Say you’re a new reader; maybe you were brought into comic from a charachter you like, maybe you’re just interested in the medium, maybe you saw a movie and became curious, or maybe a friend brought you in. The big question can be “Where do I start?” and that’s a difficult one, as there are thousands upon thousands of comics titles and volumes to choose from. Wel,l the NBC crew has you covered. On our seventy fifth episode, were are going to give you the guide to start your collection with $75 on Amazon or Instocktrades.com. Dean, Alex & Pat each make a list of mutiple titles you can buy off the e-commerce sites, all for a total of $75 that are essential to the medium, and great starting points for new readers. Each list is unique, so you can pick out one you like, or mix and match with what was suggested, along with supplemental material. Listen, and learn the best collections to make the jump down the rabbit hole that is comics reading.
Brian K Vaughan & Adrian Alphona’s Runaways series is in development for adaptation at Hulu. More details at Deadline
Perhaps you have heard of the comic book creator Brian K Vaughan. You may know him from such books as Y: The Last Man, Ex Machina or Pride of Baghdad. Maybe you are new to this whole comic thing, so I will give you the benefit of the doubt. Surely you have heard of Saga, the source of 5 Eisner wins for Vaughan. The great mind that brought you all of this comic genius also brought you the fabulous Runaways series, beginning back in 2003. Of all the magnificent work that Vaughan has put out over the years, Runaways is near the top. If you have not got your hands on Runaways, here is my suggestion, don’t buy any books this week, instead go and pick up as many volumes of Runaways that your shop has available. It will be far better than whatever you were going to pick up. Long time fans of Runaways and Brian K. Vaughan know how special this story is and the age old question sits on all our minds. When are we going to see these characters come to life on the screen?
It’s almost summer of 2015 which means Marvel comics will be dropping another event much to the delight of comics shops & corporate shareholders. But this time around feels a little different, this time we are getting something bigger, something different and something that feels like uncharted territory. Starting in May of 2015 and going throughout the summer and beyond, Marvel comics will possibly alter, stop publishing or shake up their entire universe in it’s Secret Wars initiative. Instead of Avengers comics there will be a series of titles upon titles that appear out of continuity. What is going on here? What does this all mean? Is there anything worth reading out of all this? Let’s try an extrapolate what we know below.
Taking on the title of one of the most popular Marvel Comics run’s in the last 15 years and doing so with only one returning characters is quite a daunting task. Of course, no one would turn down this opportunity, but the deck could easily get stacked against you if the execution fell flat. Noelle Stevenson and Sanford Greene had a tough task in front of them launching the Secret Wars tie in Runaways, but with their fresh new take and a brand new cast of characters it ended up being a great success.
Issue #4 is an absolutely fantastic conclusion to the impressive four part run. Noelle and Sanford turn the book completely on its head, something I was definitely not expecting out of this story and one I welcomed with open arms. I praised issue #2 for it’s creative use of the title Runaways and now I will praise issue #4 in it’s defiance of the title. In this fourth and final issue, the runaways team head back to the school. They head back firstly to save Delphyne and Cho who were captured, but also to announce to the rest of the school what exactly is going on at the Victor Von Doom Institute for Gifted Youths. In the second issue, when the students found out about the real purpose of the “final exam” they fled. They ran away from this horrible scenario and left everyone behind. In just a few short issues, the teenagers have come to realize that they cannot just run away from all of life’s problems, instead they will face it head on, so that at least they can warn others. This was an unexpected maneuver, but an obvious one when it plays out. Any student who wants to join them can stand up and throw away what they think is their future, for a chance to do what is right. This issue has some fantastic lessons to take away, especially for teens and amazingly Stevenson and Greene are able to do it without layering on the cheese. It feels real and it feels meaningful.
The highlight of the book is Stevenson’s talent at characterizing teenagers. Perhaps my favorite part of the final issue is that the teens who have the most tension between each other are the ones who end up together. Isn’t that how it always works when you are a teenager. The teenage emotions are kept so close to the surface that sometimes a little misdirection is necessary.
Terrific job by this team and a very clever closing. The final page is a conclusion and at the same time a hanging ending. They don’t put the word “End” anywhere on the page. My prediction is that we will see this team of Runaways again sometime soon. If Marvel is smart it won’t just be the character team that remains the same, it will be the creative one as well.
It is no secret that BKV’s Runaways is one of the most loved comics by Marvel fans. The relaunch of this title probably received some mixed feeling from them. There are readers who will not even bother with the title. First of all, the only original character is Molly Hayes and secondly, who knows what the hell is going on in Battleworld. But fans like myself are excited to see the title on the shelves again. Even though BKV isn’t behind the writing duties, Noelle Stevenson is an emerging star, evident in her work on the popular BOOM! book Lumberjanes& Sanford Greene is a great artist.
I don’t remember reading anything about the new Runaways title before it’s release. I actually had no idea what the story would be about. Issue #1 was an introduction to all the characters and as I mentioned above, Molly is the only original member of the runaways. However, Jubilee is front and centre with a few other teenage super kids including a flip flopped cloak and dagger. After issue one there is still no indication where the story is headed, however it was enjoyable enough to go for a second one.
Issue #2 is where the plot takes off. I was worried after the first issue that the title “Runaways” was being used because it was a book about teenagers with Molly Hayes. This issue eliminated all doubts. The issue begins in the Victor Von Doom Institute for Gifted Youths where the best of the best are selected from each of the Battleworld domains to be trained as the future leaders. At the end of each year there is a final exam. Students are divided into teams for the final exam. It tests physical and mental abilities as the students must engage in combat with a computer system, while navigating their way through the levels. The brains of the team, Cho, wants to find a way to pass this exam by thinking a step ahead of the program to minimize physical engagement. However, some of his other teammates would like to punch a few artificial intelligence bots in the face first. The team engages in a battle while Cho finds a loophole in the program. As the team enters a secret room where the computer system cannot detect them, they realize they were not fighting bots in this program, they were fighting and killing fellow students. This is how the institute weeds out the weak. Not by sending them home, but by killing them.
It is here we find the meaning in our title. The team decides to escape the school and warn everyone of the terrible things this school is doing. The only question that remains now, how far will they get before the hunt begins?
Last week my friend Tyler stood atop his Banana Stand and expressed his love for Daredevil. If you have not checked it out yet you must give it a read here. It sparked me this week to write about one of my favorite characters in the Marvel Universe. Nico Minoru of the Runaways sits very high on my list of best Marvel characters for many different reasons. One being that Nico yields my personal favorite Marvel Universe weapon, the Staff of One. At first glance the Staff of One might seem lame or even a little useless due to it’s limitations. If this is your opinion then I’m here to change it. The Staff of One’s limitation is actually a creative gold mine. If I was a writer I would strive for the day that I could get a hold of Nico and write the Staff of One. When the staff is utilized correctly and I mean creatively speaking, that is more than enough to bring me back every month. One of the only reasons I picked up Avengers Arena when it first hit the stands was because I had just started reading Runaways and I couldn’t get enough of Nico. I am so glad I made the decision to read Avengers Arena because Nico provided some of the best moments in that series. So enough of this ambiguous talk about the Staff let’s get into some detail.