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Runaways #17

Posted: Wednesday, August 11, 2004
By: Jason Cornwell



Writer: Brian K. Vaughan
Artists: Adrian Alphona and Craig Yeung

Publisher: Marvel Comics

I don't know where I got the idea that this was the final issue, but the last page of the issue left me with the sense that we have at least one more issue to go, and now that I think about it the 18th issue makes a better finishing point. In any event this issue does serve as the big finish of the arc where the teens confront their parents, and the mole hidden in the group is revealed. Now on one hand this issue is guilty of spending a little too much time delivering exposition, so that when the big climatic moment arrives, it feels like we're rushing away from the action right when the excitement level had been ramped up to a considerable degree. However, on the other hand I was delighted to learn that the mole didn't take the predictable path, as we learn he's been evil right from the start of this series, and that it was his actions that steered the activities of the group.

The issue also manages to offer up several moment where the young heroes get to show that they are far more capable than one would've expected them to be, as pretty much the entire team have the opportunity to show what they can contribute to the team. The explanation that is offered up by the evil member of the team also manages to do a solid job of explaining the more baffling actions that the group undertook after they ran away from home, as if I had one complaint about the early issues of this series it's that the collection of their various items of power did have a rather plot-by-numbers feel to it, and this issue makes it clear that this feeling was entirely intentional. There's also a nice moment where the parents get a moment to show that they are not all uncaring monsters, and this makes them more believable characters.

First off while the cover image doesn't seem to relate to any of the action that plays out inside the issue, I can't deny that it's a striking visual that left me wanting to read the issue, which is about all that one can ask of a cover image. As for the interior art there's a fair bit of talking heads material in this issue, but the art does an effective job of capturing the look of betrayal on Nico's face as the truth is revealed, as well as the evil that lurks within her former team-mate. There's also a powerful visual shot when the Gibborim lash out after their sacrifice is destroyed, and the final page shot is a great impact moment.



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