By Tim Stevens
No one can run forever.
In March of 2012, the Runaways learn that their name cannot protect them from this truism as they end up them directly in the path of the Avengers Academy. Editor Bill Rosemann could not be happier to welcome the erstwhile teens back to the pages of the Marvel Universe.
“If you ask many [fans] what they think is the best concept for new characters in the last 10 years, most will point to the Runaways,” he notes.
“There are many Runaways fans up and down the [Marvel offices], and we often talk about where and when we could bring those crazy kids back to the spotlight. Luckily, writer Christos Gage had some killer ideas up his sleeves which plugged directly into the central themes of AVENGERS ACADEMY.”
Stemming from events begun in DAKEN: DARK WOLVERINE, the pride and joy of the Pride can hide out no more and surface in AVENGERS ACADEMY #27. However, to hear writer Christos Gage describe it, this encounter had probably been cosmically deigned for a long time prior.
“It was a letter from a reader that pointed out a very interesting connection between them,” he reveals. “Hank Pym created Ultron, the evil robot intelligence. And Ultron created Victor Mancha, one of the Runaways. So in a sense, Hank is Victor’s grandfather! Given that, it was almost inevitable they’d meet.”
The links between the two groups do not stop with six degrees of Pym though. Their age and temperament tie them closely together as well.
“The similarities are the universal elements of being a teenager, as well as the feeling of being ‘fruit of the poison tree,’” Gage explains. “For the Runaways kids, their parents are villains, and for the Academy kids, they know they are at risk of becoming villains.”
Their response to their life circumstances, of course, set them apart from one another.
“The differences are in the way they approach life,” the writer continues. “The Academy kids have accepted being trained by adults, whereas the Runaways are solidly on their own, and don’t want anyone telling them what to do. They don’t trust their elders.”
That dissimilarity could prove the catalyst for conflict between the late adolescent teams.
“Will the Runaways battle the Academy, or is this the moment when Molly, Nico, Victor, Karolina and Chase finally stop running?” Rosemann teases. “The Avengers Academy has just opened its doors to accept all powered teens in search of training, but will the Runaways, who are defined by their refusal to stay in one place, ever embrace authority?”
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