Review by Megan Sinclair
As the title suggests, Escape to New York sees the Runaways, now including Victor, shift from Los Angeles to New York after the events of True Believers. The big apple is a hotspot for Marvel and as such cameos from Hollywood celebrities are soon replaced with famous superheroes, and Brian K. Vaughan’s universe now incorporates many more, from the Runaways casually strolling past She-Hulk, to having a sushi with Spider-Man.
The city-hop to New York occurs with the reappearance of Cloak, who suddenly remembers his previous affiliation with the Runaways (see Teenage Wasteland). In an interesting twist on their previous meeting, he’s now the one accused of a crime he didn’t commit, and he asks the Runaways for help in clearing his name, the complication being that the Avengers are hunting Cloak down. It’s up to the Runaways to prove them wrong, as once again the teenage superheroes take on adults, a recurring theme of Runaways.
In addition to their task in New York, the Runaways also must fight against a strain of villains in LA, who in the absence of the Pride are hoping to claim the territory for themselves. Although the team gain Victor as an ally, they also lose one of their own as an otherworldly mission and the chance of deeper discovery and understanding takes the original member elsewhere.
Again, Adrian Alphona takes on the majority of the story’s artwork but two of the six chapters are covered by Takeshi Miyazawa, as seen with his artist cameos throughout, Miyazawa offers a more manga-styled version of Alphona’s conventional American superhero aesthetic. Miyazawa’s run takes place in LA. so he doesn’t illustrate as many well-known Marvel heroes as Alphona, but does create a wasp-themed villain and a Skrull King which in turns leads to some unique designs and exciting fight scenes.
Escape to New York offers some well considered plot twists that change the shape of the team. The interlude in New York is particularly rewarding as it throws the very grounded, relatable teenagers into the colourful, larger than life world of the superhero. As well as showing the differing dynamic between the Runaways and the adults (Avengers), Vaughan also perfectly captures the characteristics of Marvel’s most loved heroes, particularly Spider-Man and Cloak, both themselves also teen vigilantes.
Runaways continues with Parental Guidance, and that’s also included along with this material in the second volume of Runaways: The Complete Collection.