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Saturday, November 11, 2017

Happy Veterans Day!

Okay, I think it's tasteless to spec or do any kind of comic investing piece on Veterans Day, but that is just me and my opinion. When it comes to those who sacrifice and serve in the military, I do hold a special place for them in my conscious and heart.

There is a story behind that, and while it's not really an American story per say, it is one of the many reasons why I deeply respect my country's service men and women. Hmmm...I am an American, so I suppose it is kind of an American story but in a not so typical way.

While my grandfather was not a U.S. veteran, he is military and sacrificed his life for what he believed in. As most know since watching the newly launched Comic Book Brigade videos, I am Asian-American, born in Illinois and still a Chicago Bears, Bulls, Blackhawks, Cubs, and White Sox fan that transplanted to and grew up in NorCal.

My gramps was a two-star general for the Republic of China, which was the government of Taiwan until another party took over recently. Don't get that mixed up with The People's Republic of China which is communist.

He did fight against the Japanese during World War II, and my grandma does have pics of him with U.S. military advisors. Well, to make a long story short, the RoC used much of their energy and resources fighting against the Japanese while the commies were recruiting and building up their army. 

After WWII, the commies struck when the opposition was weary and weak. We all know the outcome, the commies won China and my grandpa was captured and died in a P.O.W camp while the leader, Chiang Kai shek, and others fled to Taiwan, including my parents' folks. 

Whatever the People's Republic says about them being the main force against Japan in China during World War II is complete garbage. My pops grew up without a pops and didn't really know him whatsoever. I obviously never met my gramps.

However, his presence was always felt. I grew up during a time when Vietnam war movies were hitting the theaters a lot more - Platoon, Full Metal Jacket, Born on the Fourth of July, Good Morning Vietnam, Casualties of War and Hamburger Hill just to name a few. I was first introduced to Vincent D'Onofrio in Full Metal Jacket.

There were also comics like The 'Nam that I grew up on as well. I was all over the issues when Frank Castle's pre Punisher 'Nam stories were told in that comic series.

Anyway, I remember watching one of those movies (forgot which one) and there was a scene in which a veteran coming home was spit on and called a "baby killer". I was confused about it, and my dad told me that it was unacceptable and wrong.

He told me to always respect those who serve and the veterans of this country. Be grateful for what they sacrifice so we can live out our lives doing whatever it is we do.

He was stern about it and then told me of my gramps sacrifice and how he was shunned after making that sacrifice. So my gramps was sent to one of the last stands near the very end of China's modern civil war.

While he was basically sent on a suicide mission to see if he could hold that military position, this stand did give extra time for leaders and civilians loyal to the Chinese Nationalist or Kuomintang party to flee the mainland to Taiwan.

Now, according to military custom in most Asian cultures, capture was or still is considered disgraceful. It is expected that you die fighting rather than be captured by the enemy, so my gramps was not considered a hero but a disgrace.

I think the scene in that movie hit a nerve with my pops, and the story my pops told me about my grandpa because of that movie scene has stuck with me all my life. When I tell service men and women I am grateful and appreciative of their service, it is not contrived even if it sometimes may be taken that way. How do they know my family backstory?

But there is a story behind why I will always honor the men and women of the U.S. armed forces. Thank you for your service and happy Veterans Day! I hope you all come back home safe to your families and loved ones.

Friday, November 10, 2017

Runaways Key Issues & 1st Appearances Part 2

To be perfectly honest with you guys, some of the keys in Part 2 of this is actually swiped from the Key Issue Comic Investments Still Under $100 Part 3 done back in 2016. I may add a bit to the listing's description but not much.

I've spread myself pretty thin and have a lot going on these days. Not to say that I won't be digging up useful knowledge about Runaways comics that should be snagged or not and giving you in-depth knowledge on some sleeper comics that might become hot and should become hot.

I'll still be doing what I've doing since this beast started without apology, care nor reservation. Okay, if you know nothing about these comics but are looking forward to the show and DO NOT LIKE SPOILERS, this article is not for you!

Click out this now, because the show is based on these comics and there WILL BE SPOILERS! With that said, you have been warned and onward to the goodness!

1st appearance of Victor Mancha
1st appearance of Excelsior

Cutting and pasting this from the Key Issue Comic Investments Still Under $100 Part 3 series done a little over a year ago. These have still remained over-looked since then.

The Runaways main cast of characters in the 1st limited series would have other members join the team in comics. Yes, peeps do die in the series.

This is the volume 2 series of the Runaways, and Victor Mancha is one of the new characters introduced.

The dude is a cyborg that was created by Ultron himself, and he ends up joining the Runaways in a later issue, I believe it is issue #6. Team Excelsior also make their first appearance in this comic.

The team is Phil Ulrich, Turbo (Mickey Musashi from the New Warriors), Ricochet, Lightspeed, and Geoffrey Wilder. Yes, that Geoffrey Wilder, as in Alex Wider's pops.

He is a time displaced and younger version of Alex's father. He joined the team under the guise of Chamber. As already mentioned in Part 1, his real first appearance is in Runaways #1 2003 series.

Definitely over-looked currently and I have not seen any CGC or graded copies of this one at the time of this writing. Victor Mancha could possibly be introduced if in the show if Hulu decides to order a full season and it even goes to a 2nd season.

Either way, I see a version of the Excelsior team play out in the actual TV series. Most likely not the same one in this comic here but a version of it. 

Maybe not in season one or two, but definitely in the near future. Since Alex Wilder is dead, Nico Minuro becomes leader of the Runaways in the 2nd volume to their headlining comic series.

There is a sketch variant of this issue as well. Do not know how limited it is at the moment and could not find any info on that.

April, 2005 is the cover date for Runaways #1 volume 2.

1st appearance of Lotus, Stretch, & Hunter
Origin of Victor Mancha
Victor Mancha joins Runaways

A door closes and a new one opens. The original Pride is dead, but this does not mean that a new incarnation of the Pride can be born from its ashes.

So Lotus, Stretch and Hunter make their first appearance in this issue as the new Pride. They are actually Alex's old online gaming buddies.

Hunter is a hacker who hacked into Alex's computer to find out what happened to Alex. He found out that Alex had died trying to help the Pride and gave instructions on how to bring him back if need be.

Hunter recruited his friends Oscar, Stretch and Lotus and went to the Minuro's summer retreat to perform the retrieval ritual or spell. This ended up killing Oscar and bringing back a time displaced Geoffrey Wilder instead.

Of course, being the cunning man that he is, Geoffrey made Hunter and his friends the "New Pride" but was tricking them in the end or so it was eventually revealed. Is that it to this key issue? Anymore key issue goodness?

Yep, this issue not only sees Victor Mancha finally join the Runaways, but also reveals his origin. Can anyone say an Ultron connection here?

I'm pretty sure that if Victor Mancha is eventually worked into the Runaways Hulu show, they'll probably tweak the origin so there isn't an Ultron connection. It would be super cool if they kept that in, though.

Highly doubt it, but just saying is all. Cool stuff and September, 2005 is the cover date for Runaways #6 volume 2.

1st appearance of Xavin

The character of Xavin also makes /his/her first appearance in the 2005 or volume 2 comic series and joins the Runaways. The character is a Super-Skrull and first appeared as a male.
Xavin would change his gender to female often after discovering that Karolina Dean is a lesbian, but Xavin would switch back and forth among the team. The character was a prominent member of the Runaways for  a while, but his current where about is unknown. 

No telling about this character's possibility of being on the show since Agents of Shield already has the Skrull thing going on, but since the CW and CBS did the whole Supergirl/Flash crossover, I think Marvel TV just might be allowed to do the same. Not sure though, but I do think this character may very well be seen in a later season.

Over-looked as well as the news that Hulu ordered a Runaways pilot is still pretty recent (note: old writing and info with that sentence). High grade copies most likely are still pretty cheap and under the $100 mark. Not sure about CGC or graded copies since I've yet to find any online.

Runaways #7 volume 2 has the cover date of October, 2005.

Karolina rejoins team
Xavin joins team

Despite Xavin debuting prior to this issue, the Skrull does not join the team until this issue. In fact, in his first two appearances in issue #7 and #8, Xavin came to Earth in order to marry Karolina. 

Apparently, her parents arranged some kind of arranged marriage between the two. There also seems to be a lot of bad blood between those two alien species as well.

This issue reveals that Xavin is the son of a prince that led an invasion of Earth and was stopped by Karolina Dean's parents. They betrayed their own people and gave Xavin's father the coordinates to the Majesdan home planet.

Apparently, the Deans had been exiled from Majesdan due to criminal activities there. The Deans offered their only child's hand in marriage to Xavin but expected that the Skrulls from Tarnax VII and Majesdan would annihilate each other.

Xavin was there to hopefully wed Karolina and help build a bridge between the two races that were on the brink of destroying each other. This is all revealed in issue #8 of the second Runaways comic series.

In issue #8, she does end up leaving to her home world. However, and as this issue reveals, it did not work, and they did not become betrothed. However, they remained lovers and returned to Earth.

In this issue, Karolina rejoins the team and Xavin joins the Runaways. Major key? Most likely not but worth mentioning as Xavin does become a prominent member of the team for a while.

Runaways #17 from the 2005 series has the cover date of August, 2006.

Death of Gert
Chase is bonded to Old Lace
Chase & Old Lace leaves team
New Pride disbands

As most of you know, I'm usually not that into deaths of comic characters. Usually, they end up coming back and the whole stakes or death is lessened and becomes unimportant.

However, in the case of Gertrude, her death is important as it adds to the mythos of Chase Stein who is empathetically and telepathically bonded to Old Lace. This does change the whole dynamic in more ways than one.

Saddened by Gert's death, Chase and Old Lace do leave the team for awhile. On the baddie side of things, Geoffrey is caught being deceptive to the New Pride and they disband after he is defeated and sent back to his original time.

Perhaps not a major key, but important issue for both Chase Stein and Old Lace. September, 2006 is the cover date of Runaways #18 volume 2 or the 2005 series.

1st appearance of Klara Prast

Plant manipulator, Klara Prast is from the past when the Runaways were displaced in time. She was working in a sweat shop in New York City.
Married young, as was permitted at the time in the early 1900s, her husband was abusive. After seeing this, Molly Hayes invited her to join the team, and the two become fast friends as they are roughly the same age and a mutant as well.

She would leave the team after a beating from her husband, but would eventually rejoin and travel to the present with the Runaways. As a result of the time period she is originally from, she has difficulty in accepting Karolina and Xavin's lesbian relationship due to her conservative upbringing.

While Molly has become close to Xavin, Klara has not. Her first appearance is another highly over-looked key comic. No graded copies as of yet, so high grade raw might be the way to go.

If this character is introduced, I'm thinking it may be in a later season or episode if there is one or the other. August, 2007 is the cover date for Runaways #27 volume 2, and the estimated print run is around 41,239. 

1st headlining Nico Minoru comic
1st solo story

Did I mention that Nico Minoru was the only member of Marvels the Runaways to get a self-titled one-shot in a limited comic series? Well, at least, at the time of this writing so far. 

I believe my man, Kevin Erickson, brought this comic to my attention, and the limited series lasted only 4 issues. I should say one-shots to be factual and more on par.

Like I mentioned earlier, Kevin believes Nico is going to be a break out character, and I have to agree that she has a very good chance. The Hulu show is going to give these characters and these comics a lot more exposure.

The comic series is great, and if the show follows much of the actual comics, I think it'll be great as well. I am now super excited for it, but back to this comic.

As for the Mystic Arcana titled series, it is a four issue limited series that each had a one-shot story for a certain magical-based character or character whose mythos was deeply magic rooted.  First one-shot was Magik, and the second was Black Knight. The third was Scarlet Witch and you know what the fourth one-shot is.

This comic ties the Minoru family to the Black Mirror (debut in Doctor Strange #42 volume 2) and there is a connection to the Darkhold as well. Yep, the Darkhold again, and January, 2008 is the cover date to Mystic Arcana: Sister Grimm.


After reading series one and two, I am a definite fan of this comic series. It's pretty hilarious and in a very good and clever way.

I surely hope that the actual Hulu series picks up on the humor, but a lot of the humor in the comics is entrenched in the world of Marvel superheroes like when Wolverine first meets Molly Hayes in issue #12. In short, the Runaways is one of the best comic book series I've read in long time.

So, I'm a fan now. I hope the show is just as good if not better, and for the record, there is more interest in the show as opposed to other Marvel shows.

How do I know that? I'll get to that in another post  soon enough.

Some other honorable mentions? Yes, of course, but let's begin with issue #1 of the volume 3 series.

This issue debuts the Light Brigade, and they are an elite Majesdane Military group who came to Earth to get Karolina Dean. She was to pay for her father and mother's crimes against Majesdane.

Conflict? You bet. The Runaways would not let that happen without putting up a fight for their friend.

So, the main Light Brigade in this comic series are General vaDrann, Lieutenant vRikk, and deHalle. If these guys show up, it would make the show quite interesting. I'm betting this story line will play out somewhere, but as villains for the Runaways, they are currently pretty minor.

Issue #6 is another turning point of sorts. Xavin realizes that resistance against the Light Brigade is futile. Out of love, he/she ends up impersonating Karolina Dean and is taken away to pay for her father's crimes.

So he leaves the team in issue #6 and it's revealed that he sacrificed himself for Karolina. It is not known what happened to Xavin after.

I smell a mini-series explaining that if Marvel should ever decide to knock out one if the Hulu series is a hit. At least, this inquiring mind wants to know.

Runaways #11 volume 3 sees the death of Old Lace. Say what? 

Yeah, I know. That bummed me out after reading that issue as well.

Issue #11 also sees the first appearance of Chase's uncle, Hunter Stein. Minor character for sure.

Viola! As requested, here's what I've uncovered when it comes to the Runaways, and there is more to just issue #1 as villains and some members die and others are introduced. 

I'm predicting this Runaways Hulu series is gonna be a big hit and these comics are going to see increased interest. #1 has pretty low distribution and just might sky rocket (it's lower than NYX #3). Actually many Runaways comics don't have high print runs, including volume 2, and are highly likely to have low distribution as well. 

We shall see! Can't wait for this series to hit Hulu. Damn, Punisher and Runaways 

Thursday, November 9, 2017

The Runaways 1st appearances & Key Comics

No offense to anyone, but I can only take so much Halloween or horror comics and even horror movies. I watched quite a few or as much as I had time for, but back to superheroes! 

I believe this was requested by Max Rebo or it could've been Ace or Speculation Jones, and it concerns Marvel the Runaways. Not the band with Lita Ford and Joan Jett.

No big deal to dig into this comic series a bit further, no?

My first thought was to just say, "Issue #1 is all you need!" Maybe true, but maybe not. As far as most know, the first issue is the only one to be concerned about, but who knows just how popular this Hulu show may or may not take off.

Example: Not too long ago NYX #3 was considered the only X-23 book to be concerned with. Then her 2nd appearance also took off, and largely because it's a much better cover than issue #3.

After uncovering several other keys to be on the look-out for, some of those have popped and some of those are still wildly over-looked concerning X-23 at the moment. So, just like the X-23 and Doctor Doom keys, which had more backstory about the character then I and probably quite a few knew previously, we will dig into the Runaways comics a bit and mainly talk about some 1st appearances, maybe a few origins here and there.

Before we get into it: If you are looking forward to the show and know nothing about this comic series and hate spoilers, turn back now! There will be A LOT OF SPOILERS! Fair warning.

1st appearance of Runaways members
1st appearance of The Pride

Last year in the post that was Key Issue Comic Investments Still Under $100, this comic did make that list since Hulu had recently announced a show in production over there.

Now, it seems that the show has been cast and all the way to the very first trailer being dropped recently. It will be out in November, and I am looking forward to it.

Yes, this comic was selling higher than the $200 range for CGC 9.8s and 9.6s back then, but the chance for higher raw copies was still highly possible. Who knows now.

I went lazy on the key notations then and I am still going lazy on the key notations. I will give a detailed enough explanation and character breakdown of the Runaway members that debut in this issue though. Alright, here we go and the first one up is Alex Wilder who is considered the leader of the team for a while at least.

He does not possess super powers per say unless you consider being a child prodigy in logic and strategy a super power. Hey, there is the term super genius, right?

He is often distant from the rest of the group, and in later comics we discover why. Alex Wilder actually ends up being revealed as a mole for the Pride, and his betrayal does end with his death.

Alex is the son of Geoffrey and Catherine Wilder. Geoffrey is the leader of the Pride, an organized crime ring of super-powered villains in Los Angeles.

The Pride consists of the Mafia controlling Wilders, the Yorkes who can time travel, the telepathic Hayes, and the alien invader Deans from the planet Majesdan, the mad inventors known as the Steins, and the Minoru family magicians. If you ask my man Kevin Erickson, he believes their daughter Nico Minoru has major potential to be a break out character spec wise and in popularity.

With that said, Nico Minoru is a magician and does become the de facto leader during the 2nd series. She is Japanese-American and became a member of the all-female A-Force team in later comics. 

Because she did not receive formal training in magic, the source of her magical power is the Staff of One, an ancient magical weapon that her mother acquired from Nico's grandmother. She cannot repeat the same spell twice with the Staff of One, and the result is either it will not work whatsoever or it will create a random effect. While Alex refused to take on a superhero name, Nico took on the code name Sister Grimm.

Karolina Dean is the daughter of aliens from Majesdanians, the home planet of their species, who are basically able to absorb and project solar energy. She took on the code name Lucy in the Sky when she found out she was an alien and the extraordinary powers that came with it.

Issue #1 does not have her origin, nor does it see her discovering her secret as an alien nor her powers. That comes in another issue pretty close after this issue.

Yes, we shall get to that issue as well, and while I'm not really sure it counts as an origin per say, it does reveal her true alien form and hints she may be an alien. You'll see what I mean, and the reason I don't really consider it as an origin is because it doesn't really confirm that she is an alien nor her species.

Karolina Dean is revealed to be the only gay character in the group, and she had a crush on Nico. Her parents are reknowned actors Frank and Leslie Dean who are members of the evil Pride.

With her alien heritage, she has felt like an outcast and has had to wrestle with this insecurities during the evolution of her character arc. 

Also known as Talkback, Chase Stein is the wildcard of the group but extremely loyal to his friends. He is the oldest of the group and the most reckless.

Chase held X-Ray goggles and Fistagon gauntlets which had flamethrowers built in, but those who wore the Fistagons could mentally mold the flames into any shape he or she desired. He later gave the X-Ray goggles and Fistagon to Alex Wilder, but when Wilder betrayed the group, Nico destroyed the gauntlet.

After the death of Gert, Chase Stein was empathetically linked to Old Lace. His parents are some of the most brilliant inventors in the world and are reknown. It has been seen that even Tony Stark is impressed by their work.

Chase is the opposite of his parents and not a good student. He is more of a jock and a cliche, and it is revealed that his father, Victor, is physically and emotionally abusive towards Chase. He is the reason why the other Pride members decide to have children as he is the first to be born out of the group.

Now we are venturing into my territory of fandom and that's the mutants of Marvel. Molly Hayes and her parents are mutants and both are telepaths. Gene and Alice Hayes are doctors, but the world of the X-Men are not far away from this Runaways world.

During the origin issue of the Pride, which we will get to, we see them having problems with the neighbors and rocks were being thrown at their house because they are mutants. Thus, it is revealed during the series that they have a strong hatred for humans or homo inferior.

Molly was originally the youngest member of the group, and I think she is going to be the coolest one to see. Unlike her parents, Molly does not have telepathic powers. 

Instead, the littlest of the bunch has super-human strength and is later revealed to have the power of invulnerability. She is 11 in the beginning of the series, so she is the baby of the group.

Skeptical of her parents being murderers as she is escorted away by Karolina just before the ritual sacrifice, she is excited in the super-hero prospect though she is seen as unsure why they even ran away to begin with. She takes on the name Princess Powerful. 

Molly Hayes is extremely proud of her mutant heritage and also an X-Men fan, which easily makes her my favorite of the bunch. Her powers manifest later in the comic series and we will get to that issue for sure, and even though it's not a well-known key issue, it is important to the character and in the series.

Gertrude Yorkes or simply known as Gert is the daughter of time-traveling parents, and she gave herself the code name of Arsenic. She is the sarcastic and cynical member of the bunch, in which she is the only member who is not shocked at the fact her parents are evil baddies.

She is the first to have a telepathic bond with Old Lace, and her and Chase do have an intimate relationship. Gert is known to often babysit Molly, but a stronger more brotherly bond was formed between Molly and Chase.

Her and Nico are best of friends out of the bunch. This is the grail of Runaways key comics to have. No doubt, but this isn't the only key issue to consider and snag.

As usual, I will dig and uncover many of the important keys and state exactly why they're important. If these matters of importance aren't noted in the headers to the listings, they will be discussed in the descriptions.

The Runaways' premise? A group of teenagers who find out that their parents are part of a criminal organization called "The Pride." This group also learns that they inherited their parent's powers and ban together to thwart their evil parents. Runways #1 by Marvel Comics has the cover date of July, 2003.

2nd appearance of Runaways members
1st cameo of Old Lace
1st Alex Wilder cover

Alright, once again, I went lazy on the notations. So this is the 2nd appearance of all the members of the Runaways, and that means Alex Wilder, Chase Stein, Nico Minoru, Karolina Dean, Molly Hayes and Gertrude Yorkes.

Yeah, I know 2nd appearances are sometimes sought-after but this has more goodness to it than that.

So, the Runaways decide to investigate their parents as a team in this issue. Also, another important cast member makes a cameo debut in this issue and it is Old Lace, who was Gert's pet dinosaur. Old Lace will be in the show as the trailer shows.

In this comic, Old Lace shows up on the very last page as shown below. She is, of course, unnamed.

So, issue #1 is an extremely important key for the Runaways sure, but issue #2 is also an important key that should be snagged as well. The team forms in this issue, and it could be argued that this is the 1st appearance of the actual team. It also holds the 2nd appearance of all the members and has a cameo of Old Lace.

Like issue #1, this comic supposedly does not have large sales to North American comic shops. Estimated print run is probably low, and this has been argued that all the cast of the series with the exception of Molly Hayes actually first joined the team in this issue.

Actually, and to get this out of the way beforehand, the entire volume one series most likely had a lower print run or distribution. I already mentioned this in the Total Comic Mayhem G+ community. August, 2003 is the cover for the Runaways #2.

1st full appearance of Old Lace
Origin of Old Lace & Gert
1st appearance of the Abstract
Karolina Dean discovers powers & 1st cover
3rd appearance of Runaways members

Oh, wow, is this just going to be a #1, #2, #3, #4, #5, #6 type of thing, man? That's crazy.

Actually, yeah, it might be and if you actually read the comics or knew the story, these kids...

A. Discover their parents are evil
B. Discover they have some kind of ability or family secret
C. This happens throughout the first couple of issues

So, all these kids stories and backstories don't just happen in one issue. No, it progresses throughout the first couple of issues and each contain an origin or reveal for individual members.

You'll see more of what I'm talking about as we progress. Old Lace makes her first full appearance and her existence is explained by a hologram of Gert's parents.

Old Lace is a genetically engineered dinosaur from the future to obey all of Gert's commands. She is absolutely loyal to Gert and has been known to snap at other team mates in defense of Gert.

Victor Mancha would later accurately describe Old Lace as a Deinonychus and not a Velociraptor.

This issue definitely reveals that the Yorkes are time travelers. It has a first origin of sorts, and that includes Gert and Old Lace. As shown in the panel, it also explains a bit about the Abstract which Alex Wilder becomes routinely obsessed in deciphering in much of the comic series before his betrayal.

The Abstract is an important item as we shall see more of as Alex uncovers more of it during the series. This issue has a lot of key goodness concerning the Runaways, and it also reveals Karolina's super powers and her true alien form.

So revelations for not just one but three characters of the Runaways happen in this very issue of #3 and could be seen as origins of sorts. As mentioned before, lots of goodness in this issue, and September, 2003 is the cover date to Runaways #3.

1st appearance of Staff of One
1st X-Ray goggles & Fistagons
1st Gert and Old Lace cover
Origin of Nico Minoru
4th appearance of Runaways members

So this issue reveals that Chase's parents are mad inventors, and that Chase does not nor resemble his parents in that department. He reveals that he finds their shed, which is like their inventing laboratory, quite boring, and therefore, his parents would most likely hide a bunch of stuff there.

Of course, they go investigating and this is where Chase discovers the X-Ray goggles and the Fistagons that I mentioned in the long-winded description underneath issue #1. 

Not only does this issue see the debut of these two important items or weapons, but it also sees the debut of the Staff of One and reveals that Nico Minoru and the Minoru's are magicians. One source claims this is Nico's first origin issue. I am not sure why but maybe it's because she discovers her family are magicians and that she has a bond with the Staff of One since it is absorbed into her body.

If you want to get into more nit-pickery, this issue also has the first battle between the Runaways and Nico's and Chase's parents since they are discovered snooping around in the Stein's shed.

Molly Hayes does not appear in issue #3 and she only appears in cameo in this issue. Some sources like state that this is the origin of Nico Minoru. 

Not really so sure about that. So important issue as it is the debut of the Staff of One, which is a magical item long associated with the character of Nico Minoru. 

Runaways #4 has the cover date of October, 2003.

 1st Chase Stein cover
Molly revealed as mutant
Reveals Hayes are mutants

The great thing about this series is that things unfold but are paced exceptionally well. The pacing of the story and character development are not rushed and it is not forced within the story.

There are character surprises in each of the early issues as a pretty complicated over-all story is revealed bit by bit. In reading it, I can see why Hulu chose to turn this show into a live-action series.

I am actually convinced it will be a break out show like Stranger Things. So, this issue reveals that the Hayes are mutants and it also reveals that Molly is a mutant as well.

However, this issue does not reveal her mutant ability. As mentioned before, the Hayes are telepathic, but Molly's actual mutant power of super-strength is revealed in the next issue of issue #6.

She ends up knocking Karolina's mom through her bedroom wall in protecting Gert in issue #6 or the next issue. Just another thing to mention since I mentioned it, but issue #6 does reveal that there is an unknown "mole' among the rebelling children.

A note was found by the parents from one of the kids, and I also already spoiled it that it ended up being Alex Wilder who wrote it.

I originally decided in not putting issue #6 in the "featured" section, but I changed my mind. Issue #5 may be a minor key but issue #6 is definitely one to consider. November, 2003.

Molly Hayes super strength revealed
1st Molly Hayes cover
Molly Hayes joins team 
1st as Arsenic and Old Lace
1st as Lucy in the Sky and Talkback
1st as Sister Grimm and Bruiser

Like mentioned before, the Runaways tale is linear concerning this comic series. So the team goes to the Hayes house to rescue Molly Hayes, and her mutant powers emerge.

Molly did not see her parents, nor the other parents, kill the girl. She has no clue why Nico just whacked her mom with the Staff of One, but isn't too happy about it.

When Karolina's mom shows up and begins to hurt Gert in front of Molly, she defends her friend and sends Karolina's mom through her bedroom wall into the pool below. So which is Molly's origin, this issue or issue #5?

Well, we do find out that Molly and her parents are mutants in issue #5 and that she was not suppose to be. Her mom states that she tested negative of the mutant genome.

There's lots to this issue and it is important as the many of the team members take their super-hero code names. In the comic collecting hobby, we are not strangers to the term, "1st appearance as", right?

Well, it's in issue #6 in which the Runaways give each other names. Gert gives her pet dinosaur the name of Old Lace, and she calls herself Arsenic.

Karolina follows the lead and calls herself Lucy in the Sky while Nico settles on Sister Grimm. 

Chase tries to pick the name of Neo but Karolina chastises him into picking something more "original". He settles on Talkback after Gert makes a joke about what his super-hero name should be.

Molly is given the name Bruiser by Chase, but she never really settled on it as she wanted to be called Princess Powerful. This does kinda become a joke in the comic series and the team affectionately does call her Bruiser throughout.

Important Runaways key issue? I'm gonna call it a yes. Like Kevin, I think Nico will be a break out character, but I also think Molly Hayes will be as well.

December, 2003 is the cover date to Runaways #6.

1st appearance of Topher

In the previous issue, we see that the Runaways have retreated to a dilapidated old hotel called the "hostel" in which serves as their team hideout/headquarters. They then present their code names, but Alex is the only one who thinks it's utterly ridiculous.

This issue has Alex decipher a bit of the Abstract, and we first hear of the Gibborim mentioned in this issue. They are an important aspect to the Pride.

Other than that, the character of Topher makes his debut in this issue, but he is only revealed in a cameo on the very last page of this issue. He does show up in about 7 panels but is in a ski mask for six of those panels and unidentifiable.

He meets a few members of the Runaways while trying to rob a convenience store. It's later learned that Topher is actually a vampire.

Not a character that lasts long in the series. He apparently dies in issue #10.

Pretty minor character and most likely a minor key as well. Runaways #7 has the cover date of

1st appearance of Gibborim
Origin of the Pride

Just when you thought issue #1 was still the only key issue in this series to consider getting, this one is an important one for all of you who dismiss the market influence that villains or key issues for villains should be dismissed and only "heroes" should count as good investments. This issue reveals the origin of the Pride.

With the origin of the Pride, comes the Gibborim, as first mentioned in issue #7.So who are the Gibborim?

The Gibborim are the last survivors of a race of giants with six fingers. They apparently ruled Earth before humans came and messed that up and are the benefactors of the Pride.

This comic also tells the origin of each individual family of the Pride and how they came into contact with the Gibborim. Pretty neat, and I'll save the origins so there's actually something I won't spoil for those who want to watch the show but still want to invest in these comics.

This is a cool issue. Shows the backstory of how the Pride first meet and why they come together to do the bidding of the Gibborim. 

I will show the the debut of the Gibborim in this issue. Heck why not!

There we are and I'm sure some of this will play out in the TV show. Well, I hope we see this origin of the Pride in the show, but who knows?

We all know Hollywood toys around with comic material from panel to screen. We shall see, and Runaways #13 has the cover date of May, 2004 

Death of Alex Wilder
Death of the Pride

The big betrayal. Yep, Alex Wilder betrays his friends and ends up getting offed by none other than Nico Minoru.

Actually, all of the Pride end up dying in this issue. This is not the last issue of the volume 1 series.

The next issue of #18 is the last issue and sets up the volume 2 series which was published in 2005. I guess I'll spoil it now, but Geoffrey Wilder does end up coming back in the volume 2 series.

You will find out in the second part to this series on how that happens. It's not as lame as you think and does make sense.

Minor key? Yes, probably and most likely, but this comic issue is near the tail end of the series. I think distribution may have been quite a bit lower.

I am wondering in what season this turning point in the comics will play out. I hope season one doesn't use up the entire first volume in terms of material and then the 2nd season be more based off the volume 2 comic series.

Dunno, but I am excited for this show now. October, 2004 is the cover date for Runaways #17 of the 2003 series.


Okay, when it comes to TV show hype, I'm initially wiping most of it to the side. These comics lay the groundwork for whatever story writers of the show decide to translate from panel to screen.

Comics first, TV hype second. If the Runaways TV show follows these comics, then it should be a break out hit.

A great thing about the Runaways show is that it will definitely appeal to a younger teen audience if it doesn't nab the ole adults. The great thing about the comics is that it appeals to both young teens and adults.

There's a lot more going on in the Runaways series than just the debut of the main characters and the Pride in issue #1. There are key comics within this comic series and mythos, and like mentioned earlier, it would be a bit confusing if one didn't read issues #1-6.

#13 is also important in terms of issues to help readers understand the jist of the mythos; hence, the term "key issues".

For those who don't know the series or have yet to read it, the characters do find out their family secrets and their powers throughout the comic series. It's a great story for all these characters that intertwine and it is very much a coming of age story for many of the Runaway's main cast.

The Runaways series most likely does not have a large print run. Issue #1 from the original 2003 series is quite well-known by now and it has a very modest CGC Census currently for a modern 1st appearance backed by a TV show.

I am predicting that many of these keys will become hot comics or hotter comics to get in the near future and many, besides issue #1, are still widely over-looked by the market at large. In reading these comics, I am now a fan and see great potential for this show.