Runaways 5 by Brian K. Vaughan: B-

From the back cover:
When a dangerous alien invades Los Angeles, the Runaways’ own Karolina Dean may be the only hero in the Marvel Universe who can stop him… but at what cost? Plus: The Runaways embark on a coast-to-coast adventure, guest-starring Cloak and Dagger AND the New Avengers! When Cloak is accused of a crime he didn’t commit by the heroes of New York City, the vigilante is forced to turn to the teenage Runaways for help. This story will take our teens to a place they’ve never been: NYC!

Gah, what the hell happened? The first two chapters deal with some very important events, but are rushed to a ridiculous degree. Also, some guest artist who I don’t like was filling in, so besides the pacing problems, there’s all this weird-looking art to distract the reader from what’s going on.

Next comes the arc with Cloak and Dagger, which is okay, but not anything special. It’s like the author had nothing else to do, so he sent the kids to NYC so they could meet yet more Marvel folks. Marketing tactics (read Runaways ‘cos Spidey’s in it!) seem to be leading the day here. The focus is just on getting people to shell out to see familiar characters, rather than spending time developing the ones he’s got. One character gets a little bit of special attention, but it’s a too little, too late sort of deal. Plus, what is with that completely random, out-of-the-blue snog?

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