Runaways #3 Review

Reviewer : Tim Byrne
Story Title : True Believers (Part 3)

Writer : Brian K. Vaughan
Penciler : Adrian Alphona
Inker : Craig Yeung
Colorist : Christina Strain
Letterer : Randy Gentile (Virtual Calligraphy)
Editor : C.B. Cebulski

The sage of five wacky teens and their struggle against adults, other teens and boredom continues in Part 3 of this relaunched title.

I got into Runaways pretty late, having discovered Brian Vaughan through the splendiferous titles of Y The Last Man, Ex Machina and Ultimate X-Men. Speeding through the three digests which comprised the first series certainly made me hungry for more, and having to wait a month between issues is now starting to get extremely irritating.

A battle of sorts ensues between the Runaways and their ‘New Warrior’ opponents, but the whole episode really only serves as a vehicle for catty and extremely funny comments from the various teens.

Brian Vaughan has a way of crafting quality mysteries and cliff-hangers, and the question of who really is Victor’s father is no exception. The vague hints that have been dropped so far give no real helpful clues, but certainly provide enough information to whet the reader’s appetite for more.

And those one-liners…simply stunning. I particularly liked Chase’s description of his ‘power’ and the response by one of the ‘New Warriors’ to not being recognised certainly elicited a grim chuckle.

Maybe best of all, in a comic-book world of rape, betrayal and murder, is the genuinely fun tone of this book. Sure there are actions, and those actions have consequences, but you can’t help but notice how much these characters smile, and laugh, and generally enjoy being alive. Despite the tragedies that have previously befallen them, this is completely in character with the capacity of children their age to bounce back from adversity and hardship. See Parker, Peter (or at least Stan Lee’s version).

I can’t wait for the next issue, or for the interaction of these solidly drawn personalities, all of whom have a distinct and valid voice.

Adrian Alphona’s art is functional, and certainly makes sure that the teenagers are depicted as, well, kids. It is certainly a positive that no only are the teenagers portrayed as such, but they are hardly all paragons of beauty, rather looking like average, geeky (if slightly stylised) independent children. The image of Old Lace with a tied-mouth was certainly worth a second look. You could almost feel the irritation.

Overall, keep them coming Brian, you’re doing fine.