Runaways #3


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Runaways #3


  • Words: Brian K. Vaughan
  • Art: Adrian Alphona
  • Inks: Craig Yeung
  • Colors: Christina Strain
  • Story Title: True Believers: Chapter 3
  • Publisher: Marvel Comics
  • Price: $2.99
  • Release Date: Apr 20, 2005

The Runaways have tracked down the enigmatic teen, Victor Mancha. But a team of Marvel castaways calling themselves Excelsior are there to intercept them.

For a number of reasons, Runaways has been a fascinating series since its inception over two years ago. At first, few comic readers were willing to buy into the idea of another team book from the company that continues to saturate the market with X-Men titles and tie-ins. Then, as word of mouth (or message boards) became louder and stronger and people took a chance on the cheap digests to catch up, fan support became overwhelming just in time to bring the series back from the dead. As anyone who had read as little as the first three issues from this relaunch can attest, allowing Vaughan and Alphona to continue their saga may have been one of the best decisions Marvel’s publishing sector has made since acquiring Joss Whedon to reinvigorate a dying franchise.

Simply put, Brian K. Vaughan is the most consistently solid writer in comics today. He makes the most of each issue he produces. So much so that with all the talk of story decompression and padding and writing for the trade, Vaughan’s name is conspicuously left out of the argument while many other high profile writers are vilified for it. Another thing that I find terribly impressive is that even though this is a team comic that spotlights two different teams this issue, each and every member (as well as Victor’s mother) not only gets some face time, but actually contributes something of value to the story.

I’ve slowly come to regard Adrian Alphona as an artist whose work is nothing short of phenomenal. Since the beginning of the series, Vaughan has put Alphona through the ringer, so to speak. Aside from coming up with original looks for new characters, Alphona has not only had to draw his own version well-known classics like Captain America and Daredevil, but he’s had to dig into the Marvel vault for forgottens like Ricochet and Lightspeed. Each of his renditions is either as cool or as goofy as we all know they should be. He also adds a few Easter eggs to the artwork that can only make you smile if you can find them.

I usually don’t reserve a separate paragraph for inkers and colorists, but if anyone deserves it, it’s Yeung and Strain. Craig Yeung provides some wonderful inks on this book. All too often inkers can subdue the pencils by giving too freely of their craft. Yeung takes a more minimalist approach, and it works wonders for the art of each panel. Christina Strain deserves special mention for the way she illuminates the page when Karolina or Lightspeed (or both) inhabit a page. The characters give off an aura that reminds me of the Aurora Borealis in a way.

Runaways has always had great dialogue, plot development, twists, action and mystery. More of the same occurs with this issue, as we get about eight pages of Runaways/Excelsior battle, witty and comedic banter and snippets of clues regarding who Victor’s evil father may be. Just as with Volume One, I’m sure the payoffs will be unexpected and well worth the build up.

-Kert McAfee

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