newnumber6: (chase)
[personal profile] newnumber6
Yes, it's time for another big long post that probably only entertains me, and I don't really expect anybody to read. But I've mentioned it offhandedly in a few posts, that I've been writing down my own sort of "alternate Volume 3 of Runaways", sort of a what might happen if, in some alternate universe, I was told to write Runaways instead of Terry Moore. Well, I've finished up to issue #12, and that seems like a good place to take a break and start posting it.

General introductory comments:
Welcome to a peek at the little Marvel Universe inside my head, through the lens of the comic book Runaways. I've mentioned my own imaginary Runaways run before, so, here it is. All of the ideas are my own, come up with independently - sometimes they bear some resemblance to something that has appeared in the comic, but in such cases I came up with it before reading the comic and the coincidence is unintentional. The comics may at time have had some oppositional influence (me deciding specifically to 'not go that way' with respect to something in the comics).

I'm doing this in a little bit of a different way. I'll be giving information on the issues sort of in the "how you would be receiving it" way if, like me and a lot of the comic readers I associate, you read the solicitations each month. As such, I'll be posting issue by issue summaries, along with a solicitation of what you might be reading from the solicitations that month, an advertisement for an issue 3 months ahead.

The solicitations will be more or less what you'd see, excepting of course things like covers, page count, price, and the creative team (in my head it would be me with writing, Adrian Alphona on interiors, Christina Strain on colors, and Jo Chen on most covers. I know the creative team is unlikely but me writing is unlikeliest of all so I allow myself the luxury of a team I love). Oh, and although I recognize the chances of this happening are almost as unlikely as me getting the above creative team to work with me, in case anybody who reads this _is_ an artist and wants to make this in comic form, they're welcome.

(And for the fun of it, I'll be describing the covers I see in my head for each solicit).

The outlines not be prose, but are general descriptions of what happens. Sort of like a wiki or fansite's description of what happened, with a little extra. They will vary in comprehensiveness, from issue to issue, but I'll generally be sticking to talking about major plot points and details I feel are important. Action will often be left a little unclear, unless it's important to the plot. That's one of the places the artist's uncredited storytelling skills often comes unto play anyway. Dialog is almost always "something like". That is, something like that is said. I tend to feel dialogue is my weakest point, and so I'd spend a lot more time on it if I was really doing it and probably never get around to finishing.

I try to budget each issue with enough to fit in one issue, and to end at an appropriate place, but I have no real experience and short of laying out a panel-by-panel outline (too much work) I can't really know. I probably go over. Just pretend I can fit it all in or use smaller panels. I also attempt to follow the state of the Marvel universe as I know it at roughly the time each issue would ship (At least, up until I bypass where the real issues are). I ignore, however, everything established in Runaways canon after the end of the Secret Invasion: Runaways/YA mini. So characters might act a little different (Klara being the biggest example). I freely make up things that I _believe_ are undefined about the wider Marvel Universe with respect to certain characters and organizations.



We begin:
So I'll start with the first four solicitations (and a special that I see coming out the same month as issue #1)

Runaways/Power Pack: Molly and Klara's Summer Secret Invasion Spectacular #1
(cover: Molly clinging to the edge of Mount Rushmore, as Klara tries to reach for her)
The Secret Invasion's not over! Temporarily separated from the rest of the Runaways, Molly and Klara think
they're out of the action... until they spot a Skrull ship landing nearby. Now, with a little help some old
members of Power Pack, they must repell the invaders and uncover a sinister attempt to put the secret back in
Secret Invasion! Double-sized one-shot!


Runaways, Volume 3 #1 Solicitation:
(cover: It's a first issue, so a full team shot in front of the leapfrog. Maybe the group hitching, with a "California or Bust" sign?)
"Road Trip, Part One"
The Runaways are on their way back to the West Coast. But with the aftermath of Secret Invasion, all skrulls
everywhere are wanted for detention and questioning... which is bad news for our little Runners, who have one
on their team. They've faced the Avengers, but with HAMMER and the Initiative both after them, can the
Runaways live up to their name?


Runaways, Volume 3 #2 Solicitation:
(cover: Xavin, knees bent, crying)
"Road Trip, Part Two"
The Runaways make a rest stop in Utah, but the authorities aren't willing to give them rest. Introducing thedebut of the all-Mormon Utah based Initiative team, the Called! And the Runaways won't escape this confrontation unscathed. One will be changed, possibly forever.


Runaways, Volume 3 #3 Solicitation:
(cover: Chase in a tux in Vegas, gambling. Old Lace serving drinks)
"Road Trip, conclusion"
Have you ever wondered how the Runaways pay for all their stuff? Well, you're about to find out. Out of
cash, the group stops in Las Vegas. But even if they weren't still wanted by the government, Las Vegas
doesn't look too kindly on their plans to score some spending money. Guest-starring Gravity and the Nevada
Heavy Hitters.


Runaways, Volume 3 #4 Solicitation:
(cover: Nico in some kind of cool pop-art pose, something disaffected kids might use as a poster)
"Internet Famous, Part One"

The Runaways decide on a new home. And, with a chance to break from running, the team learns some interesting things... like that one of them (and only one) has a fansite, with thousands of members. But Nico's new fans expect too much from her, and she doesn't know if she can afford to let them down.


(The first issue ships)
Runaways/Power Pack: Molly and Klara's Summer Skrull Spectacular Outline:

At the end of Secret Invasion, as we all recall, Speed had left Molly and Klara in Mount Rushmore. We pick up there, with Molly complaining about Speed and trying to find how to get back to New York. Klara spots and points out a Skrull spaceship in the sky, right above the Mount Rushmore monument.

Molly insists they go fight it, even thinking they can hijack the ship and take it back to New York. But first they have to get up the mountain. Klara grows some trees while they're holding on, rocketing them up the top of the mountain, just as the Skrulls are exiting the ship. They're not a combat unit, but a propoganda unit, who's mission is to remake Mount Rushmore as Skrulls. One is a minor member of Skrull royalty.

At first Molly talks to them and, thinking they're hatchlings, they're pretty open about what's going on. "We're not here to fight, we're just here to make a statement." Molly says, "Well, I have a statement for you..."

(attempt at skrull insulting which Molly mispronounced and so it means nothing) When Molly realizes the insult Xavin taught her doesn't seem to be working, she claims she'staking the ship, and they get into a fight.

Molly underestimates the Skrulls and during the course of the fight is knocked right off the mountain, losing her hat. But, surprisingly, she's caught in mid-air by a bunch of floating bubbles. "Yay, secondary mutation!" she yells at first, but sees a cloudy figure above her, saying, "Uh, that was me." It's Katie Power (who has the powers that originally belonged to her brother).

Meanwhile, Klara, alone against the Skrulls, notices that the skrull was eating a strange fruit when he came out of the ship and asks if there's more of it. The Skrull indicates that there is, and so Klara says "Good", and we see alien plants start to burst out of the skrull ship.

Katie brings Molly back to the fighting area, and working together, remarkably well, the three manage to subdue and restrain the Skrulls. Molly, at the end of her strength, falls asleep. When she awakes, Molly's brother Jack is there, in civilian clothes, and they're calling their father about the Skrull ship on his cell phone. He's a member of SWORD, and will be sending somebody.

There's some introductions made, and then Jack's cell phone rings. It's for Molly! It's Nico, who used a "reach out and touch someone" spell to connect to the nearest phone to Katie. Nico tells her they're coming for her and will be there in a few days, but until then they're going to be on their own. Katie offers to let them stay in the hotel with them - the Powers (except Julie and Alex, and maybe not the mom either) are only there on vacation.

Professor Power shows up with SWORD agents at roughly the same time as the South Dakota initiative team, the Icons, show up. The team is made up of Atomic Jefferson, a Jefferson-lookalike who shoots energy blasts, Calamaty Jane, a heroine in western garb who has probability powers, Cache, a Native American who's dressed in a generic superhero costume, and Magdalena, a former Avenger and generic brick.

(At some point we'll hear the story of how they came to be called the Icons: At first, the plan was to make the heroes based off the people on Mount Rushmore, but Atomic Jefferson (who wanted to be assigned to Virginia) was the only hero themed off one of those presidents (there was an Roosevelt, but he was a villain). So after acquiring him, the plan changed to be heroes themed after South Dakota monuments _and_ historical figures. So they got Calamity Jane (the original Calamity Jane lived for a time in Deadwood), and somebody not terribly sensitive requisitioned Cache because he was Lakota, assuming he would have no trouble putting on a stereotypical Native American costume and going by a name like Crazy Horse. He outright refused, being a mathematician who got his powers in a physics experiment (He can open tiny dimensional pockets to hold things, and can alter the time flow in them), and not wanting to put his culture on ridicule and display. Finally, one South Dakota senator insisted that they deserved an Avenger on the team, even though it broke their theme, and so eventually Magdalena was assigned.)

SWORD and the Initiative have a bit of a clash, on account of SWORD being so secret most people don't know about it, even most heroes. But they reach a compromise. The Initiative will take the ship and skrulls into custody, and Professor Power and the local SWORD agents will supervise until the appropriate transfers can be made.

Professor Power agrees to let Molly and Klara stay with them (he knows about his kids powers but they keep the Runners secret, saying that they were separated from their family because the invasion). After a dinner together, the girls go off mostly by themselves with only Jack to watch them, and begin talking, comparing superhero stories.

There's a big one-upness factor, with Katie always sounding better and more experience, but doing in it a 'I'm not trying to be obviously bragging and rubbing it all in your face, but that's totally what I'm doing' way . "I met Wolverine." "Oh, he's great. We've teamed up a few times, and he came to Thanksgiving at my place once." "We saved the world." "Me too! The first time was when I was five." "I have alien friends." "Really? Do you know any Kymellians? We're heroes there. We also saved Snarkworld." "We travel around in this really cool Leapfrog with a cloaking device." "That must be cool. Our Spaceship, Friday, has its own cloaking device too. He's awesome. If my brother weren't using him to go on missions for SWORD, I'd totally take you for a ride."

(Speaking of, it's also casually revealed that while Julie has her lightspeed powers, and Katie has the Cloud Powers, Jack currently has no powers, because Alex is using both the Gravity and Energy powers, because he was liable to be in more danger on his space missions. They figured Katie should have powers in case she got in danger, but wanted to leave her with the most defensive of the powers, the ability to turn into a cloud. And maybe a bit of discussion that, with Katie going through puberty, the Energy powers might be a little risky, something she thinks is totally sexist, because Alex had them when he was 13 and fried a pigeon)

This one-upmanship spirals into a big fight, which comes down to the following lines (or something to that effect):
Molly: "You know, Heroes are always supposed to fight first and team up afterwards. But we teamed up first and now we're fighting. I guess that means you're a supervillain!"
Katie: "Me? If anybody's a supervillain, it's not me. I'm not the one who killed their parents!"

At which point Molly looks stunned, gets up, and locks herself in the bathroom.

Katie feels bad, knowing that it wasn't the case and that the parents were evil (and has to explain this to Klara, who has never heard this, and is going to go cloud inside and talk to her, but Jack goes in instead. Molly lets him in and he sits with her on the bathroom floor, talking. They have a conversation that goes something like this.

Jack: Look, Katie's really sorry. She can be a real brat when she gets angry, but she knows you didn't kill your parents.
Molly: But I did.
Jack: What?
Molly: If I hadn't broken that box, those evil giants wouldn't have gotten angry and decided to kill them all. And my parents would still be alive. So I did it, I killed them. Or got them killed. Same thing.
Jack: You can't blame yourself for something like that...
Molly: But I do. It's my fault.
Jack: The way I heard it, they were the bad guys.
Molly: Yeah. They were going to destroy the whole world, except for us. And they were killers. But they were my parents. And do you know how they died? Fighting the giants, so we had time to get away. How does that make sense? I'm the hero, but I got my parents killed. They're the villains, and they died saving me. And I still miss them. But I can't tell anybody, because they're the bad guys, and bad guys get what they deserve, right?
Jack: I'm sorry Molly.
Molly admits how much she misses her parents and how sad she is sometimes.

Jack instead of directly trying to cheer her up, agrees with her that life just sucks, sometimes, and gives a for example admits his mom's in the hospital, because they're worried about a relapse of her cancer. He also tells her a story about when she first got sick, he didn't know what to do, and tried to carry the rest of his family on his shoulders by pretending to be happy and unconcerned, but the worry was killing him inside. One day, he was watchign a show called Firefly (yes, I'm shamelessly building up to a point where Molly becomes a Firefly fan and wears a Jayne hat), and at the end of an episode, the main character said he had a good day. Even though all this terrible stuff happened and they were in danger. The doctor asked him how he could say that, and he said "We're still flying." "That's not much." "It's enough.". And he realized that, sometimes that's all you can ask for, that's what you have to be thankful for. That you've still got what's most important to you. You're still there, you're still flying. My mom's still with us. I don't know about the future, but for today, it's enough." And asks her what she has that's enough. She thinks about her family, the Runaways. This somehow cheers Molly up. Jack also gives her one of his baseball caps, which seems to do so even more.

After that, Professor Power returns, but he seems a little different, acting generally oddly. The kids, not being idiots, quickly deduce that he's been Skrulled, and sneak out to track down the Initiative base. Magdelena was a Skrull agent. She was originally going to take out the local Initiative, but when she learned of SWORD, she decided to go for a long term infiltration strategy, and freed the captured Skrulls and got them to impersonate Professor Power and a few of the initiative members. The four split up, Katie going with Klara, and Molly insisting on going with Jack, and eventually meet up with Cache (who avoided being captured and held), and together (through mostly actiony ways I won't elaborate on) they rescue Professor Power, foil the skrull plan to infiltrate SWORD, and defeat the Skrulls again. Two of them do escape, the one who was royalty, and the one who posed as Magdelena, but they're on the run. Maybe we see them towards the end of the issue, heading west.

Molly and Katie make up, and even talk about teaming up in the future as a new Power Pack. The rest of the time is mostly fun interaction (Katie and Molly generally getting along, Molly getting a bit of an obvious crush on Jack, which disgusts and perplexes Katie), and the issue ends with the Runaways coming to pick up Molly and Klara.

We end on these lines:
Karolina: "You look kind of lost in thought. Everything okay?"
Molly: "We're still running."
Karolina: "I know, honey. But I promise we'll stop soon and find a place to settle down."
Molly, smiling: "No, that's not what I meant. We're still running. It's a good thing. It's enough."

Runaways, Volume 3 #1 Contents:

The Runaways are still travelling in the leapfrog, cross country. Some discussion about what the others were up to while Molly was away.
Molly: "Aww, you guys got to fight Squirrel Girl? That's so unfair."
Nico: "It was a misunderstanding. She's actually very nice."

We have a short interlude. Lip service to Dark Reign, Norman Osborne, after taking charge of SHIELD/HAMMER. An aide comes in and mentions that there's been some leads on skrulls still operating in the US. So-and-so captured one in Georgia, etc. Then they bring up Xavin. Both a Skrull and an unregistered hero. Somebody spotted him and the group of unregistered heroes he travels with in the Great Lakes region. They might be headed back to the west coast, familiar territory. It's of course brought up that some reports say he was fighting against his fellows in the invasion, but Norman doesn't care. "He's a skrull. For all we know one of his own kind replaced him. All unregistered skrulls are to be detained for questioning." and to alert all Hammer operatives.

The Runaways stop for a bathroom and food break in a city. Chase and Old Lace stay by the leapfrog, watching it. Karolina and Xavin take Molly and Klara shopping in a local mall and Klara gets to get more '21st century' experience. Nico goes off to get some other needed supplies, and Victor tags along despite the hints that Nico would rather not.

We get a bit of cuteness with Klara and Molly, probably Klara reacting to some bit of 21st century life, which also serves to allow a scene where an off-duty shield agent, who was skrull-replaced and only recently got back, noticing that the foursome, and Xavin in particular, match the description of the Skrull and his companions. He calls it in.

Meanwhile over at Nico and Victor, he wants to talk about what happened with Lillie, pointing out that it's the first time it happeend that they've been alone together and not fighting for their lives. Nico says definitively that they're not having this conversation, and when he presses, she explains furthur: because in a few hours they're going to be cooped up in the Leapfrog together. She'll decide when they have the conversation, and until then, he can either shut up or go away. Their conversation is interrupted when they see helicopters flying over, and they're smart enough to know that in a small town like this, the odds of there being something really big happening that doesn't involve them is really small. They Split, Vic goes to help, Nico to tell Chase and get the Leapfrog (using some kind of cool spell to travel fast... maybe using the staff as a rocket-propelled broomstick?).

We get a short fight scene with SHIELD agents, before the Leapfrog shows up. They all pile inside, but a shot from an agent hits them... their cloak is out. There's only one choice, and it's a relatively easy one... Xavin has to wrap them in an invisibility field, but of course that takes all of his concentration.

We end with a SHIELD/HAMMER report that they've fled the area, heading south (before they invised), and to inform all nearby Initiative teams to locate and apprehend.


Runaways #5 Solicitation:
(cover: Victor lying damaged, sort of Terminator-style)
"Internet Famous, Part Two"
No good deed goes unpunished. An attempt to help has lead to an ambush, and one of the team is abducted. But who are the attackers, and why do they not care about any of the other Runaways?


Runaways #2 Contents:

The Runaways are in Utah, which annoys Karolina on general principle (because of the whole anti-gay-marriage
thing). But they can't just fly on over: The damage they took on the Leapfrog is more extensive than expected, and Xavin keeping them invisible is beginning to wear him out, so hey decide to set down for a night and try again to repair it.

Cut to the base of the Called, the Utah based Initiative. We see their leader, MONOK (Mental Organism Now Opposed to Killing), a MODOK like creature, receiving intelligence from his superiors. Intermittent radar blips of the Leapfrog, in their territory. At least, that's what he deduces from the limited evidence, because he's a genius. He's also working on a weapon. He says, judging by the direction and distance of the hops, and the desire of the fugitives to remain hidden while still needing to stop for supplies, he deduces they'll be able to encounter them Right about... "here" (pointing to map).
Cut to "right about there", where they're attempting to hide the Leapfrog. Chase is all proud that nobody would ever expect them to be there. We get a bit of character interaction time, but it's not long before they're attacked by the Called. Their members are:

MONOK, of course, who was raised from a child in the labs of an AIM offshoot, then later given the MODOK treatment. Except, he converted to Mormonism and became a hero.
CARA, Certified Artificially Rational Automobile, an intelligent flying car that MONOK invented.
Radience, a guy with super-strength and speed, who sparkles in sunlight.

(The group formerly included two musical themed superheroes named Chorus, but one turned out to be a Skrull and killed the other back in Secret Invasion).
(For those wondering, each of the characters is a riff on either a famous Mormon, or the creation of one. Chorus is Donnie and Marie Osmond. Radience is like the sparklevamps from Twilight. CARA is like KIT, from Knight Rider, created by Glen Larson (also of BSG fame), a Mormon, and MONOK's "super genius raised from birth to fight tactically" is a riff on Ender, from the Ender's Game novel).

They also have some local law enforcement support, but they're mainly used for penning the Runaways in. The other team members attack the Runaways as means to draw out Xavin, using mainly non-lethal ammunition designed to capture. When he makes his appearance, MONOK pulls out his special weapon and fires it at Xavin. It doesn't seem to do anything, but then Xavin falls over. "I can't change". (It should be noted that she still is in her default human female form at this point). (Also in this issue's fight, one of Chase's fistigons breaks)

Naturally, this makes the other Runaways, especially Karolina, mad, giving them the strength they need to win the fight and knock out the Initiative. They take MONOK with them, for information on what's happened.
When he comes to, he explains that he shot Xavin with a Technobabble (something like "Quantum-Cellular Stabilizer"), which is locking Xavin in her current form. When will it wear off? He's not sure that it will, and he wouldn't help anyway. However, instead of fighting, they manage to persuade MONOK that Xavin is good, and that its wrong to hunt him just because he's Skrull. MONOK sees the truth of the arguments (under the explanation that he would hardly be a super genius if he was unable to change his mind) but admits that he doesn't know how to reverse the process. His intelligence, although great, is somewhat sporadic without the continuing AIM treatments he abandoned. He will one day be a normal man in an abnormal body, which is part of the reason he became a hero.

But he doesn't want to spend his short time as a hero hunting someone down solely because of his race, so he promises his Initiative will not help hunt them, and he will repair the Leapfrog's cloak, and begs Xavin's forgiveness.

Xavin and Karolina have a bit of a talk, but we have a source of stress developing as it's clear Karolina doesn't see this as an entirely bad thing. After she goes, Xavin confides in Nico that he enjoyed being a boy from time to time, from the greater respect others had for him when he was in male form, to certain anatomical conveniences. He doesn't mind being a girl, but he likes the option to not be. Nico brings up how a girl form was his/her 'default' form, and Xavin admits that Karolina jumped to the conclusion that s/he did it reflexively, and s/he didn't dissuade her). But it's the default form now, so "please don't tell her."


Runaways #6 Solicitation:
(cover: probably something generic. Maybe a Karolina cover, all glowy and zapping through a wall)
"Internet Famous, Part Three"
The team have tracked down where their missing member has been taken... but what new mess are they involved in, and will they want to return at all?


Runaways #3 Outline:

The group stops outside of Vegas. They're out of money. and hungry, and everybody looks to Nico. She's been using magic to keep things afloat for a while, and is out of ideas. They've already done a money tree, lead into gold, and a couple other options. Chase suggests making an ATM spit out money, which Victor could do, but of course, that's stealing. "Well, we have to do something...". Finally Chase suggests Vegas. Still stealing, but the whole system is set up to take advantage of people with gambling problems. Of course, Chase is the only one who can go in, but Nico has an idea for that. "Temporarily old" (need a better word for it though) Victor opts out ahead of time (for fears it might somehow trigger Victorius) and volunteers to watch Old Lace and the Leapfrog. So, the spell's cast, but it doesn't work on Xavin, presumably because his cells are 'stabilized'. "I thought Magic always Trumped Science". But apparently not. It also doesn't affect Klara for some reason. Nico speculates that it might just be because the staff couldn't handle more than the four of them, or Xavin broke them.

Next up she casts something along the lines of "Lucky Charms", giving them each a luck magnet. They go to the casino, but Molly, even although she's magically over 18, still look young enough that she's checked for ID as a matter of policy(everybody gains roughly 10 years), and Xavin doesn't pass at all. So they decide to take some of the money they have and take Xavin shopping for some new clothes. As a shapeshifter, he just made them out of herself, but now she only has her basic suit. Nico tells Xavin to watch out for Molly in particular, since she may have an adult body but her mind's still the same. There's a short montage of gambling (Nico's instructions are only to go for small values, Chase tries to disregard this), and shopping (in which, while shopping for Nico like clothes, Molly spots something astounding but unspecified, and buys it for Nico... Molly also buys a lottery ticket, which gives them the startup cash to go shopping.) They at one point drop off this stuff at the Leapfrog and go out for more. Victor is content to just get some sleep rather than join on the girl shopping. Klara also decides she's sick of shopping after the first trip, having just bought more than she ever owned at one time, and stays at the Leapfrog.

At the casino, we see inside the security room - The casino is on to them almost instantly, because in a world with metahumans, the only way they can survive is if they detect stuff like that. The suggestion is made to capture them right away, but it's discounted - not only do they not want a metahuman brawl to break out in their casino, it's also good for people to see 'winners' once in a while. They'll let them cash out, and call the initiative.

And of course, that's exactly what happens. The Nevada initiative (established as being composed of Gravity, Nonstop, and Telemetry, as well as Hardball who would have been gone by now.) catch them by surprise after everybody (except Victor, Klara, and Lace) has met up again. In part because of the surprise (and perhaps partly because after their luck runs out there's a reflection of badluck), the Runaways are taken remarkably quickly.

While restrained, Nico's "older for a day" spell reverses, which gives her enough room in her restraints to cut herself and release the staff. Xavin also discovers that he can still use his fire and invisibiltiy powers, because they don't actually require shapechanging like strength and elasticity do. So they work on trying to escape. But first, for some inexplicable reason, she decides to spill the secret that Xavin was lying about considering female his dault form. Once that's out and reacted to, she gets the staff and casts a "Bugout" spell, teleporting them all to the leapfrog, where Victor frees them, and they run off. Somebody mentions that Nico had already cast a teleportation spell before, but she tries to dismiss it (mass teleports are different than single teleports).
The issue ends with them crossing the border into California, finally.

Runaways #7 Solicitation:
(cover: Group shot, campfire in an outdoor area. Victor is absent except perhaps lights in his eyes in the background)
Victor/Victorius! Part One

The Runaways new home is a little barren... and both Molly and Klara have ideas on how to improve the situation. Meanwhile, Victor's been working on a new project, and it's taken a dark turn.


Runaways #4 Outline:

The Runaways set down in a ghost town in California. They look it over, and seeing no obvious dangers, they think about how it might be a good place to set down, maybe even make home while they search for something a little more permanent. As people separate and go choosing their own rooms. Nico follows Victor, and although he's trying to be polite and nonconfrontational this time, she makes snarky comments that get under his skin and it escalates into a full fledged fight. She accuses him of cheating with the first pretty girl to come along, and then when it doesn't work out, wanting to get back with her. His argument is that she was pushing him away ever since they ran for New York, and especially once he met Lillie. He suggests that if Nico didn't practically throw him at Lillie because he happened to find her attractive, he never would have kissed her. Naturally the fight gets pretty bad, and it sparks when Nico, in a rage, casts a spell. Something like "Off the Map". After that, she immediately calms down. She makes it clear that they're broken up, and will be staying that way, but insists she's not angry anymore. "I don't feel anything anymore."

Everybody gets together and she tells them they're going to be staying a while. When someone asks the name of the town, the Leapfrog interrupts and points out that it can't find any reference to a town being at this location, anywhere on the Internet. Nico explains she cast a spell putting the town off the map, and hiding it from satellites, just to be safe. She then asks, "You have connection to the internet?" The leapfrog says, "Of course", mentioning a hijacked satellite link, and produces a holographic display on the search engine. Chase laments at all the time they were locked bored in the Leapfrog they could have been downloading stuff online, but of course nobody thought to ask the Leapfrog.

Molly says, "Great, now I can visit that website." "What website?" "Oh yeah, I forgot. Check it out, I found it in Vegas." She goes into the leapfrog and revealed a folded up poster. It's a stylized picture of Sister Grimm, with a website address underneath it. We next see them surfing through the websites: It's as though goths have adopted her as the patron saint of kids with bad parents. There are message boards where people talk about their parent problems, occasionally with "i wish Sister Grimm would come and kill them." The other Runaways are barely mentioned. And, she notices, there's a thread that links to her FaceSpace account.

She logs in there and sees she has loads of messages, almost prayers. One in particular calls out to her. It mentions being unable to deal with what her parents are doing any more, and that if Sister Grimm won't help her, she's going to commit suicide. She lists the time and place. It's that night!

So, the Runaways reach the place towards the end of the issue (Klara is told to stay in the Leapfrog, mostly out of concern that if they don't get there in time she'll see something she shouldn't), and see a gothy young girl ready to jump. They rescue her, and she hugs Nico. So hard that she seemingly can't breathe. What seems cute at first turns sinister when the girl starts mentioning she's been jumping every few weeks waiting for her to come and Nico collapses, her circulation cut at key points. The girl apologizes for the deception, but points out it's kind of necessary for an ambush, which this is. Chase makes a threat, and sends Old Lace after her. She announces, "Mecha beats dinosaurs", and throws it against the wall with enough force that it knocks both Old Lace and Chase out.

Vic says, "Wait, Mecha? You mean you're a robot?" The girl complains about the use of the "R-word". "Boy did you pick the wrong person to go up against." He starts using his electricty metal mojo on the girl, and she reacts in pain and discomfort... until Vic goes down with several big holes in his body exposing damaged metal and blood.

Runaways #8 Solicitation
(cover: Karolina and Xavin in an embrace)
Victor/Victorius! Part Two

Victor has been behaving oddly lately. And he's acting to take down the Runaways before they're on to exactly what's changed. Can any of them guess at the truth behind his behaviour before it's too late?


Runaways #5 Outline:
After Victor was taken out last issue, Xavin surmises there's a sniper, and guesses at the direction and goes off after them.

Meanwhile, the Leapfrog's door opens, to a surprised Klara. It's three more people. At first she's scared, but one, a tall blonde bombshell type, talks sweetly to her and assures her they're not here to hurt her, they just want to peek in the insides. Klara, not really understanding computers and security, sees nothing wrong with that, and they begin to hack in.

Back to the fight. Karolina is dealt with, temporarily, when the robot girl throws Nico off the side of the bridge. That leaves only Molly, who rushes the girl.. and is defeated by the simple, very old trick of putting a hand on a much shorter enemy's forehead and keeping them at bay. It wouldn't work unless she had super strength like Molly, but she does.

Xavin has a brief tussle with the weapons master. After the efforts to shoot are thwarted by force fields, the mecha, whose skin is burnt off partially, retreats. But it's a cover, and a concussion bomb goes off near Xavin while she's pursuing, and knocks her out.

For those who haven't guessed yet, these are the characters from Marvel's obscure series Livewires. Or rather, Stem Cell is, the others are recreations using the parts and stored memories of the others, who died. The team is Social Butterfly, who has all sorts of ways (pheremone production, general appearance alterations, encephalographic mind reading) to get into people's heads and get information socially, Gothic Lolita, super strong smashy-smashy girl, Cornfed, repair and tech guy, Hollowpoint Ninja, the weapons guy, and Stem Cell, who can produce parts in her stomach and vomit them up on demand. She rebuilt her 'family' piece by piece in this way, over several months, after they were destroyed at the end of their miniseries.

The Livewires reunite, deal with Molly with a sedative, and flee. They take Victor along with them. The other Runaways wake up/regroup/assess their wounds a bit, and complain about being blindsided and how to find Victor.

Victor himself is awakening in a vehicle, with Stem Cell working on Gothic Lolita's injuries. Victor can talk, but not move. They tell him that they decided to repair him, mecha solidarity and all that, although they've temporarily turned the new parts off (in a few days, his body's own aggressive nanoware will replace them with his own models even if they didn't). He asks why they attacked, and is told that they wanted some information that was in the Leapfrog, locations and backdoor access codes to a secret quasi-government facility that the Steins worked in and helped design. These are bad people, working on Weapons of Mass Destruction, etc, and the Livewires want to shut them down. They didn't ask because that doesn't usually work out so well against superheroes. But they took pains that nobody was seriously hurt, except Victor, which they're attempting to repair, and they'll happily leave him somewhere once the repairs are done. Unless, of course... he'd like to join them. They'll be saving lots of people, and it'll be fun, and they'd kind of like having somebody around who isn't related to them.

Back at the Leapfrog, the Runaways are still searching, though Xavin suggests giving up, thinking the loss of the robot is a shame, but it's like losing a car. It's sad, but you move on. Molly makes a crack, something along the lines "Too bad Victor doesn't have GPS Theft Prevention," which reminds somebody else about how somebody once used Victor to spy on them. Perhaps they could use Victor to find out where he's going. Nico uses a spell to do just that, and they see him looking out the window, and from that get an idea of his location.

We see a little bit of infiltration, which is done mostly covertly, with Victor helping with metal-bending. We also see the project heads, a married couple working for AIM, who are thus far unaware. At some point in the infiltration, they're in a room full of automated weapons they're about to destroy. "And it'll be easy, so long as we haven't tripped any alarms."

Crashes and alarms sound as the rest of the Runaways have broken, very unsubtly, into the building, triggering every alarm and the deathbots.

Runaways #9 Solicitation
(cover: Chase in a dramatic, generic pose, with fistigons)
Victor/Victorius! Part Three
The Runaways in chaos! Old Lace a hostage! And a face from the past, and the future returns. In this issue, the return of Victorius!


Runaways #6 Outline:
Not as much to outline here. Big fight through most of the issue, the Runaways and Livewires against AIM and the various security goons and their various sentries and automated weapons. The two teams meet up and are about to fight before Victor explains what happens (although they wonder if perhaps he's been overwritten). Then they team up to take down the rest of the facility. The Livewires ask if Victor wants to come along with them more permanently, but he turns them down, and they leave, quickly. There's also at some point some suggestion that Victor might try to back up himself and self-program Victorius out of the system.

The issue ends with the married couple, the scientists, who run the facility, upset at all their work being ruined. They've managed to salvage a little (their PSMGH plan), but they'll be destroyed by AIM for their failure. Someone, a person tastefully obscured in shadows, naturally, approaches them, suggests that that need not happen. He has an alternate proposal. He addresses them by name, confirms they're married, and then offers them a place in his organization. They need a couple of their particular archetype. "Archetype?" one asks. "Yes. Wise Men."

DUN-DUN-DUN!


continued next post, i write too much for LJ apparently.

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newnumber6

November 2009

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