Runaways #7 - 'Rock Zombies Part One' - Moore, Miyazawa and Strain
- I'm a big Runaways fan, the digests of Volume 1 were some of the first comics I picked up when I started getting into US books, and they really connected with me, since I was about 15 then. The Runaways (and me I suppose) have come a long way since then, creators Brian K Vaughan and Adrian Alphona have gone, and they are now on their 3rd volume, after a lacklustre outing from Joss Whedon, Terry Moore took over the book, and it's been OK, pretty average stuff, entertaining, but it didn't seem to stand out in the way that the original Runaways did from the rest of the superhero genre. But I think this issue was a step in the right direction. Which is both a blessing and a curse, because Moore is leaving after this arc. This to me felt the most like the Runaways of old as any other issue, the focus was on the characters, and the 'villains' were off-beat and not anything any other team would face, the Runaways isn't the Teen Titans or the Young Avengers, and this issue conveyed this well. From the opening page, drawn in a Wii Sports style, this was fresh, funny stuff. I particularly liked the band who were dropped from their label and taking them hostage, it was humorous, but also a good way to fill the issue's action quota, and we also have the main plot, which is equally interesting, Val Rhymin (Howard Stern, yeah?) is not only a Radio Shock Jock, but also a wannabe wizard and supervillain, and his plan is pretty ingenious, through the use of an ancient chant played in the background of a new song he'll be playing on the radio, he'll be able to turn everyone in LA who's had plastic surgery into monsters! That's pretty crazy stuff, and perfect for the Runaways, sure, monsters are nothing new, but the idea of turning those who have artificially made themselves more beautiful into creatures is a smart one, and it also serves as a commentary on the power media figures have over the general public, oooh, it's all multi-layered and stuff. So yeah, this is a solid issue, but it's still not as top-notch as the Runaways could be, but I don't think the fault lies with Terry Moore, it seems to me that the Runaways don't have a purpose anymore. They've defeated the Pride, and also the new Pride, what do they do now? Just wander around bumping into things? They aren't running away from anything anymore! And until the team has a purpose to keep going, and not just be there because it's a fan-favourite, the book will never reach the heights it once did. Maybe they should bring Alex back?
- This seems to have been a sticking point for other reviewers, but I have no problem with Miyazawa's pencils, he's been filling in since Volume 1, and also did the most recent Young Avengers crossover mini, and he fits the tone well, it's manga-ish, which gives the book a youthful feel, but it's also dynamic and striking enough to fit the superheroics. Mad props to colourist Christina Strain too, she's an integral part of Runaways, and her style is pretty distinctive here, bright and nuanced. Plus, the girls look nice
- 'No! Don't shoot! I'm diabetic!' I don't know why, but that just tickled me. Very LA.