There’s No Place Like Home (Runaways vol. 5 #05 Review)

Gert now lives with Molly and her grandmother, but why isn’t Molly happy about it? Does she know something she should have told Gert and the gang?

Runaways (2017-) 005-000

RUNAWAYS Vol 5 #05
Writer: Rainbow Rowell
Artist: Kris Anka
Color Artist: Matthew Wilson
Publisher: Marvel Comics

*WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD!*

Previously:

Chase, Nico, Gert and Old Lace with Victor’s head visited their youngest member, Molly Hayes who was now living with her grandmother. Molly was happy to see her fellow runaways again, especially Gert who she thought died two years ago. Grandma Hayes then invited the gang for a snack to celebrate their reunion and catch up. Gert was hesitant with Grandma Hayes’ hospitality. Chase also brought along Victor’s head attempting to repair it. Molly who was not aware of what had happened to Victor was dismayed seeing her friends state. But Chase reassured that Victor was only in sleep mode.

Molly then invited the gang to her room, except Chase who said that he’ll just stay behind. Molly grabbed Victor’s head and went up with Nico, Gert and Old Lace. In her room, Gert then asked Molly what were the thing she needed to pack up. Confused, Molly asked what for. Gert then told her that they came to take her and run away again. Molly refused the invitation because she was already happy living with her grandmother. Gert got hurt and walked away, while Nico tried to go after Gert and talk to her but to no avail.

While left behind inside her room, Molly then poked Victor trying to wake him up. Victor couldn’t resist Molly and revealed that he was already alive. Victor then asked Molly to keep this as a secret to the rest of the gang. Meanwhile, Gert had a little chat with Grandma Hayes who implied of inviting her and Old Lace to stay with them. The gang then spent the rest of the afternoon playing games and having a snack.

When the gang finally decided to leave, Gert then told Chase and Nico that she alongside Old Lace had decided to stay behind with Grandma Hayes and Molly. This surprised everybody including Molly who looked worried.

What You’ll Find Out:

Dr. Hayes was ecstatic to have acquired a DNA of a Time Traveler, which was a once-in-a-lifetime scientific opportunity. She also acquired the DNA of Old Lace and Victor Mancha’s hair. She was excited about the infinite possibilities she could discover. Meanwhile, inside her room, Molly kept looking at Gert worried while the two were trying to sleep. Gert told Molly that she was still there, Molly replied that she was just checking, and she couldn’t believe that Gert looked the same since the last time she last saw her. She also asked if Gert was sure she wanted to stay with her and her grandmother. Gert said she didn’t mind unless Molly didn’t want her to. Molly replied strongly that she wanted Gert to stay and that maybe Gert was just uncomfortable staying with someone else’s grandma. Gert said that there was no other choice and that she had to move on and live a normal life like the rest of the gang.

Days went by and each day that had passed, Molly got more worried watching her grandmother getting samples from Gert, despite the happiness she felt having Gert being more like a sister now to her. One evening before going to sleep, Molly told Gert that she doesn’t need to go along with her grandmother doing tests on Gert. Gert replied that she didn’t mind Molly’s grandmother doing tests on her, plus she enjoyed listening to her stories. Molly then suggested that they could call Chase and meet up with the gang. Gert responded that if Chase cared he would have had contacted them already, and she then went to sleep. Molly then noticed that one of her grandmother’s cat was inside her room. Worried, she started singing a nursery rhyme.

26755482_10156952140559428_786603446_nOne afternoon, Molly arrived home from school. Her grandmother who was locking the basement door was surprised by her greeting that she dropped and broke the plate she held on her hand. Molly said she was sorry for surprising her, and asked where Gert was. Dr. Hayes said that Gert was at the backyard with Old Lace and told her to tell Gert to come inside since she was preparing muffins for them and that she needed to do some more test on her. Molly went outside and told Gert to not think whatever she was about to say. Gert was confused by this and Molly said that it was because her grandmother’s cats could hear their thoughts. She then told Gert that they had to run away. Gert was getting confused and asked for an explanation. Molly said that her grandmother gave their cats telepathy the same way her grandmother gave her parents the same powers. Molly then noticed one of the cats and told Gert to sing. However, it was Rufus, a cat that Molly thinks is on her side. Gert asked if Molly’s grandmother was evil. Molly said that her grandmother was not evil, however, enjoyed experimenting on cats and stray people. Gert asked why Molly didn’t run away and if ever Dr. Hayes had experimented on her. Molly answered that she didn’t run away because she enjoyed having a family and having a grandmother and that her grandmother hasn’t experimented on her but only wanted to study her. Gert then asked Molly why she suddenly decided to run away now. Molly said it was because she didn’t want her grandmother to change Gert and she liked Gert the way she is. Gert then asked Molly what was the plan.
26908841_10156952141659428_1110937494_oElsewhere, Chase Stein was trying to fix and revive Victor Mancha’s head. While doing so he expressed all his frustrations about their relationship. About the possible future where Victor stole Gert from him and even killed her. He also ranted about how Gert didn’t want him messing with Victor’s circuitry to avoid Victor turning bad and even wondered why the Avengers didn’t send Victor’s body. Victor who was secretly alive all this time got fed up and screamed at Chase to shut up.  Surprised, Chase was happy to see his friend alive, thinking it was all because of him. Victor on the other hand sarcastically wished to be killed again after hearing Chase’s assumption.

26827711_10156952143134428_1067033958_o

Back at the Hayes’ residence, Molly and Gert were brushing their teeth while singing “It’s a Small World” over and over again. Dr. Hayes noticed this and pointed it out to the girls. Molly responded that it was because it’s a song that gets stuck in your head and since it was one of the best rides at Disneyland. Gert commented it was stuck in her head even though she hasn’t been in Disneyland. Molly and Dr. Hayes were surprised by this and Dr. Hayes said they were fixing that since she and Molly went to Disneyland at least once a month. Molly then started getting worried again but noticed one of her grandmother’s telepathic cats observing, so she continued brushing her teeth humming the song.

Back at Chase’s room, Victor told Chase that he had been awake for a week already and kept it low. He added that he never wanted to be brought back to life. Chase said he didn’t know in the first place that Victor did not want to be revived and he also added that Victor was never dead in the first place. Chase asked what had happened to Victor, but Victor didn’t want to talk about it. Chase then asked how come Victor decided to wake up now. Victor told him that someone had to save Gert and Molly from Dr. Hayes since he suspected that she was up to no good and reminded Chase that Dr. Hayes raised two super-villains and the weird fact that Molly’s parents had the same powers. The two then agreed and Chase prepared his stuff to save Gert and Molly.26854736_10156952144314428_1060777033_oElsewhere, Nico was lying on her bed talking to herself releasing her frustration with the Staff of One being the curse of the Minoru family. Someone knocked on her door, and it was actually Karolina. Nico asked how Karolina knew where she lived. Karolina replied that her girlfriend, Julie Powers found the address in the Avenger’s database. Karolina told her that she thought about what Nico told her the other day and then asked where the rest of the gang were. Nico told her they fell apart and that Gert was now staying with Molly while Chase went back to his place. Nico then attempted to kiss Karolina. Surprised by this, Karolina pushed Nico away before she could kiss her reminding Nico that she was already in a relationship. Things got awkward for the two young ladies. They were then interrupted by Chase bursting excitedly, while carry Victor’s head, telling the ladies that they had an accomplished elderly lady to beat.

26829600_10156952145744428_783270211_oBack at the Hayes’ residence, Gert and Molly were about to run away but were caught by Dr. Hayes. Dr. Haye’s expressed her disappointment for the two and told them that they were not running away from her. Chase, Victor, Nico and Karolina then arrived, coming in through Molly’s window and told Gert and Molly that it was time for them to go home. The Runways then prepared for a battle.

What Just Happened:

This relaunch never ceases to amaze me. Rainbow Rowell explored the characters consistently and delivered each and every character perfectly (well in my opinion.) The reason I say this is because she was still able to keep the characters the way I remember them when Brian K. Vaughan wrote them. But also, she managed to add her own flare to the characters by adding depth and new moral conflicts that fit each of them. For example is Molly who back then was always carefree and usually acts before she thinks, but this time you see a more mature Molly was concerned for Gert and processed and thought their circumstance in a calculated way. You could see that in 2 years while Gert was gone, she matured and started to be more selfless. Despite the new maturity added by Rowell, she still made sure that Molly still had her youthful, perky side. Same goes with the rest of the gang with Nico struggling the burden she carries having limitations on using her magic and the sense of feeling lost (like most millennials do), Chase who is proving himself and the team that he was now correcting all his past mistakes and Gert who had to take in all the changes going around her. Of course, we still have yet to see Karolina’s and Victor’s new struggles soon, however, we get to see some hints like Karolina’s new life and Victor’s coping after the events of the Visions series.

kristaferanka~1515719692~1690301746889781984_633496333Another thing I must highlight was the gorgeous art by Kris Anka. You could really see the attention to details he had placed from easter eggs you find in Molly’s room (I saw Cardcaptor Sakura and Sailor Moon posters beside the Power Pack poster) to each of the characters designs and fashion. I mean just look at that character design sheet he drew for reference of the character’s fashion for this issue. Aside from that, I enjoy pointing out how expressive Anka’s art was that sometimes you don’t even have to read the script to tell what the characters were feeling during that moment. You’d know Molly was worried by looking at her face, you’d know Gert was down by looking at her tired flat facial expression, and Chase’s happiness seeing Victor alive was very contagious, that you’d also end up smiling as well. In my own opinion, If an artist manages to capture the readers emotions through his/her art then, I must say that he/she is indeed a very effective artist indeed.

Lastly is the colors by Matthew Wilson, my goodness the colors are beautiful. It matches and compliments the expressive art by Anka. I love how he plays with the color palette to burst out the emotions and set the perfect tone in each page.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. The creative team behind the books is definitely a match made in heaven and I could never stop noticing the love and care they put into this project. If you) are not reading this series yet then, I highly recommend you start reading this now! This is one of the best books currently being released by Marvel!

Pros:

  • Rainbow Rowell does it again for writing the characters consistently and finally getting things exciting (well it was already exciting from the start but now we’re getting somewhere already, plot-wise)
  • I cannot express how amazing Kris Anka’s art was in this book, plus the attention to details and Easter eggs he adds (Bonus fun fact: Aside from the Power Pack poster, Molly also had a Cardcaptor Sakura and Sailor Moon posters in her room)
  • Matthew Wilson coloring was superb! I will never get tired praising his work and how it perfectly does its magic adding life to Anka’s gorgeous works!

Cons:

  • Hmmm, I am trying my best to find cons here, but I can’t. But I still can’t pinpoint one thing that feels missing in the book. (It could be my longing for knowing where Klara is now)

Rating: 9.8/10

Final Thought:

With the pace of the story now improving and moving quickly, the penultimate chapter of Rainbow Rowell’s first arc for the series is a worthy read for both fans, old and new. Great scripting, intriguing plot twist, and gorgeous art, the Runaways relaunch is one of the best series Marvel is currently releasing! This book is definitely a MUST READ!

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