Tagline: At some point in their lives, all young people believe their parents are evil…but what if they really are?
Geared towards teens, this graphic novel perfectly captures children’s angst towards their parents and their thoughts of how they will be better than them and their wicked ways. The story begins with six families preparing to meet for their annual meeting in which the parents gather to supposedly cut checks for charity, and the youth hangout together. The youth range in age from 12-18, and as they have gotten older this motley group no longer anticipate the gatherings. Once all the adults have sequestered themselves in the library, the six youth sneak down a secret passageway to spy on their parents. They are horrified to discover their parents are super villains, who have banded together in a group they call The Pride. They witness a murder and then need to hide from their parents what they saw. They vote if they should report the crime, but then the authorities do not believe them. This then sets them off on a journey of discovery, each discovering secrets of their origins and powers they now need to harness and understand. The six sets of parents discover that their children know the truth, and use their nefarious skills to try to stop them. The youth are forced to band together and hide, vowing they will bring their parents to justice. However, one child seems to waver, not believing that their parents are evil. So, who is the mole????
In the beginning it was hard to keep track of all the families, so here is a cheat sheet: Wilder Family- Alex is a prodigy at strategic thinking & planning and is the child of mob bosses, Yorkes Family- Gertrude has a telepathic bond with a dinosaur and is the child of time travelers, Stein Family- Chase is a jock who steals technology from his mad scientist parents, Hayes Family- Molly is the youngest in the group who discovers she has super human strength, and is the child of telepathic mutants, Dean Family- Karolina finds out she is an alien with flying ability, with her parents masquerading as movie celebrities and the Minoru Family- Nico discovers she has magical abilities and is the child of dark wizards.
Pride & Joy collects the first six issues of the Runaways series, and each section opens with alternative art of the six youth. These splash panels give a different perspective of each teen, and is done in a different art style than the novel. The series artwork is clean and attractive, and that they include the time and location at the top of some of the panels helps the flow of the narrative. In 2005 the author, Brian Vaughan, won the Eisner Award for best writer for this series and is also the author of Saga. The artist, Adrian Alphona, now draws Ms. Marvel. I love seeing writers and authors I have liked elsewhere in books I am now reading (although Runaways was written first)!