Runaways #23 is a book filled with questions. Can an an android find purpose beyond its programming? Can a man who risked everything to save the one he loves accept when she loves someone else? What’s the point of having superpowers if they aren’t used to help others? What do you feed a teenage godlike being? But the biggest question of all is does this issue answer these effectively? Find out in the our Runaways #23 review.
Writer: Rainbow Rowell
Artist: Andres Genolet
Colorist: Matthew Wilson
Letterer: Vc’s Joe Caramagna
Editor: Nick Lowe
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Release Date: July 31, 2019
Cover Price: $3.99
Solicitation: Doombot was destroyed back in #17, and Chase hasn’t been able to fix him. Victor is going to give it a shot, even if it forces him down a dark road. Even if it leads to something even worse than Victorius…
IT’S VICTOR’S TIME TO SHINE
As the issue opens, we find our favorite angsty superheroes in a rough spot. The cyborg, Victor Mancha, is unconscious and connected with the sometimes ally Doombot. The rest of the team are unsure if he’s simply running diagnostics on himself or if he’s rebooting. The latter option being especially worrisome due to the possibility of Victor returning as his murderous alter-ego Victorious. What the team isn’t aware of is that Victor is locked in a philosophical debate about self-determinism with Doombot in their combined consciousnesses. With Doombot asserting that his only purpose is what Doctor Doom had programmed while Victor suggests he could be far more than that. As the battle of wits rages unseen, Chase and Gert take the time to finally address the love triangle they have found themselves in. In another part of the house Nico has her hands full as she tries to figure out what to feed Gib and what to do with the information that Karolina has been playing the superhero game in secret. But before any of that can be resolved, Doombot has awoken, his decision being made.
THEY LOOK LIKE ACTUAL YOUNG PEOPLE
Depicting young people in comics seems to be a hard thing to do in a lot of cases. What’s nice though is that Andres Genolet has managed to avoid a lot of those pitfalls here. The characters aren’t uncomfortably sexualized nor do they come off as caricatures of American youth. Matthew Wilson’s focus on a soft color palette is pleasant to look at but is a little flat. Niko Henrichon’s work on the scenes with Victor and Doombot is a nice departure from the rest of the book but doesn’t feel entirely out of place.
BOTTOM LINE: ONLY THE RUNAWAYS CAN PULL THIS OFF
The Runaways has always been a unique book. It’s a title that is predicated on the idea of young people dealing with young people’s problems with world ending threats looming over their heads. In this regard Rainbow Rowell deserves a lot of credit for keeping that up, especially in this issue. Even though some of the problems the various members of the team have don’t have the same stakes as others, none of them are treated as silly or unimportant. This issue nails the feeling that this team really is a family with all their own struggles but common goals. It is especially nice to see Victor getting the spotlight here and the maturity displayed in all the character interactions is refreshing.
This issue nails the feeling that this team really is a family with all their own struggles but common goals. It is especially nice to see Victor getting the spotlight here and the maturity displayed in all the character interactions is refreshing.