The question in the back of all of our minds is finally answered: What the heck happened to that OTHER Runaway? Your Major Spoilers review of Runaways #11 awaits!
Writer: Rainbow Rowell
Artist: Kris Anka
Colorist: Matthew Wilson
Letterer: VC’s Joe Caramagna
Editor: Nick Lowe
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: July 18, 2018
Previously in Runaways: Having purple hair used to be an act of rebellion, but now Gert is just one of many, which doesn’t sit well with Ms. Yorkes. And she’s not the only one wrestling with who they are and what they want as Nico, Chase, Karolina and Victor all wrestle with their own identity crises.
TIME-TRAVEL RESURRECTION IS A ROUGH BUSINESS
After last issue’s break-up with Julie Power, Karolina and Nico are spending a lot of time together. Chase is focused on rebuilding Victor’s body. Heck, Nico and chase both have jobs now! But where does that leave Gert, now several years younger than her friends? Frustrated and feeling side-lined, mostly, and really inexplicably angry with her now several-years-older friends. As for Victor, he is very much overwhelmed with the new body Doombot has built for him, having an emotional breakdown at the realization that he might now be forced to be a war machine, while Gert finds herself no longer enamored of her trademark purple hair. It’s a quiet issue, where the only real conflicts are interpersonal, but it does provide an answer to one bit of Runaways lore: What happened to Klara Prast, the Runaway that the kids brought forward in time during the Joss Whedon run of the book. The answer? She’s happy with her adoptive family and thinks that her friends are crazy to want to pull her back to their life on the run.
There have been some uneven moments in the first year of this new volume, and even in this issue, but the one thing that never fails me is the art of Kris Anka. Anka’s mastery of facial expressions and body language make the quietest moments of this issue feel amazing, emphasizing what seems like a clear attraction between Nico and Karolina, making Victor’s emotional breakdown heart-rending and delivering on the drama when Gert finally makes a drastic change to her hair. As someone with a teen in the house, this book has the feel of authentic teen unpredictability, and while it’s not a story full of big moments, there are nonetheless a couple of very satisfying sequences and someone has FINALLY explained where Klara has been for the past ten years. Well, ten years our time, which means that it’s been somewhere between six months and a year Marvel Time, I think? That revelation alone makes this a solid Runaways issue for me.
BOTTOM LINE: A QUIET ISSUE, BUT EMOTIONALLY DRAINING
If there’s a failing in this issue, it’s that the focus on internal turmoil and emotional moments can make it feel like nothing of importance happened, but there’s important moments for Gert, for Chase and especially for Victor which seem designed to set up what will happen next. Runaways #11 has lovely art, some strong character moments and finally an answer about Klara (with the added bonus of her not coming back to the team), earning a better than average 3.5 out of 5 stars overall. It’s the kind of comic that makes for a charming palette cleanser before the next big fighty-fighty mess, but here’s hoping Victor gets a body again soon.