RUNAWAYS: PRIDE AND JOY
By Brian K. Vaughan (Author) and Adrian Alphona (Illustrator)
Marvel Comics (Publisher)
Review by Maia Bankhead.
What would you do if you learned your parents were super-villains with the entire city under their control? Personally, I’d probably feign ignorance. But what if your parents ended up being sorcerers, time travels, mutants, aliens, or super geniuses? You’d probably freak out. That’s the plot of Runaways. When six kids—Nico, Alex, Gertrude, Molly, Karolina, and Chase—learn that their parents are part of a secret society called the Pride and watch as they murder a girl as some sort of sacrifice, they originally decide to take this knowledge to the police. The kids look for evidence in their homes, and discover that Gert has a telepathic connection with a genetically engineered dinosaur, Karolina is an alien, Chase’s parents have high-tech gear that he happily steals, Molly’s a mutant, and Nico gains a magical staff after her body absorbs it. Alex, the self-proclaimed leader of the group of kids, decides that they need to disappear after their parents frame them for the sacrificed girl’s murder. This series is a major part of my life; it’s the series that got me into Marvel after DC’s New 52 left me…rather disappointed. For the first volume, the bright color choices of colorist Brian Reber let you know that Runaways is a fun, often silly comic, especially when using bright blues, yellows, and pinks to color Karolina. On the other hand, the art-style of Adrian Alphona (the artist for the newest Ms. Marvel) tells you with his “[Hayao] Miyazaki-esque” art-style, as G. Willow Wilson calls it, that this story becomes dark when it wants to. This story will draw you in, and you won’t want to get out.
STAR WARS: KANAN, VOL. 1: THE LAST PADAWAN
By Greg Weisman (Author) and Pepe Larraz (Illustrator)
Marvel Comics (Publisher)
Review by Joe Tell.
Star Wars: Kanan, Vol. 1: The Last Padawan tells the story of the young Jedi in-training Caleb Dume and how he came to be known as Kanan Jarrus. This graphic novel compiles one of the latest Marvel Comics adaptations based on the hit movie series “Star Wars.” For all you die-hard “Star Wars” fans out there, the storyline takes place roughly 13 years after “Revenge of the Sith” and four years before “A New Hope.” Author Greg Weisman is best known for his work as executive producer on the “Star Wars: Rebels” animated series, alongside Dave Filoni and Simon Kinberg. Weisman’s writing is on point with The Last Padawan, while Larraz’s art is excellent, adding depth and insight beyond that seen in the animated series. The storyline follows the Jedi trainee through the end of the Clone Wars after he is separated from the rest of his Jedi brethren after Order 66. After bonding with the Jedi Master Depa Billaba, Kanan finds himself a lone survivor in a galaxy that no longer has a use for the Jedi Knights or the Clone Wars. After the mass execution of the Jedi Knights, Kanan is forced to go on the run to escape the massacre perpetrated by Emperor Palpatine and his Clone Troopers. Kanan is barely surviving on the streets when he meets alien smuggler Janis Kasmir. Janis basically forces Kanan into slave labor as he uses him to help with his heists. Star Wars: Kanan, Vol. 1: The Last Padawan will leave you interested in watching the “Star Wars: Rebels” animated series. If you are a fan of the series, this is definitely a must read.