Shazza Maddog's Reviews > Runaways, Vol. 1: Pride and Joy

Runaways, Vol. 1 by Brian K. Vaughan
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Sep 28, 11


** spoiler alert ** Let's face it; I'm late to the show on a regular basis when it comes to comics. I used to be much better but during that time, my then-husband worked at a comic book store. And even before that, I had a great dealer who picked out things she knew I'd like and stuck them in my folder for pick up when I came in, once a month.

This is, from what I can tell, a current-running series by Marvel about a group of kids on the West Coast (read 'Los Angeles'). They are six different poople: Alex is a brain who role plays online; Nico is a Goth Lolita; Gert is the frumpy, bad-tempered girl; Molly is the youngest; Karolina's parents are soap opera stars; and Chase is the rebel without a clue. Once a year, their parents get together for a party of sorts, leaving the kids to their own amusement (usually movies and food upstairs in Alex's parent's house). This is the year the kids finally decide to find out just what their parents are up to.

It turns out whatever it is, it isn't good. The kids witness their parents, dressed in funny clothes, killing a girl, and this starts their adventure. The kids find out that their parents are a cartel, known as 'The Pride', running Los Angeles. They try to get enough evidence together to take to the police only to discover that not only are their parents criminals, they're also supers - Karolina and her parents are aliens; Nico's parents are super-duper ninja; Molly's parents are mutants; Gert's parents are time travelers; Chase's parents are mad genius scientists and Alex's parents are...smart. The kids travel from one house to the next, picking up more clues about who they are - and what they are - as they go. Gert ("Arsenic") acquires a genetically-coded dinosaur ("Old Lace"); Molly ("Bruiser" or "Princess Power", take your pick) finds out she has super strength (but due to still being a kid - the reader assumes - she is only super strong for a short time and then collapses); Karolina ("Lucy in the Sky") becomes a flying light show, Chase ("Talkback") figures out that he's smart enough to control his parents' inventions; Nico ("Sister Grimm") takes a magical staff from her mother that allows her to cast any spell - but only once; and Alex discovers that he's clever enough to read the Pride's Gibborim, a book which explains the kids' parents are in control of L.A. for twenty years and; at the end of that time, they can erase all human life from the planet by order of their masters, also known as the Gibborim.

The adventure is very good, with some nice twists and turns. The characters are engaging enough, though some of them are obviously stock characters. The art, at least in the first four collected books (which encompasses comics # 1 through # 18) is good though somewhat dark. Of course, the kids are in hiding throughout much of this time but still, a little sunlight once in a while would be nice.

As a read, it's fun and I'd recommend it.
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