Comic nerds geeked out hard last week over news that Runaways will be adapted into a Hulu series. And if you’re wondering what the excitement is all about, we’ve got you covered, breaking down all the reasons we’re pumped about the latest Marvel TV show.
Parents Just Don’t Understand
Named for a motley crew of runaway teens and tween, Runaways follows a band of kids who’ve been forced to flee after discovering their boring, pain-in-the-neck parents are actually The Pride, a team of supervillains dedicated to bringing about the end of the world. In this setting, the Avengers exist (so tie-ins to the MCU could be possible), but the Avengers hotline isn’t as much help as you’d hope. So, the titular kids set out on their own to stop their malevolent moms and dads, while ducking the police force pocketed by their powerful parents.
Degrassi Goes MCU
You love some teen drama? Runaways not only delivers superhero stories of battles and crazy powers, but also emotional threads about rivalry, love triangles, regret and fear of being a misfit. Coming at you from Gossip Girl producers Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage, this live-action adaptation will likely be dropping drama bombs on the regular. The teen soap angle that helped make Brian K. Vaughn and Adrian Alphona’s comics such must-reads will also help set its show apart from more “mature” content like Netflix’s Jessica Jones, Daredevil and the upcoming Luke Cage.
Breakfast Club Ain’t Got Nothing On Us
The comics kicked off with six characters, each a pretty common teen archetype, each enhanced with a twist or special power:
Alex Wilder (No alias): Nerd. Shy, brainy beyond belief, and the son of mob bosses, he’s the group’s leader and master strategist.
Nico Minoru (A.K.A. Sister Grimm) : Goth girl. The daughter of dark wizards has an natural ability for magic, and a pretty powerful crush on Alex. Also, she makes her own clothes.
Karolina Dean (A.K.A. Lucy in the Sky, A.K.A. LSD): Teen Dream. Tall, blond, beautiful, and the child of movie stars, Karolina is a lot our image of young Taylor Swift. But being a teen is tough, even tougher when you realize your medic alert bracelet is actually a hi-tech means of keeping your true identity—an alien who radiates with rainbow light—and powers in check.
Chase Stein (A.K.A. Talkback): Jock. A dopey surfer bro with mad scientist parents, his powers come from the flame-throwing gauntlets and X-ray specs he stole from their secret lab.
Gertrude Yorkes (A.K.A. Gert, A.K.A. Arsenic): Cynic. The daughter of time travelers, Gert feels fairly out of place, and copes by launching withering barbs. But despite her rough exterior, she’s a teddy bear at heart. She not only cares for her special pet Old Lace (more on that below), but also the group’s junior member:
Molly Hayes (A.K.A. Bruiser): The youngest of the group and daughter to mutants, little Molly is just entering puberty, which is kicking her abilities (incredible strength) into gear. The gang calls her Bruiser, but the excitable and fearless wannabe hero prefers her own self-made moniker: Princess Powerful.
Did We Mention The Pet Attack Raptor?
That’d be Old Lace. A gift from Gert’s parents—albeit one opened early—this genetically engineered dinosaur is custom built to follow the girl’s every command, and makes her a powerful force in the field. But one of the most surprising gags from the Runaways Volume One was how hilarious and effective a raptor side-eye is to silencing stupid ideas.
More Runaways To Come
Down the line, the comics introduced new members to the crew, including a shapeshifter, a cyborg, and a Joss Whedon-created heroine who comes from the turn-of-the-century and can manipulate plants.
Diversity Is A Major Element
While Marvel has been drawing attention for whitewashing (Doctor Strange) and racebending (Spider-Man: Homecoming), Runaways makes inclusive casting easy from the start. It’s band of heroes includes characters who are male, female, white, black, Asian and Latino. And as the arcs evolve, a couple of characters identify as LGBTQA. With audiences more and more demanding more inclusive representation, Runaways couldn’t be coming at a better time.
There May Be Tit Windows
In Volume One of Runaways, the kids have a pivotal encounter with Cloak and Dagger, the crime-fighting duo who earned a lot of attention early this year thanks to humorist Kate Beaton’s thorough mocking of the latter’s absurd cutaway costumes. Last spring, Freeform greenlit a Cloak and Dagger live-action series. So, perhaps a crossover—a la Supergirl meets Flash—could be in the making?
PSA: RUNAWAYS is available for mad mega cheap on Comixology right now. pic.twitter.com/MMtzhbFCCQ— Joanna Robinson (@jowrotethis) August 19, 2016
Kristy Puchko was a total Gert in high school, minus the cool raptor sidekick. So high school sucked.