Let's get it out of the way now: "Quantum And Woody: Goat" #0 is the best story you will read about a superpowered goat's origin this month. James Asmus and Tom Fowler take one of the most fun concepts associated with this legacy franchise -- HAEDUS the Goat, an accidental sidekick for the world's worst superhero team -- and injects the concept with not only a legitimate reason to be a part of the relaunched series but also some serious pathos in the process.
I'm OG "Quantum And Woody" and have been thrilled with the quality of the new series. Fowler's cartooning in this zero issue conveyed real sadness in our goat-faced wonder's eyes as the Henderson brothers attempt to leave him at an unnamed farm. I was legit touched as he realizes he's unwanted. From there, we flash back through the goat's David-Carradine-in-Kung-Fu-style wandering across the Earth. Unsurprisingly in a book about two men who can't do their jobs correctly, the goat has had a far richer, more active and more heroic life than Eric or Woody. Did you know this goat is friends with Bigfoot? Or that he's played semi-professional football? Or that he's the savior of a small Mexican town? You may not know that last part if you don't read Spanish because editor Alejandro Arbona rather hilariously refuses to translate the Spanish dialogue, instead encouraging readers to learn a second language.
Asmus and Fowler, sharing story credit, may have made the goat the most complex character in the book with this issue. He has been entwined with the boys since they were boys and the mystery behind his current state becomes the biggest mystery of the series by the end of the issue.
The comedy is still in full effect here. I tend to like Asmus' character-based jokes in this series more than the one-off gags or attempts at commentary, but I did laugh out loud at the name of the Thundermoist Summer Science Slam. Woody as a kid is as fun as Woody as a man, from wondering if goats eat eagles to enjoying an ice cream with another goat while the Summer Slam explodes around them. Fowler's art is great as always and he adds plenty of fun visual treats, like walking toasters and pitch-perfect facial reactions. These two are finding their groove and this issue makes me think the book's best days are ahead of it.
I went in to this installment for another fun Q&W tale and was genuinely surprised by an ending I didn't see coming. We as readers are now privy to information the cast of the book is not and will inform our reactions to Eric and Woody and the goat's interactions moving forward.
You're not going to learn a whole lot about Quantum or Woody with this issue so if you're a newbie I'd still recommend checking in with the first story arc if that's what you're looking for. But if area familiar or are already on this ride then this book is going to be a great read.