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Writer Brian K. Vaughan Responds To Your Questions

***Here we go! I opened with a question that lets me plug my site. Hope you don't mind...

Name: billy rheinecker

Hey, just wanted to say I think you do a great job. I've been getting your stuff ever since i was blown away by Y: the last man when it first came out. Runaways is great too, and i love the work you're doing with ultimate x-men as well. Anyway, do you have any new projects coming out soon or going to be working on anything else? Also, do you have any printed writing aside from comics(short stories, novel, anything of that sort)? And if so what made you want to write comics as opposed to writing those kind of things? Keep up the good work. thanks.

***Thank you, Billy! I have a lot of new projects in development, which you can always read more about at my website/message board at: www.BKV.tv

I also have an "Exclusives" section at the site with some early play scripts and photo comics I created, as well as a link to my script for the very first issue of Runaways!

Chase and powers

Name: Peter
Subject: Chase
Is Chase going to be getting some form of ability soon? Instead of just being the team's driver/Jarvis, will be getting another pair of Fistigons for example? Or some other power/gadget for him to use?

***Hey, Peter! No plans for Chase to get any powers anytime soon (other than his "poor upbringing"), but he is the only Runaway who knows how to pilot the Leapfrog, which is one of the most advanced weapons in the Marvel Universe! Plus, he's got a switchblade, and that's cool, right?

Name: antonio
Subject: about chase
is chase more intelligent (like his parents) than he looks? or is just my imagination, 'cause all his plans in certain way works, and he looks like an unknown variable in the team, he's like a hidden ace

***Hey, Antonio! Chase may not be "book smart," but as we'll discover in the upcoming "East Coast/West Coast," there are certain areas where he's practically a genius.

Diverse New Characters

Name: D Taylor
Subject: The lack of black characters in Runaways.
Why the lack of black teenagers in your book and especially black females? Will you add any new African American characters to the team?

***Hey, D! Thanks for the great question.


Recently, a Runaways reader who happens to be African American wrote to tell me how hurt and disappointed he was to learn that Alex turned out to be "evil," because this reader felt that Alex was one of the few positive black characters in comics.

Here's my response:


First of all, I'm terribly sorry to hear that those issues brought you pain. Obviously, that was never my intention.

As I've mentioned elsewhere, I honestly never considered Alex's race when I decided to make him the Runaways' mole, which is either great or disappointing, depending on your P.O.V. But in retrospect, I'm still glad I did it. I know there are criminally few good black heroes in comics... but how many cool black villains are there? I can't think of one, except for Alex, who is of course now one of the great villains of all time. :)

Someone pointed out this Roger Ebert article to me ( http://slate.msn.com/id/2000134/entry/1004200/ ), where he writes:

"I remember Morgan Freeman's regret as he told me that the recent role he most wanted was Hannibal Lecter--'but of course they couldn't let a black man play a villain like that.' Since Freeman is one of the few actors I can think of who might have equaled or improved on Anthony Hopkins' performance, I share his regret that for no-doubt pious liberal reasons a black actor could not be considered."

That said, I can promise you that I will continue to write heroic, human, complex black characters in ULTIMATE X-MEN, Y: THE LAST MAN (Agent 355, the REAL protagonist of the title), EX MACHINA (Deputy Mayor Wylie, the heart of the book), etc. And while putting another black character in Runaways just to have another black character in the lineup smacks of tokenism to me, I certainly wouldn't rule out the possibility of a genuinely noble black character showing up in future issues (and though Karolina's new girlfriend may be a Skrull, she does take the shape of an African-American woman, for whatever that's worth).

Thank you again for sharing your concerns, and I hope you and readers of all ages and races will be able to find characters they can identify with somewhere in the pages of my books.

Name: Alexander Ramos
Subject: Concerning Victor Lamancha
I'm just curious given his nature in terms of how he was made. Does he count as a Latin American or just a cyborg with no definitive culture? Weird question but what else would expect.

***Good question, Alexander. Victor was created using the genetic material of his Mexican-American mother, and he considers that his definitive culture.

Karolina's Orientation

Name: David Ellis
Subject: Question for BKV
Is Nico's rebuff of Karolina's advances in #7 the last word on that particular subplot, or will there be more chances for the two of them to figure out how what their relationship is?

***Hey, David! Hopefully, you've already read Issue #8, which should provide some answers to your questions.

Name: Billy
Subject: Karolina
First of all, I think you're hitting Karolina's character spot on! Some of the things she says about her life and how confused she is are exactly what I feel like at times, being that I'm gay. So kudos to you, you've got her character down! Anyway, I hope you won't be getting rid of Karolina any time soon...thought all signs seem to point to yes...

***Thank you so much, Billy! That means a lot to me. Karolina may be gone, but she won't soon be forgotten...

Runaways Movie

Name: Neal Heatherly
Subject: Runaways
Have you ever considered turning Runaways into a movie or series of movies, and if so, how would you structure it? Cram issues 1-18 into one movie, make them a trilogy, what? Any ideas on dream casting?

***You'd have to ask Marvel, Neal! Adrian and I created the characters, but Marvel West controls what would happen to them on the big screen. That said, I think a good screenwriter could probably make an amazing movie out of the greatest hits from our first eighteen issues. I'm up for the job if they want me!


Name: Alex Hayden
Subject: Crossing Paths......
Will the Runaways be crossing paths with any of the other young heroes out there like Young Avengers, New Mutants, Hellions, Gravity, or Machine Teen?

I think having them meet another group of teen heroes would work well to show them that there are other teens out there that they can team up with when ever they need any help.

***Hey, Alex! No concrete plans for such a crossover right now, but Allan Heinberg and I have discussed doing something between the Runaways and the Young Avengers, so stay tuned!

Name: Ronell
Subject: CrossOvers
hello... it would be cool to see the runaways with other marvel titles.... do you know if the Runaways will have crossover with other super teams or heroes...like the X-men since molly's a mutant or the avengers since Victors father is Ultron... or it would be cool to see the runaways go up against the Young Avengers.

***Hey, Ronell! Thanks for giving me the perfect opportunity top plug my next arc! I know "perfect jumping-on point" is one of the most overused phrases in comics, but I promise, that's exactly what "East Coast/West Coast" is. If you've been looking for an excuse to check out the comic that all of those annoying people online has been screaming at you to try, this is the arc for you.

The Cloak and Dagger story from our original series was one of our most popular, and it's been a blast to revisit Marvel's original runaway heroes. Plus, nothing is cooler than seeing Runaways artist and co-creator Adrian Alphona bringing his unique style to the other guest stars of our young heroes' epic field trip, the New Freakin' Avengers! Will Molly finally get to meet her beloved Wolverine? What will Spider-Man think of Victor, the son of Ultron? How will Gert deal will all of this blatant selling out? Stay tuned, true believers!

Excelsior Questions

Name: Charles Albert
Subject: Co-stars
1) Any chance we'll see a new West Coast Avengers in the (anti-) team you've compiled in the Excelsior group?

***Nah, West Coast Avengers is so yesterday. Excelsior is the future! :)

2) What other super obscure characters can we long-time Marvelites come to expect in the future? Hellcat? Nighthawk, maybe?
*Lovin' it. Keep up the awesome work.

***Thanks, Charles! There will be some obscure surprises in the future, but also plenty of ALL-NEW heroes and villains!

Name: Cory Graves
Subject: Darkhawk/ Excelsior
When can we see more of Excelsior, and especially Darkhawk? In addition to Runaways, I would definitely support an Excelsior title.

***Thank you, Cory! There's actually been talk of an Excelsior title at Marvel, with one of my favorite people possibly writing (and no, it's not me, smart guy!). Stay tuned for more details.


Name: Marshall
Subject: Alex
Why was Alex the mole and has his fate been ultimately decided?

***Hey, Marshall. Well, Alex was the villain because he loved his parents, and that's the greatest sin in the world of the Runaways! As for his ultimate fate, wasn't he incinerated...?

Any plans of having Nico confront her feelings about Alex?

***She's still coming to grips with her feelings, as we'll see in the next arc.

The Pride's Return?

Name: jor-rel kinard
Subject: runaways questions
when will the new Pride be fully unveiled? Also, any chance I can convince you to write a Cloak and Dagger series? even just a mini?

***Afraid I'm too swamped for a Cloak and Dagger mini right now, but you will get to see them both in the very next arc of Runaways! As for the new Pride? Hm, I have no idea what you mean...

Is there and end coming for Runaways?

Name: Stephen Abrams
Subject: Runaways: The End
Do you have a definite end in mind for the Runaways like you do for Y: The Last Man?

***Not really, I honestly hope Runaways outlives me.

If you do I hope it's not for a long time; this is such a great book and I'd hate to see it end.

***Thanks, Stephen! Very cool of you to say.

Name: Sol
Subject: Runaways
How long will the Runaways series run.

***As long as you keep buying it, Sol!

Upcoming Guest Stars?

Name: Gladwin
Subject: Runaways guest appearance's
Any chance of The Hood, making a guest appearance on the runaways? If not what characters would you like to see make a guest appearance' s

***That's a very cool idea, Gladwin, but I'm not sure how a MAX character like the Hood would fit in to our "all-ages" book like Runaways. But never say never.


Name: Shane Tyler
Subject: Villans
Will the Runaways encounter any other villains from the Marvel Universe? If so can you give a clue to who?

***Hey, Shane! There may be some more Marvel villains in the future, but right now, Adrian and I are looking forward to creating some all-new bad guys.


Name: Abby Smith
Subject: Artwork
I noticed that the new issue of Runaways (#7, by Takeshi) is a more Manga style. Why did the team decide to change styles?

PS Thank you so much for Karolina. It is so nice to seen visible lesbians who aren't stereotypes.

***Thanks, Abby! Takeshi Miyazawa is one of my favorite artists, and we knew his more expressive style would be perfect for Karolina's emotional farewell. But don't worry, Alphona fans, Adrian is back for Issue #9!

Favorite Runaway? (this one has one of my favorite questions - #3)

Name: jonty
Subject: runaways q&a
hey brian! RUNAWAYS is the coolest book ever!! anyways, i got some questions for you:

1. If you had to choose a creative team to fill-in a couple of issues of the RUNAWAYS who would they be?

***Hm, I'd love to see a team of young, all-new creators on the book, but if I had to pick an established team, I absolutely love what Zeb Wells and Skottie Young are doing on NEW WARRIORS. Those guys are incredible.

2. Which RUNAWAYS character are you most common with?

***Gert, I suppose. What can I say? Inside, I'm a grumpy, chubby 15-year-old girl.

3. Will there be other animal sidekicks besides Old Lace? I would love to see a Mexican penguin part of the team soon.

***Wow, how can I say no to that request? I'll see what we can do, Jonty!

4. Will you ever add someone in the team who already has a history in the Marvel U?

***No plans right now, but never say never.

5. Could you PLEASE do a RUNAWAYS/HOOD crossover?

***This is a popular idea, huh?

Last and surely not the least, would you please visit us back here in the Philippines. You have a nation of geeks waiting for you here. We will feed you all the dried mangoes and dirty ice cream you want! (Dirty Ice Cream isn't really dirty.

***Thanks, Jonty! Buy me a plane ticket, and I'll be there. Can I stay on your couch?

Tnx Brian!! My parrot says hi


Original Character and Story Concepts

Name: PilapZ
Subject: question...
How did you come up with the concept of runaways? where did you base these characters? did you use your teenage friends as reference or base them on the characteristics of a stereotypical teenager in the modern age? so far who is your favorite runaway character and why?

*** I always thought that there was something slightly suspicious about the way adult writers had protagonists like Batman and Spider-Man revere their deceased parents (or parental figures). I mean, if Mr. and Mrs. Wayne or Uncle Ben had lived to see their children turn seventeen, Bruce and Peter probably would have ended up hating them (the way most kids grow apart from their parents around that age). To me, it felt like grown-up comic creators were subtly suggesting to their young readers that true heroes always respect their elders and blindly follow their teachings. (On the other hand, maybe the real message was that the only good parent is a dead one...)

Either way, artist Adrian Alphona and I are both in our 20s, and we still believe that it's important to question authority and challenge the status quo established by the previous generation. Underneath all the superhero trappings, that's what our book is really about.

And yes, many of the characters in the book are based on people in my life. I named Alex Wilder's evil mom and dad after my folks, but I swear that Catherine and Geoffrey Vaughan are delightful human beings who never beat me, threw away my comic collection and/or killed young girls in sacrificial rituals.

(My kid sister Molly Hayes Vaughan, however, is just as adorable and powerful as her namesake!)

And Gert is probably my favorite character, just because I love writing people who don't like other people!


Name: Scott T.
Subject: Line-Up Changes and Excelsior Madness
Mr. Vaughn -

First time writer, long time fan (I've got every issue!) Two questions:

1. Will the book continue to flirt with line-up changes, or is its current roster (Vic, Chase, Gert, Old Lace, Nico, Karolina, Molly) a permanent fixture?

***Stay tunes, Scott! Sorry, but I hate spoilers.

2. In a cage match, with your legendary pens / word processors as the only weapon, who wins? You or Bendis?

***Bendis! Unless this is a spelling bee, in which case, I destroy him.

Much love,
Scott T.

Name: Gavin

Hello Brian,

First, let me say that as a loyal reader of the Runaways since its debut, its amazing how fresh and clever your take on young superheroes continues to be. Where other teenage books are about young superheroes trying to emulate their heroes, or being supervised by them- the Runaways call their own shots, have a very unique (and deservedly jaded) take on the world, and fly in the face of "adult tyranny". I think the tone of the book is one of its greatest assets. It hovers between angst, adolescent uncertainty, and lighthearted humor awash with pop culture references and has yet to skip a beat. And while I could go on about how tremendously enjoyable and unique this book and its characters happen to be- I'll skip ahead to the questions I have.

***Wow, thank you, Gavin! Very cool of you to say.

1.) Are our Runaways going to be encountering "real live" non-powered teenage runaways in their encounters? I read some statistics a while back that suggested that the teenage runaway/homeless population in LA is astronomically high (also I remember somewhere around 40-60 % of these outcasts happen to be gay or lesbian self-identified). It would be a powerful message if the kids wound up being the protectors of this disenfranchised, voiceless community.

***Absolutely! We'll see a story touching on this early next year.

2.) I'm SURE every other reader is asking you this- but when can we see the Runaways throw down against the so called Young Avengers? Both have fresh interesting characters that seem to be shaking up Marvel status quo quite a bit. Its a crossover that NEEDS to happen.

***The people have spoken, huh? I guess Allan and I have to find a way to make this happen!

Thanks, and keep up the amazing work.

Gavin J.

Name: Brittany
Subject: I LOVE this comic!!!!!!!
Hey I'm sure you can tell from my e-mail address and my "subject" I LOVE the Runaways. I was just wondering if Victor is gonna hook up with anyone? that would be awesome cause even though he is a cartoon he is fine! thanks bye!

***Hm, maybe Victor and Old Lace...?

Name: Ben
Subject: You
Do you like Robert Kirkman or do you really hate each other?

***Robert loves me, but I really hate him.

Seriously, Kirkman rules, and he was my first choice to follow me on Ultimate X-Men. His first script already blows my entire run out of the water...

Name: mike
Subject: question
Is Bald Beautiful?

***No, but bald is brilliant, wealthy and powerful, and that's pretty much the same thing as beautiful, no?

Name: Edwin
Subject: Which Is Better?
Which do you prefer Hulk-Hands or Thing-Hands?

***I love the Hulk Hands, but my wife and I got some Thing Hands for our wedding, and nothing beats "Clobberin' Time." I'm sure my neighbors think they're living next door to a crazy, abusive couple...

Subject: Runaways question
did you choose Karolina as a gay character because a gay attractive girl might be easier to accept than a gay male or masculine female?

***Not at all. I wrote several openly gay male characters in EX MACHINA, and I didn't receive any negative feedback. I like to think that the people who read my books are a pretty open-minded crowd.

Name: Dharker
Subject: Karolina, Dr. Mann and lesbian characters in general
I've noticed you usually have homosexual characters in your comics, and it's something a lot of people and I appreciate quite a bit. However, we never got to see an actual relationship bloom between any two lesbian characters. Even in "Y: The Last Man", what happened so far didn't last more than a few issues and never really got anywhere, the same with what happened (or not) in "Runaways" so far. So my question is:

Will we ever we get to see a lasting lesbian relationship between regular characters being portrayed in one of your comics?

***Possibly. But honestly, I think Gert and Chase are the only happy couple (of any sexuality!) in any of my books. Lasting relationships are great in the real world, but lousy for drama, so I like to keep my characters hopelessly searching for happiness. Sorry to disappoint!

Name: Derek Brunell
Subject: Roster
Loving the book, Will the roster remain fixed for the time being, is Karolina leaving if so is that an editorial mandate because of her sexuality? Until Wolverine or X-23 join the runaways make mine marvel(Please god the runaways are my only escape from them)?

***The roster may change again, but Karolina certainly didn't leave because of an editorial mandate. MacKenzie Cadenhead is one of the best editors in the business, and she was instrumental in helping convince Marvel to let us openly explore Karolina's sexuality. Karolina left because it was the most dramatic thing we could do to the team, and because I thought the ramifications would help the rest of the characters grow and change in interesting ways, as we'll soon see.

Name: Marques
Subject: How are you doin?
Ok I got a few questions....

5. Why did you have to bring Alex back from the dead!? I hate that. Sorry but I do. I want the dead characters to stay dead. You cheapen the character when their brought back from the dead.

***Who said Alex is back from the dead?

Name: Chris Martens
Subject: Excelsior and code names
Congrats on the well deserved Eisner Brian!

I love Runaways and I recommend it to all my friends who are just getting into comics. I have two questions for you. First, what happened with the Runaways code-names? I mean I know they're not the code names and costumed sort of team but their names worked and were pretty cool. Second, thanks for keeping Excelsior together (yes, that's not a question) but when will we hear from them again? Maybe in their own title *wink*nudge*begs*. Hey, we need a new West Coast Avengers kind of team.

Thanks for your time,
Chris Martens
Sales, Jim Hanley's Universe
New York, New York

***Hey, Chris! Stay tuned for Excelsior news. As for the codenames, I actually kind of miss them, too. I think the kids feel like they "outgrew" them, but that doesn't mean they're gone for good. Thanks for the reminder!

Name: Pedro Vega Jr.
Subject: A Runaway question for BKV
If it came down to it, would you put the entire team in Runaway in costumes or without (regular everyday clothes)?

***As long as Adrian was doing the designs, I'd be up for anything, but I love getting to see him design new "civilian" outfits every single issue. He's the undisputed king of fashion in this medium.

Name: Scott
Subject: Money?
How/where do the Runaways make/get there money????

***Their parents have some money from old bank heists stashed in the Hostel II, which Nico doles out as an "allowance" to each of the Runaways (but it's running out!). Good question, Scott!

Name: Brant W. Fowler
Subject: Alex, et al

Will Alex ever make a come back? Are the Pride really dead or is it just a ruse? Are we going to see more of Excelsior and how about some rogues for the Runaways, maybe even some new teen villains or something, I don't know. Just keep up the great work. This is one of my favorite books right now and has been since the very first issue of volume 1!

***Thanks, Brant. I promise you'll get answers to all of these questions in 2006!

Name: Justin Jap
Subject: New Runaways With The Runaways?
Hi Mr Vaughn. I love your work on POWERS and ULTIMATE X-MEN but my favorite is still THE RUNAWAYS. I have a few queries here:

-After Alex's death, there seems to be a lack of testosterone levels in the group. Only Chase and Victor seem to be the only male members around. Is there a possibility of more male members joining the Runways?

***Maybe, but there's plenty of testosterone in comics already. What's wrong with estrogen?

Name: Tom
Subject: runaways
I heard that the latest Runaways series would only be twelve issues long. If this is true, are you thinking about extending it because of the new attention it's getting?

***That was never true! Runaways is 100% ongoing, my friend! I already have ides for Year Three and beyond.

Name: Phil Stricklin
Subject: Ultimate X
Hey Mr. Vaughn, I'm very pleased with your run on this book, as much as Millar's Stint, and Bendis' time on the book. However I just have a few questions about the future. Now Unfortunately you are leaving after Magnetic north, And its good to leave on a high note I agree with you on that. My questions are
1. Gambit, Mr Remy Lebeau is staying dead right? I really hope that what was said about no lives brought back is true, because i think having Remy in Rogues head benefits their relationship.

***Thanks, Phil! Gambit is deader than disco, but his powers and memories will live on through Rogue.

2. Since you are leaving, who are people YOU would like to see write the title?

***How about Robert Kirkman and Tom Raney, two of my favorite creators?

3. Do you think after maybe a year, you'll come back for more? Or do you see this to be the end in all foresee-able future?

***Anything's possible! Whatever happens, I'll definitely be doing more writing for Marvel and the Ultimate Universe.

Name: Brandon Yates
Subject: House of M
Just curious: why didn't you have the Runaways participate in the House of M event?

***I love HOUSE OF M, but for many of our readers (who check out our digest collections in book stores), RUNAWAYS is the only Marvel comic they read, so we try to make the book as accessible as possible. Having characters like the New Avengers guest-star is okay, but big crossovers like House of M are a little too complex for new readers, I think.


Name: Adam Gregoire
Subject: The Leader
So who is the new leader of the Runaways?


Name: James
Subject: Alex
I love everything your writing right now, especially Y and Runaways. My question is was Alex's conversion to the Dark side always planned or was it prompted by the "cancellation" of Runaways. There was always a spy but did you always plan for it to be Alex. But I love how it turned out and I wonder what happened when Nico tried to bring him back.... Thanks for the great stories and congrats on that bug award.

***Alex was always intended to be the mole, since the first page of Issue #1.

Name: Skip Keithley
Subject: Runaways
How does your writing process for Runaways differ from that of Ultimate X-Men, or other books?

***Not at all. I approach every book pretty much the same way, whether it's Ultimate X-Men or Ex Machina. Each book presents its own challenges, but I always just try to tell the best story possible, 'nuff said.

Name: Kate
Subject: Two Questions
1. What on earth gave you the idea to use the Gibborim?

***Twelve years of Catholic education, probably.

2. is the inability of the Staff of One to repeat a spell only a problem of Nico's use of it? Because at the end of Vol. 1, Alex appeared to have used the same spell, one at a time, on Karolina and her parents. Or did I just misread that?

***Don't forget, Alex had access to a decoder ring and "The Abstract," an ancient book that told him how to use the Staff of One in ways that Nico never imagined.

Name: Hassaan
Subject: Rick Jones
How can Rick be in Runaways, while Captain Marvel is in New Thunderbolts?
They are bonded on a molecular level....

***Not anymore! See Peter David's last issue of Captain Marvel for more details. I do my continuity homework, I promise!

Name: Julien
Subject: Dialougue
How do you harness the perfect teen dialogue? I find my friends and I quoting Runaways all the time.

***Thanks, Julien! Well, I'm an emotionally stunted man-child, so as long as I write to the top of my intelligence, I usually sound exactly like a teenager.

Name: Joshua Newhouse
Subject: students love Runaways
Hi there,

Just a comment from a big personal and professional fan. I have three stories:

First, I think the series has the best to capture the voice of youth outside of Bendis's Ultimate Spider-man (maybe its a tie).

Second, I got my teenage brother-in-law to start reading using Runaways and Sentinel.

Third, as a school media specialist, every student who has picked up the book has loved it. I can not keep it on my shelf for more than a second. Looking forward to the poster:)

Keep it up,

Josh Newhouse
Media Specialist, GN Advocate and Fan

***Thank you so much, Josh! That made my week.

EW must have for Runaways
The recently released Runaways Vol.1 Hardcover has made the Must List (see left) of the September 2nd, 2005 issue of Entertainment Weekly. But Entertainment Weekly isn't the only one loving the new Runaways Hardcover. Writer Brian K. Vaughan is ecstatic about how great the new collection has turned out.

"Wow, this is pretty much the opposite of canceled, huh?" says Vaughan. "(Artist) Adrian Alphona and I are flattered by the tremendous response to the hardcover collection of our first eighteen issues, which Marvel did a beautiful job putting together."

Who are the Runaways?
At some point in their lives, all kids think that they have the most evil parents in the world, but Nico Minoru and her friends' parents really were.

Discovering that they were the children of a group of super-villains known as The Pride, the teenagers stole weapons and resources from these criminals, ran away from home and eventually defeated their parents. But that was just the beginning. Together, the teenage runaways now hope to atone for their parents' crimes by taking on the new threats trying to fill The Pride's void, all while keeping on the run! For a listing of all Runaways digests and hardcover books, go here, or get home delivery of Runaways!

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