Writer: Rainbow Rowell / Artist: Andres Genolet / Marvel
Runaways Issue #23 is an absolute clinic in how to write a comic without one hero having to lift a finger to stop this villain or the next. Rainbow Rowell consistently shows readers that it isn’t all about the glory and fame of saving the day. Sure, everyone loves to see a menacing bad guy get what’s coming to them, but when you use relationship dynamics to fuel the quality of your writing, you set yourself apart from the bevy of other writers in the industry. And sometimes, you get your book nominated for an Eisner.
Chase and Victor try to work through their Gert tension by focusing on reviving Doombot. Chase removes the miniature black hole in Doombot’s chest which was prevented him from turning into a vicious killing machine. Homie wakes up talking that murder music. Victor acts quickly and winds up inside Doombot’s head.
It all turns out to be one to be a wildly touching and highly inspirational interaction. Andres Genolet is now firmly in the driver’s seat of the artistic direction of this series and portraying the inside of Doombot’s mind is a comic book-loving mechanic’s dream.
While the two creations have a verbal sparring match and come to terms with their complicated histories, Chase and Gert stand above their bodies having their own reckoning. It is as heartbreaking as it sounds. Rowell dives into their past like Old Lance launching herself into a pool of T-bone steaks. Speaking of steak, Gib still hungers. A sacrifice of souls is what he was promised and a fridge full of eggs and oranges won’t cut it. Nico and Karolina have an adorable conversation debating the merit of cows having souls and I just love these two together. Also, the fact that Rowell is sticking with this “I am Groot” level of repetition, for Gib’s hunger, is hilarious and amazing. I hope they figure out what to do with him before losing this character with so much potential.
Perhaps I’m a sucker for touching queer moments, but I’d have to say that Nico and Karolina stole the show for me. Nico clapping back at Gert for taking offense to her advice about what to do with Victor was God-tier shade. Their progression from discussing Karolina’s extra-curricular activities, to their joint decision to become one in this venture, was beautiful and makes me so excited to devour the next issue. Runaways #23 provided some outstanding jokes and funny shots you take at close friends and family. Despite the heavy nature of some conversations between our Runaways team, leveling things out with genuine comedy has been a constant for Rainbow Rowell. If the next issue’s cover image is any indication, I’m very excited to see what Andres Genolet has in store for us.
10 Fantastic Four Clobberings out of 10
Reading Runaways? Find BNP’s other reviews of the series here.