Let me first off say that Runaways and Sentinel are two books that mean a lot to me on a personal level. These book came out at a time when I had just graduated college, was stuck in a dead-end job and it felt like the real world was spinning out of control. I had just left the world of adolescence yet the world of adulthood suddenly struck me as insane and terrifying. These were two comics whose leads who felt relatabled real in way that the X-Men and the Teen Titans didn’t. Unfortunately much to my dismay the Tsunami imprint of comics wasn’t long for this world. Good books don’t always sell, but my love of these two books did inspire me to start writing about comics for several different websites (I even worked with current Marvel editor Ben Morse for awhile.) Thankfully Runaways gathered enough of a fan following to be revived as an ongoing and Sentinel got a mini-series to bring it to a satisfying conclusion.
Over the years I would thrill as the Runaways met superheros, traveled in time, and new characters like Xavin and Klara would join the crew. Alas the fate of the book would be one all too familiar. After Brian K.Vaughn left the title bounced around various creative teams, some with very good ideas, some with… well not so good ideas. I ended up taping out around the mess that was the “Rock Zombies” arc and kicking myself because I still loved Nico, Chase, Karolina, etc so much. Of course I would see the kid again in tie-ins and guest appearances but it never was quite the same.
Then came a little book called Avengers Academy that really reignited my love of teen superheros. There were cool new characters, guest stars galore (Juston from Sentinel even go to be a supporting cast member) and even a team-up with the Runaways! It felt good to read and it seemed to be gathering a cult following of it’s own… Then came Arena.
Avengers Arena was a book that upset me in a way that no superhero comic should upset an adult. It was a title that filled me with with an unhealthy amount of stress and disgust when it was coming out and a weird gallows humor today. I honestly place it in the rankings “Batman War Games” and “Avengers 200.” At least Nico and Chase got off somewhat easy despite bad writing and some awful character redesigns. Poor Mettle and Juston deserved so much better.
Nico would later appear in A-Force a book that deserved a longer ryn and well that seemed to be the end of the Runaways. Until now.
To be honest I was fairly anxious when a new Runaways series was announced with a writer I had never heard of at the helm. I had wanted a new Runaways series for ages yet I couldn’t stomach the thought of a bad one. It was a gamble… that thankfully feels like it paid off. The art by Kris Anika is good and writer Rainbow Rowell seems to have Nico and Chase’s characters down perfect. The first issue isn’t a big story in the traditional superhero sense, but it’s a thrilling rescue. It’s a small-ish story but one that feels deeply personal. It feels like a homecoming and a triumph.
So I’m already looking forward to the next issue. I’m eager and willing to see what what happens with Karolina and Molly plus it’s great to have Gert back. Maybe we’ll see Klara and Xavin again down the line. It looks like it should be a heck of a ride.
Paul Sebert Barboursville, West Virginia
P.S.: Since we got Gert back and only Bucky, no… Gwen Stacy, no Jason Todd, uh… Uncle Ben stays dead it would mean a lot to me if you find a way if a certain kid with a giant robot guest-stars.