The Runaways have joined up with Doc Justice as the new J-Team, the premier superteam of Los Angeles! However, after weeks of crime fighting, Gert Yorkes has discovered the terrible truth surrounding the J-Team and Doc Justice’s true motives for the team, can she rescue her friends before they become another set of obituaries in the LA Times?
The Cannon Fodder arc has finally come to an end and the ride has been absolutely worth it.
For months readers have watched as the layers that Doc Justice has put up, as far as his persona as a good guy, have slowly been peeled away to reveal the dark face of a glory hungry madman that doesn’t realize that his fifteen minutes of fame had been over for years. In the background, he’s schemed to get the names and faces of the new J-Team on reality TV, all over the internet and into the ears of anyone who would listen…and when their time in the sun would be over, they’d lose another battle and he’d mourn all over again.
What Doc Justice didn’t count on was the conviction of Gert and her love for her friends. The last issue saw Karolina attacked by Ashley (last name unknown), the former SPF of the J-Team and she absorbs Karolina’s alien energy against her will. Andres Genolet is the artist for this issue and he makes it clear through SPF’s expressions that she doesn’t want to do this, but Doc Justice looks on with a look of disgusting smugness – that is until he hears the “Vroom” of a dune buggy and Genolet gives us a title page of Gert, Old Lace and Matthew ready to make the save.
Lace manages to stop SPF before she drains Karolina completely, but as Doc rolls his eyes because of his plans being spoiled, we see just how strong he truly is as he rips a solar panel apart to smack Old Lace in the face as she starts to attack him. It feels absolutely disgusting as letterer Joe Sabino emphasizes the impact with a “CRASH” sound effect.
Over the course of the last five issues, readers have seen Matthew try to stand up to Doc Justice, nudging him to not treat this J-Team like the others and things almost seem to come to a head when Matthew holds a gun to Doc Justice. With just one line, Rainbow Rowell places a new light on their relationship; depicting a father who still lords over his adult son with disdain and a boy that can’t escape the shame of his actions and his father’s iron grip. It’s easy to feel bad for Matthew, but at the same time, he’s been helping his father for years. He’s not blameless.
Doc snatches the gun from Matthew and prepares to shoot Karolina, but then Nico swoops in, riding a bed, and dashes it across Doc Justice’s head in one frantic splash page while Molly sleeps. Genolet uses the next few pages to show just how capable Doc Justice is as a fighter by swiftly taking out Nico and beating Chase to a bloody pulp. He tells the eldest Runaway that he wasn’t even planning to kill him because no one would have cared.
Doc Justice reveals himself to be one of the worst adults that the Runaways have encountered since their own parents. He may have wanted to take down the Pride remnants in Los Angeles, but what are the chances that he too was once a part of them? That would explain his strength, how he’s always got a hit when it comes to crime and his disgusting personality. With most of his opposition out of the way, he turns the gun to Gert and even body shames her before attempting to pull the trigger.
However, he forgot the most powerful of the Runaways; Victor Mancha. Victor believed in Doc’s ideas and his heroism and as he lifts Doc with his lightning and tries to assess the situation, Old Lace takes care of things before anyone can stop her. The issue ends on a somber note as Karolina is revived and The Runaways walk away from the situation, leaving Matthew to deal with the end of Doc Justice’s reign of terror.
This last issue was absolutely fantastic from beginning to end. Rainbow Rowell told an amazing story with this six part story and cracked The Runaways just a little bit. Andres Genolet and Dee Cunniffe absolutely smash it on the art, giving everything a tense feeling and dynamic colors. They really make you believe that Doc Justice is a true villain and make this arc worth reading. Overall, this was a dark and fitting end to one of the better Runaways arcs since the book restarted!
Runaways #31: Cannon Fodder Finale
- Writing - 8/108/10
- Storyline - 9/109/10
- Art - 8/108/10
- Color - 8/108/10
- Cover Art - 6/106/10
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