Way back in 2003, Marvel Comics began publishing a little book called ‘The Runaways.’ The teen drama series focused on a diverse group of youths who are forced to go on the run after discovering that their parents were secretly a team of supervillains known as ‘The Pride’! Now, almost a decade and a half later, Marvel has teamed up with Hulu to bring the now classic comic series ‘The Runaways’ to life on the small screen with a thirteen-episode first season this November!
Earlier this week at New York Comic Con 2017, Marvel held a massive convention panel for ‘The Runaways’ where fans got a quick introduction to the cast from series producer Jeph Loeb, and even got a sneak peek at the series pilot episode! Marvel has asked us not to go into too much detail about the episode itself, but we’ve definitely got a few thoughts about things so far. If you’re wary of spoilers, turn back here!
*DO NOT KEEP READING THIS IF YOU DO NOT WANT TO HAVE THE FIRST EPISODE OF ‘THE RUNAWAYS’ SPOILED!*
As a longtime fan of ‘The Runaways’, this reporter can confirm that you can set your fears aside; the pilot episode stays pretty darn close to the comic book its based on. It keeps much of the same tone and feel, and while some changes were made to things, the majority of them feel like a natural evolution. If you enjoyed the ‘Runaways’ comics, you’re almost certainly going to enjoy this show as long as it keeps going the direction that the pilot steered it in.
We first meet our cast one at a time, getting a brief glimpse into their individual lives. Alex, Nico, Gert, Molly, Karolina, and Chase all go to the same high school in LA. None of them seem to move in the same social circles, although it’s alluded to that they used to all be very close. Each seems to have their own drama in life and each has their own unique personalities, just like in the comics.
As far as the changes to the story as it transitioned into the live action world, they are few and far between, but they’re all pretty big changes from the ‘Runaways’ we knew before. Gone is Chase the loveable slacker from the comics, and in his place is Chase, the jerk of a jock who excels at sports but needs to get better grades if he ever wants to win his father’s approval. Also gone are Karolina’s movie star parents, who are now a mildly famous family who are the heads of ‘The Church of Gibborim’, which comes off kind of like a cult of shiny happy people trying to live positive lives. And Molly’s family? Completely gone. She’s been adopted by the Yorke family and lives with them and fellow ‘Runaway’ Gert! It’s likely that they were removed because in the comics, Molly and her family are Mutants, which the Marvel Cinematic Universe can’t use because they don’t have the rights. How they’re going to explain Molly’s powers remains to be seen. It’s also worth noting that Molly is thirteen in this adaptation, while in the comics she was only eleven years old when we are first introduced to her.
Perhaps the biggest change is that the whole group of ‘Runaways’ have a tense relationship due to the recent death of a mutual friend Amy, who was also Nico’s sister. Their relationship with Amy, who had died two years prior (although how she died is not explained) is the catalyst for much of the episode and how these characters interact with one another. The reason this stands out as such a big change is that Amy never existed in the ‘Runaways’ comics. She’s been completely made up for this live action adaptation. While this isn’t necessarily a bad thing by any means, it’s definitely a huge change to the original story. The weight of Amy’s death is hanging heavily on both Nico and Alex, while Gert, Chase, Karolina, and Molly are all definitely affected by it as well.
On the bright side, even with all of these changes, so much from the comics stayed the same. Gert, Alex, and Nico all feel like they jumped off the page, as do most of the members of The Pride. The story still flows a lot like the comic did, and even with the changes still very much feels like ‘The Runaways’. Most importantly, we even got a quick (albeit brief) look at Old Lace.
By the end of the premiere episode, we have a real sense of who each of these characters are as people, and even with the changes they all still largely feel like the characters we know and love from the comics (save for Chase, who feels like a new character entirely). The cast is overall solid in their roles, and are generally a very promising group of young actors with a LOT of potential. It’s safe to say that ‘The Runaways’ live action series was made by the right creative team, and it’s a labor of love that is going to give fans a lot to look forward to!
Be sure to stay tuned to ScienceFiction for all the latest updates on Marvel’s ‘The Runaways’!
Marvel’s ‘The Runaways’ stars Rhenzy Feliz, Lyrica Okano, Virginia Gardner, Ariela Barer, Gregg Sulkin, Allegra Acosta, James Marsters, Kevin Weisman, Ryan Sands, Angel Parker, Annie Wersching, Brittany Ishibashi, James Yaegashi, Kip Pardue, and Brigid Brannagh. The series is set to premiere exclusively on Hulu on November 21st, 2017!