Overview

Runaways Vol. 3 #1

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Runaways Vol. 3 #1

Credits

  • Words: Terry Moore
  • Art: Humberto Ramos
  • Inks: Dave Meikis
  • Colors: Christina Strain
  • Story Title: Dead Wrong (Part One)
  • Publisher: Marvel Comics
  • Price: $2.99
  • Release Date: Aug 27, 2008

The Runaways are back home in Los Angeles. God help the city of Angels. After securing a new hideout by squatting in an abandoned Pride safe house, they realize that Chase should get a job and then the bad guys show up.

Terry Moore is a master of voice. Anyone who has read  Strangers in Paradise or Echo can attest to this. Here he takes back Brian K. Vaughan’s collection of unsupervised teens from the uneven characterization of Joss Whedon’s much delayed arc. While showing that he can voice characters that aren’t named Molly, Moore also brings the fun. It is good to see Moore cut loose again like he did with Katchoo.

This is an expository issue and while setting up the basic plot elements, the writing also shows off the characters. This rescues the book from the dark tone that has been prevalent in the book since before Vaughan left the title. Moore doesn’t forget that while these kids have to worry about intergalactic bounty hunters and registration acts, they are also a group of kids on what could possibly be their dream come true - without parental constraints and with super powers.

Ramos adds to the fun by bringing a playful stylized characterization. He has big shoes to fill following not only Michael Ryan, but Adrian Alphona. He does bring the characters back to the original look by playing homage to Anime and giving the book an almost animated sheen.

Gone are the muddy panels that marred much of the work the artist did on Carey’s X-Men. The characters actually have necks and while this is not as good as the breathtaking work he did on Revelations, one wonders if prep time and scripting have something to do with Ramos’s penciling skills. The delays on the Whedon book gave this team plenty of time to get issues in the can. The biggest difference may be the scripting. While X-Men seemed like a cool book to give the stylings of this penciller and Bachalo, the story was a convoluted mess. When Ramos has been given more tightly scripted books, he has seemed to do the kind of work he does here or in collaboration with Jenkins. Even when he had seemed to become a caricature of himself in the Civil War: Wolverine story, the compelling take of Guggenheim’s story kept Humberto reigned in and the panels made sense. Here, Ramos shows glimpses of the artistry for which he is capable.

I found Moore’s first issue of Spider-Man Loves Mary Jane to be dumbed down, almost to the point of coming off condescending. Fortunately, my concern over his work for hire seems to have been misplaced. He skillfully assuages my fears here by scripting an infectiously fun book that builds on the strong world and characters that have been left for him. Runaways is back on track to being one of my favorite books. Thank you, Mr. Moore, thank you.

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