Review: Runaways 3 #10

by

Or – “Hey, A Wolverine Cover!  That’s Novel…”

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Molly Hayes, the youngest Runaway, is apparently the only mutant in the Marvel Universe who has never attended the Xavier School.  Used to be that made sense, as she was on the West Coast and the Xavier Academy was hiding in upstate New York, right down the road from the Eastland School.  (Little known fact: Mrs. Edna Garrett used to work for Chuckie X before an unfortunate accident involving Cyclops and a creampuff.)  Either way, this longitudinal disparity is no more and it’s just about time for the most effective and dangerous mutant in the Marvel Universe to bring it.  She also gets to meet Wolverine.

RU2.jpgPreviously, on Runaways:  The children known as the Runaways were originally the children of an underground supervillian group called “The Pride,” a group so awesome and powerful that none of the heroes of the Marvel U were aware of their machinations and manipulations.  With the ‘rents out of picture, the Runaways have lived up to their name, criss-crossing the world having adventures and basically getting away with everything that real teenagers wish they could.  One of their own going rogue didn’t stop them, nor did meeting the “child” of Ultron, or an extended time-travel epic to the 19th Century.  Of course, even the best intentions sometimes go awry, and with the relocation of the X-Men to San Francisco, the metahuman presence on the Left Coast has led the kids to hit a few radars, including the telepathic radar of one Emma Frost, newly minted mover, shaker, and the most fabulous member of the evil Illumi-Naughty, the masterminds behind the Dark Reign.

We open with the ever-adorable Molly arriving at the new X-Men headquarters with a simple request.  “Hi,” she cries at the front of the building.  “Can whoever is inside my head telling me to come to San Francisco please shut up now?  ‘Cuz it’s giving me a REALLY big headache!”  Heh…  Colossus and the Beast greet her (which is an oddly powerful couple of guys for one little girl) and send her in to meet the headmasters.  While her partners watch from a distance in their Leapfrog (“Where do mutants come from?” asks time-transplanted Klara, to which unofficial team leader Chase replies, “Angstville.”)  We’re also given a lovely moment with Cyclops and the White Queen about who is best suited to handle an eleven year old with titanic power.   After being shot down by his girl, Cyclops decides, “I’m the leader of the X-Men.  I’ll handle this…  by delegating.”  Cut to Molly meeting her new mentor, the man known as Logan (and also James Howlett, Weapon X, Wolverine, Daken’s Daddy, the short hairy one, and “Why is he on the cover of my Ms. Marvel if he’s not even in the BOOK??”) Molly responds exactly the way I respond, by telling the truth:  “Wolverine is a JERK!  And he smells like beers!”  Hee.  While “Princess Powerful” gets the grand tour of the X-Compound, the other Runaways visit a sidewalk cafe and discover how poorly it compares to their beloved LA.  The Young X-Men arrive, and a war of words ensues… 

Meanwhile, Molly is led through the world of the Uncanny, comparing the Blackbird to the Leapfrog (“Black is BORING!”) questioning Storm about her white hair (“How old are you?”) finding out the disturbing answer to what happens if you’re telepathically contacted while in the bathroom, and entering the Danger Room.  When told she can create whatever she wants, she immediately cries out for “A UNICORN!  AND BUTTERFLIES!”   When Wolverine dresses her down for being childish, Molly responds by punching him through the ceiling into Cyclops’ office, where she discovers that the Young X-Men have been dispatched to watch her pals.  “Don’t you know anything?” cries Molly.  “They’re just gonna fight!”   We quickly cut to Wolverine and Molly racing to help her friends, but are ambushed by super-villains.  “Someone tried to blow me up because I was with you,” Molly yells at her hairy companions as they awaken in chains, surrounded by gunmen.  “NOBODY likes you, do they?”  Turns out, though, the bad men are seeking her out, led by one of the few surviving henchmen of the Pride.  Wolverine takes a bullet in the head to free himself from his chains, and slices through them like…  well, honestly, like Wolverine through a bunch of minor thugs.  Preparing to kill the last of them, he’s stopped by Molly.  “Super-villains kill.  NOT super-heroes.  You’re a super-hero.  Not like my parents…”  Logan pauses long enough for the villain to snarl that he wishes he could kill Molly’s parents himself, and he too is punched through the ceiling into the next county.  As Molly breaks down in tears over her lost parents, my favorite Wolverine scene ever takes place, as Logan hugs the frightened girl and reminds her that her parents loved her, and that means they couldn’t be all bad.  Awww…  The next day, Molly returns to the Runaways, whose night out with the Young X-Men (at a rave club) has led them to believe that the X-Men and San Francisco might be okay after all.  “THIS PLACE IS HORRIBLE AND YOU ARE TAKING ME HOME RIGHT NOW OR I WILL BEAT YOU ALL UP FOREVER!” she screams, and the kids head for home.

This issue is really charming, really funny, even touching, and does a great job of humanizing the larger-than-life X-Men, and a second tale gives us a really funny bit where the kids fight off monsters during a game of Truth or Dare.  I haven’t read Runaways regularly in a year or two, and it’s nice to see that the interactions of these unique and fun characters are thriving, even under a new writer.  Sara Pichelli’s art is wonderful as well, with an animated feel but realistic expressions and wonderful perspective and framing.  You can’t go wrong with Runaways, apparently, and it’s nice for a book to remind me of the things I really enjoy about the Wolverine character.  Runaways 3 #10 earns a much-deserved 4.5 out of 5 stars, missing the perfect score by only the barest of margins (some odd changes in Nico’s magic powers implying a bit of Dark Phoenixing on the horizons make me leery) but overall, this book is still charming, fun, and exciting.  Best of all, it’s not mired in overarching stories or universal crossover madness, a rare treat, these days…

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