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Once Upon A Bookshelf

Where Fiction and Reality Meet

Runaways: Parental Guidance

Writer: Brian K. Vaughan
Penciler: Adrian Alphona
Inker: Craig Yeung
Colorist: Udon’s Christina Strain
Edition Collects: Volume 2 #13-18
Collection Originally Published: 2010
Publisher: Marvel
Source: Purchased

The Story

Runaways: Parental GuidanceFrom the back of the book:

The secret super-villain society is back, but this all-new group isn’t made up of the Runaways’ parents. Who are these shadowy players, and what do they want with the Marvel Universe’s next generation of heroes?

Plus: When the youngest member of the Runaways is separated from her teammates, Molly Hayes must survive a night alone on the mean streets of Los Angeles! The 11-year-old mutant girl soon hooks up with a new group of runaways, but is their mysterious leader a hero or a villain?

The Response

I needed to pick this up after going through my TBR purge and remembering how excited I was for this instalment and how much I love this series.

I really liked that this one brought back an old villain the group had faced (and defeated) previously. In the way it was done, the character was brought back much younger than we had previously seen him, which allowed for him to act not as dignified and refined… he definitely seemed more intent on actually succeeding this time, once he learned how he failed previously and how much he lost because of it. Definitely one of my more favourite adventures that the Runaways have faced.

The villain wasn’t the only character who was brought back into this novel – Karolina and her fiancee, Xavin, (Super-Skrull-in-training!) reappeared after their wedding didn’t go as planned. (There’s nothing quite like a large interplanetary war to put a large interplanetary wedding on hold.)

Alphona always does such a wonderful job with the illustrations in this book. He, Yeung and Strain are able to convey so much emotion and information into each panel that you could get what is happening for most of the story without actually reading any of the dialogue. I will completely admit that seeing Nico and then Gertrude get a knife thrown at them definitely raised my heartbeat a little bit, and the end of the book, when the rest of the characters realized that one of them died… ah! Utterly heart wrenching.

Darn you, comic books! Who ever expected you to be emotional and deal with death and real things instead of just being happy fun awesomness?

Certainly not me – comics have a great way of dealing with some extremely serious issues. That said though, it never ends up surprising me how emotionally invested I get with comics.

So that was the main part of this collection… but the first issue in this collection was a completely different standalone focused solely on Molly. This one was very much Oliver-Twist-ish, with mentions of Artful Dodger and everything. (Yeah, I haven’t read the Dickens book, but that doesn’t mean that I didn’t have a crush on this character in the musical when I was a little kid. No joke.) I absolutely loved this story! Loved loved loved! Molly is a kid, and she along with other non-mutant kids were able to take down an either man who was enslaving them.

The Bottom Line

I’ve recommended this previously, but honestly, if you haven’t picked up this series, this is a fabulous introduction to comic books.

Posted by Courtney Wilson @ 7:44 am November 6, 2014.
Category: Speculative Fiction
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