Today’s Super Comic — Runaways #1 (2005)

Runaways’ second series begins on a fun note, with the kids taking on the Wrecking Crew in Los Angeles. It’s an entertaining way to show off what each Runaway can do—those who are still with us after the conclusion of the previous series, that is.

This issue #1 isn’t a fresh start—it builds on what came before, and it shows how those actions have consequences. (Spoiler ahead for the first series, but it’s a pretty obvious one…)

When the kids defeated their parents in the last series, they inadvertently created a power vacuum in the L.A. area. And now super-villains are descending on this formerly forbidden target. However, our protagonists aren’t focused on fighting crime. Their main concern is helping out the kids of super-villains, which gives them a unique motivation among Marvel’s many super-teams.

Separately, we also meet a support group for former teen superheroes, which pulls together various underutilized young characters who range from C-list to Z-list. (Remember the good-guy version of the Green Goblin? Even I had totally forgotten that one.) It’s a clever idea, and teens trying to put their superhero days behind them complements the main characters’ desire to put any influence of their super-villain parents behind them.

And lest the issue conclude without a suitable cliffhanger, we end with an ominous portent from the future. Got to have one of those every once in a while.

All in all, a solid start to the second series and an excellent continuation for one of the best Marvel properties created in the 21st century.

Writer: Brian K. Vaughan

Penciler: Adrian Alphona

Inker: Craig Yeung

Cover: Jo Chen

Publisher: Marvel Comics

How to Read It: back issues; Marvel Unlimited; Comixology; included in Runaways vol. 4: True Believers (TPB)

Appropriate For: ages 12 and up