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Tuesday, May 08, 2007

cover of Pride and Joy

A group of six teenagers living in L.A. see each other once a year when their parents get together for some kind of yearly business transactions (they've never paid much attention). Because they're bored, they decided to spy on their parents-- and are surprised to see their parents in strange costumes. At first they think they've discovered their parents are superheroes, but then they see their parents murder a young girl their own age in some kind of rite, and realize their parents must be supervillians. After they decide to run away, the call to mind all the "lies" their parents told them-- the kind of things parents stereotypically say, whether super or not. When they realize their parents are evil, one of the girls responds, "Well, duh. I've known our parents were evil since I was five."

Once they get over their shock, the kids plan to turn their parents in to the authorities-- but even in a world of superheroes, their story sounds crazy. And what's more, the police, media, etc are all in the pocket of the Pride, their parents secret organization. As a group they stop by their different houses and make discoveries-- about their parents, about their own legacies of power. When they realize they can't turn their parents in, and aren't strong enough to beat them, they decide to lie low-- and also to do some good, to compensate for their parents evil-doing.

The kids and their parents are a great mix of different kinds of heroes/villains. The mafia kingpin parents have no super-powers, but their son Alex is a tactical & strategic genius. One couple are magicians, another aliens (their Karolina had unknowingly worn a charm bracelet to suppress her appearance all her life), another are mutants, and another set are genius inventors with all kinds of crazy gadgets (their son steals powerful gauntlets & x-ray goggles), and yet another are time-travellers who left their daughter a genetically engineered velociraptor telepathically tuned to her.

Fun, quick read. The books are paperback-size, so they seem even shorter than trade paperback comicbook collections usually do. Lovely artwork-- I especially liked the issue covers; realistic and beautiful without being too much different from the way the characters were depicted throughout the book.

First heard of this series because Joss Whedon is writing the new issues. This is good stuff.

Title:Runaways Volume 1: Pride and Joy
Author:Brian K. Vaughan
Date published:2004
Genre:Young Adult Graphic Novel
Number of pages:144


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