In an exclusive report for Entertainment Weekly, Marvel Comics today announced that the writer of their new Runaways ongoing series will be acclaimed young adult novelist Rainbow Rowell.
Rowell is an acclaimed author of young adult books. Her first novel, “Attachments”, published in 2011, was well-received, but she hit the big time upon the publication of her YA novels “Fangirl” and “Eleanor & Park” in 2013, both of which were selected as among the best YA fiction of the year by the New York Times. Her 2015 novel, “Carry On,” received similar praise. Runaways won’t be her first foray into comics, she has a deal to publish two graphic novels with artist Faith Erin Hicks. However, the Marvel title holds a special place in Rowell’s heart. “This is my favorite Marvel book. When [editor Nick Lowe] first reached out to me a few years ago about maybe working for Marvel, it was the first thing I asked him about…The characters and original story by Brian K. Vaughan are just so great and so beautifully built. I was really excited because I always felt like there were more Runaway stories and that book should just have kept going.”
Created in 2003 by writer Brian K Vaughan and artist Adrian Alphona, Runaways tells the story of a group of teenagers who discover their seemingly average boring parents are in fact members of a formidable and ruthless team of super-villains known as the Pride. Horrified, they run away from home together, using their parents’ weapons and resources to stay hidden even while some of the kids discover they have inherited super-abilities from their parents.
Though never a gigantic sales hit, the series was a major critical success, with Vaughan winning an Eisner for his work on the series, and the title itself won a Harvey Award for Best continuing series. In 2007, Vaughan left the series, followed soon after by Alphona, but Runaways continued under a succession of stellar creators such as Joss Whedon, Terry Moore, Humberto Ramos, Kathryn Immonen and Sarah Pichelli.
The new series will also boast Kris Anka as the artist, and Rowell has said that their first goal will be bringing the cast back together. No easy task, since the characters are scattered far and wide, and some of them are even no longer among the living. Rowell explains, “It’s kind of funny calling them the Runaways because it’s not like they’re the Avengers or the X-Men. They were not formed with a mission and a purpose. They’re just kids who ended up in the same boat…At the beginning of this series they are scattered to the four winds and half of them are dead. One of the challenges now is who are they when they’re apart? They got thrown together, but now they’ve been pulled apart. They’re trying to figure out who they really are without each other… This arc is very much about them choosing to be together.”
Of course, Runaways is currently enjoying more attention than it has in the last few years as Hulu is getting ready to debut its TV series adaption of the comic in 2018. Most recently, in an interview with CBR, Vaughan praised what he’s seen so far of the TV series, saying, “I just did a little consulting early in the process, but I think the Runaways found the ideal ‘foster parents’ in [show runners] Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage. They took a weird comic set in the Marvel Universe of 2002, and lovingly adapted it into a stylish drama that feels like contemporary Los Angeles. Love the cast, crew and especially the writers they assembled. And the pilot looks like an Adrian Alphona comic! I can’t wait to watch this first season unfold.”
The latest volume of Runaways written by Rainbow Rowell with art by Kris Anka will debut this September.