Released: February 16th 2005
Issues: Runaways vol. 1, 13-18
After all this build-up, the Runaways finally face off against the Pride in an attempt to stop their parents from completing their goals. This is the volume you don’t want to skip to or skip over, so make sure that you make time for it. Along with everything else is an origin story for the Pride – but don’t worry, the background to them doesn’t make them anymore sympathetic, so feel free to continue hating them.
Runaways role call (as it tends to change): Nico Minoru, Karolina Dean, Chase Stein, Gertrude Yorkes (and Old Lace as well), Molly Hayes, and Alex Wilder.
So much happens in volume three, frankly it’s a refreshing change from volume two (which was interesting actually didn’t contain all that much story wise). Brian K. Vaughan came out swinging doing what he does best – hitting you right in the feels. That man will not pull a punch unless he chooses to, something I’ve learned from his other series. Runaways is no exception.
Some time is spent for character development – particularly with Alex and Nico’s characters. All of the kids now have superhero nicknames too, but please take them with a grain of salt (they’re all pretty young after all, and thus are likely to pick lame-ish names). I consider them all lucky that Molly didn’t just go ahead and name all of them herself.
Last volume the hints started dropping about a spy being in the Runaways. Somebody was leaking information to the Pride, telling them small details about the Runaways while also implying they were trying to lead the team back towards the Pride. The big revelation finally came, some will and some won’t be surprised by who it was (I know this series is on the older side, but I’m still going to avoid giving out that massive spoiler).
It’s always tough seeing a character that’s been built up to be sympathetic suddenly turn on their friends and become the villain. But the payoff was worth it in this case – it added a whole new level to the Runaways plot, as well as adding a sense of permanency. The stereotypical monologue gave fans a chance to catch up on the what and why of the betrayal; which is a bit helpful, considering the rather sudden flip.
In the end the Runaways did what usually happens with superheroes – they saved the day. They took some hits and the price of winning wasn’t cheap, but they did it. It’ll be interesting to see where they go from here, since technically the reason for them grouping together is now gone.