Released: November 1st 2004
Issues: Runaways vol. 1 7-12
Teenage Wasteland continues the Runaways saga, and Brian Vaughan does not disappoint. I wouldn’t skip to volume two, as volume one has all of the vital backstory for what these kids are up to and why (though I’ll admit that a decent amount of time is spent summarizing volume one). Alphona and Strain team up to give us the beautiful (and much improved) artwork for this volume. Current Runaways lineup (as it appears to change frequently) includes Alex, Gertrude (along with Old Lace, of course), Karoline, Chase, Molly, and Nico.
Teenage Wasteland was an interesting read for me. Along with continuing the set up plot (the Runways trying to remain runaways while simultaneously try and bring their parents down) some interesting events and characters are introduced.
Most notably is the introduction of a character named Topher. After having convinced the team that he was in the same situation as all of them (innocent kid being forced by his parents to do horrible things) they let him into their hideout. Sadly it turns out that the Runaways were too quick to hand out their trust (a lesson hard learned for most of them) as Topher is truly a vampire looking for an easy snack. I won’t go into the details, but let’s just say he learned something new about alien attributes that day. Needless to say, I found the entire mess hilarious (talk about flipped the vampire trope on its head!).
Cloak and Dagger make a quick appearance as well. Hired by the police to obtain what they believed were runaways, they’re turned onto the truth of what actually happened. Naturally they make promises to the kids to inform the proper authorities of what the Pride is up to, but frankly I’m doubtful anything will come of it (after all, if the Runaways are to stand on their own they can’t keep leaning on others for help). This was the first time I’ve seen Cloak and Dagger, though I’ve heard a bit about them (which is saying a lot, considering they’re c-listers). The timing for me seeing their appearance is ironic, as a TV show is currently in the works for these two. That should prove interesting.
I’m really happy to see the artwork improving, and to the Runaways getting their feet on the ground. They appear to finally be standing on their own as actual superheroes, and it’s nice to see. I can’t wait to see what volume three (The Good Die Young) brings!