Runaways by Brian Vaughan

Runaways
Brian Vaughan
Marvel
Age Rating 12 yrs +
Volume 1 – Pride and Joy (Apr 04) 0785113797
Volume 2 – Teenage Wasteland (Oct 04) 0785114157
Volume 3 – Good Die Young (Feb 05) 0785116842
Volume 4 – True Believers (Oct 05) 0785117059
Volume 5 – Escape to New York (Apr 06) 0785119019

Review by: Cathy Kyle

This series is unique in that it is a super-hero comic that is not about the super-heroes, nor is it about the super-villains. This series is about six teenagers and what they do after they find out their parents are super-villains.

What would you do if you found out that what you thought was a once a year get together with old friends, turns out to be an excuse to go in the basement in order to sacrifice an innocent girl in an evil ritual? In Runaways, six teens are in that very predicament. They find a secret passageway in the house and following it down to the basement, are just in time to witness their parents kill an innocent girl.

Soon after, the teens learn that they aren’t ordinary teens at all, but each has different special powers in one way or another, just like their parents. There is a boy with a brilliant mind, a mutant, an alien, a teen with a psychic link to a velociraptor, a teen whose parents created hands that shoot fire, and a teen whose magical parents have bestowed her with a magical staff. All this becomes too overwhelming for them, and they decide to go into hiding.
The plot is creative and unique. Some of the turns the plot takes later on in the series seem a little outrageous and downright bizarre, but teens who like super-heroes or fantasy will just eat it up. The main theme revolves around the six teens’ parents, who are part of the Pride, an organization created by the Gibborim who are giant beasts that live deep underwater and want to revert earth back to its original state, without humans. The Pride has to sacrifice innocents and steal their souls so that the Gibborim can swallow their souls and get strong enough to put their plan into action. The members of the Pride can choose six of their group to move on to paradise with the Gibborim, and the other six will die with all the other humans that are contaminating the earth with their bickering.

The illustrations are gorgeous, and the colors are deep and rich, adding to the dark plot. Much of the time, the teens are in darkness, either waiting until nightfall to come out of hiding or when they are in their hiding spot underground. The teenagers look like teenagers, not beautiful busty models pretending to be teenagers. They are regular kids taken out of their comfortable lives and forced into a situation that they hate.

For librarians just starting a graphic novel collection this will be a great addition, especially those in need of more superhero comics. There’s enough violence to interest the teens, but not enough to bother parents. Some of the teens become interested in each other, and typical teenage romance ensues, without going beyond a little kissing. The cover illustrations and the deep colors are eye catching and would benefit from an outfacing display. Teens will connect with the runaways’ everyday problems and relationship issues, plus they’ll breathe a sigh of relief that their parents aren’t super-villains!

Comment:

betsy f. says:
I’m glad you’re posting again! A question about The Runaways…I’m one of those librarians who’s just starting a GN collection. We currently have a compilation that says it’s Runaways #1-18. Do you know…are there more? Does our #1-18 include Volumes 1-5? I can’t tell from the Marvel website. Any thoughts would be appreciated.

Answer:

Betsy asked about the Runaways series. Originally it was in a comic book format, more like a magazine. Then Marvel decided to condense them into the paperback digest form. That’s why if you check for Runaways in Amazon, some of the descriptions say “collects # 1 – 6″. Its all the same content, just neatly wrapped up in a library friendly container!

 

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~ by kitkat on September 27, 2006.

2 Responses to “Runaways by Brian Vaughan”

  1. There have been two sets of collections – one in the small format (manga sized) collecting six or so issues in each book and the other in full comic-book size collecting 18 issues per book.

    Both collections are of the same material.

  2. i love this book its the best bok ever

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