Released: June 10th 2009
Issues: Runaways 26-30
Volume 8 marks the official transition from Brian K. Vaughn’s writing to Joss Whedon’s works. This is an important fact because there’s a slight change in tone, and knowing the writer swap pretty quickly clears that up. There were a lot of laugh out loud moments in this volume (many of them involving the Punisher, believe it or not), but there’s also some pretty heavy points to, and they’re decently balanced out.
Since the cast seems to keep changing, here’s the current Runaways lineup: Nico, Chase, Karolina, Molly, Victor, and Xavin. It’s worth noting that this line-up changes at the end of this volume. Clearly you have to stay on your toes to keep up with who’s in and who’s out.
So I just have to get this off my chest first: I absolutely positively loved that Molly punched the Punisher in the gut. It was the funniest thing I’ve seen in a while. I especially loved the aftermath where everybody was lecturing Molly about not punching non-superheroes (and their logic as to whom is and isn’t super-powered based on their names).
Fair warning, this volume does involve a decent amount of time travel, so if that isn’t your cup of tea, this volume may bother you a bit. I’ll admit it bothered me a bit, but more so because the whole thing felt rushed than for any other reason.
So the Runaways crew get sent back in time (because why not?) and then promptly trapped there. So naturally they run off and have adventures in the past (despite promising to be careful and aware of the butterfly effect). They end up finding a group of kids/young adults that all have abilities as well (presumably mutants?), which gets pretty confusing really fast about who’s allied to who. You’ll see what I mean when you read it.
Victor meets and falls in love with one of these girls (despite his current relationship status with Nico), Lillie McGurty. She sets off a whole mini-plot that’s running throughout the background from start to finish in the volume. It was both cute and pretty depressing. I’m not sure if her plotline is concluded or not, so I’ll have to wait and see.
Nico gets kidnapped through a roundabout manner and eventually winds up in the hands of an unnamed ancestor of hers (who happened to be in the city at that time? Unclear). They torture her and seem pretty awful, but I actually think the whole thing had a purpose. I believe they were teaching her about her powers and their source; it isn’t the blood that powers the staff, but pain? At least that’s how I interpreted the whole thing, as once free Nico seems to be supercharged on power.
Chase bumps into Gert’s parents (remember, they also were time travelers) and spills the beans about her death in his anger. From there it’s a mad dash of who can make it back into the current timeline first. Well, until Nico gets involved. Newly super powerful Nico. She actually does something that I consider to be pretty horrible, even if justified. Instead of simply wiping their memory, Nico leaves Gert’s parents with the knowledge that she will die, but removes their ability to prevent it or talk about it. I can’t think of many things worse for a parent.
Lastly, Karolina and Molly have been having their own adventure; trying to save a little girl named Klara. It turns out the abusive man they’ve been seeing her with isn’t her father, but rather her husband; now’s probably a good time to mention that Klara is Molly’s age, so the girls do not take this information well. They end up insisting on taking her with them to the future. Which I can only imagine the repercussions from that one. Considering I’m pretty sure she’s a mutant, and the mutants are now rare in the current timeline…something will come of this.
I’m curious to see how the time shrinks and grows as time goes on. They seem to be constantly gaining and losing members. Which may be normal for a team like the Avengers, it feels anything but for the Runaways (particularly because they’re so young). Hopefully they can find some stability in time.