I’m back from the comic shop this week and I got 4 new comics plus a hard cover collection:

  • Glamourpuss – 3 (I gotta see this train wreck)
  • The Walking Dead – 52
  • Echo – 6
  • StormWatch: Post Human Division – 14
  • Spider-Man “Brand New Day” Volume 3 (HC)
  • And now for a review of something I’ve read recently.

  • Runaways “Dead End Kids” by Joss Whedon and Michael Ryan
  • Yep, it was Joss Whedon’s name that got me to pick this one up. I read a few issues of “Runaways” back when the series first started back in 2004 and they were pretty good but I never got around to reading more of them. This book collects the first six issues that Whedon wrote.

    The basic concept of “Runaways” is that a group of teenagers get together and discover their parents are super villains. Not knowing how to handle their evil parents they run away. Hence the title. By this particular volume the whole evil parents thing has been dealt with and the team is onto new things.

    The new things the team of teenagers is onto is being stranded in the past. New York City in 1907. They get caught up in local affairs and have to find there way back to the present. Some of the usual annoying time travel plot devices are there but it’s not too bad since the story is not really about the time travel.

    I generally liked the script. It was a lively script based on conversations between all of the Runaways. They also spoke more like kids, which they are, than little adults which happens a lot when teenagers appear in comics. For years you couldn’t even tell that the X-Men were supposed to be teenagers.

    But the plot tanked in the last issue. The story was resolved with a deux ex machina that almost literally had Zeus come down from the sky and solve the Runaways problems.

    The art also let me down here. More specifically the storytelling. Ryan can certainly draw well but there were times when I couldn’t follow what was going on. There are a lot of characters to keep track of and I couldn’t always. I had to flip back and reread certain sections that were confusing. And I’m a veteran comic reader. If this were someone’s first comic they might not pick up a second.

    It may have been the coloring adding to the confusion too. It is, once again, that muddy too-dark computer color that has been haunting comics for nearly a decade now. The colorist is not untalented by when she goes for dramatic lighting effects it just muddies the water. And there are K tones where there shouldn’t be. But I’m getting technical now.

    Overall this was a disappointing book. Not because it was bad but because it could have been so much better. The script was nice but the plot ended weakly. The drawing was good but the story telling not as good. The book has its moments but they don’t add up as they should.