Comic Book Review: Runaways #1
Nothing but a wave of excitement could I feel when Marvel decided it was time for the Runaways to make a return. Likely because of the live-action show upcoming on Hulu later this year. Now of course when it comes to a book like this, you do have your questions and concerns. Like, do they really want to bring back a character who stood out for having one of the most emotional deaths in comics? And what happened to Nico and her badass staff upgrade and witch arm? Just to name a few things that must be going through others’ minds.
They wasted little time with the scene that would shake the very foundation of these Runaway’s world. If you had to chalk up the one reason why they were never able to save Gert before, I would say inexperience which seems to be the very reason given to us. So it made sense that given the right time someone could tried to pull off the impossible to make this return happen. I couldn’t believe how they brought her back because at the same time they might have waited too long for the one person who could help them the most to be of any real use. It worked for the fact that this was a very intense scene from start to finish. I’m glad it practically took most of the issue since this was no easy task. The tension created from someone having the balls to do this on top of the stress from that one person who was tasked with saving her, that was a lot to take in. Surely a few readers out there shed a tear and I wouldn’t blame them.
Now one of the questions personally for me was the witch arm missing from Nico. I know I’m one of the rare few who liked it, but Avengers Arena was awesome enough to make that a thing for Nico along with the major power boost to her staff. I will also admit that I didn’t read the A-Force book that she was in, so there is a blank in time missing for what she was up to around that time. Though it does seem like there is an answer to what’s reverted back for Nico to be addressed down the line. It’s good to know that they at least recognize that some do want to know whether it is something they missed or just don’t know.
The original cast for this Runaways is back for this new ongoing, though I would peel the band-aid off quick to say that you only run into a few. Truthfully the two that would be most important to focus on first considering they have been through the most that we have actually seen and followed.
You couldn’t ask for a better art team than Kris Anka and Matt Wilson. I remember there was a time I had a heated conversation with a friend about what he thought about Anka as artist. I told him about what I like about Anka and what he clearly brought to the table with this first issue. First of all, he has style to him whether it is the display of what characters are capable of, or the style that goes into the way they dress themselves. It all makes people like these Runaways feel real, grounded if I might say. Not to mention that this isn’t a reboot of the Runaways which means that you need someone who can actually draw them as if they have aged, while also being smart enough to draw them without exaggeration. This was also the most surgical that I have seen someone use Nico’s powers, no pun intended. I enjoyed the sequence of emotions that ran through her face when realizing how difficult it can be to save someone when her understanding of her own magic is so limited. Overall the expressions so you in every moment. Then that brings us to the magical Matt Wilson on colors. This is the guy you want when you want to see unique colors brought to life on a page. He blends them so well, he has great range as well, and it goes without saying that he makes them all pop. Of course when it comes to a character like Nico he can do wonderful things, so I want to see what happens when we inevitably run into Karolina.
I must say that Rainbow Rowell nails her Marvel debut with Runaways #1, along with having an all-star team to handle the art. They say that the series is going to break our hearts, and I just can’t believe my heart was already broken in the first issue. That scene alone set the tone for what we can expect from Runaways as their story is never sunshine and rainbows. With a debut like this I can’t wait to see what everyone else has been up to or how they might feel about crossing paths again. There’s a lot of catching up to do, especially for Gert who you know will have an opinion about it all.