Runaways: Vol. 1; Find Your Way Home

illus. by Kris Anka. 136p. Marvel. May 2018. pap. $17.99. ISBN 9781302908522. POP
Gr 7 Up—The popular Marvel series about a group of teens who discover their parents are supervillains returns, picking up approximately two years after the events of the last issue. When readers last saw the Runaways, the ragtag bunch lost the lovable Gert in their final battle to defeat their evil progenitors. Fast-forward two years in this installment, the friends have gone their separate ways—some are using their abilities to join other superhero teams, others have tried to establish a "normal" life, but many have lost a sense of purpose. The bereft and aimless Chase decides to jump-start the group by traveling to the past to save Gert. This triggers a chain of events that unite the misfits, but also brings into focus how far apart they've grown. The snarky dialogue and pitch-perfect characterization are as nuanced as ever. Coming-of-age themes of identity, "found family," and love are showcased through the dynamic storytelling. As with most time travel tales, the back-and-forth between time lines is sometimes confusing, but Anka's warm and expressive, appropriately moody, and sleek art helps orient readers. Rowell's entry is welcoming to those meeting these characters and universe for the first time. Back matter includes the author's original outline, sketches, and variant covers.
VERDICT Give this to young people looking to read teen-centric comics with complex characters and lots of heart. A must-have.

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