Monday, February 7, 2011

Runaways: Pride & Joy by Brian K. Vaughan and Adrian Alphona

Every year six families get together for a 'business meeting,' and every year computer-whiz Alex is forced to hang out with the other families' kids. There's hippy Karolina who wants to save the world, overly confident Victor (smarmy if you will), eleven year old Molly who is going through the change, gothy artsy Nico, and nerdy Gertrude. Every year is the same, except for this year. This year Alex gets the others to spy on their parents' meeting. What they had always assumed was a business meeting discussing future charity work looks to be a gathering of supervillains involved in a group called The Pride committing murder.

Of course there is freaking out to be done, and eventually they decide to report the murder, only to be hung up on because of disbelief and the police's involvement with The Pride. Alex and the gang decide to runaway and take down their parents on their own. A seemingly impossible task until they realize they aren't completely helpless. Alex is amazing at strategy, Karolina is an alien, Victor get's his hands on his genius parents' destructive weapons, Nico is a witch, Gertrude is from the future, and Molly is a mutant. They've escaped for now, but their parents are determined to get them back, and there seems to be a moly amongst the runaways.

I really enjoyed this! Original premise: a teen's vision that their parents are out to get them is true, kick-ass characters, excellent artwork. I have no complaints. It's all done in a weirdly believable way. Evil power hungry villains with heart? OK. Mutants? Bring it on. Aliens, witches, time-travel, and evil scientists? Welcome to the party. Of course they have a telepathic velociraptor, why wouldn't they?

The usual teenage themes of figuring out who you are, where you fit in life, and who your real friends are, are obviously turned up a notch in this series; it's still all relatable and engaging. And while they could've gone for over the top angst, what little they do have is done with such humor that you kind of forget the cliche. I've started the second Teenage Wasteland, and so far have really enjoyed it. Find it, read it, get the next one.

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