Writer: Kathryn Immonen. Artist: Sara Pichelli. If you don't want to read a very angry rant, stop reading after the review!
What Happened: Nico and Chase try to figure out what they should do now that their Malibu mansion has burned down and they're once again on the run. Chase is in a particularly miserable mood, especially after the events of the last few issues, what with his uncle's reappearance/disappearance and of course the death of Old Lace. While Nico is trying to figure out what to do with the team, Chase is mostly oblivious and he finally decides to leave, claiming he's going to scrounge up some food, although Nico is doubtful. From there we discover that Chase's uncle, Hunter, isn't dead, but was transported through another dimension back to his office, which was a very uncomfortable ride. Even though Chase was the one responsible for Hunter's trip, he still wants to help the Runaways, and he makes a phone call to the Runaway's transport, the Leapfrog. Victor picks up and Hunter offers to give the kids a place to live, no questions asked. Hunter gives a location to meet and hangs up. Victor and Karolina really want to see Hunter and hear out his offer, but Nico is hesitant to see Chase's uncle without Chase present. After some cajoling, Nico agrees to go, reasoning it's probably better to go without Chase anyway, especially considering what he did the last time he ran into Hunter. Meanwhile, Chase is wandering aimlessly through the streets of LA, when he bumps into a girl who is the absolute spitting image of his dead girlfriend, Gertrude. Chase is completely stunned and the girl walks away while Chase gathers himself and chases after her. The rest of the kids take the Leapfrog and meet up with Hunter to hear him out. Hunter offers the kids a house, money and safety, stating that when it comes to Chase he's always felt guilty that he wasn't there to protect him from his super-villain parents. In the end, Nico decides they can't take the offer because Chase wouldn't want them to. The kids leave and the conversation turns to Chase. Karolina begins to become really concerned about him, considering he has been gone for a while now, while Nico is of the mindset that when Chase is ready he'll come back to the team. And what of Chase? While he was running after Gert's lookalike, he wound up getting pasted by a van. This issue and series ends with Chase laying in a hospital bed surrounded by doctors who were trying feverishly to save his life.
What I thought: What do I think? That's a very good question... First I'm going to tackle the story itself, before I get on my soapbox. This issue was quite good. It really was. Kathryn's words and Sara's art have been(for the most part)VERY strong since they took over this series. The duel story with Hunter and the Runaways and Chase and Gert(???)were handled extremely well, and the cliffhanger ending left me absolutely craving more... However, there IS no more... This was the(very)sudden end of this series. To say that I'm pissed off about that would be a massive understatement. Here we go, get the censors ready! First off all, this was Kathryn and Sara's first storyarc in this series, and it only lasted 4(!!!)issues! What the hell!?! Couldn't Marvel have given the new creative team more then a scant 4 issues to get established before pulling the plug on this series? The fact that this series, which seemed to be heading in the right direction was canned, and yet all of the garbage BENDIS and Yost produce is happily lapped up by the masses really, REALLY pisses me off. Yep, I'm pretty steamed right now, and this blog is my sounding board. So, who's to blame for this series getting cancelled? The fans? Joe Quesada? The current creative team? Well, I'd definitely give the current creative team a pass, expecially since they only had 4(!!!)issues to work with. I really can't blame the fans, most fans probably didn't even know this series was still ongoing. No, the onus lays squarely on Marvel(for not bothering to give this series any real play)and Joss Whedon. Joss Whedon??? Yes, Joss Whedon. After the original creators of this series(Brian K Vaughn and Adrian Alphona)left, Joss Whedon was handed the creative reigns, which I thought was a great thing... At first. The way I saw it, Joss had a name, and that name would hopefully bring new fans to the series. Instead, we got 1 issue every 4 or 5 months, which effectively destroyed any possibility of new fans picking up this series(who wants to start a new series and then wait 6 months between issues?)and drove away the fans who had stuck with the series from the start. I'm honestly glad that Joss is no longer working for Marvel, because he just COULD NOT get a comic book out on time. Wow, this whole review really took an ugly turn somewhere along the line... Let me end this on a positive note. Brian and Adrian did a fantastic job through the first 40+ issues of this series. That's what I'll always remember. Not Whedon's ill-fated run on this series, and certainly not terrible first few issues of the third(and last)volume of this series. I guess I'll finish up by saying that I'm sure we'll see the Runaways again, these characters are just too good to stay in limbo for long. Keep on running.
Score: 9 out of 10.Poor Chase. Poor Runaways fans. Poor me!!!