I remember first learning about Hobo Signs from a Childcraft book when I was around the age of four. Though I hadn’t encountered these signs in daily life, the concept of leaving coded messages to let others know about the local character intrigued me. Little did I know that these sigils would eventually feature prominently in one of the most hilarious comics I’d ever read.
Archer & Armstrong and Quantum & Woody are not only two of my favorite comic series, but also are the funniest comics on the stands. So what happens when you cross these two titles together? You get The Delinquents, a four-issue mini-series from Valiant Entertainment that brings together these two wacky duos on a mission to recover the Lost Treasure of the Hobos. It’s time to ride the rails on the wacky cross-country adventure that is The Delinquents #1!
From page 1, The Delinquents #1 draws you in with its hilarious hijinks. One of my friends compared the opening scene to a classic comedy movie intro, as we watch Armstrong and the King of the Hobos flee from an angry farmer with a shotgun. Bullets fly while the two men board a moving train, after which the King provides Aram with a map to Big Rock Candy Mountain, the mythical Shangri-La of the Hobos where their grand treasure is located.
The map, printed on the rear-end of a long-deceased rail-rider, eventually becomes mangled and half of it is lost…only to be recovered by the head of the Mondo-stano Corporation. Now, with half the map in hand, Mondo-stano hires Quantum & Woody to recover the treasure, while simultaneously Archer & Armstrong want to prevent it from falling into the wrong hands. What will happen when these two teams collide? Wackiness of course!
Right from the get-go, The Delinquents #1 is funny beyond measure. Writers James Asmus and Fred Van Lente both have extensive experience writing humor, and by combining their prowess this comic results in a synergistic fusion of comedic gold. Yet, humor is not the only draw from this issue’s writing; Asmus and Van Lente lay the groundwork for an exciting adventure featuring our funny foursome (and a goat). Focusing on some legends of hobos, such as Big Rock Candy Mountain, and involving a cross-country treasure hunt, The Delinquents brings out some astonishing and novel concepts.
Rounding out the Pantheon of Comedic Genius is series artist Kano. Already an alum of Quantum & Woody, Kano arrives with all cylinders firing, his creative panel layouts and character positions amping up the level of hilarity. Not afraid to go above and beyond, Kano showcases scenes of moving Americana alongside the silliness of our protagonists. The aforementioned Hobo Signs also feature prominently in the artwork, adding a level of historical significance, culture, and, as expected, a touch of joviality.
The Delinquents #1 is a great start to a promising mini-series. It’s absolutely over-the-top, juvenile, and ridiculous, but I wouldn’t want it any other way. The series is a perfect entry to the Valiant Universe for newcomers, while rewarding fans of A&A and Q&W for their previous devotion with some payoff from past adventures. Unless you hate laughing and enjoying yourself, you should definitely pick up this comic.
-great look into Americana
-even people unfamiliar with the characters can easily jump in
-did I mention it’s really, really funny?
-people who hate laughing won’t enjoy it
Brett Simon is a twenty-four year old comic enthusiast. He prefers train trips to road trips, so maybe he is a hobo at heart.
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