Runaways #18 Review

Reviewer: James Hatton
Story Title: Eighteen

Written by: Brian K. Vaughn
Penciled by: Adrian Alphona
Inked by: Craig Yeung
Colored by: Udon’s Christian Strain
Lettered by: Randy Gentile
Cover by: Jo Chen
Publisher: Marvel Comics

What a long strange trip it’s been? When this title started so many moons ago, nobody expected it to be the book it was. Fresh and fun with a big hook that guaranteed that it had commercial buzzlines (the kind that Marvel loves) and a tie-in marketing with Tsunami that was going to make sure that each and every one of those titles was a success. Sentinal.. gone. Mystique.. silent acclaim. Runaways.. this is it. So maybe Tsunami wasn’t the biggest thing since sliced bread, but it did give us quite a few good stories.

Runaways is the best of them though.

Story!

Given that this is the last issue of the series for now, going through the entire story would really be silly. If you’ve read this title, then you know not only the story, but just how damned good it is. If you haven’t, then I’m a little confused as to why you are reading the review for the LAST issue?! For as much as I try and be an informative reviewer, the people reading this review already know how great this book is.

If you just happen to fall in that odd category of people who haven’t checked out Runaways… go. Go now. The first trade is out, and it’s a doozy. Vaughn has clearly set himself up as one of the most amazing voices in comics today.

With this book he ties together as much as he possibly can, letting you walk away feeling sated. The only piece that’s missing is a final look back on Cloak and Dazzle.. Dagger about their entanglement in the whole affair. I would have liked just a brief one or two panels given to them, but even Vaughn can’t make me perfectly happy EVERY time.

They keep saying that this is the end of ‘Runaways: Season One’ with a Season Two coming out in the first quarter of 2005, so this isn’t a complete good-bye, just a ‘Check yah later’. This Season Two can be thanked, though to how good those Tsunami books are selling in Trade format. Smartly placed in digest format, you can find Runaways sitting next to other books as “Dragonball Z” and “Initial D” and “Boysex That Japanese Women Find Oddly Arousing”. Go Marvel for wedging themselves in there.

Art

I will have to say that this is my favorite cover of the week. It plays on the story, it plays on the characters and Runaways has mainly featured covers with ‘CHARACTER OF THE MONTH’ style that is the predominant style at Marvel. This at least shows a little forethought.

On the inside, Runaways has also never failed in being stylistic and easy to follow. In the past, I’ve had a few different problems with the heights and weights of various characters fluxing between artists, but not so much as for me to get all crazy about it. This issue has a very dark edge going into it, as most of the action is taking place at night, but I was kind of expecting the look to be a bit brighter. Ah well, as I said… nothing to get your panties in a bunch over.

Overall

Well, it’s time to take the bar stools and hang them up. Turn off all the lights. Lock up the doors. Say goodnight to Runaways. They’ve given us well over a year of great stories, and have survived long enough to finish it – maybe they wanted it to go a little longer, but Vaughn has done a great job with it, and when Season 2 comes out I will be first on line to see just how great it is.

If I was to be rating the entire book on this, it would easily hit the ‘10.0’. Sadly, I’m only rating this issue.. but it still deserves high praise.

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