The 3rd collected volume of RUNAWAYS covers issues 13-24 of volume 2.
The Runaways are back and better than ever. Just when we thought the series might be losing steam, the strongest story arcs in series history hit back-to-back. Both are included in this installment. Back in Los Angeles, the Runaways are left to their own unique brand of haphazard vigilante justice without all of the gratituous Marvel crossovers and super-villains. The artwork is as good as it's ever been and the storytelling is more weighty than ever. We are warned, from the start, that someone will die... and when it happens: it hurts.
In the first storyline, Alex's online friends band together and scheme ressurect him. Instead, they accidentally call back a much younger version of his father. Determined to extract revenge for The Pride, he sets up an ambush for the Runaways. Using the online gamers as pawns, Geoffrey Wilder manages to off one of the Runaways--setting the whole unit into a dangerous downward spiral and sending one member in particular over the edge.
The second arc ( "Live Fast"/"Dead Means Dead" ) is impossible to discuss in-depth without spoiling anything... but it's painful, surprising, and brings new depth to characters desperately in need of some. Problematic issues are tackled: Nico's slutty behavior is addressed as is Xavin's gender-indentity. Oh, and if you weren't a Chase fan before: you will be after reading this.
A short one-shot about Molly is also included to lighten the otherwise heavy mood and while it does very little to develop her character, it is quite a lot of fun.
The only kill-joy in an otherwise solid chunk of euphoria is the final, terrifying announcement that Adrian Alphona, the artist responsible for the best and most frequent artwork in the series and writer Brian K. Vaughan are leaving RUNAWAYS in someone else's hands. We can only hope the new staff is just as enthusiastic and talented as this one.
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