Free Comic Book Day 2006: X-Men / Runaways #1

Issue Date: 
May 2006
Story Title: 

Brian K. Vaughan (writer), Scottie Young (artist), Virtual Calligraphy’s Randy Gentile (letterer), Jo Chen (cover artist), Nathan Cosby (assistant editor), Mackenzie Cadenhead (editor), Joe Quesada (chief), Dan Buckley (publisher) with special thanks to C.B Cebulski
Runaways created by Brian Vaughan & Adrian Alphona

Brief Description: 

The Runaways are searching for Old Lace on Hollywood Boulevard, as she has skipped away after Chase left the door of the Leapfrog open. As they concoct a plan, the X-Men appear. They have come for Molly Hayes. They wish to take her back to the Xavier Institute to teach her in the use of her powers, but Nico in particular is not enchanted with the idea. When Cyclops becomes a little pushy, Nico smacks him with the Staff of One, forcing him to keep his eyes closed. Vic manages to keep Wolverine occupied, whilst Molly does the same with Colossus. Only Gert and Kitty refrain from taking part. Gert is more upset about Old Lace’s disappearance than tangling with the spandex. After Beast takes down Chase, Emma Frost appears with Old Lace. The dinosaur has found her using telepathy, and Emma uses this as a metaphor for Molly’s situation. She reminds Scott that he has a policy of not forcing mutants to join their cause and he accepts her argument. They depart, leaving Molly to make up her own mind.

Full Summary: 

(Hollywood Boulevard, Los Angeles)
Molly, Vic, Gert, Nico and Chase have landed the Leapfrog on Hollywood Boulevard. Even at this time of night, it’s not exactly subtle in its uncloaked form. Old Lace has gone missing. Molly wonders if they should put up fliers. Vic thinks that’ll go down great with the locals. ‘Lost: One telepathic Deinonychus genetically engineered by evil time travelers in the 86th century.’ Gert reminds him that her mom and dad were from the 87th, actually. Nico has warned Chase not to leave the Leapfrog’s hatch open when they’re crime fighting. Chase doesn’t want the blame. It’s Gert’s stupid pet!

Gert admits that she is to blame. She tried to raise Old Lace to be like her, and now she is. “Jewish?” asks Chase. Gert reckons he doesn’t get it. Old Lace is a runaway just like the rest of them. Molly reminds her that they ran away because their parents were evil, but she’s a totally good mom to her dinosaur. Nico suggests that they have to capture Old Lace before the sun comes up and she gets hungry enough to start snacking on the stupid tourists. Victor interrupts. He’s sitting next to the star of Wonder Man, and he tells his friends that he used to be a super hero. Beast informs him that he also happens to be an old friend of his.

Vic turns to see a team of X-Men standing there. Vic freaks out. “That’s… that’s the Beast! Awesome.” Chase is less impressed, and asks him to keep his flies zipped. Wolverine notices Molly and says that she’s the one he tussled with in New York City. She’s the belle of the ball. Molly asks him to leave her alone. She doesn’t like him anymore. He smells like barfed up hair.

When Nico asks what they want with her, Cyclops introduces himself and explains that he and his friends are instructors at the Xavier Institute for Higher Learning. He tries to explain how they teach mutants like Molly in the use of their powers, but Gert interrupts him, asking him to drop the condescending tone. They know what mutants are.

Colossus says that it’s more dangerous for their kind than ever before. Their comrade belongs with them now, in a safe environment where she can be taught how to use her powers to make the world a better place. Nico reminds him that the X-Men have been at this since they were kids, but the planet is just as screwed up as it’s always been. She asks them to give her one reason why they should turn Molly over to the ‘League of Those Who Can’t Do?’

Cyclops replies that this isn’t a negotiation, and they aren’t the girl’s legal guardians. They are truant teens! He feels Colossus is right. Molly needs structure and discipline, not to mention the kind of positive vision that helped them become who they are. Nico tells him that if he had any vision, he would have noticed that he was talking to an astral projection that she just conjured.

Nico swings the Staff of One around and smashes Scott’s visor. His optic blast shoots out without focus, forcing him to close his eyes before he does any more damage. Wolverine snikts his claws and says they only need the squirt. The rest of them are worthless. Vic sees Wolverine approaching him, and asks him not to hurt him. He’s not a snob. He likes the X-Men. His powers kick in and he uses them to raise Wolverine into the air. After the optic blast hit home, the buildings around them take another assault as Vic’s powers fizzle all around him. Wolverine tells him that if he’s another Magneto, he’s gonna end him. Vic explains that he’s a robot; half-robot anyway. He was built by a killing machine called Ultron… but he mostly takes after his mom. “I gotta stick to solo missions,” grumbles Wolverine.

Molly becomes angry and lifts a vehicle above her head. She’s sick of people wanting to be her babysitters. She launches the vehicle at Colossus, but he remains standing. He tells Molly that she reminds him of his little sister. He once told her that the headstrong may win many battles, but only the strong of heart will survive the war. He allows the vehicle to smash into him, but remains unfazed as it disintegrates upon impact.

Meanwhile, Gert sits alone as the battle continues around her. She sticks her fingers in her ears and asks to be woken up when the fight’s over. Kitty Pryde appears nearby. She asks Gert if she’s the token pacifist of the group. Gert says that pacifists are like vegans. She’s more of a vegetarian. She enjoys fish and occasional maulings. Kitty sits next to her with Lockheed perched on her shoulder. So you can turn intangible? asks Gert casually. Since I was about your age, Kitty replies. And you have a pet dragon? continues Gert. Lockheed, she replies. Crazy, huh? Gert thinks about her missing pet dinosaur. “Yeah, crazy,” she sighs.

Chase tries to get the Leapfrog to activate its primary laser thingys to fry their assailants, but Beast grabs him as he runs. He asks Chase if he’s the progenitor of their little guild’s ingenious aerial-phibious conveyance. Chase has no clue what he just said, but grabbing his flick knife, he warns Beast that if he doesn’t put him down, the next thing that comes out of his mouth will be his own blue blood. Beast tells him that if he stabs him at this altitude they’ll both fall to their deaths. He lands on a tree and hangs Chase over the edge from his toes.

Emma Frost appears and says that this is quite enough, and she’s directing the comment at both sides of this inane little battle. Beside her is Old Lace. Gert’s face light up on seeing her friend and she gives her a hug. She asks Emma how she found her. Is she a telepath, too? The finest in the hemisphere, replies Emma, but adds that the dinosaur actually found her. When looking for lost souls, she explains, perhaps we would all do to remember that it’s best to stay put and wait for them to come to us. “Isn’t that right, Scott?”

Scott, still with his eyes closed, gets the hint, but reminds Emma that the girl is important. Emma replies that so is his policy of never forcing mutants to join their cause. When Ms. Hayes is ready, she now knows exactly where she’s welcome. Until then, “If you love someone…” and all that.

Kitty asks them to stay crazy, and Beast asks them to pay a visit anytime. “Or don’t,” adds Wolverine. Molly tells them it was nice fighting them, but Nico complains that they’re stuck on clean up duty. Chase is rather happy because he’s stolen Hank’s glasses, and he does a feeble impression as the Blackbird flies away. Gert sighs. For a moment there, she was worried that they almost learned something.

Characters Involved: 

Molly Hayes, Victor Mancha, Nico Minoru, Chase Stein, Gertrude Yorkes (all Runaways)
Old Lace

Beast, Colossus, Cyclops, Emma Frost, Shadowcat, Wolverine (all X-Men)

Story Notes: 

This issue was released as a one-off for Free Comic Book Day in May 2006. The runaways’ story is eleven pages long. Also in this issue is a four-page Franklin Richards story, a Marvel Adventures: The Avengers preview and an eleven-page recap of events in Ultimate Spider-Man.

One of the stars on Hollywood Boulevard has Scottie Young’s name on it. He’s the artist for this issue.

The Avenger, Wonder Man (Simon Williams) once had a career as a Hollywood actor, leaving the team in Avengers (1st series) #211 to concentrate on his new career.

Molly tussled with Wolverine in Runaways (2nd series) #12. When she throws the vehicle at Colossus, it smashes upon impact. Surely the weight of it should have knocked him off his feet, as he was standing upright with his feet together at the time.

Victor explained that Old Lace was a Deinonychus and not a Velociraptor in Runways (2nd series) #3.

There are no Project O*N*E Sentinels to be seen guarding the X-Men, but they may be off camera as they travel everywhere with the team.

Vegans are people who, by philosophy, attempt to exclude the use of animals or animal products by their daily lives. This includes the refusal to consume meat or animal-based products, or wear clothing made from animal skins or hair.

Written By: