Runaways, v. 5: Escape to New York
Collects: Runaways (v. 2) #7-12 (2005-6)
Released: September 2005 (Marvel)Runaways is one of the best titles Marvel is publishing today, the story of six LA teenagers who find their parents are all supervillains. (As the characters continually ask, “Aren’t all parents?”) The series is reprinted in the digest format, which is considerably smaller than the comics it reprints and considerably cheaper as well.
Escape to New York has two storylines in it: the two-part “Star-Crossed” and the four-part “East Coast / West Coast.” Takeshi Miyazawa provides the art for the first storyline; it’s technically well done, but it’s a bit more cartoony than I like in a comic about a group of orphans who live in near poverty. It’s also jarring to see the characters drawn in a different style than regular series artist Adrian Alphona, who has been drawing the series since issue #1. Miyazawa, who filled in for two issues of the first volume, makes the characters look more generic; it’s sometimes hard to tell the difference between Chase and Victor, and Gert, who’s supposed to be at least a little overweight, looks just as impossible svelte as the other characters. Alphona is excellent as always, although shrinking down the artwork for digest size muddies it a bit. I especially like his Pusher Man, a pimpin’ drug dealer with oversized techno gauntlets.
The trip to New York in the second storyline allows writer Brian K. Vaughan to get snarky about the rest of the Marvel Universe, sometimes almost directly so. (At one point, when asked if the team is new, resident witch Nico says, “
Still, for some reason, “East Coast / West Coast” is an unsatisfying storyline, in which
“Star-Crossed” is also unsatisfying, partially for the art and partially because the teens — particularly Karolina — seem to offer as much resistance to the alien visitor’s ideas as they do to Cloak. Their fight is lackluster at best. Perhaps this, coupled with their lack of a fight against Cloak, is
Still, I’m excited to read the next digest; the teaser at the end, showing the new Pride plotting the teenagers’ downfall, makes me eager to see them fully revealed, and I’m itching to see whether Vaughan ties up some of the loose ends he left in Escape to New York or if he lets them dangle.
In the end, even a slightly unsatisfying digest of Runaways like this one is better than most of the rest of Marvel’s product.