RUNAWAYS #34, available Wednesday, from Marvel Comics, brings fans back to a group of their favorite heroes. A group who have managed to avoid much of the drama happening in the wider Marvel universe – because they’re too busy dealing with their own.
The last issue left us off at a bit of an uncomfortable cliffhanger. Given the characters involved, the plot could have gone several ways. Is Molly looking to bail? Is something more sinister going on? Or is this merely a hilarious misunderstanding?
For those that may not have been following along: the world has changed drastically for all the mutants of Marvel. That includes Molly, though even her friends are willing to debate that fact. All (mutants) are welcome to move to the new mutant country of Krakoa, but it isn’t a requirement.
That sets the groundwork for the twist of last month’s issue, where certain iconic mutant members showed up to rescue Molly. Or not. Again, there’s a lot that is open to interpretation in that scene, and now we finally get to find out what exactly is going on in Runaways #34.
Runaways #34 is humorous, it’s concerning, and it has a very solid dose of foreshadowing. Good to know that Rainbow Rowell can juggle more than one plot arc at the same time.
In short, it’s a perfect Runaways plot. The funny moments make the characters feel human – and so very young. While those darker moments are easily overlooked. Or rather, they will be overlooked – right until they bring about disaster. This is the Runaways we’re talking about, something will go wrong for them eventually.
The inclusion of certain mutants helps to balance out the plot even further. Individually, they added room for conversation, as well as violence, humor (again, there was a decent amount of it in this issue), and tension.
There’s a lot of subtlety and nuance woven into the narrative as well. Hints, promises, and even threats for what is to come. One more way to make sure we’re staying engaged, and looking forward to the next issue.
The Runaways have always had a certain aesthetic about their series, and this latest issue has done a brilliant job of capturing that feel. Runaways #34 is bold and bright, with sharp pops of color and plenty of dramatic shots to go around.
Andres Genolet’s scenes really are eye-catching. They can easily bounce between dramatic (say, a battle against a large number of enemies), or hilarious (such as an iconic hero getting picked up by a little girl). The end result is something visually entertaining, and certainly memorable.
As I already mentioned, Dee Cunniffe’s colors are bright, but they also compliment the plot with ease. The fights are made more dramatic thanks to their hues, and attention is (rightly) drawn to certain movements over others.
The lettering, provided by VC’s Joe Caramagna, was another prime example of subtle, yet complimentary art. The reader is guided from panel to panel, with clear design and intent. It made everything flow so smoothly, even as multiple threads are forming.
Runaways #34 is a chaotic yet highly entertaining issue. One that has both heavy and funny moments, and even more reasons to want to keep reading the series. There’s a lot going on in the lives of these kids (really, young adults now), and they’re still here to save the day despite it all.