Writer: Brian K. Vaughan
Artists: Alphona (p), Yeung (i), Strain (c)
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Plot: Too complicated to summarize, see comments!
Comments: Ah, the Wrecking Crew. These stalwarts get trotted out whenever some new or old talent needs to assert dominance in a very loud and final way. They got brutal with the Avengers recently, and were scared off by the Thunderbolts as well. Years ago I remember Power Man and Iron Fist (on separate occasions) taking them down. Things only ever get really serious with them when they face a Thor-level foe, ironically; they’re all power and no brains, even the smart one (Thunderball) never making a good decision. When I say I love them, I’m underestimating my affection for the poor saps.
When I say the Runaways hand them their butts (that’s 4 teenage girls and a powerless boy, these days, by the way), I fall off my chair laughing. Seriously, I laughed at loud at least every other page reading this issue, it’s fun stuff. Set so firmly in the Marvel Universe, but not dependent on it in any way. Vaughan is brilliant in how he’s managed to keep this title going. It makes some sense (enough, anyway) that the demise of their nefarious parents (who were keeping LA free of super-interference, both good and bad) has left something of a power vacuum. Why shouldn’t they try to fill it?
Also good: They’ve got a cool headquarters in their parents evil lair, so who knows what might crop up there. Is there another title one can think of where four girls on the team is just a given, something that developed out of story (once Alex was revealed as their evil betrayer)? Four girls who aren’t bouncing around in bikinis that is? The good ideas don’t stop there. The issue ends with a nightmarishly perfect visitor from the future, speaking of a coming apocalypse while dropping tantalizing hints about the fate of several teams. Someone give Vaughan one of those The End books, quick! This guy must be acknowledged as a major talent. Classic stuff, and it comes off as ominous not clichéd.
And that doesn’t even touch on Vaughan’s bit of meta-commentary, a third plot where a team of disgruntled former “child stars” (including Chamber from Generation Next!) is being set up to take on our young upstarts. Basically, there’s enough story for three minis here already in issue one. We’re lucky enough to have Alphona and Yeung still on board for their unique spin on manga-style, so it’s a winning package for all concerned.
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