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Day 3 in the Popverse Comics Advent Calendar 2022

What the Runaways can tell you about the Mighty Marvel approach to heroism

Popverse comics advent calendar 3
Image credit: Marvel Entertainment

Every day of December counting down to Christmas Day, Popverse is hijacking the grand tradition of the Advent Calendar to share a moment from a holiday comic of yore. What else could you want from a classic combination of comic books and the yuletide gaze? Today, it’s the turn of 2018’s Runaways #16 — part 4 of a story called 'That Was Yesterday!' (Which is kind of like a Christmas Carol, almost maybe, right?)

Popverse comics advent calendar 3
Image credit: Marvel Entertainment

For many of us, the first weekend in December means something more than just a temporary escape from the mental hell that is the work week. It also means, finally, we get a chance to climb into whatever forgotten corner of the basement/attic/box room (delete as applicable) to recover the holiday decorations and finally bring some color back into our drab, humdrum existences for the first time in 11 months. It’s a beautiful thing, really.

Of course, that’s the dream. The reality is something more akin to this tragically lifelike moment from Runaways, in which Gert points out the ways in which Chase is… well, failing to fulfill the seasonal tradition with his attempts at decking the hall, so to speak. We’ve all been there, and every year get that little bit closer as we open up the box of decorations and realize that we didn’t really spend that much time in January putting everything away in the best condition to keep it fresh and ready for use in the future.

Let’s take a moment, though, to appreciate what’s really going on here. As the title of the series suggests, the Runaways are far from being in the best place in their lives, but here they are, making the most of their situation. Sure, it’s not perfect — nowhere near, if we’re being honest — but they’re trying. I don’t think it’s what Rainbow Rowell or Kris Anka necessarily intended, but this exchange here, as testy as it is, is the perfect distillation of the Marvel approach to heroics: trying your best in imperfect circumstances, and being a little testy about it, in the process. Managing to do that in just two panels? That’s a holiday miracle, right there.

Want more? You can read the entire issue in Runaways #16, available via Comixology and Marvel Unlimited.

Stuff those stockings and fill those empty spaces under the tree with Popverse's recommended gifts for friends, loved ones, and yourself.