As we predicted yesterday, novelist Rainbow Rowell will write the new Runaways series from Marvel this September, with Kris Anka (as we also predicted) (pip pip) on art. The announcement follows a series of teasers featuring the book’s original cast, including a last one today featuring Gert, who died in Runaways Vol. 2 #18 way back in 2006, which is like a million years ago in comic book years (but just six days in comic book continuity). Oh, and Gert is definitely coming back from the dead – that’s been confirmed by Marvel and the creative team. Alex Wilder, however, will remain in Power Man and Iron Fist and won’t be rejoining the team, at least for now.
“The reason I wanted to write this book is because these characters feel related to my own,” Rowell said in an EXCLUSIVE EW media partner reveal. “They resonated with me because that’s the kind of character I like to write. I feel very confident telling my readers, ‘If you like Carry On, a motley crew of kids coming together, you’re gonna love this.’ It’s the same kind of story.”
And Rowell expresses an attitude toward writing these characters that’s likely to resonate with reboot-wary fans, eschewing the mighty Marvel method of offering a bold new takes and universe-shattering revelations, instead saying, “When you go to see a Star Wars movie, you’re not gonna want them to totally shift everything up and give you a whole new universe. You want the Star Wars universe you love and then great stories inside of it. That’s how I feel about Runaways. I don’t need to do anything to them other than telling great stories with them.”
Though Anka didn’t provide any quotes in the article, Marvel editor Nick Lowe did praise his skills and fit for the book.
“Because of the huge shadow that Adrian Alphona cast on [the series], and what he brought to those characters, the artist has to know fashion and has to be able to draw kids,” said Lowe eloquently, “and all that stuff. That’s why Kris is so perfect.”
Created by Alphona and Brian K. Vaughan, Runaways, is getting a TV adaptation, to air on Hulu in early 2018. And it looks like Marvel will have a collection on the shelves from a current series written by a Young Adult novelist with popularity outside the comics world. It’s… that’s… that’s actually pretty smart, from a marketing perspective.
The response to the news hasn’t been without criticism, though, as Rowell’s books have been accused of racism and fetishization for their handling of diverse characters. And for an even simpler reason as well:
Runaways would be a perfect title for a woman of color to write but 🤷🏻♀️
— Jennifer de Guzman Strikes Again (@Jennifer_deG) June 1, 2017
Check out the teasers below:
UPDATE: Not mentioned in the EW article, but alluded to on Twitter by Lowe, Matt Wilson will provide colors for the book.