Joss Whedon and Michael Ryan send the Runaways back to NYC...and back in time!

Before Rainbow Rowell and Kris Anka’s RUNAWAYS launches in September, take a look at all of their major adventures as seen on Marvel Unlimited!

When series creators Brian K. Vaughan and Adrian Alphona announced they planned to leave RUNAWAYS with #24, fans clamored to find out who could possibly replace them. The answer soon came forth, surprising many: Joss Whedon and Michael Ryan.

Readers will remember that BKV and Alphona left the kids in a precarious position as they left, facing off against Iron Man and armored S.H.I.E.L.D. agents in the Hostel. As Whedon picked the story up, the kids sat in a fancy New York City restaurant waiting to meet with The Kingpin! 

Runaways (2005) #25

Runaways (2005) #25

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Playing off of Wilson Fisk’s respect for their parents, the kids agreed to do a favor for the Kingpin of Crime in exchange for room and board that would allow them to stay below the radar in a post-Civil War Big Apple.

That favor involved breaking into a secure location to steal a device that Chase’s parents actually built. In the process, they attracted the attention of the Punisher who didn’t take kindly to the Kingpin using children for crime. 

Runaways (2005) #26

Runaways (2005) #26

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Eventually, the kids decided to take the device and run, but Fisk figured on this move and revealed that he’d been hired to make all of this happen by an old woman and her giant, winged assistant Tristan. In making their escape, the Runaways hooked the object to Leapfrog and wound up back in 1907!

While there, they met a number of other young people with powers – dubbed Wonders back then – including a young girl named Klara with power over plants. And that’s not even mentioning the likes of The Sinners, the Mineola, the Merchant’s Trust and the Upward Path all of whom the Runaways get tangled up with in their search for a way home. 

Runaways (2005) #27

Runaways (2005) #27

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None of them actually hold a candle to the nova of surprise that came when Chase and Xavin met Gert’s time-traveling parents, the Yorkes, also working in the same era! 

Runaways (2005) #29

Runaways (2005) #29

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All of these elements bubble to a full-on boil as they explode into a street war. Thanks to some time-travel shenanigans on Chase’s part and Nico getting a power upgrade thanks to her great grandmother, the kids made their way back home with Klara in tow, but not Victor’s new flame Lillie because she had to stick around in order to hire Kingpin to get them to steal the device in the first place! 

Runaways (2005) #30

Runaways (2005) #30

What is Marvel Unlimited?

LOST & FOUND

Before returning to Los Angeles, the kids stuck around New York City to give Klara a chance to say goodbye to her home as seen in SECRET INVASION: RUNAWAYS/YOUNG AVENGERS #1-3. That leads to another meeting between the Runaways and their Young Avengers counterparts as the Skrulls lead into their full-on invasion thanks to both teams playing home to Skrulls in Xavin and Hulkling. That leads to more than one conflict with various green-skinned aliens, but ultimately a win for both squads at the end.

Terry Moore and Humberto Ramos launch a brand new volume of RUNAWAYS next week!

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Everyone deals with the loss of a teammate differently in Brian K. Vaughan's last RUNAWAYS arc.

Before Rainbow Rowell and Kris Anka’s RUNAWAYS launches in September, take a look at all of their major adventures as seen on Marvel Unlimited!

Betrayal and death seem to have followed the RUNAWAYS stars since their inception. First their parents turned out to be wannabe world-conquerers, then their best friend and leader sided with them and, in the last arc, they lost their heart and soul, Gert, to a battle with a time-displaced Geoffrey Wilder.

In RUNAWAYS #19-24, Brian K. Vaughan, Adrian Alphona and Mike Norton showed how the kids all dealt with this ranging from Nico and Victor starting some kind of relationship to Chase angrily trying to find a way to bring her back. As if all that didn’t offer enough of a challenge, they also found themselves dealing with a giant monster crashing its way through downtown L.A. 

Runaways (2005) #19

Runaways (2005) #19

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As his teammates fought the big red beast, Chase tracked down New Pride member Lotus and demanded she tell him how Wilder gained access to the Gibborim. The young man soon found himself standing before the six-toed behemoths and struck a deal. If he brought them an innocent soul, they’d bring Gert back. However, he only had a short amount of time to do so before the Gibborim retreated to another dimension.

Convinced that he could offer himself as an innocent sacrifice, Chase returned to the Hostel to clear a few things up. First he talked with Nico – after tying her up and taking her magic staff – then he gave her ways of taking out Victor if he turned evil.

With that he left to make his sacrifice, but his friends weren’t far behind. Ultimately, their efforts to back their friend proved less effective than Chase’s plan and the Gibborim’s ticking clock. See, upon offering himself as the innocent soul to be devoured by the big baddies, he would immediately stop being innocent.

Of course, that didn’t sit well with Chase, but he also wouldn’t stand for the Gibborim taking Nico as their sacrifice. Ultimately the young friends proved strong enough to not only save their leader, but also spend enough time doing so, so that the monsters had no choice but to return to their own dimension.

Vaughan and Alphona bid readers a fond adieu with a pair of surprise endings. First, Alex Wilder floated in a white space where the Gibborim wound up. He had communicated with Molly throughout the story, but that wasn’t enough to get him out of that particular version of Hell. Meanwhile, back in reality, the remaining Runaways returned to the Hostel where they found a surprise: Iron Man waiting to register them! 

Runaways (2005) #24

Runaways (2005) #24

What is Marvel Unlimited?

LOST & FOUND

Very little is known about the Gibborim and even less can be confirmed. When the original Pride came together, the mystical giants offered them paradise in exchange for a pure human soul to feed on every year. Once the Pride’s children interfered with the rite, things started going downhill, leading to the Gibborim blowing up in their underwater stronghold. As we now know, though, they shifted into another dimension, where Geoffrey Wilder and later Chase met with them. Having run out of time at the end of this arc, they disappeared, winding up in the same white dimension as Alex Wilder.

While this isn’t confirmed, it’s possible to look at the Gibborim as the Runaways’ opposites. They reference a father figure a few times, which might mean that, unlike our title heroes, they decided to stick with the family business and look where it got them. With Alex’s last line of “Hell is for children” it could also be theorized that the Gibborim were children themselves, relatively speaking, which means they may have had more in common with the Runaways than anyone expected.

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As two familiar faces return, the kids deal with a tragedy.

Before Rainbow Rowell and Kris Anka’s RUNAWAYS launches in September, take a look at all of their major adventures as seen on Marvel Unlimited!

After teasing a new version of the Pride since the True Believers arc, Brian K. Vaughan and Adrian Alphona finally revealed their true identities in RUNAWAYS #1318 and our young heroes would never be the same again.

Thinking back, remember that Excelsior member Chamber turned out to be someone completely different using some sort of medallion to hide is real identity. At the end of that story, he returned to a group and said, “Long Live The Pride.” At the end of the following arc, we saw the group again as they used magic, referenced The Steins and seemed to have their own copy of The Abstract.

The truth behind this group finally came about in this arc wherein we discovered that Alex Wilder’s online video game pals decided to not only meet up in person, but also attempt to bring him back from the dead, thinking of both him and the Pride as heroes trying to keep LA safe against their evil offspring. Their attempt at snatching a Wilder from the timeline worked, but they were shocked to find they grabbed his dad, Geoffrey right out of the mid 80s.

Meanwhile, our heroes struggled with their lives. Chase and Nico felt guilty about the kiss they shared in New York, while Victor continued struggling with the fear that he’d ultimately follow Ultron’s programming and betray his friends. Already off-balance, they fell for Geoffrey’s plan to put them off their game, partially by having his witch friend Lotus show an image of the kiss right in front of Gert. During the in-fighting, The Pride made off with Molly and Geoffrey made a deal with the Gibborim to get his wife and child back in exchange for a sacrifice.

Just after Gert broke it off with Chase and Nico discovered that Victor had been spying on them – because one of the Pride hacked into his brain – Karolina and Xavin showed up after their wedding devolved into a potentially planet-breaking war sparked by a not-so-nice comment about a bride’s maid gown.

The reunion proved short-lived as the Runaways took off to find out exactly where Wilder and his crew went and what the intended to do with Molly. Everyone met again at the Griffith Observatory where an epic battle ensued involving secret Skrull tricks, Victor turning a van into a battle suit, a knife fight between Chase and the elder Wilder and a raging inferno.

Gert and Old Lace stepped in during Chase’s fight with Geoffrey which ultimately lead to her death, as Wilder intended to make her his sacrifice. As she died of a knife wound, she transferred control of Old Lace to Chase and almost said she loved him as she gave up the ghost.

Afterwards, the kids sending Geoffrey back to his original time and dealing with the loss in their own way, but the arc ended with a shot of Chase holding the Abstract with the decoder ring on his finger and Old Lace at his side, all alone looking desperate and determined.

LOST & FOUND

The same month that the tragic RUNAWAYS #18 hit stores, so did the first of four installments in CIVIL WAR: YOUNG AVENGERS & RUNAWAYS by Zeb Wells and Stefano Caselli. The Young Avengers saw the Runaways dealing with pro-registration forces immediately after stopping Flag-Smasher and went out to help their fellow young heroes. To combat this potential threat, Maria Hill sent Marvel Boy after the assembled young ones. With some of their friends kidnapped, the teams joined forces not only to get their mates back, but also to help save their fellow displaced young person, Marvel Boy.

Next time, find out how Chase dealt with Gert’s death and how Brian K. Vaughan officially left the Runaways.

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After Karolina flies off the space, the gang heads East to help Cloak and Dagger.

Before Rainbow Rowell and Kris Anka’s RUNAWAYS launches in September, take a look at all of their major adventures as seen on Marvel Unlimited!

One of the hardest lessons learned on the pathway to adulthood revolves around the fact that people and groups always change. In their first volume, the RUNAWAYS kids learned this thanks to Alex’s betrayal of them, but that doesn’t mean it’s any easier when life reminds you of that lesson.

In RUNAWAYS #78, by Brian K. Vaughan and Takeshi Miyazawa presented Nico, Molly, Chase, Gert, Victor and especially Karolina with one of their most difficult challenges yet: letting a friend find themselves.

After facing off with, and appropriately mocking the sentient Nazi bee colony Swarm and an awkward moment were Karolina came on to Nico who did not reciprocate the feelings, a Skrull invaded! Named Xavin, the shape-shifter revealed himself as Karolina’s fiance thanks to a deal made between her parents and his people.

As you might expect, Karolina’s friends threw down to defend her, but ultimately the young Majesdanian decided to leave Earth for her home planet after Xavin shifted into a more female form.

Though they missed their friend, the gang continued on in their efforts to make the world a better place which included helping Cloak in RUNAWAYS #912 by Vaughan and Adrian Alphona. He’d been framed for nearly killing Dagger and a battle with the New Avengers helped dislodge his memories of the Pride’s children. Finding them, he asked for their help in tracking down who really hurt his friend Tandy.

In New York City for the first time, the kids split up with Chase and Nico tracking down Pusher Man, a guy selling mutant growth hormone laced with Darkforce, while Gert and Victor tried tracking down Dagger’s assailant, but instead ran into Spider-Man. Oh, and Molly had a run-in with Wolverine, Captain America and Iron Man in a church.

Aside from Molly punching Wolverine straight through the church door, the kids avoided a dust up with their elder heroes, but still left an impression as they uncovered the unbalanced individual who attacked Tandy, taking him out and clearing Cloak’s name in the process.

The adventure ended with Cloak sending the Left Coasters back home plus another hindered view of a new group, apparently kids, with the Pride’s Abstract in hand. To see how that shakes out, come back next week!

LOST & FOUND

The two stories above went a long in introducing the Runaways to the larger Marvel Universe. In addition to meeting the New Avengers, they also came into contact with one of the cosmos’ most prevalent alien races in Xavin. That continued in 2006’s FREE COMIC BOOK DAY SPECIAL. In that story, by Vaughan and Skottie Young, Cyclops, Wolverine and the other X-Men dropped into LA to recruit Molly as one of the surviving 198 mutants on the planet. Her pals didn’t take kindly to their approach and a good, old super hero brawl ensued. Ultimately, though, Emma Frost made peace after finding the recently lost Old Lace and reminding Cyclops that threats and violence tend not to work as positive motivators, especially when it comes to children who can punch holes in walls.

One friend returns as another falls in RUNAWAYS #1318 by Brian K. Vaughan and Adrian Alphona.

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