Twofer: Brian K. Vaughan – Runaways, Vol. 6: Parental Guidance & Vol. 7: Live Fast
Length: 144 pages each
Genre: Graphic Novel, Sci-Fi, Young Adult
Started/Finished: 27 August 2010.
Where did they come from? The library.
Why do I have them? I was hoping the series would turn around and pick back up… and it did!
Summary: In a short one-off, Molly accidentally gets left behind on a mission, and falls in with another group of runaway kids – but this group is controlled by a sinister adult. In “Parental Guidance”, the main arc, we learn more about the people who have set themselves up as the new Pride, but when they use magic to reach back into the past for help, the unexpected happens, setting off a chain of events that even the Runaways might be powerless to stop.
Review: Hooray, my whining worked! After volumes 4 & 5, I was bummed out that the series seemed to have abandoned its main storyline in favor of bringing in a bunch of more-famous Marvel characters. But, I’m glad I stuck with it, because Vol. 6 has gotten fully back to form. The story manages to invoke a lot of comics superheroes tropes, while feeling original, and full of familiar teenager-ism and snarky dialogue. The kids all of distinct personalities, and more than ever this volume started to show the realities of what happens when they clash. Plus, the ending’s got a hell of a surprise that managed to hit me right where I live; I hadn’t realize I’d gotten so emotionally involved with these characters until the storyline punched me in the stomach. Kudos to Vaughan & Co. for that one. 4 out of 5 stars.
Recommendation: If, like me, you were disappointed at the commercial turn this series had taken in previous volumes… stick it out! This one’s back to form and oh so good.
First Line: “Is she dead?”
Summary: After the loss of one of their own, the Runaways must find a way to carry on. Most of them will have their attention diverted by a good ol’ fashioned giant unstoppable monster that is ravaging through downtown L.A., but one of them will try to find away to turn back time – even if it means making a deal with powers that they had sworn to fight.
Review: This volume is of a piece with the previous one; focusing on the kids’ storylines, their personalities, and their interactions. The characters are great at always, and there’s always a bit of snarky dialogue to lighten the mood, although this was overall quite a dark story. I was also really surprised how well it handled a lot of tough issues, and how many solid emotional moments it delivered. It’s YA without talking down to kids or sugar-coating its tough parts, which I always really respect. The cliffhanger ending suggests that we might be getting further incursions from the rest of the Marvel Universe, which is less than ideal, but I find these characters and their story interesting enough that I’m willing to stick it out to see. 4 out of 5 stars.
Recommendation: One of the best of the series, in my opinion.
First Line: “Should… should somebody say some words or whatever?”
Other Reviews: Have you reviewed these books? Leave a comment with the link and I’ll add it in.
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