When I read Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell, I was a junior in college Reading Fangirl allowed me to reflect on my own college experience. My freshman year was an intimidating experience where I had to make new friends from scratch. I related to Cath in her devotion to Simon & Bazz. I have the same devotion to Harry Potter especially since re-reading the books this year. When I found out Rainbow Rowell was transitioning into writing comics, I was invested in whatever property she became attached to. Runaways: Find Your Way Home is an adventure story centered on the relationships between friends.
Before reading Runaways, I never knew the premise behind the team. The Runaways is a comic series published by Marvel that debuted in 2003. The series stars a group of teenagers who interact with each other every time their parents have a dinner party. The teenagers discover the dinner parties are a front for their parent’s criminal undertakings. The parents are apart of a group titled “The Pride” with the ultimate goal of wiping out the planet and starting fresh. The teenagers are forced to team up and go against authority and stop “The Pride” from unleashing hell on Earth. As I did my research of The Runaways, I learned that they were created by Brian K. Vaughn. This name may sound familiar because he is a main creator on Paper Girls which is one of my favorite comic series. Vaughn worked on Runaways until the series was cancelled in 2009.
Rainbow Rowell’s Runaways: Find Your Way Home takes place after the teenagers learn about their parents background. What I like about Runaways: Find Your Way Home is how it hints at the original story, but I don’t need prior knowledge of the Runaways to comprehend the story. The protagonists of the story are: Nico Minoru, Chase Stein, Gertrude Yorkes, Karolina Dean, Molly Hayes and Alex Wilder. Each teenager has special abilities which contributes to how the Runaways team up in battle. One of the positive attributes of Runaways: Find Your Way Home is the diversity between the characters. This doesn’t include race, but also diversity in body type. Gertrude is one of my favorite teenagers because of her sassy personality, but she’s also drawn as being plus size. In comics, women are often super thin, curvy and muscular all at the same time. As someone who’s body type doesn’t fit that mold, I’m happy to see characters in comics with a variety of different bodies.
As I mentioned, Gertrude is one of my favorite characters because I think her character arc is dynamic. Without giving spoilers, she has to contemplate how the Runaways have grown apart since she felt they would always be together. Also Gertrude has a pet dinosaur named Old Lace who’s her partner in crime. I’m also intrigued by Nico’s magical abilities since it seems she can’t create the same spell twice. I would hate to have this ability because I wouldn’t be creative enough to come up with different spell names every time.
I can’t talk about Runaways: Find Your Way Home without referencing Kris Anka. Kris Anka has worked on many of Marvel’s properties including X-Men, Captain Marvel and the redesign of Spider-Woman. Kris Anka’s art makes this story shine. I feel he is perfect for Rainbow Rowell since her writing usually is lighthearted and clever.
As I typed this review, I didn’t realize I would have so much to say. I do highly recommend this series because of the story, but also the diversity between the characters. You really don’t have to know anything about the original Runaways to start this series. However, now that I have read this, I would love to find the original run of Runaways back in 2003. Go to your local comic book store and pick up Runaways: Find Your Way Home, you won’t be disappointed.