Fantasy Mystery Romance Comics Non-Fiction

Runaways Vol 4: True Believers

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Runaways Vol 4: True Believers (2005) Brian K Vaughan, Adrian Alphona, Craig Yeung

True Believers is the fourth installment in the Runaways series, telling the story of five teens who ran away after discovering their parents were super-villains.

Still on the run from Foster Care, the Runaways are hiding out under the La Brea Museum, and the crime wave that has appeared in response to the power vacuum they created when they defeated their parents.

Meanwhile, a group of former young superheroes has gathered to help teens with special powers give up fighting crime and regain their childhoods. A call from a mysterious benefactor offers them a financial boost if they are willing to track down the runaways and return them to foster care.

In addition to following the continuing tale of the Runaways, the story also looks at what being a superhero might do to children and teenagers, and subtly asks whether they are mentally and emotionally prepared to deal with the consequences of their actions. It’s an interesting idea, and one that is well-done within the story. It comes up almost in passing, but supports the idea that society is trying to place the Runaways back in foster care for a reason–whether that reason is correct when it comes to this group of kids has yet to be determined.

In addition to looking at the possible consequences of being a teen superhero, I also liked how the Runaways stepped up to take responsibility for the consequences of their actions–taking out their parents caused a crime wave in LA, and to a degree they feel responsible.

The only part I didn’t care for as much was the fact that this story contained continual references to other superheroes in the Marvel universe. I realize that those heroes are part of the kids frame of reference for the world around them, but as I was not familiar with the heroes they kept discussing, it was mildly frustrating.

Otherwise, this was a satisfying addition to the Runaways story. They’re still adjusting, and sometimes things aren’t easy for them, but they keep trying.
Rating: 7/10

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