I’ve sang a lot of glowing praise for this current Runaways run in my previous reviews, so strap in, because this is going to be more of the same. Every issue I try really hard to find things that I didn’t like and could be improved, but Runaways might be as close to perfection as a comic series gets. Last issue was action heavy and a little light on what has made this series so strong (not to say it was bad — I still gave it a 9.5), but this issue gets back to business and brings so much heart, humor, and youthful drama to its pages.
Last issue, the team fought what they thought was Dr. Doom, but in this issue we find out that it was just the Doombot that gained prominence in the series Avengers A.I., in which Victor also appeared. Doom and Chase argue about how to “fix” Victor’s current disembodied head disorder, but Victor ends up telling them that in all actuality, he doesn’t want to be fixed. This was a great turn of events in what the book has been building up to with Victor’s characterization in regard to his lineage and feelings of personhood. (Sidebar: a few issues back, Gert gave Victor that haircut. She did a good job because I found myself thinking that Victor’s hair looked really cute this issue.)
Meanwhile, the L Word-esque drama continues with Julie and Karolina, and Molly wrestles with whether she should eat the immortality cupcake her best friend Abigail gave her a few issues ago. I liked the two separate plots and how they ended up coming together at the end, especially in regards to how Julie was forced to grow up very quickly, being the big sister in a family of superhero siblings and all. So Julie eating the cupcake accidentally and being turned into a child again at the end was an interesting take on her history. Molly being forced to think about growing up and what that would mean for her as someone who has always been intrinsically “cute” was perfect for the series and the themes it has been touching on since the start.
In the last issue, I criticized the art for being less than up to snuff for Anka, but this issue was right back to the inherent talent I know he possesses. The facial expressions in particular were stellar this issue, especially Karolina’s. It can sometimes be hard for artists to give “pretty” characters expressive faces at the detriment of making them less than gorgeous, but Anka finds a way to give Karoline realistic expressions that are also beautiful. As mentioned earlier, Victor also looked very good this issue (love the haircut Vic!), as well as Doombot being super expressive with his posture and poses. Anka finds a way to bring life to even the most menial of panels, and it’s always such a pleasure to read anything he illustrates. He’s said before that he doesn’t like drawing team books because it’s the same pay for twice the work, so to see him take on this book and do such a wonderful job shows just how much he loves working on it.
Maybe I’m being over-the-top by giving this series a 9 or above every issue, but really, it’s just that good. If you have any interest whatsoever in the Runaways, you NEED to be reading this. There are so many comics out there trying to vie for your hard earned dollars, but none as deserving as this one. With a creative team that just seems to get it, Runaways is a comic that is not only consistent, but consistently excellent.