Comic Book Review: Runaways #3
The future of the Runaways is uncertain, but the road to figuring that out begins now. It was emotional to go through Gertrude’s rescue by Nico and Chase, it is brutal when she had to face the hard reality of what happened to her friends over the course of a couple of years, and it was a tough pill to swallow understanding where things went wrong. Where the story takes us now you have to brace for when some of them might be comfortable on their own and away from the drama this group brought with them.
Catching up with Karolina was a moment I was really looking forward to. Karolina unlike the rest of the Runaways had the most potential for being able to live a normal life after everything that they have been through. She spent some time at the Avengers Academy, she met kind people, and she found an out on her own terms. It was even better to understand how she has tried to manage this new life which must have been challenging. That doesn’t come without some sort of effort put into taking care of yourself before anything else. The question that this all leads to is how she would react when confronted by the past. You knew exactly how this visit would turn out, but that could have prepared you for the tension that would break loose from it. It goes without saying that most have moved on and right now this is more of pushing these characters together when they don’t necessarily fit together anymore. From her perspective everyone was really forced to confront the truth about what they were and what they are not. I mean I would love to see them together again, but it would be lazy storytelling if they would all simply drop everything and jump into another series of unfortunate events so willingly.
This whole thing is a tough pill to swallow if you’re a fan of Gertrude. This second chance at life is not all that it is cracked up to be when you are stepping into a world that has in many ways moved on without you and you find yourself holding even less control over things than before. It’s like they said, what do you have to offer the Runaway(s) who grew up? What I appreciated most was addressing how and why Gertrude and Chase can’t be a thing. Time travel is a tricky thing regardless of how successful your actions may be. Gertrude may have been brought back to the present, but that didn’t mean she would magically age to the same as everyone else. She’s stuck in the past while everyone else is living in the future.
I only wish there was a bit more to go off of when it comes to this enemy from the shadows, if we can even call this person an enemy. Clearly not someone to be trusted, though also something we can’t know for certain until we get more out of that subplot.
Kris Anka continues to be an absolute delight as artist for this book. Adds so much liveliness to this book between the way these characters move, the way they interact with each other and the way that they show emotion. For this issue in articular it was nice to also see how each of them differentiate in terms of age. You can see the gap between most of them and Gertrude, and when seeing Karolina in college you can feel more comfort in how developed they all look considering some people thought they may have looked too mature before the book debuted. Aside from that, I also enjoyed the way these panels were laid out this time around. The scenes had a creative transition to them that gave you a different way to read each page. It worked in terms of pacing and style. After an issue like Runaways #3, you can see why Matt Wilson was the perfect choice as colorist. Its one things when he can produce such astounding visuals when it comes to Nico’s magic, though another thing entirely when you see what this guy can accomplish when it comes to Karolina’s stunning lightshow when taking on that solar appearance. Beyond that he keeps this story captivating through bright and bold colors that keep you hopeful for the Runaways getting the band back together (for the most part).
Runaways #3 took us to Pomona College, and while the destination wasn’t all too fruitful, the takeaway was just what we needed moving forward. There are many variables to take into account when taking a chance on bringing these characters together. Two years is a long time and that is more than enough time for someone like Karolina Dean to finally find happiness, for some to realize they need each other, and for others to struggle with an uncertain future.