Eric and Woody have had their lives turned upside down. What do you do when the most annoying person in your life is also the only thing keeping you alive? You move in with him! And his goat. And his barely legal clone girlfriend. Besides, every team of heroes needs a secret headquarters…and this one has a slightly used hot tub. Plus: Quantum meets his first true super-villain!
The origin story/opening arc concluded last issue, and now writer James Asmus continues their story, as our heroes try to figure out what to do next. Eric and Woody still need to slam the special energy bands on their wrists together at least every 24 hours, so they have to remain close. Eric invites Woody to move into his apartment with him, but Woody has also brought along “Sixy Nine”, one of the many clones created by The Crone from the E.R.A. The two of them are having a sexual relationship, which Eric thinks is a really bad idea. Woody also brought the Goat with him. Eric goes back to his job at a private military security firm, which is apparently run by conservative right-wingers, while Woody and Sixty Nine go out looking for a bigger apartment, since Eric place is two small for all of them and the Goat. Along the way there’s a flashback sequence where we see a bit of Eric’s time back when he was in the army. Things take a turn when, separately, both Eric and Woody see some lights in the sky at night. Eric thinks it may be a clue of some supervillain activity, so he puts on his Quantum suit to go check it out, while Eric thinks it’s a signal for some new nightclub, and takes Sixty Nine to go check it out. It turns out that they’re both right, but not in the way that you’d expect (nice twist). The next day, back at work, Eric is called into a meeting with his boss, and and the issue ends on a new cliffhanger.
Storywise, I’d say it was as good as I’ve come to expect from this series. It felt more like an interlude/set-up for the next big arc. But the strength is in the dialog, Asmus writes good interactions between Eric and Woody, and Eric and his coworkers, and Woody and Sixty Nine, who is portrayed as being somewhat naive to the ways of the world (having grown up on a private island). Woody remains his usual carefree jokester self. And Asmus maintains the mix of humor, drama, and action that I love about this series, with some meta-commentary about the comic-book industry thrown in here and there, such as when Eric demands that Woody find a way to dump Sixty Nine “without turning her into some jilted-ex super villainess.”
The only downside to this issue is that Tom Fowler has not returned. The artwork here is done by Ming Doyle, who does a serviceable job, but just isn’t quite as good as Fowler’s art. It’s still good, but the drop in quality is noticeable. So this issue gets a Chacebook rating of 4 STARS