect that, underneath everything, it was about family, about trust, and about a guy who’s experienced trauma learning how to cope with it. Ultimately, even the most over-the-top story lives or dies on making the audience connect with the characters.

  2. Ralf Haring says:

    Deadpool made more money than every other X-Men movie and most Marvel and DC movies. Silly is not DOA.

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