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You do not need to learn 500 years of Marvel history to understand Rainbow Rowell's new Runaways

Cover of Runaways. Vol. 1, Find You
A review of Runaways. Vol. 1, Find Your Way Home by Rainbow Rowell

I will gladly read the telephone book if Rainbow Rowell writes it, so of course I am going to read her new continuation of the comic book series Runaways.

The problem is I am currently 1880 pages or so behind where the story picks up. Now, this might not be a concern for some people. But it is for me. I've heard from others and there's even a statement from Rainbow Rowell on how to read 'Runaways' --- and how to keep it running that assures readers the new books are fine to read as a standalone series.

I wasn't sure I could live with that and this is what I decided to do. I checked out the first three volumes of the original Runaways: The Complete Collection. This overwhelmed me. So, I read the first two issues and got a very brief idea of the catastrophic event that started off the series. Then because I absolutely could not wait, I read the new Runaways: Find Your Way Home. This volume contains material originally published in magazine form as Runaways #1-6. It is great. I loved it. There's time travel, magic spells, telekinetic cats, a cyborg, a genetically engineered dinosaur and so much more.

Essentially, the Runaways are a group of teenagers that run away after they discover their parents are super-villains. Over time the members learn they have their own special gifts or talents. That's all you need to know to enjoy both the old and new series. I'm still going to go back to fill in the gaps, because there are plot twists that will mean more to me once I know the backstory. It's going to take me a long time.

I know this is nutty! And for the record, this is not the first time this type of situation has cropped up for me. I've been reading the DC Comics series Gotham Academy about a prestigious school in Gotham City where some of the students (all of the students?) have ties to Batman and his cohorts. Again, I do not have the foundation of DC history to suss out who knows who from Arkham Asylum or how one of the kids came to be in possession of a "batarang" although the fact that his name is Damian Wayne should have given it away. 

What I'm trying to say is that you, too, can enjoy all of this without 500 years of any kind of comic book knowledge. It does help. But it's not necessary.

May 21, 2018