Sunday, March 30, 2008

RUNAWAYS VOL. 1 by Brian Vaughn

RUNAWAYS is a graphic novel published by Marvel Comics revolving around six teenagers with nothing in common except for the fact that their parents know each other. Once a year they are forced to spend an evening together while their parents have a secret meeting. Unable to stand the boredom during one of these nights, the kids decide to sneak in and see what really goes on behind the closed doors of these meetings. They learn that their parents are supervillains with powers that are maintained by sacrificing a human life on an annual basis. Witnessing the sacrifice shatters the kids' world and sends them running for their lives.

Nico, Gertrude, Chase, Karolina, Molly, and Alex learn their true heritage and each get a weapon or a power that they didn't know they had. Nico is the daughter of dark wizards and carries the "Staff of One," which allows her to cast spells. Gertrude is the daughter of time-traveling criminals and receives a genetically engineered deinonychus which she shares a telepathic bond with. Chase is the son of mad scientists and he uses high-tech gadgets he stole from his parents' laboratory to help them with their missions. Karolina is the daughter of alien invaders and can fly and manipulate solar energy. Molly is the daughter of evil mutants and has super strength, and Alex is the son of crime bosses and turns out to be a big surprise.

The kids run underground and hide in a place they call "The Hostel" and try to come up with ways to thwart their parents' evil plans and help the world -- while at the same time, stay alive.

Comic book fans will be glad to see some familiar superheroes make appearances throughout the book, such as Captain America and Cloak and Dagger. RUNAWAYS VOL. 1 is the collection of comic book issues #1 through #18 in hardback format. Volume 2 is already out and Volume 3 will be released in April 2007. Beginning with Issue #25, Volume 2, Joss Whedon, creator of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, will take over writing responsibilities. The graphic novel world is very excited about this development.

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