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Marvel: Runaways Found? Vaughan Talks Series' Haitus
Posted 22/05/2004
Source Newsarama
By Matt Brady

[Image: runaways018_CMYK_t.jpg]At today’s “Cup ‘o Joe” panel at WizardWorld East, it was confirmed that Runaways would be ending with issue #18. But that’s not the whole story – Newsarama spoke with writer Brian Vaughan about the series and its future.

First off, and this may seem like a technicality to some, the series is not “cancelled.” As the solicitation copy for issue #18 reads, August’s issue is the “Season Finale” of the series. What exactly does that mean?
“It’s the opposite of cancellation, actually!” Vaughan told Newsarama. “Six months ago, I knew that sales were entering the danger zone, and Marvel was cool enough to give us lots of advance warning that issue #18 might be our last. I was heartbroken, but appreciative that we got to tell as many cool stories as we did, and happy that we had time to wrap everything up right. I planned out the current ‘The Good Die Young’ arc to be a very satisfying conclusion to our whole series, but just as I was about to write the last issue, our first trade finally came out, and shocked all of us by doing phenomenally well. Marvel immediately called and asked if I'd be interested in keeping the series going beyond Issue #18.”

Vaughan credits Marvel’s willingness to go beyond issue #18 to one thing. “That's really a testament to our readers,” Vaughan said. “Runaways doesn't have nearly as many fans as some of my other comics, but the fans we do have are crazy insane-o for the book. They send us drawings, they start kick-ass fan pages like ‘The Hostel,’ they flood message boards with annoying posts berating other readers for not picking up the book, etc. If it weren't for these hard-cores and their unending dedication to spreading the gospel, we probably would have been canceled at issue #6. But much as I appreciate our readers and adore these characters, I didn't want to keep writing the book if I didn't have anything more to say - after all, you can only have kids running away from their parents for so long, right? After giving it a ton of thought, I came up with what I think is a really cool new direction for the book. It will still be called Runaways, and it will still be a parable about kids surviving the evils of the adult world, but our heroes will be in an all-new setting and have an all-different purpose. And since not everyone makes it out of issue #18 alive, we might even introduce a few new runaways - and villains - to the roster, too. But don't worry, the book isn't going to become West Coast Avengers or New Warriors Jr. or Wolverine and the Runaways. Our book is set in the Marvel Universe, and I'm not at all opposed to finding unexpected ways to further integrate our characters into that world - I think our Cloak and Dagger crossover was one of our better stories, but the higher-ups at Marvel definitely understand that the series works because it's fun and different and new, and they're not going to kill what makes the book special in order to save it. And no matter what Runaways becomes next, I promise that we'll still have psychic dinosaurs, magic decoder rings, secret hideouts, tortured romances, unbelievably shocking acts of evil, and all of the things that made me fall in love with comics when -I- started reading.”

That said, issue #18 still ends much the same way it was going to when Vaughan thought it would be the end of the series. “We wanted to give our characters a little downtime after this insanely epic season finale,” Vaughan said. “Issue #18 makes for a very natural ‘season finale,’ since we've been building to this final showdown between the Runaways and their evil parents since issue #1. I don't want to spoil how things end, but it's big. Joss Whedon is a huge inspiration, and we're definitely taking a page from Buffy here, where each season of that show was really its own complete story, with a beginning, middle and end. Like most viewers, I wasn't even aware of Buffy until its - very accessible - second season. That's when I fell in love with Buffy, and I hope it's when most readers will fall in love with the Runaways.”

Also – a hiatus between “seasons” will allow artist Adrian Alphona to uncramp his hand. “Adrian has been drawing nonstop since we pitched this comic almost two years ago, so we wanted to give him some much-earned downtime to recharge his batteries before our next phase begins,” Vaughan said. "And most importantly, we wanted to give Marvel a chance to put out the next two digest collections of Runaways, to help build excitement. I swear that you won't have to have read any of "Season One" in order to enjoy the all-new, all-different Season Two... but come on, Season One was effin' amazing! Those cute little digests look great, too, and they only cost eight bucks, so if you missed our stories the first time around, there's no excuse not to give them a shot now.”

Vaughan said that Marvel insisted that he and Alphona stay with the property, rather than bring in a guest team for an arc while the two geared up for the relaunch. “That's all Marvel, and the fact that they really care about their creators,” Vaughan said. “Either that, or Chuck Austen passed. Seriously, I like to think that Marvel recognizes that Adrian and I - and Jo Chen, and Craig Yeung, and Christina Strain - are a big part of what makes Runaways work, and they didn't want to do the book without us. And again, it's not about our schedules being too busy, or Runaways taking a backseat to anything else, it's about taking the time to do everything we can to ensure that the book relaunches as strongly as possible. Joe Q.'s been pimping this book so hard and so long, I feel like his queen ho. Editors C.B. Cebulski and MacKenzie Cadenhead have also fought tirelessly for this book, and I wouldn't have said yes to a relaunch without them.”

The kids from Runaways will be cooling their heels during the break, with no guest-shots planned. Although… “If John Cassaday wants to put them on the cover of Astonishing X-Men, he's more than welcome to, but I'm pretty sure that our kids will be going back into hiding for a few months after the end of issue #18,” Vaughan said. As for that “few months” it’s still up in the air, but Vaughan is projecting a return of the series sometime around the end of 2004. “And no, I'm not sure if we'll be coming back as Runaways #1 or Runaways #19. But I know fanboy numerologists hate new #1's, so I'd personally like to relaunch with a new #7, just to make their heads explode. I’m kidding. Kind of.”

If, God forbid, Vaughan and Alphona can’t return to the series (although everything, as the writer said, suggest that they will later this year), Vaughan’s happy with the work as it stands. “Hey, we gave the Marvel Universe six 100% brand-new heroes and at least twelve new villains. How many other books can say that? Plus, my aforementioned hero Joss Whedon wrote to tell me that he's a big fan of the book, so I can definitely die happy. That said, I really want more Runaways. For the past eighteen months or so, we've gotten a lot of emails from girls who said that this was the very first comic they ever bought, and dads who said that they loved reading the book with their kids. That matters to me. Obviously, I love writing books with severed heads and too much swearing – see Y: The Last Man and Ex Machina for all of that, but I recognize that it's important for our industry to nurture tomorrow’s ‘mature readers’ today. Our train can't keep pulling up the tracks behind us. Still, I don't want Runaways to become a ‘vanity book’ that's kept alive simply to please a small-but-important audience of new readers. I want it to be a Top Ten book! I know that sounds ridiculous, but a few decades ago, it was ridiculous to think that a fledgling little book called X-Men could ever escape cancellation, much less be the #1 book in America. A bald boy can dream, right? Love it or hate it, Runaways is something new, and new is important. I have nothing against existing superheroes: Bendis and Maleev's Daredevil is one of the best monthly comics of all time, and I'm honored to be working on Ultimate X-Men. But I flatter myself to think that Runaways is the kind of book that Lee and Kirby and Ditko would want to see Marvel publishing more of today. Those guys didn't get into comics to work on Batman and Superman, they got into the medium to help build a House of Ideas. Anyway, I know I'm starting to sound like a preachy, self-righteous douche, but I'm so grateful that Marvel has gotten behind more Runaways, and I really hope we can turn the book into enough of a success that it helps encourage all publishers to continue taking chances on new creators, new characters and new ideas.”
I'm glad to see Runaways isn't going away forever. (that would make my girlfriend cry.) It's the book that got her INTO comics. Now she's reading a good portion of what I do. I wish it didn't have to go on hiatus, but a good thing is worth waiting for. Seriously, if you've never read this book, do yourself a favor and pick up the trade. I'm almost 100% positive you won't be dissapointed. I can't wait for my relaunched issue #7!
When life hands you lemons, you gotta squirt lemon juice and life's eye and make it your B!TCH
I'm sure Runaways is available as a Marvel Age Digest edition - slightly cheaper than a trade and small enough to fit in the back pocket of your jeans!
Runaways #1 (the new run) comes out on feb 16!


I don't know whether I'll keep buying it... but I'll pick up a couple issue to see if they've lost their appeal or not...

With Mystique coming to an end with issue 24, I hope Runaways'll still be good, otherwise my to-buy list will get quite short!
For those of you who may be interested, this great book is back! Chapter 2 #1 came out last wednesday, and it promises LOTS of guest-starring by A listers, B listers and other limboed heroes and villains!

With the power vacuum of power left by the Pride's disappearance from LA, it's up to the Runaways to fight the villains who are trying to take over the city... Meanwhile, [spoiler]Chamber, Ricochet, one of the Power Pack sisters and the New Warrior's Turbo as well as the "good" Green Goblin [/spoiler]are all member of Excelsior, a group of self-help for hasbeen teenage horoes/sidekicks...

and an appearance by the 5 members of the Wrecking Crew... seems they've been recruiting!

A truely enjoyable read, although it lacked some of the goofy teenage humor most of the previous books had. Hopefully, the writer will find a way to get back to the pre-discovery and loss of the Mole era, which was definitively the best part of this series!
Heh, Heh, "POWER VACUUM!" ROFL!!!! See new issue #1 to get the joke. STILL one of my favorite books hands down. Promises great things.
When life hands you lemons, you gotta squirt lemon juice and life's eye and make it your B!TCH
While I personally have some issues with Runaways Chapter 2 #1, I'm considering picking it up for the next month or two to give it a try, and will most likely go pick up the three trades of the first series. Vaughn is a skilled storyteller, I'll make no effort to deny him that, but the dialogue was bit weak at points and certain retcons of his simply don't sit well with me.

I only have a basic knowledge of the characters but at the moment they seem interesting enough and the basic premise of the story is one I can easily get behind, so all in all I'd have to say that I enjoyed this issue.
And now I'm a Runaways fanboy. I've bought the three digests of Season 1, and every issue of Season 2 so far and I'm hooked. Let's just....leave it at that shall we?

Oh! But before I forget....The Hood is coming Back!! Woohoo!!! I loved that character (from the mini series of the same name) and word has it he'll be returning in the"Beyond" mini series along with another favorite of mine...Kraven the Hunter. This on top of new of Mysterio's return to the Marvel U has made me one happy camper.
Runaways is one of those books that has always evaded us. I know its good, because everyone I know sings its praises, but I've just never had the cash to add it to the pull list. So if you want to give us uninitiated a rundown of why its so good, maybe you could convert a few of us.

And Mysterio is coming back? The fish bowl better be worn by a new guy this time around, because if Marvel screws up Kevin Smith's Guardian Devil run by bringing that stories tragic villain back to life, I will not be pleased.
and another Runaway bites the dust... [spoiler] In last month's issue, Nico was seen being shot, but in reality, it was Xavin, the skrull, who shape-shifted into Nico while an invisible Nico untied Molly's wrists. Meanwhile both Chase and Gert got themselves tangled up in Goeffrey's web and Gert was killed. Before her death, she transferred her telepathic bond to Old Lace to Chase...[/spoiler]

one of the reason why this book is so great, is the original premise, kids discovering their parents are crime lords and murderers. Then, a ragtag group of kids runaway together, personnalities clash, and friction ensues. The characters are great, there both drama and humor and it's so much more realistic (and different) than other superpowered teen teams... It's been around for 3-4 years and the sales are going higher and higher...

if you can afford to buy the first couple TPBs, it's worth it.

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