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Runaways  Volume 4: True Believers (2006)
by Brian K. Vaughan, Adrian Alphona (Illustrator)
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Picking up a little while after the end of the first Runaways series, the gang is back in action! Their modus operandi? Help other runaway kids who might be getting mixed up with the wrong element (meaning super villains). We find the group squaring off against the Wrecking Crew, which really seems to be a test for any new do-gooder out there. This time, one of Wrecker's goons has his kid tagging along on their first heist since moving to LA.
While the Runaways test their mettle against some enchanted metal, we are introduced (or re-introduced, really) to some former child and teen heroes who are now in a support group to deal with their issues. Right off the bat, they are contacted by a mysterious benefactor who offers them a large sum to track down the Runaways and return them to foster care. Included in this group are some familiar, if not regularly seen faces. There's Darkhawk, Julie from Power Pack, the female Turbo, Ricochet of the Slingers, Chamber of Generation X, and Phil Ulrich (the former good-guy Green Goblin).
Things start to turn weird (weirder?) when an adult Gert appears from the future in her parents' time portico to warn the group of a serious threat to their future, a hero turned villain and currently a kid named Victor Mancha. Future Gert tells the team that they must stop Victor before he becomes a danger to the world. This becomes the major storyline for the rest of this collection.
Good run of issues in this set. I really enjoy the Victor storyline, especially the secret of what big bad is the boy's father. There are some interesting theories from the group as to who it could be.
One thing I really like about this book is that the group is rather girl-heavy. In fact, for all Chase's male posturing, he seems more than willing to just be the team getaway driver (and Gert's boyfriend). It's nice to see each member start to come into their own here. Also, Chase has one of my favorite lines in this set:
Victor: "What's your power?"
Chase: "A poor upbringing."
Picked this one up because I read volume one of the Terry Moore series, and I thought a different interpretation might come off better. It didn't. Of course, I thought that the sentence "Collecting Runaways #1-6" meant I was reading volume one, which I apparently was not, which was kind of annoying/confusing.
Maybe if I was more into small time young marvel superheros, I would be more into this series. Right now the series comes off as a series of shocking plot twists to keep you turning pages, with no real character or depth.
Better than the last one, though the beginning was still a bit flat. Victor seems like an interesting addition to the group.
And I still can't buy the Gert/Chase relationship, Gert calling Chase stuff like "Honey" or "Darling" just feel so out of character from her, and I don't understand why they like each other.
Nico is doing a good enough job as the team leader, but she does not seem as fit for the job as Alex was.
Belongs to Series
Runaways Vol. 2 (2005-2008) (omnibus, issues 1-6)
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Wikipedia in English (1)
When a group of teenagers discovers that their parents are actually super-villains, they run away from home... but that's only step one! Now that the evil Pride is gone, nearly every bad guy in the Marvel Universe is trying to fill the power vacuum in Los Angeles, and the Runaways are the only heroes who can stop them! Plus: What does a mysterious new team of young heroes want with the Runaways, and which fan-favorite Marvel characters are part of this group? Collects Runaways #1-6.
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Melvil Decimal System (DDC)741.5973The arts Graphic arts and decorative arts Drawing & drawings Cartoons, Caricatures, Comics Collections North American United States (General)
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Getting the team back together as a way to just GET OUT OF THE SYSTEM is enough justification for me. What's worse? Learning that your parents are super villains? Or being wards of the state?
This is a VERY DIFFICULT QUESTION.
Of course, putting our folks up against some former B-lister heroes just trying to do the right thing while recovering in self-help groups designed to work through the issues of being child superheroes is just too funny to miss. Runaways versus self-help junkies. :)
And then there's the time-travel, super-dark future knocking on their door.
All in all, enjoyable. :) ( )