Runaways #1 by Noelle Stevenson, Sanford Greene, John Rauch and Clayton Cowles.
I’m a big fan of Runaways, that lovable bunch of lost and lonely teens who find a family in each other and try their very best to kick some butt are pretty hard to dislike. I’m also
a massive fan of Noelle Stevenson – massive – she’s one of my favourite writers and one of few whom I trust completely. She writes teenagers and friendships like no one else and she strives for diversity in her work which is one of the biggest things I look for in the books I read. You can pick up a Noelle Stevenson book and be confident that you aren’t going to stumble upon slurs or problematic behavior. So obviously I’ve been excited for her version of Runaways!
This is a Secret Wars tie-in so you have to go in with the knowledge that literally anything could happen (even something craaazy like Cloak and Dagger switching places!). This run is set in the Victor Von Doom Institute for Gifted Youths where Battleworld’s most exceptional teens are being trained to join the Doom Elite! Among those exceptional teens are Jubilee, Pixie, Cloak and Dagger, Molly Hayes and Bucky Barnes (lame jerky glorified hall monitor).
The number one thing I have to mention is that the teenagers in Runaways are such realistic portrayals of teenagers. So many books miss this mark and add a little too much bitchiness or one too many sprinkles of sass but these teens have that exact teen-y brand of sweet fake-pretentiousness (I was the type to say yes I totally have read that old classic boring book and nooo I’ve NEVER read Twilight). They’re sweet and well meaning but have very particular ideas of how they want to be perceived and how they can achieve that image. Basically they’re just ridiculously relatable and endearing. Their characters and attitudes are quickly established and the dialogue flows naturally.
The relationships are all full of so much potential, the dialogue between Ty and Pixie was a highlight that made me so excited and hopeful for the future of this series. Especially the mention of a past romantic relationship between Pixie and Jubilee and Pixies declaration that she also dates boys, trust Noelle Stevenson to throw some bi representation in right off the bat!
The art isn’t exactly to my personal taste but I appreciate the energy and momentum it brings to the page and how well the sometimes over-the-top expressions complement the writing. It was the right way to go and I warmed to it by the half way point. The colouring is gritty and a little edgy and really helps set the tone of this super sinister school.
It’s sinister but sweet, the characters and interactions are so natural and realistic that it’s easy to settle into this bonkers school that has robots in charge of detention and some pretty intense fighting. Bonus points for girl-gangs, Pixie’s super cute skirt and Mollie’s adorable dynamic with Jubes! It all comes together so well and I’m beyond excited to see where it goes!