Staff Picks: 'Runaways' is back and our hearts are so full

Staff Picks: ‘Runaways’ is back and our hearts are so full

By Molly Jane Kremer, Don Alsafi, and Jarrod Jones. Comics that challenge us, slay us, beguile us — the comics we simply can’t wait to devour. That’s DoomRocket’s Staff Picks. Here’s what has set our hearts ablaze this week.

Runaways #1Runaways #1

Marvel Comics/$3.99

Written by Rainbow Rowell.

Art by Kris Anka.

Colors by Matthew Wilson.

Letters by Joe Caramagna. 

MJ: How long has it been since we had Runaways comics to look forward to every month? The first series debuted all the way back in 2003 with art by Adrian Alphona, David Newbold and Brian Reber, and written by a hot new up-and-comer named Brian K. Vaughan. Two more relaunched series followed, and a few additional spin-off/crossover series as well, but it’s been eight years since the last issue — despite various Runaways popping up throughout the Marvel Universe in the interim, like Nico front and center on A-Force, or Victor’s scene-stealing stint in King and Walta’s Vision series.

It was about time for the kids to make a comeback, especially with a new tv series on the horizon at Freeform. Best-selling writer Rainbow Rowell was recruited from the literary world (similarly to America’s acclaimed writer, YA author Gabby Rivera), and paired with Kris Anka and Matthew Wilson, Anka undoubtedly one of Marvel’s most talented artists right now, and Wilson having deservedly won the Best Coloring Eisner just this past July. Though the cover of Runaways #1 implies the return of a dearly departed character (which I gotta say, I’m mighty curious and trepidatious about), with this stellar creative team we can expect the new Runaways to be just as funny, dramatic, sweet, heart wrenching, and amazing as the original.

Action Comics #987Action Comics #987

DC Comics/$3.99

Written by Dan Jurgens.

Art by Viktor Bogdanovic.

Inks by Jonathan Glapion, Jay Leisten, and Victor Bogdanovic.

Colors by Mike Spicer. 

Letters by Rob Leigh.

DA: One thing that’s made DC’s Rebirth such a success, both creatively and commercially, is that DC have learned that slow and steady wins the race, as opposed to excess. (52 titles was way larger than a readership could sustain.) This can even be seen in their approach to the universe-wide mystery launched in the DC Universe Rebirth one-shot that revamped their publishing line in May 2016. While a more Myopic Company might have used that mystery as the excuse to barrel into a mammoth year-long crossover tying into every one of its ongoing titles, DC has so far only teased readers with the occasional hints (and the brief four-issue storyline “The Button” that appeared in Batman and The Flash this past spring).

A year and a half into Rebirth, “The Oz Effect” is thus only the second dip into this ongoing mystery. And as one of its alienated readers that DC absolutely won back by reversing many of the wrong turns of The New 52, I’m absolutely excited to find out where it’s going.

Mind you, I haven’t caught many of the appearances so far of this new “Mr. Oz” character, set to reveal his identity herein. (The obvious theory is that it’s Watchmen‘s Ozymandias.) But that’s okay! In this new era of DC, I haven’t felt as if I’m being punished for not picking up every issue of every title they put out, and can engage with their line exactly as much I want. It’s almost like DC remembered that the key to long-term sales is in catering to both the hardcore fans and the casuals – and that if they do their job right, the latter can sometimes even turn into the former.

Mister Miracle #2Mister Miracle #2

DC Comics/$3.99

Written by Tom King.

Art by Mitch Gerads.

Letters by Clayton Cowles.

JJ: Mister Miracle is high-wire drama for the superhero set. Existential malaise in an age of industry rebirth. Jack Kirby with a dash of Ingmar Bergman.

It’s a strange proposition, to read a comic where the cosmic scale of the Fourth World has been fit into a kitchen sink drama. Scott Free, played by Tom Courtenay. But Mister Miracle strikes that balance between the blood red game of gods and the private despair of a single person. I don’t know how Tom King and Mitch Gerads do it. I just know it gets done. And I’m incredibly enamored by it.

What books are YOU looking forward to reading this week? Sound off in the comments below.

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