Fantasy Mystery Romance Comics Non-Fiction

Runaways: Dead End Kids

Monday, July 21, 2008

Runaways Vol 8: Dead End Kids (2008) Joss Whedon, Michael Ryan, and Christina Strain

Finally! The next installment of Runaways! And boy have things changed.

First and foremost, Brian K Vaughan gave up his writing duties on Runaways to Joss Whedon. Second, the format changed, and instead of the little tiny book, Dead End Kids was published as a larger sized hardback. Third, excluding the Civil War book, it’s been a YEAR since the last installment. Fourth, we’ve got a whole new set of artists with Michael Ryan and Christina Strain replacing Adrian Alphona and Craig Yeung (although the last position occasionally rotated.)

So, how did those changes work out? I think Joss Whedon did a good job of nailing the characters as Brian K Vaughan was writing them, and he may have added a bit more levity into the tale. What I didn’t much care for was the fact that JOSS WHEDON was about three times larger than the text saying Runaways: Dead End Kids. I realize that part of the hope is that Joss Whedon’s name will draw more people into the story, but it just seemed… excessive. Probably because I think the series is strong enough that people should be reading it in droves anyway. But if they aren’t? Well, hopefully this will bring more people to the series.

As far as the artwork, for awhile I thought Molly looked a little bit too much like Kaylee, which was eerie, but things settled down and she eventually looked more like herself. Of course this is the first time I’ve gotten to read the series in the larger format, so that may have something to do with it as well.

So how did Joss Whedon do with continuing the story? Pretty good actually. I thought he did a particularly good job dealing with one of the new characters they meet. In fact, “He makes you do CHORES?!” cracked me up. The only weak part of the story in my opinion was Victor’s thread. Of course they are teenagers, so that helps explain their crazy reactions. I also like Niko’s solution to the problem they had to deal with before they left. Very nice, all things considered. (And a good solution to the time line problem as well.) There were also hints that Chase might be growing up a little more.

All in all, I was very pleased with this next installment in the Runaways series. If you haven’t been reading along, this is a good place to start, as the book begins with a synopsis of the characters. But of course I always think it’s better to start at the beginning, and I believe there are hardback editions covering multiple books, which might be a nice version to have. (Probably better than the smaller versions I have.)

But primarily this is a good continuation of an excellent story, and one that’s good for both kids and adults.
Rating: 8/10

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