The Kids Are Alright
What would you do if you found out that your parents were evil? Not, like, run of the mill, parents gotta parent evil – putting the entire family on a diet because your younger brother has to make weight for football, for example, or siding with your klepto sister when she steals your favorite pair of shoes and then proceeds to cut you with one of them (both of which happened to yours truly and still burns some twenty years later) – but real life supervillains bent on world domination evil?
When Alex, Nico, Chase, Gert, Karolina, and Molly witness their parents murder a young woman during their annual get-together, they decide on the most reasonable option: report their “psycho ‘rents” to the police. Only problem is, the LAPD is in The Pride’s pocket – along with the rest of the city. As the sextet sets out to procure concrete evidence of their parents’ wrongdoing, they also embark on an unexpected journey of self-discovery: among their group hide unwitting aliens, mutants, prodigies, and even a prospective time-traveler with her very own pet velociraptor!
I scooped up the first volume of Runaways for a mere buck at a library book sale; ten pages in, and I was hooked. (Hey, you had me at vegan tempeh fajitas!) Fifteen pages, and I’d already ordered the next nine volumes in the set on eBay. (They can’t get here fast enough!) The characters are both believable and relatively diverse; four of the six protagonists are young women, and two are people of color. A little “chubby,” Gert is a welcome deviation from conventional beauty standards, and Molly’s age (at just eleven years old, she’s several years younger than her teenage cohorts) introduces a whole new set of coming of age issues to explore. (Indeed, one plot point hinges upon the confusion caused by Molly’s changing body, assumed to be the result of her first period.)
If this first volume is any indication, it also looks as though Runaways will explore such weighty issues as domestic (child) abuse, and the more general problem of reconciling a parent’s evil deeds with their outwardly “good” personae.
While the general consensus seems to be that the series takes a nosedive somewhere around Volume 9 (bummer!), I can’t wait to see what’s in store for the runaways.
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