“#Alone, #TheStruggleIsReal, #Throwback, #TimeTravel, #Runaways!” (Runaways #1 Comic Review)

Runaways #1

Writer: Rainbow Rowell

Penciler: Kris Anka

Color Artists: Matthew Wilson

Publisher: Marvel Comics

Nico Minoru has been a runaway teen vigilante, a deadly arena survivor, and was in an all-female super hero team. But of course, everything always goes back to basic. When her former teammate/family/co-runaway Chase Stein suddenly appears inside her apartment via a time machine, carrying what seems to be a lifeless body of a person they used to care. Is she ready to face this unexpected visit or runaway from this predicament?

 

Previously: After they’ve defeated their evil parents, the Runaways had been through a lot in the Marvel universe. They’ve been hunted down by a mind controlled Marvel Boy during the Civil War & experienced the chaos during Secret Invasion. Even after they’ve split up we’ve seen some of the members fought valiantly to survive in Battleworld during the third Secret War.  But despite all those life changing crisis, one former runaway, Chase Stein has not moved from the death of his late Girlfriend, another runaway, Gert. Before the team broke up, we last saw Chase see another teenage girl who looked like Gert walking around the city and alive. How was this possible? No one knew. But it looks like we will get another chance to explore the story behind that unexplained cliffhanger.

What You’ll Find Out:  We see Nico Minoru trying to heat up a pot of water to cook instant noodles. While waiting for the water to heat up. Our heroine looked back on the times when she had a family with her fellow Runaways, that time when she was kidnapped, thrown in & trying to survive a battle to the death arena and finally her awesome moments with A-force, up until they’ve split up. Looking back at the different events in her life made her feel sad and now, more alone than ever. Suddenly, her former Runaway teammate Chase pops up of nowhere, using a time machine behind him, carrying a lifeless body of another Runaway member, Gert who was supposedly dead 2 years ago (in Marvel comics’ Earth 616 time, go figure.) Chase asks her help to save Gert’s life but Nico who was very surprised, reminded Chase that her magic cannot bring anyone back life. Chase begs her to at least try. He added that this circumstance was not something he intended to happen. Nico then decided to help Chase, she cuts herself to summon her Staff of One then uses her magic to summon a random female doctor in the area. The Doctor advised them that they would need to call an ambulance since Gert was already in critical condition. Both Chase and Nico refused to that idea as they don’t want to attract any more attention from the public and superheroes like the X-Men. Nico informs the doctor she will provide anything they needed with her magic to revive Gert. Nico provided the female doctor X-Ray goggles to help her operate on Gert. Nico then ask what the doctor would initially do or need during a surgery. The doctor responds that she doesn’t know as she is only a Podiatrist, but Nico insists and told the doctor to only tell her what to do and what they needed. We then see Nico struggling to come up with new words to activate her spells in which some even backfired while they were trying to revive Gert. They were eventually able to replace Gert’s aorta with a new one and stopped the bleeding. Nico sends the doctor back to her home.

She then used her magic to get a Ouija board and communicate with Gert (Which I don’t get why they needed that to communicate with an alive but unconscious Gert, but still thought it was funny.) It looked like Gert was already okay and recovering which the led Nico to finally asked Chase what was going on and he explained that he never intended to bring Gert back but accidentally got her and brought her to the future (their current time.)

They then argue shortly about this affecting their time/reality but Chase answers back to Nico telling her that even before what has transpired now, messing up the timeline was already unavoidable with Gert’s parents being evil time travelers who has been tampering with time. Nico then mention that she doesn’t get it, and what she remembers on that day was when Old Lace dragged Chase out of the burning house alone. Chase then tells her that he might have already changed the past as it was not how it happened the first time. That what really happened was he saw Gert die and carried her lifeless body out of the burning house. Then he told her what had happened now when he came back in time, he saw his younger self mourning at the lifeless Gert, opened his Psi Link with Old Lace and asked her to drag his younger self out of the flames, and picked up Gert’s body. Nico and Chase’s conversation was then cut off, when a weak Gert started talking. The book ends with a mysterious person observing and watching what was happening to the 3 young runaways and mentioning Chase’s name.

 

What just happened: Wow, for a first issue it sure packed a lot of raw emotions coming from the focused characters. It read like the book started exactly where it last left off. The story for now is primarily focused on former Runaways’ leader Nico and the misunderstood bad boy of the group, Chase. While we do see Gert coming back to life, she only had a few dialogues near at the end of the book.  As for her comic book writing debut, Rainbow Rowell did an awesome job on this 1st issue of the series. She clearly wants to reassure fans that she knows her Runaways, their back story, who they are now, what they’ve become after these years of character developments under different writers and that they are in good hands. She further also tries to tell us that the continuity of the story/main plot is important for loyal fans, but at the same time wants to introduce these characters to new readers too. Kris Anka was the perfect choice as the main artist for this relaunched series. His clean art style exudes raw emotions coming out of each character’s face and body language, I could see the sadness in Nico’s face and her fear of not having enough spells left after using almost all the words she can think off during her super hero days. The way Anka drew Chase’s fear of losing Gert and how he carried her on his arms was definitely heartbreaking to look at. This is one of those best examples of “it’s not about adding a lot of details on the art but the importance of telling a story and focusing on the right subjects through simplicity.” Match it off with Matthew Wilson’s coloring skills, whose colors and added textures set the right mood and ambiance for the book; added a more dramatic effect to the already very expressive art & story.

 

Pros:

 

  • Rainbow Rowell knows how to play with your emotion to keep you hooked from the start til’ the last page of the comic. Which means it was a very well written.

 

  • The very expressive and clean art coming from Kris Anka

 

  • Very easy to read, and Rowell adding a few humors in the book was a risk that worked very well to balance the story out which had a lot of emotional/dramatic moments.

 

Cons:

  • The story was too short, that or I just really want to know what happens next issue!

 

Final Thought: Rainbows Rowell’s comic book debut delivers an excellent story and added depth to the ongoing drama of our struggling young runaway heroes. Partnered with the clean expressive art of Kris Anka and the skillful coloring of Matthew Wilson. It looks Marvel has hit another pot of gold for this awesome relaunch.

 

Rating: 9/10

 

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