The gang has reunited! Rainbow Rowell has brought back Marvel’s Runaways for a six-issue series — and there are just two more on the way! The YA author teamed with editor Nick Lowe for the comic, which was originally created by Brian K. Vaughan.
“It was intimidating to try something new — to write a monthly comic book. I’ve never done that before. And it’s a tough audience,” Rowell, 44, exclusively tells Us Weekly. “But I think there was a reason why I wanted to write this book and I think it was to see if I could do it. I felt like I knew these characters and I love them and I know why other people love them. So I did have this feeling of, ‘I can do this.'”
Runaways focuses on a bunch of teens who were thrown together after learning that their parents are villains. Rowell wanted to stay true to the origin stories, but revisit the characters when they are a bit older.
“We’re picking up with where they are now. The story we are telling together is like the band being back together,” she tells Us. “My goal was to not do things differently.”
She adds: “The original Runaways is such a soap opera. Everybody hooks up — it’s like Chase kisses Nico and Nico kisses Karolina. It’s really messy and I love that about that book. So I wanted to do that same thing. I like young people who are messy and make mistakes and try to do the right thing. Fall on their faces sometimes. These characters talk too much, which is every character I’ve ever written. And has a big heart. It’s the sort of story I like to read and the sort of story I like write.”
Rowell, known for Eleanor & Park and Fangirl, hopes to write more than the six issues. But if that doesn’t happen, she promises the final page won’t end on a cliffhanger.
“It wraps up in a place where you can walk away from it and sort of feel at peace. But hopefully you would walk away from it wanting more. We knew that we might not get more than six issues,” she tells Us. “You hopefully want to push the character forward and do something great but don’t make it worse than when you came on. You don’t want to leave the character in a worse situation. So I don’t think we did that. I think what we’ve done is bring them together and clean them up so there is more clarity of who they are and where they are in the Marvel universe.”
For more, read the rest of her Q&A below:
US: Did you go back and reread the original stories?
RR: Yeah, I read them when they came out. Brian K. Vaughan just blew me away. … I’m a huge fan of his approach. It was so different than what I was used to. The Runaways has beautifully built characters. I think I read the whole series through once and then I read Brian and [illustrator] Adrianne [Alphona’s] three times now and I’m just about to read them again.
US: Hulu is doing a show about Runaways. Is that just a complete coincidence?
RR: It’s totally a coincidence! It’s kind of serendipity. The weird thing is we had no details about that show as we were working on our arc so there is no interaction. In a way I think that’s good because the show does start at the beginning and go back to the origin story. They’ve changed the characters so the characters aren’t exactly how they are in the comic book. It really wouldn’t have made sense for us to try to do what they’re doing. We are picking up with the characters as they are. But hopefully people will see the show and go, ‘Oh, I might want to read the comics.’ I think anything that introduces these characters is good for both the show and the comic.
US: What’s your writing process?
RR: The thing that I really need is focus. It’s about carving enough time out. I need like three or four hours and then three or four days in a row. Every time you go in and out of a story there’s this transition and if you’ve been away from it for three or four days you get stuck. The longer you stay away from a story the harder it is to immerse yourself in it again. I can edit a little more sporadically but when I’m writing I really need to do it for most of the day. I either write at home or I write at Starbucks. I don’t mind working around people as long as they’re not talking to me. It’s just about discipline and the consistency sitting down with it every day.
US: Do you read your reviews?
RR: I just think that’s a very short path to insanity to go looking for what people don’t like about you. … I don’t go looking for praise or criticism — that seems like lunacy. But if someone directly talks to me about something they didn’t like I listen then. There are things I’ve hashed out and thought about for years.
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