So going along with my well-established love of stories about teenagers with superpowers comes the collected first volume of Marvel’s Runaways. I picked it up because I love love love the writer Brian K. Vaughan’s current work Saga, and the premise sounded interesting: what if you discovered as a teenager that your parents really were evil?
I totally devoured this in a weekend, and there’re just so many things to love about it. Great character design, quirky humor, drama and plot twists, and small nods to the wider Marvel universe.
The cast of characters is so great it’s hard to pick a favorite. Gertrude, Nico, Alex, Chase, Karolina, and Molly decide to band together and run away from home when they discover their parents are all part of some sort of the secret evil organization. They all have special abilities and items, from pet velociraptor to magic staff to alien psychedelic flight. But one or more of them may actually have ulterior motives…
I particularly enjoyed the four female Runaways, and I especially gravitated toward Nico Minoru, aka Sister Grimm. Maybe it has something to do with the Asian goth vibe she has, like Scarlet Witch meets an anime magical girl. She’s smart and loyal, has great fashion sense, and her magic is interesting with potential to be really powerful.
This volume is really great because it compiles the first 18 issues of the comic, which is a complete story arc. So the volume is a completely self-contained story, and you don’t need to read any other comics at all to enjoy it.
I would also give a special shoutout to issues 11 and 12, which were drawn by Takeshi Miyazawa in a slightly more anime style and feature a story arc with Cloak and Dagger, two Marvel characters who were themselves young runaways. I really loved meeting these two and am looking forward to their upcoming TV show on the Freeform channel (formerly ABC Family).