RUNAWAYS #31, out this Wednesday from Marvel Comics brings with it several new changes for the Runaways. It also concludes the latest plot arc involving the one and only Doc Justice, and it is a dramatic moment all around.
The latest plot arc in Runaways has been steadily building tension. At the core of that tension is one Doc Justice. He quickly went from being a hero these youngsters could idolize, to something infinitely more dangerous.
Granted, only the readers and a few select members of the team actually seemed to be aware of that fact. That just made his actions all the more insidious. Especially when you take into account how many times these kids have previously been betrayed by the adults in their lives.
All of that is about to come to a head in ‘Cannon Fodder Pt VII’, Runaways #31. Based on the events of the last issue, we knew that something dramatic was about to happen. However, perhaps not quite as dramatic as what we were handed.
Rainbow Rowell has written a seriously intense plot here, providing us plenty of reasons to become increasingly alarmed and concerned. It’s been a slow build-up to this point, but Runaways #31 easily proved that it was worth every moment spent.
Honestly, there is so much that happens in this issue. It’s the sort of read that makes you put down the pages, take a deep breath, and dive back in. It was dramatic and intense, it was brilliant, and it was emotional. And it was full of sneaky little hints at what is to come.
In short, this entire issue had clearly been carefully planned out right from the start. All of the elements hinted at in previous issues came to fruition here. There is something extremely satisfying in knowing that.
It felt like each member of the Runaways got a moment here, be it a dramatic, concerning, or comical (okay, only Molly got a comical moment) one. That went a long way in increasing the drama of what was happening, and of reminding us of the individual members that make up this team.
One highlight of this issue actually has to be the sneaky nature of the writing here. There are lots of little hints snuck into Runaways #31. Eagle-eyed fans will surely be able to spot most of them, and that’s fantastic. Though perhaps mildly concerning for what some of those hints imply.
Runaways #31 would not have had nearly the same level of impact, if not for the artistic team behind the helm. They were responsible for portraying everything from the fights, to the emotions, to those sneaky little elements mentioned above.
Andres Genolet was the lead artist for this issue, and they did a fantastic job bringing our beloved characters to life. You could practically feel the tension vibrating off their bones at certain points, a fact that Genolet perfectly portrayed.
Meanwhile, Dee Cunniffe was the colorist, and they likewise did an excellent job. There was one scene in particular that required a subtle shift in colors, yet it made all of the difference in what was being implied. It was stellar (pun not intended, but welcomed).
Finally, VC’s Joe Sabino provided the lettering that carried the plot forward in such a strong manner. The details are what really made the difference here, and with good reason.
Runaways #31 was perhaps the most dramatic issue in recent times. It heavily implied and provided several major changes, both to the team and their new ‘allies.’ It was a satisfying moment all around, as the events we’ve been promised finally came to fruition.
Only time will tell what happens with some of the hinted elements, but it probably won’t be good. But we’re planning on coming along for that ride, no matter what happens next.