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Saturday, May 12, 2007

cover of The Good Die Young

The runaway children finally find out how their parents came to be supervillains and join together in the Pride, and have a showdown with their parents-- and the powerful beings they answer to. All along there have been hints that one of the runaways was a traitor to the rest, was still faithful to their evil parents; the parents argue over who it might be, all wanting to claim their own son or daughter as the one. This volume brings that story arc to a powerful and satisfying conclusion-- we find out who the traitor is, why they've done what they did, and their ultimate reward for such a betrayal.

When they first ran away from their parents, they stole a secret book and a decoder ring. Alex has been steadily working on translating it, and as he does the children learn the story of the Pride-- how their parents were recruited by an ancient, evil, giant race called the Gibborim to serve them and help them purify the earth-- by eventually destroying all of humanity. These six couples were specifically chosen for their diverse skills and origins, and after supplying the Gibborim with blood sacrifices for 25 years (to increase their power), six of the twelve would be given a place (and immortality) in the new, purified earth. In the meantime, they would all have power and prestige in human society for those 25 years.

Their underground hiding place is discovered, and after being rousted out, they decide to go after their parents. Alex determines that another rite is about to occur-- their parents will be delivering to the Gibborim the soul of the young woman they murdered. But they will be unarmed, so the kids make a plan and go after them.

And it all goes perfectly according to plan. Someone's plan. But that someone is actually the traitor. (Don't read this if you think you might read the books!) And once I knew the answer, everything made perfect sense. I was shocked and surprised, but everything made sense (the sign of a well-written twist). Even the fact that, when the kids first run away and decide to give themselves new codenames because they no longer want their identities defined by their evil parents, Alex chooses not to take one (although he gives a believable rationale for it). Alex is the strategic & tactical genius-- and he planned the whole thing from the very beginning. He purposely showed the other kids the blood rite (he'd discovered it the year before), and manipulated them into cleverly "finding" the gifts and tools of power from their parents. He even knowingly brought a vampire into their midst to toughen up their fighting skills. In watching his parents, he had discovered that two of the couples were planning to kill all the others so that they and their children could be the six immortals in the Gibborim's new earth. So, he maneuvers all of this (quite cleverly) to save his parents.

Unfortunately for him, he underestimates the skill of his team, and they manage to overpower him. The youngest and strongest, Molly, destroys the soul that was to be delivered to the Gibborim-- and rather than let his dad take the brunt of their displeasure, he offers himself and is destroyed. The other children escape the Gibborim's underwater citadel before it explodes and (presumably) kills their parents.

After they've taken down the Pride on their own, Captaim America shows up to take care of things-- not that there's much left for him to do. The kids are all sent to foster homes or schools appropriate to their powers and abilities-- but at the end of the book the meet up and runaway again, because they'd rather be together. Sets up further adventures neatly-- but I don't mind, because I want to read more of them.

Title:Runaways Volume 3: The Good Die Young
Author:Brian K. Vaughan
Date published:2005
Genre:Young Adult Graphic Novel
Number of pages:144


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