Another month and a new entry for our new series “Trades You Should Own”. I’m going to continue the theme of teenagers who find out their parents are evil with The Runaways, from Marvel Comics. It’s not quite Invincible, but is one of those trades that I highly recommend.
The concept behind the first volume of Runaways is pretty simple; six kids are forced to hang out with one another every year when their parents meet for their annual philanthropy get together, only things are different this year. Instead of hanging out in the rec room, they discover a hidden passage that leads to a one way mirror, where the teens find out their parents are members of L.A.’s worst super villain crime family the Pride.
From there, the teens decide to make their escape to find out what is really going on, and in the process discover they have powers similar to their parents. There’s the spell caster, the techno muscle, the alien, the all powerful mutant, the time traveler with a genetically made velociraptor that obeys her every command, and the tactical thinker that leads this rag tag team of runaways. As diverse as the powers are, I really like the diversity of the teens. While most of the team is female, the ethnic diversity and body types are great to see in a superhero comic.
If you think this book is for kids, guess again. While the protagonists’ ages range between 12 and 17 the themes and adventure get pretty dark and intense. I like the fact the kids want to do good, but don’t be superheroes. Brian K. Vaughan continues to shine as a writer and the art by Adrian Alphona and Takeshi Miyazawa looks great as well.
Runaways, Volume 1 reads like a season of 24, with events taking place in a matter or days or weeks instead of months or years, and there is a definite conclusion to the story. The Runaways learn how to use their powers and become a team, find a little romance, and work to bring justice to their evil parents. There is one wrench in the works though; one of the Runaways is a traitor. I won’t spoil this big revelation as it is a major plot point, and will ruin the entire story if revealed too early.
Even though the first outing for the Runaways is set in the Marvel Universe, there is little interaction with other popular characters. Sure Captain America and Cloak and Dagger show up, but their appearances are brief. I didn’t think I would like this series, but after reading volume 1, I’m hooked.
I also picked up Volume 2, which continues the team’s adventures. I’m about halfway through the tome, and while it doesn’t have the punch the first one did it is enjoyable.
I would also recommend getting the hardback collection as you’ll be able to get the entire story in one book instead of being broken up over several paperbacks. The price is just right too. For $35, you get 448 pages of action packed adventure, and that can’t be beat.