Runaways 4 by Brian K. Vaughan: A

From the back cover:
When a group of teenagers discovers that their parents are actually super-villains, they run away from home… but that’s only step one! Now that the evil Pride is gone, nearly every bad guy in the Marvel Universe is trying to fill the power vacuum in Los Angeles, and the Runaways are the only heroes who can stop them! Plus: What does a mysterious new team of young heroes want with the Runaways, and which fan-favorite Marvel characters are part of this group?

In February, I read an omnibus edition that compiled the 18 issues of the first series of Runaways, which were originally collected in three paperbacks. The second series starts in the fourth trade paperback. So, though it looks like I may’ve skipped something, I really haven’t.

I can’t explain what makes this series so engrossing, but it completely is. I already like this story arc more than the first. The team’s more used to each other, and now their tale expands beyond conflict with their villainous parents. The art has improved, and the consistency problems I noticed last time with a couple of characters are gone. It’s also funny. One character reminds me of Xander at times. And there are all sorts of silly pop culture references, including Teen Girl Squad!

I didn’t recognize any of the “fan-favorite Marvel characters,” and though I didn’t dislike any particular aspect of the story, I found their segments to be the least interesting. I doubt this would’ve been different had I known who they were beforehand, however. One of the strong points of Runaways is that its appeal isn’t limited to traditional comic book fans.

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