A few nights ago, I was telling a friend how I thought I was going to give up buying monthly comics for good (again). I listed off my usual complaints: the stakes feel meaningless therefore the stories feel meaningless, the characters are caricatures of what they once were, and (most importantly) it’s too expensive to try to keep up with the constant tie-ins and pointless titles. Creators feel compelled to go to extremes to keep things interesting (*coughs* Hydra Cap) when their efforts actually serve to do the opposite. It’s just easier to keep up with TPBs of Saga and Paper Girls rather than visiting the comic book store each week to spend $20 on stuff I’m not that excited to read. After all, art is supposed to make you feel something.
I thought my argument was as solid as adamantium.
But much like Magneto in X-Men #25, my friend easily eviscerated my declaration.
“You know Rainbow Rowell is writing Runaways right?”
I was left cowering like a hairy fool, me with my totally breakable, feeble, normal human skeleton. No. No, I did not know Rainbow Rowell (author of deservedly beloved books like Eleanor & Park and Fangirl) was writing Runaways.
You see, I had given up comics several times before after events like Brand New Day and Superior Spider-Man, only to be brought back in by the likes of Ta-Nehisi Coates writing Black Panther or Max Bemis working on an X-Men title. So I knew Rowell writing Runaways was sure to get me back in the comic book store once a month where I would also pick up new X-Men titles or whatever else looked cool. But this was bigger than that too.
I fell in love with the Runaways when I ordered the first deluxe edition in college. I think it was actually my first ever online book order. I remember I had to order a book about Johannes Kepler for a report I was writing and I snuck Runaways on there for fun, because who wants to just get a boring book in the mail and nothing else?
I was enthralled by BKV’s plotting and Adrian Alphona’s art, but most importantly I connected with the characters. Gert, Chase, Alex, Nico, Karoline, Molly, they felt like friends, like people I knew in real life. I rooted for them to get wins and I cared when they caught L’s. Along with Catcher in the Rye, Hairstyles of the Damned, and Perks of Being a Wallflower, Runaways was among the first young adult books I ever read before I even knew YA was a thing.
The Runaways are some of my favorite characters of all time.
So yeah, Rainbow Rowell writing them? That seems too good to be true. But it isn’t. Because after I recovered from my friend’s comment, I searched online and it was soon confirmed.
Damn. Well done, Marvel. Turns out you didn’t have to threaten my loved ones or bring on Jon Hamm to get me to come back.You just had to hire one of the greatest young adult authors of all time to write the greatest young adult comic of all time. Just take my money now, please.
 It’s quite possible they always have been caricatures and I just didn’t notice or that the stories were so good that I didn’t care or that I used to not have seemingly limitless options for entertainment like I do now so I wasn’t as concerned with the waste of time/money that most comics feel like presently.
 Please note the lack of “comic book” or "young adult" as a qualifier here. The Runaways are some of my favorite literary characters of all time, period.