Runaways #9

Cutting loose.

Cutting loose.

Runaways #9

Terry Moore
Takeshi Miyazawa

Indie darling Terry Moore wraps up his run on Marvel’s hippest little comic book.

What worked:
It is nice to see these kids get past some of the self-obsessed navel-gazing (they ARE teenagers, after all) and get into some real-deal city saving. The team faces a threat, makes a plan, and saves the day. It’s nice to see them doing what they should be doing, but without Nico’s guiding mantra of making up for what their parents did wrong, it seems a little…unlikely. Real teens would have gotten bored by now if not compelled by some greater force or idea (ie. With great power….).
Thus far, the one element that has been really true through every incarnation of The Runaways is that little Molly Hates gets all the best lines. Still true.
Miyazawa’s art is a bit sparse at times, but it is fun and light, and it keeps the story moving along.

What did not work:
The villain of the story, a shock-jock named Val Rhymin, of whom chase is a rabid fan just seemed really flat. Like something out of the Ninja Turtles cartoon. The old cartoon, not the cool one. I read the whole arc and I still don’t know what was up with him. It was all about money? Or maybe it was something about his rampaging ego. It is fine to have shallow villains and fluffy, fun, stores, but to do that, the stories must be really fun.
This story wasn’t really dark enough to feel like The Runaways, nor was it fun enough to justify the break from the norm. Nico’s powers are running out of control and it just doesn’t seem to bother her that much. At one point, her staff seems to murder someone and she is upset about for just about 3 panels. Neither Karolina nor Chase seem that broken up about their lost loves.
This issue would have felt a lot more on-theme if the heroics had been shown as a release from tensions and stress, or as some obligation, or something. These characters have been too thoughtful and too conflicted in the past to just run out and face a threat because it is there. One of the best things about this book has been that the questions of “why is this our problem?” and “what counts as victory?” actually got addressed. I just don’t feel like we were shown how this team arrived at this decision to go out and thwart evil.
On the very last page, someone comments that Molly and her friend will be the future of superheroes.
Perhaps that was the point of this arc, to show us a typical villain situation and then show us how it WILL be dealt with in the future. If that is the case then it wasn’t fully realized. There was almost no sense of this until that very last bit of dialogue.

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