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Runaways, Vol. 3: That Was Yesterday

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A ghost from the Runaways' past returns with an ultimatum — and the world is in the balance! Nico's magic has always been painful, an inheritance from her parents she had to hurt herself to use. Now, at last, she learns the shocking source of the Staff of One — and things will never be the same! Meanwhile, Christmas comes to the hostel — but a familiar face could ruin ever A ghost from the Runaways' past returns with an ultimatum — and the world is in the balance! Nico's magic has always been painful, an inheritance from her parents she had to hurt herself to use. Now, at last, she learns the shocking source of the Staff of One — and things will never be the same! Meanwhile, Christmas comes to the hostel — but a familiar face could ruin everything. Alex Wilder is back! No one led the Runaways better than him — and no one hurt them more. But with the destruction of Earth looming, will Alex help the team overcome the worst threat they've faced since their reunion — or is another betrayal on the horizon? Plus: In a special adventure, see the world through Old Lace's eyes! COLLECTING: RUNAWAYS 13-18


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A ghost from the Runaways' past returns with an ultimatum — and the world is in the balance! Nico's magic has always been painful, an inheritance from her parents she had to hurt herself to use. Now, at last, she learns the shocking source of the Staff of One — and things will never be the same! Meanwhile, Christmas comes to the hostel — but a familiar face could ruin ever A ghost from the Runaways' past returns with an ultimatum — and the world is in the balance! Nico's magic has always been painful, an inheritance from her parents she had to hurt herself to use. Now, at last, she learns the shocking source of the Staff of One — and things will never be the same! Meanwhile, Christmas comes to the hostel — but a familiar face could ruin everything. Alex Wilder is back! No one led the Runaways better than him — and no one hurt them more. But with the destruction of Earth looming, will Alex help the team overcome the worst threat they've faced since their reunion — or is another betrayal on the horizon? Plus: In a special adventure, see the world through Old Lace's eyes! COLLECTING: RUNAWAYS 13-18

30 review for Runaways, Vol. 3: That Was Yesterday

  1. 4 out of 5

    Lenny

    Rowell and Anka continue their fantastic Runaways reboot, this time bringing back major plot elements from the original run, including the Runaways leader, Alex, who’s back from the dead! Sort of. But more importantly, Chase wearing pigtails! An Old Lace issue! Gert and Victor blushing at each other! The Runaways really became a family when they stopped their villain parents, known as the Pride, from sacrificing the world to the Gibborim, giant alien creatures; all of them died in the process, in Rowell and Anka continue their fantastic Runaways reboot, this time bringing back major plot elements from the original run, including the Runaways leader, Alex, who’s back from the dead! Sort of. But more importantly, Chase wearing pigtails! An Old Lace issue! Gert and Victor blushing at each other! The Runaways really became a family when they stopped their villain parents, known as the Pride, from sacrificing the world to the Gibborim, giant alien creatures; all of them died in the process, including the Runaways’ first leader, Alex, who also betrayed them. Now in this volume – picking up immediately where the second ended – Alex has returned and so are the Gibborim’s children, who seem less interested in avenging their parents, and more in the Runaways completing the human sacrifice their parents never did. (The cover is a sweet call back to the Pride, with the kids in their parents’ costumes.) Rowell sets this up really well – We’re introduced to the Gibborim kids and Alex in the first volume, the Runaways have seven months to figure out a “sacrifice,” allowing for other stories, and that deadline arrives in the final issues. This allows the whole volume to feel like a complete story, even though the Gibborim aren’t really explored as characters (save for one, right at the end). And just like the rest of the cast, Rowell has a strong handle on Alex, who obnoxiously takes over as team leader and clashes with just about everyone, as the Runaways return emotionally to what made them a team, the tremendous sacrifice that made to save the world, and how far they’ll go once again. That theme of sacrifice resonates throughout the B plots too, as Nico discovers something huge about her staff (involving Inuyasha’s twin, old anime reference FTW), and Gert may take a risk and sacrifice her happiness. It’s more than appropriate, since as teens we start to learn how our actions can have big consequences. But there’s also plenty of lighter moments as Victor gets a sweet robot bod, Karolina and Nico sunbathe in their spare time, and praise the sweet lord, Doombot returns! Even when returning to their roots, Rowell continues to move forward with each of these characters – including an adorably dysfunctional Christmas dinner – though I was disappointed that we don't see or hear mention of Chase and Nico at their jobs, or Karolina serving on the nonprofit board. It might have been a little cramped with the rest of the story, but they seemed like important “growing up” markers in volume two that were totally forgotten here. There is some great setup with a big choice Nico makes, and I’m curious to see if the Victorious storyline continues to play out due to Gert’s actions in the final issue. (Also, are they not public with their relationship yet?? Why!?) I FRIGGING LOVE DOOMBOT. David Lafuente takes over the art in the first couple issues and while it’s not completely atrocious, it reminded me just how attached I am to Anka’s interpretation of these characters. Lafuente draws a more cartoony style with pouty lips and bold outlines, both of which really threw me off. I’m used to Anka’s precision and unfortunately under Lafuente, characters looked either too cartoony or weirdly lumpy. Anka and Wilson returning in issue 15 was like putting on my favorite sweater. Anka is able to just perfectly capture the emotional range of these characters and Wilson’s gorgeous coloring, especially with facial tones, is just fantastic. This was Anka and Wilson’s final arc on Runaways (though they’re still illustrating the covers) (this is 100% why I put off reading this for a week or two) and although I’m very excited to see their new two-part Image story “White Trees” with Chip Zdarsky, they will be sorely missed here. (I couldn’t take it and looked at the issue 19 preview, and I very much like Andres Genolet’s art. HUGE sigh of relief. Worth the spoilers.) But can we talk about how Wilson’s coloring is just a dream. Between Lafuente and Anka is an Old Lace “interlude,” illustrated by Takeshi Miyazawa. It’s a riff on Aja and Fraction’s fantastic Hawkeye # 11, told entirely from Lucky the Pizza Dog’s perspective. (Oliver Sava over at AV Club wrote a great article deconstructing this issue.) Old Lace even overhears humans the same way as Lucky, with short vertical lines indicating gibberish (to her) punctuated with words she does understand. The homage isn’t a bad thing, but when you’re riffing on one of the best comic issues ever made (I said it), it certainly sets a high bar. Unfortunately, the issue isn’t nearly as intricate or meaningful as it should be, even without the expectations of its predecessor; it really only gives us plot points we already know, and Old Lace is more of an observer without stumbling upon anything interesting or surprising. I was at least expecting to see part of the hideout we haven’t seen before that Old Lace has made her own. Miyazawa isn’t the most subtle of artists and there could have been more creative ways to show Old Lace’s thought processes and expressions. We also don’t visually see her sense of smell, which seemed odd to me. Even with that disappointing midway issue, this was still a strong third volume in this series – Runaways is one of few I’ll buy straightaway without reading first. Awaiting volume four (I guess I can wait until October, sigh) and until then, I’ll be looking at this all day, every day:

  2. 5 out of 5

    Emma

    I don't want to spoil anyone since this is the third volume in the series. I just want to say that I think this volume introduced a very interesting character and that I like where the story is going. I just love it when they all come together to fight, the drawings are truly great in those moments. Also, how can I go on with that ending? I'm so curious to see what happens next, that was such a nice cliffhanger!

  3. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer

    3.5/5 stars This is the third installment in the Runaways graphic novels. I am really enjoying these books however I think that it was a mistake to have different illustrators do different sections of the book. Some of the same characters' illustrations look quite different in different parts of the book. But overall I have really enjoyed these graphic novels.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Rod Brown

    Perfectly pleasant angsty YA superhero fluff. Great characters and good dialogue.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Craig

    This is pretty good, from the artwork to the story. Maybe Rowell does have Vaughan's number...

  6. 4 out of 5

    K Whatsherface

    I finally caught up!!!! I'm not made for single issues. Honestly I just hope we dont get a cliffhanger like the end off series 3 again. Part of me still wants to know what happened. Who was the girl that looked like Gert? Who was that guy that said he was chase's uncle? And what happened to chase after getting hit by a car? He got better because he appeared later in other comics but....sigh. I will admit series 3 wasnt the best but it was just starting to get good again, than hiatus...that becam I finally caught up!!!! I'm not made for single issues. Honestly I just hope we dont get a cliffhanger like the end off series 3 again. Part of me still wants to know what happened. Who was the girl that looked like Gert? Who was that guy that said he was chase's uncle? And what happened to chase after getting hit by a car? He got better because he appeared later in other comics but....sigh. I will admit series 3 wasnt the best but it was just starting to get good again, than hiatus...that became canceled. With so many questions we never got answer to....all these complains are almost 10 years old. I remember looking for them in other comics because I wanted to see what happened to them but found a lot of nothing. I did find them in daken and avengers Academy but I wanted more. Than chase and nico did appear in avengers arena and avengers undercover but that wasn't runaways. This series still really isn't answering my questions....well the did explain the hand and what happened to klara so it has time but hopefully it doesn't get randomly canceled again

  7. 5 out of 5

    Chris Lemmerman

    The Runaways renaissance continues as Rainbow Rowell and Kris Anka keep things moving in a storyline that brings back not just Alex Wilder but the initial threat that the team faced way back when, the Gibborim. You'd think this book might be losing steam after a year or so at full blast, but it's absolutely not. Rowell's dialogue and intimate understanding of the characters and their continuity makes this arc even more fantastic, with some revelations regarding Niko and the Staff Of One, as well The Runaways renaissance continues as Rainbow Rowell and Kris Anka keep things moving in a storyline that brings back not just Alex Wilder but the initial threat that the team faced way back when, the Gibborim. You'd think this book might be losing steam after a year or so at full blast, but it's absolutely not. Rowell's dialogue and intimate understanding of the characters and their continuity makes this arc even more fantastic, with some revelations regarding Niko and the Staff Of One, as well as the Gibborim themselves, and some decisions for the team to make that really hammer home that these kids can't just live in the shadows and work in the light - they need to decide who they're going to be. I was tempted to knock off a star or so because David La Fuente's fill-in art is nowhere near as good as Kris Anka or Takeshi Miyazawa (who returns to the Runaways for an adorable side-story from Old Lace's perspective), but fuck it, I'll round up anyway. Runaways forever!

  8. 4 out of 5

    TinTin Kalaw

    The art, as always, is impeccable. It's sad to find out that this is Kris Anka's last volume as the artist :'( I love this volume, mainly because of Issue #15. I love that questions were answered... Something to keep in mind and look forward to because impulsive, bad decisions were made... There is this moral gray area, and the writing shows that everything is not just black and white... And, true to Rainbow Rowell feels, these little gems ❤🧡💛💚💙💜 ALSO, THAT LAST PAGE THO 😲 The art, as always, is impeccable. It's sad to find out that this is Kris Anka's last volume as the artist :'( I love this volume, mainly because of Issue #15. I love that questions were answered... Something to keep in mind and look forward to because impulsive, bad decisions were made... There is this moral gray area, and the writing shows that everything is not just black and white... And, true to Rainbow Rowell feels, these little gems ❤🧡💛💚💙💜 ALSO, THAT LAST PAGE THO 😲

  9. 5 out of 5

    Kate

    The gang end up trapped in their own house when backstabbing betrayer Alex returns from the dead along with the offspring of the Gibborim, the gods who demanded a sacrifice and promised to make the Pride immortal. None of the Runaways want to participate in human sacrifice. The Gibborim give them a week to decide, leaving one of the gods, Gib, as a guard. Nico and her staff have a little chat, while Gert and Victor try to figure out if time travel can help them. This run had a lot of fun issues The gang end up trapped in their own house when backstabbing betrayer Alex returns from the dead along with the offspring of the Gibborim, the gods who demanded a sacrifice and promised to make the Pride immortal. None of the Runaways want to participate in human sacrifice. The Gibborim give them a week to decide, leaving one of the gods, Gib, as a guard. Nico and her staff have a little chat, while Gert and Victor try to figure out if time travel can help them. This run had a lot of fun issues but was mostly low-key, given that they are trapped in a house together. One issue was from Old Lace's perspective and made me love her even more. I still miss Gert and Chase's romance, somehow Gert and Victor's head don't make as good a couple... For me this was a little anti-climatic but I did enjoy the mix of quasi-superheroes doing regular things.

  10. 4 out of 5

    karenbee

    Still loving this series. I read in other reviews that this is the last volume featuring Anka, which, boo x1000 because I've really enjoyed the art thus far—it's part of the appeal of the series for me—and I'm always a bit wary when someone new comes on board (see: Lumberjanes). There were a couple bits of That Was Yesterday that were callbacks to things I knew very little about, but I could follow along well enough. There was one action sequence that I DID NOT get until I moved to the next page, Still loving this series. I read in other reviews that this is the last volume featuring Anka, which, boo x1000 because I've really enjoyed the art thus far—it's part of the appeal of the series for me—and I'm always a bit wary when someone new comes on board (see: Lumberjanes). There were a couple bits of That Was Yesterday that were callbacks to things I knew very little about, but I could follow along well enough. There was one action sequence that I DID NOT get until I moved to the next page, then I had to re-read the previous two pages, but I didn't stayed confused for long. This series is so much fun that I'll end up buying my own copies if my library doesn't keep up with it. (four and a half stars)

  11. 4 out of 5

    Villain E

    Alex Wilder is back and so are the Gibborim, the aliens the Pride were going to sacrifice the world to. This series continues to be more character driven then fighty-fight, which I feel is a positive here. And this volume actually addresses a long-time pet peeve of mine which is that superheroes' rules about not killing never seem to apply to aliens or robots even though they're sentient (not to mention that there are superheroes who ARE aliens and robots). The Runaways who argue against killing Alex Wilder is back and so are the Gibborim, the aliens the Pride were going to sacrifice the world to. This series continues to be more character driven then fighty-fight, which I feel is a positive here. And this volume actually addresses a long-time pet peeve of mine which is that superheroes' rules about not killing never seem to apply to aliens or robots even though they're sentient (not to mention that there are superheroes who ARE aliens and robots). The Runaways who argue against killing include the god-like alien who wants to end life on Earth in that argument. Not everyone agrees with the not-killing stance, but the ones holding that position aren't hypocrites.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Jason

    Individual issues read. This was the best volume yet and also the saddest as it is Kris Anka's last as artist. I'm not sure how to review without spoiling but this volume continues the tradition of using past plots and callbacks to plot a path forward. And how fitting for a YA comic, for often the choices we make as teens reverberate in adulthood. Humor, romance and action- what more can you ask for.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Electriss ★BookishGamer★

    My least favorite volume so far. I never read the original Runaways Series and I felt like this volume had a lot to do with previous events (it was handles well, I understood everything going on) I just didnt really...care? One Thing I Am LOVING is Gert and Victor. They are so freaking cute and I can't get enough of their scenes.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Natalie

    I'm obsessed with this Runaways storyline with Rainbow Rowell at the helm. I also love love love the art. There are still a few things I'm confused about, but I guess it was explained in other Runaways related storylines?

  15. 5 out of 5

    Heather

    Another great set in the series! Great story buildup and easy to understand with little previous knowledge of the characters. Like the others, this one once again ends with a bit of a cliffhanger. Looking forward to finding out what happens next.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Dan

    This was okay. Didn't care for Old Lace issue which I feel was lazy writing on Rowell's part. Still don't think she is the writer needed to bring this team back. A YA author writing a mostly grown up team of Runaways.....no.

  17. 5 out of 5

    TJ

    A little anticlimactic, and the art in the first half was not to my liking, but overall this is still a solid series! I hope the time travel plotline comes back around in the future. 4/5 stars.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Amanda

    So much I dig about this series but really, Doombot is my fav. Must say something about me I always gravitate to the outsider character that actually plays such a small role.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Kris Ritchie

    Rowell knocks it out of the park with probably my favorite volume of the new Runaways run!

  20. 4 out of 5

    Jenny

    This was an interesting volume of the Runaways. Not my favorite of the three, but still good!

  21. 4 out of 5

    Rachel

    I tried, but I've been confused since Vol 1.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Allison

    Honestly, I love the new Runaways so much! This volume continues to excel. I'm already grabbing the next volume asap. Also the cover? Fantastic, my favorite.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Mădă

    This just keeps better and better.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Mar

    3.5, the art at the beginning threw me off a bit

  25. 5 out of 5

    Renata

    (read as single issues) I will be honest, I waited awhile between reading issues of this and then I got p confused about the plot. I still enjoyed all the character moments but also, wait, what.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Kathleen

    Alex Wilder is back, but the Runaways are older, wiser, and no longer in a mood to be manipulated by him. The trio of demons for whom the Pride was destroying the world is back as well. Dealing with them is a little more difficult. With a Doombot for Christmas, a new body for the headless Victor, and a story from the point of view of Old Lace, this comic is a delight. The overarching story is the fate of the world as ever, the Runaways make some very bad decisions, (view spoiler)[especially Nico Alex Wilder is back, but the Runaways are older, wiser, and no longer in a mood to be manipulated by him. The trio of demons for whom the Pride was destroying the world is back as well. Dealing with them is a little more difficult. With a Doombot for Christmas, a new body for the headless Victor, and a story from the point of view of Old Lace, this comic is a delight. The overarching story is the fate of the world as ever, the Runaways make some very bad decisions, (view spoiler)[especially Nico's demon deal which I cannot believe, (hide spoiler)] and they remain, at heart, a family. This comic has everything you want in a YA superhero story, and I highly recommend it.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Kim

    When you think the most interesting issue is the one told entirely from the dinosaur's perspective, it might be time to admit that these characters just aren't as appealing as they once were.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Paul Grubb

    I wrestled with whether to award this one three stars or four. On the one hand, I felt that some of the "returns" in this volume (a member of the Runaways and some critical foes of theirs) felt a little more recycled and less fresh. This is in contrast to the first volume of Rowell's reboot, in which "getting the band back together" felt very smart, sensible, and even a little surprising. On the other hand, there's the indisputable creativity of the overall story. In the end, I gave that extra s I wrestled with whether to award this one three stars or four. On the one hand, I felt that some of the "returns" in this volume (a member of the Runaways and some critical foes of theirs) felt a little more recycled and less fresh. This is in contrast to the first volume of Rowell's reboot, in which "getting the band back together" felt very smart, sensible, and even a little surprising. On the other hand, there's the indisputable creativity of the overall story. In the end, I gave that extra star to this one because of the persistent streak of originality that continues to please me as I read this new series. The resolution of a main plot point, for example, plays out in what was (to me, anyway) a surprising direction (after hinting at some more predictable outcomes). And there's an amusing interlude shared from the exclusive perspective of the team's only silent member, the dinosaur Old Lace. If the new series continues to unfold in thoughtful, creative ways, I'll be happy to continue reading it. So far, so good.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Brent Ecenbarger

    The third volume of Rainbow Rowell's run on Runaways brings back the most famous villain from Brian K. Vaughan's run on the book. Whenever you bring a character back from the dead in comics, you need to make sure the story you're intending to tell about that character is worth disrupting the finality previously established for the character Vaughan's stories about the Runaways were some of my favorites told in Marvel comics, and at least through the first six issues with that villain returning, The third volume of Rainbow Rowell's run on Runaways brings back the most famous villain from Brian K. Vaughan's run on the book. Whenever you bring a character back from the dead in comics, you need to make sure the story you're intending to tell about that character is worth disrupting the finality previously established for the character Vaughan's stories about the Runaways were some of my favorites told in Marvel comics, and at least through the first six issues with that villain returning, Rowell hasn't done anything that justifies undoing one of Vaughan's story endings. **Spoilers follow** The cover of this comic and the description on the back spoil that Alex Wilder is back. Alex was one of the original Runaways, the son of a supervillain like the rest of the group. But unlike the rest, Alex ended up being evil like his parents and double-crossing his team before dying. It was the most memorable story arc of Vaughan's excellent run of comics, and here he's just kind of showed up with little explanation and not a lot of fanfare by the rest of the team. If how the the return of the Emperor in the new Star Wars movie was handled bothered you, I suspect this will as well. Also back are the Gibborim, the old gods the Runaways' parents were trying to make a sacrifice for in exchange for great power. The six issues collected in this trade are the Runaways stuck in a house, being guarded by one of the Gibborim, with the threat that they must sacrifice somebody or else the Gibborim will kill them all and then the world. There's some talk about calling the X-Men or the Avengers, but they never do. In fact, they never do much of anything. Alex tries to get the group to discuss a solution. Nobody wants to talk to him. The plot ends up getting resolved in a very convenient, but unsatisfying way. Besides Alex being back, the real drama comes in the form of Nico speaking to the power inside her staff and striking a bargain with it (her) to avoid having to shed blood to summon it. The result is this villainous power will slowly bleed into her instead, and even for teenagers with poor judgment it seems easy enough to have avoided the negative consequences this will surely cause. On the plus side, the characters here are correctly acting like impulsive, moody teenagers. On the negative side, same. This wasn't a very pleasant collection to read, aside from one issue told from Old Lace's viewpoint (she's gone the rest of the six issues). The art by Kris Anka, David Lafuente and Takeshi Miyazawa is pretty consistent with the exception of Nico, but that could be a result of her transformation over the course of the series. I like the characters, and had already picked up volume four before reading this one, so I'll keep going but I was not a fan of this installment.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Matisse

    This volume pointed out a double-edged sword for writing in comics. Rowell certainly knows her writing stuff, and she CERTAINLY knows what she can get away with in a comic (time travel, talking dinosaurs, talking robot heads, etc). That said, she also has to make sure not to step on the toes of any previous series featuring her lead heroes. This wasn't so bad with Victor and Doombot being in Avengers AI, because Victor and Doombot both get introductions for new readers; this wasn't so bad with N This volume pointed out a double-edged sword for writing in comics. Rowell certainly knows her writing stuff, and she CERTAINLY knows what she can get away with in a comic (time travel, talking dinosaurs, talking robot heads, etc). That said, she also has to make sure not to step on the toes of any previous series featuring her lead heroes. This wasn't so bad with Victor and Doombot being in Avengers AI, because Victor and Doombot both get introductions for new readers; this wasn't so bad with Nico and Chase having been in Avengers Academy, because they have so much history that they can get the broad-strokes approach. Or, putting it another way, when Gert and the audience meet the older Runaways team, nothing has really happened to change who they are at their core. Comics are neat like that: things happen, but rarely do things permanently shift the playing field. Alex Wilder was one of those permanent shifts in the OG Runaways run. When Rowell brings Alex back into the story, it's...not all that graceful. Granted, her impeccable writing and pacing help, but still, the original Runaways run left Alex's character at a pretty satisfying place. Bringing him back in, but being UNABLE to show his resurrection, or resurrect him on-screen, significantly weakens his characterization. Unlike the other Runaways, who all feel familiar-yet-not thanks to the time skip, Alex is a cipher during this entire volume. Where was he all this time? What is his larger plan? If he's not always tormenting the Runaways, does he have any other role in the Marvel world? Is he just living out his life? And for the creative director at the time, whenever it happened, WHO decided bring Alex back outside of a dedicated Runaways run was a good idea?! Good stuff otherwise. =)

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