Released: April 5th 2006
Issues: Runaways vol. 2, 7-12
The teenage superheroes are back at it, this time they’re working to remove crime in New York City. With even more cameos than normal (hello Cloak & Dagger, Captain America, Iron Man, Spider-Man, and Wolverine!) this volume is probably the busiest of the bunch.
Runaways roll call (because it’s always changing – only listing the starting lineup in this case): Nico Minoru, Karolina Dean, Chase Stein, Gertrude Yorkes (with Old Lace), Molly Hayes, and Victor Mancha.
I’m kind of overwhelmed by just how much actually happens in this volume. First is a pretty intense Karolina plot. It turns out that she was betrothed to marry Xavin, a Skrull prince. The intent was for there to be peace between their races. I may be in the minority here, but I absolutely loved how everything came out for this one. Long story short: Karolina turned down Xavin, kindly explaining that it wasn’t fair to marry him, as she was not attracted to men. Xavin’s response wins surprise of the year; being a Skrull he can take any form, and is more than willing to take on a form more appealing to Karolina. That’s…actually really sweet, especially for a Skrull. The sad news? It resulted with Karolina leaving the group. I’m sure she’ll be back (ok, that may be my brain trying to protect me here).
There’s a repeat cameo of Cloak and Dagger. I feel pretty awful for both of them in this case. Cloak is being framed for seriously injuring Dagger (and obviously Dagger was put through hell herself). Left with limited options, he’s forced to go to the Runaways to catch the guy masquerading as himself. I’m willing to overlook the part where a C-lister character was forced to ask a bunch of kids for help. This whole plot felt pretty…heavy for me. I tried really hard not to think too much about what happened to poor Dagger. At least in the end we see her up and about again.
Next is…you guessed it! Even more cameos; this was a bit of a cause and affect one. Because of what’s going on with Cloak and Dagger, a slew of heroes rush to New York to try and apprehend Cloak. And thus result probably one of my new favorite fights of all time: Molly versus Wolverine. I present this for your viewing pleasure:
My biggest complaint about this volume would probably be the attempt at rocking the boat, so to speak. Nico’s way of dealing with events (such as losing Karolina) is apparently to try and cause mayhem for other relationships. Naturally that meant she made a move on Chase…yeah I wasn’t a fan of that whole twist! Thankfully Chase is actually a pretty loyal guy, and turned Nico down (in a surprisingly kind manner). I’m not looking forward to when Gert finds out what happened though. Things will get messy.
I’m still surprised by how much I’m enjoying this series; Brian K. Vaughan is brilliant. I never thought a series about a bunch of teen superheroes could be so gut wrenching. Perhaps that’s my mistake. Regardless, I can’t wait to read volume six (Parental Guidance).