It is no secret that BKV’s Runaways is one of the most loved comics by Marvel fans. The relaunch of this title probably received some mixed feeling from them. There are readers who will not even bother with the title. First of all, the only original character is Molly Hayes and secondly, who knows what the hell is going on in Battleworld. But fans like myself are excited to see the title on the shelves again. Even though BKV isn’t behind the writing duties, Noelle Stevenson is an emerging star, evident in her work on the popular BOOM! book Lumberjanes& Sanford Greene is a great artist.
I don’t remember reading anything about the new Runaways title before it’s release. I actually had no idea what the story would be about. Issue #1 was an introduction to all the characters and as I mentioned above, Molly is the only original member of the runaways. However, Jubilee is front and centre with a few other teenage super kids including a flip flopped cloak and dagger. After issue one there is still no indication where the story is headed, however it was enjoyable enough to go for a second one.
Issue #2 is where the plot takes off. I was worried after the first issue that the title “Runaways” was being used because it was a book about teenagers with Molly Hayes. This issue eliminated all doubts. The issue begins in the Victor Von Doom Institute for Gifted Youths where the best of the best are selected from each of the Battleworld domains to be trained as the future leaders. At the end of each year there is a final exam. Students are divided into teams for the final exam. It tests physical and mental abilities as the students must engage in combat with a computer system, while navigating their way through the levels. The brains of the team, Cho, wants to find a way to pass this exam by thinking a step ahead of the program to minimize physical engagement. However, some of his other teammates would like to punch a few artificial intelligence bots in the face first. The team engages in a battle while Cho finds a loophole in the program. As the team enters a secret room where the computer system cannot detect them, they realize they were not fighting bots in this program, they were fighting and killing fellow students. This is how the institute weeds out the weak. Not by sending them home, but by killing them.
It is here we find the meaning in our title. The team decides to escape the school and warn everyone of the terrible things this school is doing. The only question that remains now, how far will they get before the hunt begins?