Comicsly | adverb; in a manner that defies explanation but deserves recognition and praise

Runaways #4

Writer: Rainbow Rowell

Artist: Kris Anka

Colors: Matt Wilson

Cover Art: Kris Anka

Published: December 13, 2017

After reuniting with Karolina in the last issue and the emotional sediment that was stirred up from that meeting, it’s almost just pure joy when Nico, Gert, and Chase show up on Molly’s doorstep. Before that the issue opens on Victors head on a workshop bench where Chase is attempting to reboot it. Victor’s eyes open to watch Chase and Gert only when they can’t tell, and he immediately goes lifeless again as soon as they pay attention to him. Victor’s decision to not interact with the rest of the runaways will come up again, but this is another former member who maybe has also moved on. As the crew show up to Molly’s house her grandma is collecting a blood sample from Molly ( in comic books collecting blood can only be a bad), but Molly doesn’t seem at all bothered and doesn’t mention anything when Nico, Gert and Chase knock on the door. Completely opposite to Karolina’s reaction, Molly is all hugs, miss yous, and dinosaur kisses. When her grandma invites them inside Gert is the only one who hesitates, and when grandma is doling out the grilled cheese she refuses. The rest of the issue consists of Molly showing them her room, Molly talking to Victor’s head, Nico talking to some cats, Gert talking to grandma, and then everyone says goodbye but at the end Gert as decided to stay with Molly and her grandmother. None of this is critical to the plot, but this issue is a ton of fun. The reunions with Karolina and Molly introduced some much needed joy that was missing from the first two issues. Nico, Chase, and Gert (through no fault of her own) haven’t moved on from their times as runaways, while Karolina and Molly have tried to move on. There’s a great panel where Molly is showing the other three her room and where the manga, Pokemon cards, and Tsum Tsum collection are. These things haven’t replaced her friends, but if you went through what she did it’s impossible to say how happy you would be have your own room again. This isn’t really anything that wasn’t mentioned in the review of issue #3, but its worth restating that where Karolina and Molly have worked to fill the void that was created when the runaways disbanded, Nico, and Chase didn’t/couldn’t and dragged Gert into their mess.

Molly has a moment alone in her room with Victor’s head, and she tells him she knows he’s not turned off. Victor and Molly were always very close and so Victor decides to talk to her and asks that she not say anything. Victor has the potential to create an interesting dynamic in the coming issues. Right now Nico, Chase, and potentially Gert are all in favor of reforming the runaways even though there is nothing specifically to run from. Karolina and Molly are attempting to move on, and Victor has had the opportunity to observe whats happened thus far. He gets to decide what he wants without pressure from the others. Victor is in a unique restarting position. He’s learned what it’s like to be human from his mom, he learned from Vision what it means to be not quite human, and now as he is reintroduced into the world he gets to decide what to be, and “whether to be.” This is sort of the position all the runways are in (and as was stated in the review of issue #3), what are they when there’s nothing to run from?

Again, enough cannot be said about Kris Anka and Matt Wilsons’ art. Something that hasn’t been mentioned in any of the previous issue reviews is the unique clothing choices of each character. Nico probably has the most interesting style and a very angular haircut that uniquely frames her face in some panels. Gert always has interesting sweaters. Chase has this sort of hippie/yuppie thing with business shirts and khakis, but then the long blonde hair and ever present stubble. Karolina is a typical college kid wearing a sweatshirt with her school’s name on it, and Molly doesn’t look ridiculous in a pair of modified overalls. Each is (and has always been) their own complicated character, and the art helps further their individuality. This book might be moving slower than a typical comic book, but as long as Rowell keeps nailing the tone and makes room for these kids to be kids (taking for granted that the art will continue to be great) then it’s going to be exciting to see where they end up.

(Subjective) Score out of 10: 8

Runaways (2017-) 004-015
Rowell, Anka, Wilson/Marvel Comics


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