Now, I can say that I am not the type of person who is averse to change. Oh, I’ll have my opinion about any changes that come into my life, but I’m not the type of person who is upset with a simple change. Especially when it comes to comics. I understand that certain things must, and should, change if we are ever to move forward. But there are some things I have a problem with, in comics or otherwise.
Have you ever read a series of books with several main characters you love and then all of a sudden a new book in that series is introduced, but it’s with entirely new characters that you never met before and know nothing about? Yeah, I hate that. Even if the book is good, I have such a tough time getting into it because the whole time I’m just wondering who these new fuckers are and where the hell my old characters are. Well, that’s kind of how I’m feeling right now about the Runaways comics.
It was recently reported on The Mary Sue that Marvel Comics would be reviving The Runaways, and that the comic would be written by Lumberjanes’s creator, Noelle Stevenson. I was more than a little excited that one of my all-time favorite comics would be returning and that I would finally get to learn about what happened to some of my favorite characters. Only one problem: the new Runaways comic will feature an entirely new cast of characters. So after years of hiatus one of my favorite comics returns, but will not be continuing with the original story or characters. What the hell!?
I’m not saying that the new Runaways comic will be bad. It will probably be excellent, but what about the original Runaways? The Runaways comics did not exactly end with the plot all wrapped up in a nice neat little bow. And while some loose plot threads were picked up in other comics, like Alex Wilder’s return in Avengers Undercover, certain things still remain a mystery, and of course many of our favorite characters simply disappeared after the Runaways comics ended.
It is great that characters like Nico will be featured in the new all female Avengers, but I can’t help but feel that that doesn’t make much sense. The Runaways are not some superhero organization like the Avengers or the X-Men are. They are uniquely unaffiliated with the other heroes and villains of the Marvel universe. They often find themselves on the wrong side of the law and even work against some of our favorite heroes. The Runaways in some ways critique the other superhero groups by viewing them as too out of touch or too wrapped up in the politics of the Marvel universe to really know what is actually going in the world. And while the Runaways frequently team up with other hero teams, their reluctance to join any of those teams shows how suspicious they are of them. Molly Hayes, the youngest of the Runaways and a mutant, constantly turns down joining the X-Men, and many of the other characters have turned down invitations to be a part of the Young Avengers. The Runaways saw the world very much in shades of grays, especially since they were the children of supervillians, as well as friends with Xavin, a Skrull (an alien race not well liked by the other Earth superheroes). Because of this, the Runaways didn’t really have “a team” and had no desire to join one. So the idea that Nico would join the Avengers and that new characters would take on the moniker of The Runaways seems really out of place to me.
I’m still excited about having a Runaways comic again, even though it will be an entirely different group of Runaways. Like I said earlier, I’m sure it will be a fantastic comic, but I know it will be difficult for me to get into at first if only because, to me, this change in cast and the old cast joining official teams seems so out of place. In a world that already has mutants, superheroes, and aliens, I’ll have to suspend disbelief a little more just to make this new series make sense.
It’s not that I’m concerned about Noelle’s work. I certainly think she will be able to do justice to these new characters and to the spirit of the original Runaways. And of course I’m excited that another woman is holding the creative reins over a highly anticipated comic. I’m not really concerned that this comic will be bad. I just don’t understand the creative decision, on Marvel’s part, to not pick up the original storyline were it left off. I suppose that’s because they wanted Nico to be a part of the Avengers and not the Runaways, but it just seems odd to me take such a well loved comic and bring it back without any of the original characters or storylines that made it so interesting. I will be interested to see if some of the original Runaways show up to sort of guide this new group, but I’m still disappointed that they won’t be the focus of this new story like I had always hoped.