One of the neat things about this upcoming Secret Wars mega-super-hyper-combo event is that a lot of cool projects are coming out of the woodwork -- not just to support the unfolding crash of realities, but to sneak in some books that make entirely too much sense. While Battleworld rages on, it would be ridiculous not to have a cadre of teen heroes roaming the field and making their way in the mighty Marvel manner. Since the Secret Wars themselves are happening to create a universal order on a massive scale and enforcing a set universe out of countless others, it makes sense that someone (or someones) are going to want to rebel against that universal order. Thus, the Runaways.
The original Runaways series by Brian K. Vaughan holds a special place in a lot of hearts of comic fans; there was so much done right with the teen team book that it was easy to sympathize and understand the core characters. Everyone feels alienated from their parents at one point or another, everyone can understand questioning authority, and striking off on your own to do your own thing is an ideal many dream about from time to time no matter how old or young you are. The characters were given so much time to breathe and grow because their central themes were so relatable to the reader. The artwork was fresh and felt very young, the colors vibrant and dreamy so much so that the drama and the darker themes hit a little harder when happening to very young characters.
We've seen the characters move on from their original group and move around from book to book (not always for the best), but this week Runaways was announced to return... without the original members. It seems a little disappointing, until you remember that the original teams of most any major title are hard to get in one room these days. Writer Noelle Stevenson is a perfect fit for a book about young superhumans being trained by villainous mentors, as her fantastic online comic NIMONA can surely attest to. Artist Sanford Greene's art is energetic and fresh, full of movement and energy but still distinctly different from where the Runaways have been before. The cast will be a mix of familiar characters and new ones, all with that Battleworld-bent that will have them from different Earths and times. Together, not only will this be a great book for readers hanging out on the fringes of the big event, but as a way to get back into the Runaways in an exciting new way. Stevenson said in an interview with CBR: "Of course I want to do right by everyone who cares about these characters, but there's also a pretty big desire to reinvent. Don't expect a straight-up rehash of Runaways -- this is its own thing. Runaways was exciting because it was something brand-new and fresh, and I'm hoping to be able to bend the rules in my own way of what a Marvel superhero story can be."
Runaways was a great series and I, for one, am glad to see the tradition of the title being carried on.
[Editor’s note: Each Sunday, Robot 6 contributors discuss the best in comics from the last seven days — from news and announcements to a great comic that came out to something cool creators or fans have done.]