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#46 Runaways: Vol 2- By Brian K Vaughn

Note: The edition I am reviewing is the large hardback version, not the small manga-sized paperbacks. The reason why this is so important is the first three small paperbacks make up volume one of the hardback editions. The second hardback version carries voles four through six of the paperbacks. Because I am covering the hardback version, there are spoilers for volumes one through three of the little paperback versions. Confusing enough for you?

Cut for spoilers

At the end of Runways Volume One, the runaways took down Los Angeles’s most dangerous super villains, The Pride, who also happened to be their parents. Since then, other villains have been inching into LA to take advantage of the unclaimed territory. The Runaways do their best to defend their home, despite the fact that they are not your typical superheroes (they don’t wear costumes or have code names, and their shoot first ask later/no adult should be trusted philosophy doesn’t always work). Events get more complex when they receive a visitor from twenty years in the future who warns them about a super villain powerful enough to take down all of Marvel’s heavy hitters. Now, he’s just a teenager. Nico, Molly, Karolina, Chase, and Gert are the only ones who can stop him from heading down this dark path. Finding him and helping him won’t be easy, especially when a group of powerful ex-teen superheroes get in the way.

The second volume of Runaways has all of the strength of the first. We are once again presented with teenage superheroes that not only break the mold of typical superheroes, but (gasp!) actually talk and act like real teenagers. One of favorites would have to be the youngest member, Molly, a mutant who possesses near-Hulk like strength yet somehow makes it look adorable. Nico is another notable character. This volume shows her hesitantly stepping up to take over the leadership role abandoned by Alex after his betrayal, and struggling with often confusing emotions. Of course I also like Karolina, and Chase and Gert… well they’re all pretty damn likeable. Writer Brian K Vaughn delivers us with great storylines this time around, that result in a new member of the runaways, the departure of a current member (hopefully just temporary) and guest star appearances from Cloak and Dagger (yay!), and members of the Avengers. The artwork is primarily by Adrian Alphona, who once again does a great job. The two issues that are taken over by manga-influenced artist Takeshi Miyazawa suffer a bit from the change in artwork. I can’t help it, I like consistency, and Gert’s fluctuating weight is somewhat distracting, as if the writer struggles with drawing a superhero that’s not super skinny.

The second volume of Runaways is a satisfying read. Unfortunately, my library does not have a copy of volume three so it may be a while until I get to read that one.

Rating: four and a half stars
Length: 312 pages
Source: Lewiston Public Library
TBR Pile: 144 books
Similar Books: The Darkest Power Trilogy by Kelley Armstrong. Also, this comic series would be great for Buffy fans.
Other books I've read by this author: Runaways: Vol 1, Y: The Last Man (Vol 1-7), Buffy Season 8: No Future For You.

xposted to bookish  andtemporaryworlds 


( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Jun. 1st, 2009 01:14 am (UTC)
I love that you noted that the Runaways act like real teenagers. It really annoys me in some books when teens act like either adults in smaller bodies, way younger and more naive than they should, or, worst of all, just a really bad stereotype of a teenager. I'm always left with the impression that the author hasn't interacted with a teen, ever. With these books, I feel like there was teenager sitting over the author's shoulder like a guardian angel saying, "No idiot! Who says that?! And come on, no one's that stupid! Stop that!"

I also liked how the runaways aren't always right, don't get all "peace and justice for all" preachy, and are more concerned with just surviving. Over all, these are some of my favorite superheroes.
Jun. 2nd, 2009 01:10 am (UTC)
Than you! Although it has been a few years (not that many!) since I was a teenager myself, it's something that still bothers me. Sure, some teens are very mature, but few of them have it as well together as some authors seem to think. I remember being a confused emotional mess from age 12-19 (less so in the later years), and I had a pretty steady life.
Jun. 1st, 2009 06:25 pm (UTC)

Jun. 2nd, 2009 01:10 am (UTC)
Aren't they great?
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )

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