The Delinquents #1

8.7 Overall Score
Art: 8/10
Dialogue: 9/10
Story: 9/10

Riotously funny | Great pacing | Extremely entertaining story | Wonderful characters, each very unique and likable

The similarities in narrative structure between this issue and the last issue of Van Lente's I reviewed - Archer & Armstrong #20 - feel a bit too striking.

The Delinquents #1
Fred Van Lente, James Asmus, Kano
Valiant Comics

My friend Xavier at A&M Comics on Bird Rd. in Miami, FL is probably in pig heaven right about now.  A longtime collector of individual issues and original artwork, he has spoken on multiple occasions of his particular affinity for both of Valiant Comics’ buddy books – Archer & Armstrong and Quantum and Woody.

It’s not hard to see why he’s so taken with both series. They’re exceptionally funny, pointedly satirical and are composed in episodic story arcs that allow for an inclusiveness seldom seen in ongoing installment-based narratives.

However, until now, we’ve never seen the four characters meet. The Delinquents, which is obviously an early Christmas gift to Valiant stalwarts who are fans of irreverent humor, is an ideal device to converge both fan-favorite books. Revolving around the search for a lost treasure map drawn on leathered skinned butt cheeks (really… it really is something to behold) whose destination promises immeasurable fortune, The Delinquents manages to not only set both twosomes on collision courses with each other in artful ways, but, in a turn of events evocative of co-plotter Fred Van Lente’s Archer & Armstrong #20 (reviewed by yours truly HERE), it also manages to lampoon a contemporary bigwig (in this case, GMO conglomerate Monsanto; in that case, sci-religious upstart, Scientology) in hilarious fashion.

Fans of one series and not the other need not be wary; both books enjoy equal representation, as both Archer & Armstrong writer Van Lente and Quantum and Woody scribe James Asmus have joined forces to bring about among the most accurate crossovers in Valiant Comics history.

On that token, Quantum and Woody artist Kano does a terrific job of portraying the action. There’s a lot of ground to cover in this first issue and he manages the task expertly, bringing audiences up to date from the story’s 1940s inception up to its modern kerfuffle about as deftly as one could hope for.

Here’s another thing that’s pretty awesome about this book: you won’t have to have read anything from either book, nor be familiar with either series at all, to find something to enjoy about it. Now, this isn’t saying that reader’s won’t benefit from being versed in the material – they most certainly will – but there’s enough accessibility and pop culture reference here that it won’t be a complete waste of time for those just tuning in.

The Delinquents is a pitch-perfect cocktail of fun, fan service and social commentary – perfectly paced and stylistically realized – and whether you’re a fan of one series, both or neither is truly a non-issue; there is fun to be had in these pages and it’s so infectious that it’s almost impossible you won’t be affected one way or the other.

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Jesse Scheckner
Author: Jesse Scheckner View all posts by
A freelance writer who regularly produces work for MMA Owl, Tuff Gnarl, Broward Palm Beach New Times, Florida Geek Scene and Miami's Community Newspapers. Moderately relevant. Follow me on Twitter @JesseScheckner.

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