Quantum Teens Are Go #1 is packed with energy from cover to cover. From its opening scene featuring a young punk skater named Natalie braining a robot with bolt cutters while her boyfriend Sumesh tries to get his ray gun to work, the issue never lets up. The result is a full-blooded and contemporary melding of outsider-teen romance and pulp sci-fi high-jinks. If that doesn’t sound appealing to you, then you’re just not getting enough fun out of show business.
Created by writer Magdalene Visaggio and artist Eryk Donovan, Quantum Teens Are Go #1 is set within a world not entirely unlike our own, if mad super-science straight out of pulp stories and b-movies existed in our world and had been embraced by a generation of punks, weirdos and outcasts (you know, the most interesting people). Trying to make a splash in this scene are high-school lovers Natalie and Sumesh, who spend their nights swiping any cutting edge tech they find and their days surviving high school and suburbia. Natalie is trans and in the midst of transition while her boyfriend Sumesh has his own struggles at home. Together, they might be on the cusp of a major discovery, or a major disaster.
Visaggio and Donovan have created a fun, inventive and quirky world for their characters to inhabit, its mash-up of punk’s anarchic spirit and pulp sci-fi’s wacky limitless horizons combining into something that feels instantly fresh and contemporary. But they ground the concept with a specific knowledge of how cliquey and incestuous scenes like this can be and more importantly with two central protagonists that are warm and sympathetic and smart. Natalie and Sumesh feel honestly young and teenaged, with the confidence and passion that particular stage of life brings. They don’t feel like teens written by adults long past those years, but actual fully realized young people walking around today. Mostly because there’s no effort to make then feel “Teenaged”, but the creators rather simply give them solid and interesting intentions.
The art is terrific throughout, following through on the story’s strength in combining the ordinary and the fantastic. Donovan is just as skilled at depicting action-packed battles against chunky robots, zap guns, and complicated lashed-up tech as realistically creating gangly teenagers and the high school and suburban settings. The result is an issue that doesn’t hit a wrong note, aided ably by some great color work by Claudia Aguirre and evocative lettering from Zakk Saam.
As a debut issue, Quantum Teens Are Go #1 is a terrific, rebellious, crackling read. Featuring two smart and engaging main characters whose journey of self-discovery is undoubtedly going to dovetail nicely with a journey of insane super-science actual discovery, this is an issue that heralds a series with a ton of potential. 9.5/10
Quantum Teens Are Go #1 will be released February 22, 2017.