This week, the Runaways are doing what they do best—and what they do best is very fun. In issue #34 of the series, Nico, Molly, Chase, and Old Lace find themselves reluctantly teamed up with two resident Krakoans/X-Men, Wolverine, and Pixie. The gang must work together to find the mysterious mutant who has been sending mixed distressed calls to Krakoa. As is now to be expected with basically any Runaways adventure, chaos ensues.
This issue picks up right where Runaways #33 left off, as Wolverine and Pixie try to make sense of the muddled situation. The writing in this case gives a very entertaining perspective on how difficult the Runaways can be to outside parties. The poor X-Men are just trying to do right by a mutant in distress, only to be confronted by an angsty bunch of young people and their over-protective Doombot. Wolverine’s characterization in this context feels very reminiscent of his X-Men: Evolution counterpart: a reluctant father figure who honestly just wants to go home and doze off to Judge Judy reruns. This is objectively and indisputably the best version of the character, and I commend Rainbow Rowell for channeling his energy.
When the Runaways and their Krakoan accomplices finally spring into action, they are promptly split up and placed into a tangible illusion of the mystery mutant’s own doing. The entertaining dynamic of the previous pages continues steadily with Chase, Molly, and Wolverine on one end, and an interesting friendship between Nico and Pixie begins to blossom on the other. The latter of which makes for the most intriguing part of Runaways #34.
Indeed, Nico and Pixie share a lot in common: they are both magic users who have had to compromise parts of themselves to utilize their power. That said, their backgrounds have been decidedly different through their experiences with the Runaways and X-Men, respectively. Putting the two young women together was therefore a brilliant idea, as they approach their shared vulnerabilities from different positions. Furthermore, a certain key plot point seems to be emerging through their interactions, which may end up addressing certain sides to Pixie’s character that were last seen in the ‘Battleword’ Runaways series.
Rowell certainly seems to be challenging herself in bringing in new developments before she has resolved other story arcs. It appears that the unanswered questions surrounding both Nico’s deal with The One, and exactly who Chase is dating, will be addressed in coming issues. Added to the main missing mutant mystery, this comes to a lot of moving parts. This is not to say Rowell is not up for the task. If she does it well, readers are in for some gripping installments to the series.
The artistic team of Andrés Genolet and Dee Cunniffe remain consistently exceptional. I am always blown away by the detail they put into every issue. Runaways #34 is no exception. The little things, such as the LA breeze blowing through each character’s hair, and the delicate, sparkling colors of Pixie’s dust, make this series feel so intimate and familiar. The paneling also stands out in this issue for how it conveys the comedic points of the story. Overall, Genolet and Cunniffe remain true to form.
The delight and comfort of the Runaways series continues in issue #34, as a long-awaited teamup brings up some surprising new developments. Following this stubborn team as they interact with Pixie and Wolverine is an absolute joy. Readers will have to wait and see how Rowell ties up an exciting plethora of plot points in coming installments.
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