by Ryan Mogge
This article contains SPOILERS! If you haven’t read the issue, proceed at your own risk.
The band is finally getting back together in Runaways 5. After a few issues that establish the new normal, make sure all the characters are alive and show us what has and hasn’t changed in their personalities, Rainbow Rowell is ready to give the former Runaways a common goal. There is no better person to have at the center than Molly, the character who is simultaneously the most and least vulnerable.
The issue’s narration is third person limited and offers Molly’s perspective. Given what we know about Molly’s anxiety about her Grandmother’s cats and their telepathy, the distance from her point of view reflects her own dissociation from herself inner voice. Molly has been living with her Grandmother, mortgaging her own privacy and autonomy in order to have the security of family. Well, the security of family which includes trips to Disneyland and cookies.
It’s only when she sees Gert make the same choices that she realizes that they need to leave. Kris Anka captures the moment in a panel that focuses on Molly as she gazes on Gert through the window.
Molly’s expression takes on a more sophisticated and mature look. The despair in Molly’s eyes is stark, especially for a girl in a bunny hat. Rowell lays out the situation by giving Molly exposition that doesn’t feel heavy handed. It may have been two years, but Rowell is able to imbue the interactions of the former Runaways with the comfortable rhythms and established dynamics of siblings.
Or not, in Nico’s case. She makes a pass at Karolina who immediately calls it out as acting out a pattern.
Rowell captures how reuniting with an old friend can raise the specter of past emotions. Karo doesn’t let it stop her from responding to Chase’s battlecry of “Put on Your Shoes!”
As for Chase, he and Victor get the least angsty of the plot lines as Chase’s prattling finally pushes Victor to stop playing possum. Victor’s annoyance with Chase has the cadence of a brother complaining about sharing the backseat. Rowell introduces the idea of whether Victor wants to stay alive but doesn’t allow the character or the story to linger too long in that morbid space, because the more immediate need is to save Gert and Molly.
This issue ties the three threads together with a splash page that shows the whole crew together and ready to take on Molly’s evil scientist Gramma. Rowell leads us there with three separate storylines that each underline the affection and underlying obligation that these characters feel for each other. They are family.
The conversation doesn’t stop there. What do you wanna talk about from this issue?