Runaways 2: Teenage Wasteland

runaways volume 2 teenage wasteland cover trade paperback tpb
7.0 Overall Score
Story: 7/10
Art: 7/10

Characters are getting more rounded

Two part story breaks up flow and overall arch

Comic Info

Comic Name:  Runaways (Volume 1)

Publisher:  Marvel Comics

Writer:  Brian K. Vaughan

Artist:  Adrian Alphona/Takeshi Miyazawa

# of Issues:  6

Release Date:  2005


Runaways (1) #7

Reprints Runaways (1) #7-12 (December 2003-April 2004).  The Runaways make a new recruit when they encounter a new superhuman boy named Topher whose parents are forcing him to commit crimes.  The Runaways allow Topher in but discover Topher is hiding a secret himself.  When the Pride’s lackey’s in the police decide to locate the Runaways, the ultimate runaways Cloak and Dagger make a West Coast trip to stop the superhuman kids.  Plus, the Pride tries to determine who among their children is secretly working against the Runaways as a mole.

Written by Brian K. Vaughan and illustrated by Adrian Alphona (Runaways (1) #7-9) and Takeshi Miyazawa (Runaways (1) #10-12), Runaways Volume 2:  Teenage Wasteland is composed of two three issue arcs.  A follow-up to Runaways Volume 1:  Pride & Joy, the first story “Teenage Wasteland” involves Topher and the second storyline is the Cloak & Dagger story “Lost and Found”.

I enjoy the Runaways and it is starting to find its feet in this collection.  The characters are mellowing out after being a bit too extreme in the first volume, but there are still some fundamental problems with the stories presented in this collection.

The first story “Teenage Wasteland” introduces a potential new member in Topher…a kid with superhuman powers that the Runaways discover in a robbery.  Topher brings chaos to the team with both Nico and Caroline being interested in Topher.  Topher is revealed to actually be evil and a vampire (therefore not even a teen).  It feels like this story could have been expanded, but it needed to be wrapped up quickly due to the overall story involving the Pride and the mole whose existence was revealed at the end of Runaways Volume 1:  Pride & Joy.


Runaways (1) #11

The second story “Lost & Found” is the Cloak & Dagger story.  Cloak and Dagger were always fun characters and had been AWOL for a few years for the most part at this point so it was nice to see them back together and doing their old thing.  It also feels like they are criminally underused in this short story.  There are so many parallels between the Runaways and Cloak and Dagger that I would have liked more of a confrontation of more of a team-up.

The basic problem with the Runaways at this point is that the writing sometimes tries to be too clever.  I love Vaughan’s edgier writing in books like Y:  The Last Man or Saga, but I also enjoyed his take on Mystique which helped revolutionize the character in my mind.  Here, Vaughan needs to push the characters more though they are developing and getting more rounded here.  I do like the mole storyline which comes to fruition in the next collection.

Runaways Volume 2:  Teenage Wasteland is a fun collection but needed a bit more of a boost to make it a good collection.  Despite criticisms, I like the team and characters and that is necessary for a team book.  I want the storyline to give more time for the characters to breathe however and feel it is too chocked full and choppy in this volume.  Runaways Volume 2:  Teenage Wasteland is followed by Runaways Volume 3:  The Good Die Young.

Related Links:

Runaways Volume 1:  Pride & Joy

Runaways Volume 3:  The Good Die Young

Runaways Volume 4:  True Believers

Runaways Volume 5:  Escape to New York

Runaways Volume 6:  Parental Guidance

Runaways Volume 7:  Live Fast

Runaways Volume 8:  Dead End Kids

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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