Review: Runaways: An Original Novel by Christopher Golden

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Author: Christopher Golden
Pages: 352

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Turns out murderous Super Villains don’t make for good parents. The Runaways had no choice. They had to kill them. Well, more or less. Now Nico, Karolina, Gert, Chase, and Molly are on the run again, hiding out and trying to regain a sense of normalcy. But kids with super powers don’t get to be normal.

The city is overrun with criminals, each faction bent on murdering them for one reason or another. It’s only when the Runaways uncover the truth behind their parents’ past that they realize the evil isn’t just in L.A.

It’s everywhere.

When I first heard about this book I thought it was based directly on the TV show, which would be a bummer. Don’t get me wrong, I like the TV show, but it’s not as epic as the first volume of Runaways published by Marvel Comics. But this book takes place in the same universe as the comics!! More precisely, the action is set between the first and the second volume. So, Alex is dead and they haven’t met Victor or Xavin yet. Once I learned about that, I jumped to get the book.

After defeating the Gibborim, the Runaways have found a nice place to live and they are not in any kind of danger. But that doesn’t last long. Their base of operations is attacked by Sunstroke. That obscure villain of the Marvel Universe is a member of the Masters of Evil when Crimson Cowl was the leader. They are taken by surprise, but the Runaways managed to escape and called the police. Even though they had to abandon their new home, Chase promised them he had a back-up plan. That the rest should have a fun night out while he and Molly went to a mission.

The “fun” night out ended up rescuing a poor girl called Allis who was going to be sacrificed by Pride followers. The same followers that in that moment were being attacked by the Nightwatch. Nope, not that Nightwatch. It’s not the good Kevin Trench. This Nightwatch is like Pride but for San Francisco. It seems there are more Elder Gods than just de Gibborim. In San Francisco, the Kurdogrim are the ones to watch. So, they rescued the girl and a boy that tells them he is the son of one of the Nightwatch.

Feeling that both of them are kin souls, the Runaways welcome Zeke and Allis to their new home. And here is when the main issue with the book begins. I mean, can any loyal comic reader tell me who is Allis or Zeke in the Runaways history? If there is something you can tell about that group is that they are usually fiercely loyal to their friends. During the story of the book, we read how Allis get closer and closer to Karolina or how Zeke charms Gert and Nico. We are sold that they became friends pretty quickly and soon I realized there was something fishy going on. I know Zeke and Allis are not in the comics and Christopher Golden knows it, too. So, it was pretty obvious that that friendship had to be a lie.

The author tries to hide the real role of Zeke and Allis in the story, but that is an impossible task if you know The Runaways. So, the end of the book is not shocking at all. It didn’t punch the reader with something unexpected. It was what it had to be. Otherwise, there would have been some contradictions with the comics that many readers would have disliked.

Even though the development of the book doesn’t surprise me, I must admit that is a very enjoyable reading. There is one fight after another, with lots of different powers at play. So getting bored is out of the question. I also liked quite a bit how the author has enhanced the Elder Gods mythology, which has been barely explored in the comics. And the Masters of Evil cameos have been a lot of fun!!

I’m satisfied. Much better than I was expecting.

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