Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Runaways: True Believers

"Runaways" volume two began with the storyline "True Believers," which just wrapped up with issue six. The second volume of the series is doing really well in the direct market, given its previous cancellation. But with the digest trades of the series, a following was roused to partake in the adventures of Brian K. Vaughan's runaways, a following that wasn't going to wait around for the next collection, as there was a long enough hiatus period between volume one's cancellation and volume two's start. Yep, eager hands snatched up the "Runaways" with the new volume. But how does it fare in comparison, after the first volume resolved most of the plot threads? Surprisingly well, actually. Shedding its initial hook with the new volume, the runaways returned with a story that begins in time travel. Ah, yes. One of the kids has returned from a distant future to warn them of danger. A danger that they must act upon quickly to erradicate a threat in its initial stages, before it becomes too powerful. And so, we follow the children as they meet another runaway and battle a group of secondary heroes. A group of individuals who began fighting crime as teenagers, but have grown into considerably screwed-up (some would say pathetic) adults. They hold a mirror image before the children, showing them where their choices could potentially lead them. Ah, yes, but the twists and turns of the tale are great. It is truly great storytelling when you don't see something coming that makes absolute sense to the story, and is a natural next step. Of course, there are those cheesy elements that are bound to pop up in superhero comics, as they are inherent in the genre, but "Runaways" is one of those series that likes to point out these things, effectively poking fun at itself, recognizing the tropes, as "Buffy, the Vampire Slayer" did within its own universe. It's no wonder that Joss Whedon himself has cited his affection for the series. But if you're getting into the series late, don't fret. I'm sure a digest for the second volume will be out any day now.

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