All Ages

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Read Like a Kid - Runaways

Back from the non-stop turkey weekend and what better thing to do on a Monday night all high on Tryptofan than to read a nice digest sized comic book. So I read the 2nd volume of Brian K Vaughn's RUNAWAYS from Marvel and quite enjoyed it. Born out of the failed Tsunami line (Quesada/Jemas' attempt to wrestle away manga's stronghold in the bookstore market), RUNAWAYS was the diamond-in-the-rough -- loved by a small group of devoted fans, critically acclaimed by comics websites but saddled with low sales and no push in the bookstore market as it was first intended to be.

RUNAWAYS is about a group of teens who must leave their homes after they are framed for murder by their parents after discovering their dark secret -- they are actually super villains. Also, the kids realize they have powers and abilities of their own. This is an incredibly strong premise that would really challenge a young reader -- it's the ultimate betrayal when a parent, viewed as a teacher, a caregiver, is now seen as a threat.

The book is firmly placed in the Marvel Universe with references to Captain America and the X-Men but the book could definitely work without these with some slight editorial tweaking. It's a shame that Runaways really lost its chance to find its audience, losing important momentum floundering between Marvel's unsuccessful Tsunami line and the spotty Marvel Age line.

Now with Tokyopop venturing into the realm of original American style manga, I'm curious how this book would do if published by them. The link to the Marvel Universe isn't what carries this book, Vaughn has proved that by creating one of Marvel's wholly original books in years that's engaging, moves beyond the typical superhero themes but maintains a quality that I think kids, 8 to 12 would really enjoy.


  • It was nice seeing this at Barnes & Noble a couple of days ago. Yet another thing I need to buy when I get more $$ :)

    By Blogger Shawn Fumo, at 11:36 AM  

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