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Whedonesque - a community weblog about Joss Whedon
"Here at Command Central, not so much with the hilarious. More with the 'What the Hell am I Doing'"
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November 11 2008

Whedon Speak: How Cyclops Got His Groove Back. iFanboy continues its highly enjoyable examination of Joss' comic book writing. This time round, a look at what worked with Astonishing X-Men and what didn't work with Runaways.

Okay, okay, okay. I'll read. Actually, I'd love reading comics as a kid. Wish I knew where I lost that.
I disliked Cyclops too but loved him in Astonishing.
While I agree that 6 issues wasn't enough time for Joss to tell the story that was told in Runaways, I think the author and most other people are blowing their opinions out of proportion to the actual quality of the story. Was Joss' Runaways the same as Vaughan's? No, but I didn't really expect it to be. By the end, he'd found the voices of all the characters perfectly, introduced a new one, and kept up the general tone of the book from Vaughan. The only downside was that in typical Joss fashion, it took FOREVER for the entire thing to get done, but when it was done, it was quality.

I vastly prefer Joss and Brian's Runaways over the new people they have now.
While I agree with archon on the new writers for Runaways, I was disappointed in the story and its resonance; it was, surprisingly for Joss, not very. It just felt like a story, nothing more, and the time shift I don't think served it well. When you have a titan of a character like Molly, you should use in the story, but she was sort of relegated to the side; the love interest was a bit meh for other characters. And in the end, no real pay off and the new storyline and art is just horrible.
I kept it on my pull list because I love Terry Moore's Stangers in Paradise beyond the telling, but I'm finding it it sort of 'meh'. It's okay, though.
It is early days yet, but I must admit I'm rather enjoying the new Runaways story and art. I loved Dead End Kids, I thought it was beautifully paced (the story rather than the length of time between issues), exciting and very moving. Molly was a bit underused but she had some of the most magnificently funny lines ever and everyone seemed to benefit from a few deft touches which cast new light on slightly different aspects of their characters. Gert's brief, holographic reappearance was an especially poignant moment.
I hate the art. It is anime, not realistic at all, and a real downer for me.
I'll agree with the article by the point that one benefit Astonishing X-Men had was it was length. I'm sure if Runaways had allowed Joss as much time to write a build up, etc, that his stint there would have been just as good.

I read Joss' Runaways work pretty much on the tail end of Vaughn's own work. I didn't think there was a lot of deviation between the two in style or quality. I think part of the problem was the delay with Whedon's production, which broke up the narrative flow.

And in a last, Runaways remark, I've been pretty disappointed by the new team in writing and in artwork. Joss introduced a great new character who has yet to live up to all the potential that was laid down for her. And the artwork, geez, when you have nearly 40 issues of more realistic and lifelike illustration and replace it with Ramos' manga just don't jive!
Manga, sorry, not anime! I agree with RebelAT.
"Biclops?" Oh my! I must have missed a few issues of Astonishing... ;)
I thought Whedon's Runaways arc started off nicely, with the great scene with Kingpin, Molly punching the Punisher, and the exploding building. But once they traveled back in time, I think he tried to do too much in too little time and it felt unfocused. I think if he'd spent less time with the Wonders and the street war and more on the implications of meeting the Yorkes, it would have been a more satisfying read. The very best moment was Chase's reflections on seeing Gert again - we needed more like that.
My favorite part of Joss' Runaways arc was Nico's awesome punishment of the Yorkes (Gert's parents). It also featured some of the best covers in the entire run of the series so far (the "old style" brown/sepia photo cover, Victor and that new girl air dancing). And although I'm not as big on Molly as Joss and a lot of Runaways fans, I loved the line that went something like, "This is the girls' side of the room!" when they get to their New York apartment. One of my favorite bits of petulance.

I decided to go collection-only as of Moore's run (Runaways Volume 3). I figure he'll do the book justice, he's only had two or three issues to impress so far and I know that with Moore, the build-up can take a while (briefly tried to read his creator-owned Strangers in Paradise in monthly format years ago, but I found it read far better in trades). For those who haven't read Terry Moore's SiP, it's a classic (it meanders a bit, but overall I loved it), a must-read, in comicbookdom. You'd be expecting huge things from Runaways had you read it, Moore's a big name in comics, not just some hack they got to fill Vaughan's and Joss' shoes.

I've liked Humberto Ramos' art in the past (way back when he made a big splash with Crimson, which in retrospect ended up being a pretty poor Christian-themed teen angst fantasy tale that started off well but sputtered out disappointingly). I didn't like the preview art of his that I saw for this before it came out. I was waiting to see the interiors before judging though. I don't know if he's a good fit yet.

[ edited by Kris on 2008-11-12 21:39 ]

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