The life of a Runaway is never as easy as it seems. You can’t run away from the future, your relationship problems, your existential crisis’, or even the idea that everything can’t be perfect. So much of that we have already learned in these past twenty issues of this run. It makes you wonder what the future really holds for these kids when every day is just barely getting by.
A day in the life of Chase was pretty refreshing to follow. Its hard to imagine the guy carrying so much responsibility as one of the oldest, so this was a fair image to give of him handling everyone’s needs. I mean, personally I’m still a little concerned with the fact that only Nico has truly shown any scars from her past in contrast to Chase, but I’m still trying to be hopeful that that time will come with patience.
Till then, it was heartwarming to be able to witness this version of Chase who is not only more responsible, but more mature in general. This is still the same guy who cracks jokes whenever he sees the opportunity, but unlike everyone else, he knows when it is time to buckle up and be someone in charge. Proved so rightly being able to get through to someone who has been pretty lost for a while. When you take all of that into consideration, it does make it that much easier to ignore what you may have hoped for this run of Runaways to address about him. It says a lot when not everyone has to be broken or in need of fixing.
Like the exploration of Chase’s life outside of the mansion, there was also Karolina’s personal life to follow inevitably. Mainly the adventure into what goes through her head as she tries to balance her life with the Runaways, and her life trying to be a normal girl. This inner conflict was perfect to see in Karolina, even if at the same time it is heartbreaking to see a Runaway so haunted by their experiences over two years ago. What’s so engaging about her overall is how relatable her anxiety is. A lot of us have been there. Worrying about things in the past, things to come, things that might get in the way of other things. The list goes on and yet at the end of the day it was the reason for Karolina actually rainbow-ing out that sticks with you most. A beautiful moment, quite literally.
I could see where they said Chase might be running into disaster, but it felt a bit too drummed up to be honest. The twist by the end of the issue was a shocker, but it was also something you knew was coming, and didn’t quite require the reaction it got.
The artwork in this issue was standout for the effort put into the characters more than anything else. When there’s very little action to expect, it’s the little things that matter like the expressions, body language, the way that these scenes are sequenced. All of that made a big difference in the overall appeal of the artwork. This also includes Karolina’s big rainbow moment. She doesn’t power up like this too often, so it was a treat to see O’Halloran have the opportunity to let loose a bit with gradients and glows.
Runaways #21 turned out to be one of the strongest issues we have gotten out of the series so far. It was entertaining, it was engaging, though more than that it was character driven. Focusing on some of the characters who don’t get the spotlight you wish they got more of.