Story Title: Star-Crossed
Reviewer: Paul Sebert
Writer: Brian K. Vaughan
Artists: Takeshi Miyazawa
Colorist: Udon’s Christina Strain
Letterer: Randy Gentile
Editor: MacKenzie Cadenhead
Publisher: A Marvel Pop-Art Production
Ok in their first arc since re-launch the Runaways have recruited a new team member in the form of Victor Mancha, defeated Ultron, and held their own against blazing rival super group Excelsior. Lots of stuff happened.
Anyway as this two-part arc opens up with the team facing off against one my favorite B-tier villain Fritz Von Meyer AKA Swarm. He’s an evil nazi made out of angry bees.
I repeat for dramatic purposes. An evil nazi made out of angry bees…
Think about that for a moment. Who were the worst people in human history? Nazis. What’s the worst thing to come out of the animal kingdom? Hoards of angry bees.
Swarm’s both of these things. How horrifying is that?
While your mind breathes in the full awesome ramifications of Swarm’s evil potential, I would like to point out this menace isn’t even the main villain in this two-part arc. Oh no, there’s a new bad guy introduced at the end of this month’s adventure but I dare not spoil it.
Issue number 7 of the second Runaways series is an excellent jumping on point for new readers and serves as a good showcase for the book’s various strengths as well as a few of it’s unfortunate weaknesses. On the plus side there’s some great snappy dialog, a wonderful obscure villain, a creepy new villain, another great cliffhanger and the cast continues to develop into fully realized three dimensional characters. On the downside the pacing of this issue feels just a little too talky and there were few side vignettes that while amusing seemed to pad the plot. Really I want more super-teen vs. nazi bee action. Still the book remains a fresh take on the teen superhero genre.
On tap artwise for this two-part storyline is Takeshi Miyazawa who is filling in for Adrian Alphona in between Mary Jane. Miyazawa has a very nice shojo manga-esc look to it that fit’s the energy of the title well, but his takes on some of the characters are a little uneven. Victor Mancha in particular suffers in this style looking like tan version of Juston Seyfert from Sentinel. However the use of shading and coloring to accentuate the art is excellent.