This week we on Tradio, we are starting a series for the whole month of December where we are looking at all ages books that you may want to share with the young ones in your life. “Ahhhh…a bunch of frakin’ kids books?!?! What is this crap?!?!?” you may say, but wait! These are all good books that you could just happen to share with young people in your life who aren’t old enough to (legally) by cigarettes. First up is the amazing for trade that collects the first six issues of the Runaways, entitled Pride & Joy by Brian K. Vaughan and Adrian Alphona and published by Marvel Comics.
Adults are evil. We all suspected this as kids and knew this as teens and this series takes that simple premise and takes it to new heights. Runaways is a book about six young people who discover just how evil their parents really are and what they do to distance themselves from their super-villain parents and vow to take them down. Through the course of these first few issues we see how each of these kids are the direct products of the evil that their parents have wrought over the years and we get to witness as they evolve into the counter-points to their parents. Full of impressive character development and more teen angst than you can shake a stick at, the trade takes a look at very relatable tropes and gives them a modern twist in a super-powered setting. And speaking of super-powers, you get some very interesting takes on super-powers themselves that aren’t just the vague energy power that pretty much all new characters have. If you can’t relate to one of these kids, than well, you were probably a jock and let’s face it…you aren’t the target market of most comics. You get some great set up and hints as to what is to come and as you fall in love with these kids, you will see how the pain of the situations they are thrown into affect the people that they end up becoming if you stick with the series.
As for the work itself, it is pretty wonderful. Vaughan and Alphona set up a great twist on traditional superheroes and you get to see the rare instance of young, relatable characters being fleshed out before your eyes. Anyone who knows anything about comics, knows who Brian K. Vaughan is and know that he is an amazing writer who can bring a lot to the table. Pair him with Adrian Alphona’s clean, youthful line work and you have a book that is a masterpiece to behold. You should be warned, if you buy the first trade, you should go ahead and buy all the Vaughan penned one, because you will want to know how things progress. It is that good. Truly an amazing read for the jaded adult as well as the jaded teen.