Candid camera: Runaways #18

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Although I really enjoyed Marcos Martin's cover work for Batgirl: Year One, Green Arrow and Breach, his current stint on Marvel's Runaways hasn't impressed me that much (except, possibly, for Issue 13). In fairness, that may because I'm such a fan of Jo Chen's covers for the series, and the two artists are polar opposites, stylistically.

But yesterday, Marvel teased some of its July solicitations, including Martin's cover for Runaways #18. And you know what? I like it -- a lot.

The off-kilter composition makes the image seem like a snapshot taken during a summer day at the park. It's definitely candid, with the characters swept up in the moment and each other instead of striking iconic poses. Here, they're not superheroes; they're just kids.

But more importantly, they're vulnerable, something underscored by the cover blurb, "One of these Runaways is about to die."

The bright, flat colors work well, too, I think, contrasting with the dark times that loom ahead (and overhead).

There is a problem with the cover, though it's not the art: I'd never paid much attention to the logo before, but here, against a clear blue sky, it's obvious that it's, well, not very good. At all.

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