Over the course of their adventures, the cast of Marvel Comics "Runaways" have learned that being a super powered teenager isn't a picnic and when acclaimed "Strangers in Paradise" author Terry Moore takes over as the book's new writer in 2008 things aren't going to get any easier for the group. CBR News spoke with Moore about his plans for the title.
Moore landed the "Runaways" assignment as a result of a phone call he made to Marvel Comics Editor in Chief Joe Quesada. "When I knew I was going to finish up 'Strangers in Paradise' I gave Joe Quesada a call and said, 'I would really love to do something with you guys when I finish this series. Do you have anything that you think would be suitable for me to work on?'" Moore told CBR News. "He said, 'Let me talk to the editors and I'll get right back to you.' He did and the two books that they suggested for me were 'Spider-Man Loves Mary Jane' and 'Runaways' because both of them were going to become available later this year. The minute he said those titles I said, 'Yes. That's exactly what I'm looking for.' So I was really happy with that.
One of the reasons why Moore was happy to be offered "Runaways" was that he was a fan of the book. "It was in the house and my son was reading it and I spot read through it and really liked it," Moore explained. "I knew what it was about but the last year I was working on 'Strangers in Paradise' I was so focused on it that I didn't really read anything else and that was when 'Runaways' was really making its mark. But as soon as Joe offered me the title I went back and read the entire series from beginning to end. So yeah, I love this book."
Moore loves "Runaways" but he was a little intimidated at first to be following in the footsteps of series creator Brian K Vaughan and current writer Joss Whedon. "Those guys are so good and they made such a strong mark on the book and I'm a fan of both writers," Moore said. "The more I thought about it though, the more excited I got about it. It's fantastic because those guys are setting me up with terrific stuff to do. It just couldn't be better for me."
One of the things Moore plans to do with his cast is to send them back home. "They are the only action that I'm giving street cred to on the West Coast," Moore remarked. "They're in California and when you think about it the East Coast is just so crowded. All the heavy hitters are there and you can't get foot in. Plus the East Coast has all that Civil War aftermath going on along with everything else. So I like that my crew is in California, which I consider the most dangerous place on the planet (laughs). Especially L.A. They have their own turf which I think is appropriate because teenagers are kind of in their own world anyway. The world could be falling apart but it's really all about them and what they did today.
"So I like it that they're in California," Moore continued. "It's really no skin off their backs what happens to Captain America or what the rules are. They're going to do whatever they're going to do. Currently, Joss's story is traveling in time and based out of New York. Mine is going to get back to Los Angeles and really make a strong mark. I'd like to plant a flag for Marvel in California and claim it. It's really good story turf."
Moore is aware that another group of superhumans, "The Order" has recently set up shop in California and wouldn't mind having his team run into the new group. "Only if I could kick their butts (laughs)! My superheroes are very competitive," Moore joked. "I'm up for anything that will be fun. And I do think it's a good idea that we acknowledge each other. Whether or not it's to bump shoulders or shake hands depends on how their meetings go."
Possible encounters with other super teams aren't the only obstacles that Moore plans to place in his protagonists' way. "When I get them back to Los Angeles there will be a tremendous amount of things they're walking right back into," Moore said. "I'm developing a storyline that has an incredible twist to it.
"There are two kinds of basic threats that I think my group is going to have to deal with," Moore continued. "One of them is one that's in your face but while you're dealing with that the raptor on the side gets you. So it's going to be a more complex story than what's first apparent on the page. Also I believe that we've established that anything can happen in these characters' world, including that it's very hard to keep a good character dead."
One of the hidden threats the Runaways will have to deal with might just come from one of their own members. "I believe all the predictions about Victor," Moore said. "I think that that guy is something to watch out for and I think it's about time for him to start playing those cards. You can only get so far away from genetics."
Victor isn't the only "Runaways" cast member that Moore has big plans for. "The character I liked the least when I was reading the series in beginning is the character I have the most plans for and I really see emerging as an incredible hero," Moore explained. "I really had a journey with this character. When it started off the character just rubbed me the wrong way but the more I thought about it the more I realized that this character is actually an iceberg and I had just seen the tip of the iceberg."
Moore's currently scheduled to do a year's worth of stories on "Runaways" but he's not ruling out the possibility of telling more tales. "Right now I'm on for one year and I'm picturing two soft arcs that could be blended into a one year journey. After the year the sky is wide open as whether I stay on the book or move to other Marvel books but right now I'm totally focused on 'Runaways' and I want to stress that I take this very seriously. I'm going to pour myself into this to make it absolutely the best thing I've ever done.
"I'm so excited," Moore continued. "I've been waiting a long time to finish 'Strangers in Paradise,' so I could move onto other things. Now I have this terrific opportunity on a great book that already has a set fan base."