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Runaways #16

Posted: Monday, June 21, 2004
By: Shawn Hill



“The Good Die Young pt. 4”

Writer: Vaughan
Artists: Alphona and Yeung

Publisher: Marvel Tsunami

Plot:
Five kids with extraordinary gifts lay siege on their nefarious parents. But is the next generation really ready and able to change the long-held plans of their forbears?

Interesting:
One of the many good things about this book is how much the kids act like kids. Molly is noticeably younger (more id-driven, more emotional) than the others. And everyone’s inexperience shows this issue as they try to revive a nearly drowned Chase. Teamwork, however, has also been building despite the group’s dire straits and recent squabbles, and they are quickly able to revive their friend.

Enough cannot be said about the many subtle strengths of the art by Alphona and Yeung; they’re the best side of manga-style, with simplifications and exaggerations that never come at the expense of character or clarity. Wonderful touches abound, like the deadly golem of last issue still smoking in the background this issue, the light show display of Karolina’s powers, and the always emotionally expressive concerns of the dinosaur Old Lace.
This is the issue where the kids finally confront their parents face to face, with both sides having had time to prepare for the inevitable conflict. Vaughan is careful to work in some budding (and quite effective) teamwork on the parts of the kids, which he contrasts with the divisiveness, shifting alliances and multitudinous fears of their parents. Interestingly, though all these events are heading towards a Gibborim ritual (the girl killed in the first story arc has yet to have her soul harvested), we have yet to see the fell demons that provide the entire motivation for the title again. Two more issues left for that one, I guess.

Along the way, there’s an hilarious bit of meta-commentary on the Marvel Universe (and Runaways tenuous place in it) by the nerdy Yorkes, a rather bold move by Vaughan. Rather than violating his characters, though, this tirade just reveals the Yorkes (and, by extension, their snarky daughter Gert) as the ultimate fanboy video store clerks.

Talk about evil.

Final Thoughts:
This book is as fresh as anything on display in Marvel right now, and that’s without a naughty Greg Horn cover in sight. Oh, yeah, brilliant shock ending as the mole is revealed. See, I managed not to review the whole issue without giving it away!



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