Issue Date: October 2008
Story Title: Dead Wrong - part one
Staff: Terry Moore (writer), Humberto Ramos (penciler), Dave Meikis (inker), Christina Strain (colorist), Virtual Calligraphy’s Joe Caramagna (letterer), Irene Lee (production), Daniel Ketchum (associate editor), Nick Lowe (editor), Joe Quesada (editor in chief), Dan Buckley (publisher)
Runaways created by Vaughan & Alphona
A group of surviving Majesdanians are trying to find Karolina Dean, who they blame for the destruction of their planet. She pops up on their monitors and they make their way to Earth. The runaways return from New York City aboard the Leapfrog. They have nowhere to go, but Nico suggests asking the 'frog. It suggests a place in Malibu which has not been discovered. They make their way there, disable the alarms and manage to fight off the security daemons that try and protect the property. They have no money, so Nico asks Chase to find a job. They head to a shopping mall where Chase tries to bag himself a job as Val Rhymin's assistant. He's the resident shock jock. As they speak, Val's boss has a seizure and falls over the balcony to the mall floor below. Before he hits it, Klara Prast makes some flowers grow and they break his fall. The runaways leave before the cops show up and return to Malibu. Chase arrives later, but as he and Nico argue, the Majesdanians arrive with a bang.
(somewhere in the Milky Way, two days ago)
A Majesdanian craft flies through space with four occupants on board. They are survivors of their planet's destruction, and they blame Karolina Dean for that disaster. The feisty black & white-haired deHalle wonders how long they are going to sit there. She's annoyed that Karolina's trail has been lost and wonders if she is dead. vaRikk informs her that if she were dead there would still be energy on his scope. Matter doesn't just stop existing. deHalle wishes to go to Earth. Maybe they'll pick up her signal there. vaRikk doesn't want to run around the galaxy chasing a ghost. deHalle asks, rhetorically, if he's got anything better to do. Does he have a home to go back to? Family waiting? She doesn't think so. The General appears and asks her to take it easy. Karolina's energy has to be somewhere. Sooner or later it will surface. deHalle sighs and asks if this is their plan. To sit and wait? He asks if she has a better suggestion.
deHalle tells him that her energy was last showing on Earth. Odds are she will resurface there. The General asks what if she's wrong. They only have enough light crystal to get them to Earth and back. If Karolina surfaces on the other side of the galaxy, they will have to choose between going after her and going home. They can't do both. deHalle says that they have no home. That is her point. Her brother, vaDanti, walks in and asks what all the noise is about. The General tells him his sister is impatient. This comes as no surprise to vaDanti. deHalle reminds them that their planet is gone and Karolina Dean bears the responsibility. If they don't take her back to stand trial, the annihilation of Majesdane was meaningless. vaRikk turns and informs them that he has something. Karolina has just turned up again out of nowhere. deHalle grins. She is on Earth, and she knew it. Her brother wonders how she managed that. The General asks vaRikk to set a course for Earth - the fastest possible. "Stay where you are, Karolina Dean," snarls deHalle. "I'm bringing you a message from the dead... seven billion dead.
(Earth, present, on the outskirts of Los Angeles)
The runaways return to the City of Angels after their run-in with the Skrulls in New York City. The Leapfrog bounds over the greener areas of the city piloted by Chase, who listens to his favorite DJ, Val Rhymin on KZIT. Vic hates to bring up the obvious, but where are they going to go. Iron Man discovered their base leaving them with nowhere to live. Nico doesn't fancy camping out for the night to regroup. She wants a bed and food and to sleep in her own room. Camping is so not gonna happen. Vic reckons they need to think of something fast as they are two minutes from Anaheim. Chase jokes that they should park the 'frog in Disneyland and charge people ten buck a head for a ride. This gives Nico an idea. They are traveling in a flying super-computer. Maybe it can tell them if there are any Pride places that the police haven't found. Vic asks the question, and the Leapfrog informs them that there is a place in Malibu that is unbreached. The alarms are still active. Xavin asks who lived in Malibu. Chase replies that he did as a kid. He thought his parents had sold the place.
Before long, the Leapfrog lands off the Pacific coast and Xavin creates a watertight forcefield bubble for them to travel in, and Chase tells Old Lace that they'll be back for her when the coast is clear. Klara loves the excitement, though Chase would have preferred to land on the roof. Vic doesn't think that's a good idea. They need to check out the alarms and they don't want to arouse the suspicion of their neighbors.
Soon, they are on the beach, and Karolina welcomes Vic to Malibu. They walk up to the house and check the place out. It's a lot more desirable than their previous two hostels. Nico says that they need to disable the alarms first. Vic knows that there'll be a power box somewhere. He'll disable it. Molly asks why they don't just knock and see if anyone answers. Karolina replies that you can't just do that in Malibu. At night they will call the cops. "They'd answer if you looked like a celebrity," Molly reckons. Xavin transforms herself into movie director Kevin Smith. "You mean like this?" Chase is awesomed. He reckons Xavin's nailed it, but Molly hasn't a clue who he's supposed to be. Chase reckons that if they could turn him into Jay, they could go clubbing and the chicks would go wild. "Dude, " replies Xavin. "You're already Jay."
Victor and Karolina zap the alarms whilst Xavin gains entrance to the house using her Mr. Fantastic powers - stretching underneath the door and turning the handle. Chase puts a hand on her shoulder and says he'll go first in case there are any... Before he can finish his sentence, a bunch of security daemons attack him and pin him to the ground. Outside, Vic and Karolina hear the commotion and Vic tells her to be on her guard. As he speaks, the door slams open and he is crushed against the wall. A daemon grabs Karolina and starts to fly away with her. Vic is then attacked by two more daemons that come through the window.
Inside, Chase tries to reach the 'off-switch' at the back of the daemon's head, but Molly grabs it instead and smashes it against the floor. She flexes her muscles. "Princess Powerful... back in the house." Chase tells her he was two seconds from shutting it down, but she says there's no need to thank her. "Who else needs help?" she grins. Victor is having a tough time, until he uses his electromagnetic powers to hurl some weights at his assailants. Xavin wades through them using his 'Thing' fist whilst Karolina becomes fed up of being carried. She explodes the robot carrying her and snarls, "Let's go to the house in Malibu, they said. We'll be safe at the Malibu house, they said."
Once the drama is over, the kids start getting rid of the evidence, whilst Chase gets rid of a neighbor who is complaining about the noise. Klara asks Molly about the talking boxes in each room. Molly informs her that they're called televisions. They're like You Tube for old people. Klara has no idea what she's talking about. Karolina points out to Nico that they don't have any money to fix the walls or windows. Nico adds that they don't have any money with which to buy food or clothes or anything. She thought about this on the way home. Chase must get a job. Karolina asks why him. Nico tells her that he's eighteen, and therefore the only one of them old enough not to need a parent. Karolina doesn't think she'll ever convince him. Nico tells her that she's not seen the garage yet. Outside, Chase and Vic open the garage door up. Inside is a motorbike, a bug camper van and another vehicle. Chase is impressed and asks Vic for a gas loan. Vic asks where he would get gas money. "Dude," replies Chase. "Get a job so I can borrow gas money.
The runaways are at the mall. Klara is blown away. All these shops in one place. Molly is happy to get back to what she thinks is civilisation. "Oh the damage I could do in here if I had a credit card," sighs Karolina. Nico can't even remember the last time she went shopping. Karolina asks her where they're supposed to meet Chase. Nico informs her that he's in the atrium. KZIT's on the top floor. Karolina is appalled that he's applying for a job at KZIT, but Nico doesn't care where he works so long as he works.
In the atrium, Val Rhymin is on air, slouched in his chair, while Chase watches through the public window. Val spots him and jokes to his listeners that it looks like one of the monkeys has escaped from the zoo to sip at the font of knowledge. He continues with his rhetoric about overthrowing the government as Bob, the station manager, tells Chase to leave. Chase tells him that he's here to see Val about a job. Val asks his listeners to bring him an actual brick from city hall. Whoever's first will win a free pass to Whoopee Burger Palace. Heck, he adds, someone bring him the mayor's chair, and his little dog, too. Bob overhears and barges in, ordering Val to go to music. Val asks how about a little Zeppelin for the revolution, warning Bob not to barge in while he's on air again. It's unprofessional. Bob barks that he can't encourage people to overthrow the government on FCC. They'll lose their licence. Bob tells him he's fired, but the stress causes him to clutch his chest and step outside.
Chase is a little star struck and doesn't notice this. He enters and asks Val if he has a couple of minutes. He tells Val that he's his biggest fan and wants to work with him. Val asks if he's sure he wants to work there. Chase reckons he could be his assistant. He's totally qualified to learn whatever he wants to teach him. Val replies that Chase is just like he was at his age. All attitude and not a lick of sense. However, the guy outside who he was arguing with is the one he should be asking. Outside the office, Val notices, from the corner of his eye, Bob disappearing over the balcony. He smiles at Chase and tells him his luck may be in. He thinks an opening's just come up. Klara, Molly, Nico and Karolina are in a clothes shop when they hear a scream. Klara wastes no time springing into action. She says the word, "Grow!" and the plantlife in the place shoots up, growing to many times higher than Klara herself. Bob descent is halted by the foliage, and once she's sure Bob is safe and sound, Klara asks the plants to lie down again. Her fellow runaways heap praise on her for her quick thinking, but Nico reckons they should leave before the cops show. They can meet Chase back at the house.
Later, at their new Malibu base, Vic washes the Leapfrog which is housed in its new location on the rooftop. He is called back in for lunch. Sitting at the kitchen table, the girls tell Xavin about their experience before Chase appears and asks why they left him. Nico informs him of the guy who fell and wonders why he didn't see that. Chase says it was nothing to do with him, but Nico still has a dig at him. They get into an argument which is only stopped when Vic hears something. Karolina's energies erupt as a blinding flash of light comes through the window. "Everybody down," shouts Vic as flames shoot through the room. When the flames dissipate, they see four Majesdanians standing there, and the General informs them that he is looking for Karolina Dean. He has a message for her... from Majesdane!
Karolina Dean, Molly Hayes, Victor Mancha, Nico Minoru, Klara Prast, Chase Stein, Xavin (all Runaways)
deHalle, vaDanti, vaDrann and vaRikk (all Majesdanians)
Bob, Val Rhymin and staff at KZIT
This is the first issue by the Moore/Ramos creative team and follows on from Runaways/Young Avengers #1 - 3.
It is possible that Karolina's trail vanishes when the Leapfrog is cloaked. Either that, or her energy source returned when she came back from 1907, though she would have been gone for a fraction of as second at most as they returned to the exact same point they left.
It was mentioned that Majesdane had been destroyed in Runaways (2nd series) #17.
Iron Man discovered their tar pits base in Runaways (2nd series) #24.
vaDrann wasn't named until Runaways (3rd series) #6.
Chase mentions that he lived in Malibu as a child, but the Wilder's also lived there, as shown in Runaways (1st series) #1.
Xavin has created a similar bubble before when leaving the tar pits in Runaways (2nd series) #23. Nico also created something similar to travel to the Marine Vivarium in back in Runaways (1st series) #15.
Part-time comic book writer (Daredevil/Green Arrow) Kevin Smith is the director of movies such as Clerks, Chasing Amy and Dogma. Jay is Smith's on-screen partner in most of his movies.
Chase appears a lot more relaxed and less serious than in the weeks following Gertrude's death.
The runaways fought security daemons before in the tar pits, when Cloak entered in Runaways (2nd series) #9.
The FCC regulates interstate and international communications in the United States, including radio and televisions amongst other things.