***TRIGGER WARNING: SELF-HARM***
Writer: Brian K. Vaughan
Art: Adrian Alphona & Takeshi Miyazawa
Publisher: Marvel Comics
WHAT IS IT?
A West Coast superpowered teen drama. Basically an updated The O.C. meets The Breakfast Club, if the characters had superpowers and were on the run.
WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
Imagine you’re a teenager. Your parents have friends over, like they do every so often. Those parents bring their kids. You know them from school or from the past gatherings. They might not run in your social circle, but everyone seems to get along.
Now imagine that, at some point during the night, you catch all your parents in supervillain costumes doing really shady criminal/cult stuff. What do you all do? You get the heck outta there.
And that’s what they do. The rest of the comic is what happens next.
The Runaways TV show is based on this title, and seems to have only covered a small part of this volume/first run in its first season. It also seems very different from the comic, so you could potentially enjoy both the TV series and the comic’s different stories!
The concept of powered teenagers and running away from home because their parents are evil is really cool and a new idea
The dialogue feels like it’s actually coming from teenagers, not an adult trying to write kids
Superpower discovery is mixed with hallmarks of the teenage/coming-of-age genre, like romantic coupling, personal growth and missing home
The comic discusses things like self-harm and LGBTQIA+ issues in a tasteful way that feels natural to the characters and story
The art and visual effects capture a great deal of emotion in facial expressions and body language, and Karolina’s powers look super cool
Each character has a very unique personality and way of speaking, which helps them come to life for the reader
You can just pick this up without having to read anything else – no prior Marvel knowledge is needed to enjoy this title
WHAT DOESN'T WORK?
If you’re not a teen drama fan, this probably isn’t the comic for you
It feels disconnected from the rest of the Marvel Universe since they don’t interact with the X-Men or Avengers or anything in this first volume (if that bothers you)
This is by far the best Runaways storyline – later volumes just can’t recapture how good this first one is
WHY SHOULD I READ IT?
It’s a teen comic done right, from one of the best comics writers out there. The drama and maturing and coming to terms with powers and responsibility bring so much color to their journey, which is highly enjoyable. It’s one of my favorite Marvel runs of all time.
WHAT DO I READ NEXT?
If you like the writing:
Y: The Last Man, Vol. 1 by Brian K. Vaughan & Pia Guerra
Young Avengers, Vol. 1 by Kieron Gillen & Jamie McKelvie
4 Kids Walk Into A Bank by Matthew Rosenberg & Tyler Boss
If you like the art:
Runaways: The Complete Collection, Vol. 2 by Vaughan, Alphona, Miyazawa & Young
Ms. Marvel, Vol. 1 by G. Willow Wilson & Adrian Alphona
Avengers Arena: The Complete Collection by Hopeless, Gage, Walker, Vitti, Burchielli, Moline
ABOUT THE CREATORS
Brian K. Vaughan – Writer
Name Recognition: One of the most talented and celebrated writers in the industry
Award Winner: Has won a truly incredible amount of awards for his other comics
Writes and co-produces on the TV version of Runaways
Adrian Alphona – Penciller
Outlander: Lives in Canada
Left comics for several years
Helped write some of the Runaways TV series
Takeshi Miyazawa – Penciller
Outlander: Lives in Canada
Art style is influenced by manga
Has worked on many Marvel titles Adrian Alphona worked on, like Runaways, X-Force & Ms. Marvel
David Newbold – Inker
Craig Yeung – Inker
Recently did some of the inks for Runaways, issue #8, which came out 15 years after this first run
Outlander: Lives in Canada
Brian Reber – Colors
Prolific: Has worked on over 80 different series for Marvel, DC, TopCow, Image and Valiant
Christina Strain – Colors
Multitalented: Is now a writer and editor for TV’s The Magicians
Most of her work has been with Marvel
Was born in South Korea
Chris Eliopoulos – Letters
Designed the fonts for Marvel’s lettering department
Prolific: Hand-lettered the first 100 issues of Savage Dragon, along with several other titles
Appeared on Late Night with Seth Meyers in 2016
Paul Tutrone – Letters
Multitalented: Started his career as an Assistant Editor before switching to design & lettering
Now works as a designer at Scholastic, Inc.
HOW DO I BUY IT?
Click one of these:
From The Publisher, Marvel Comics (only available digitally, on Marvel Unlimited)
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