Every teenager imagines that their parents are evil, but what happens when that actually becomes a reality? That’s the notion of Runaways, the latest endeavor in Marvel’s expansive live-action universe. Based on the comic book of the same name, the 2003 adventure was truly ahead of its time. It dived deeper than the cliché teen drama you might expect of it, featuring a diverse cast, thought-provoking narratives, and lesbian visibility that still empowers readers today.
Based on footage we’ve received of the Hulu show thus far, it looks as accurate as the comic itself, but through a modernized lens. Even though its faithful to the pages, there will definitely be changes and shocks along the way that we won’t see coming.
If you’ve read the comic, like me, then get ready to fall in love with these characters and their lives all over again. And if you’re totally new to it, be sure to anticipate the thrills, twists and emotions that await you. The best way I can describe Runaways, especially for newcomers, is a group of six kids who took on the weight of the world while trying to find their own place inside of it. It’s also a story of trust and acceptance, both towards others and within oneself. It couldn’t be a better time to bring this series to life, and without further ado, let’s recap the triple-episode premiere!
Episode 1: ‘Reunion’
We begin with a girl named Destiny, traveling on a bus to a location she’s not familiar with. It’s dark, there’s nowhere to sleep, and an upset phone call indicates that she ran away from home. After she hangs up, two men harass her through the street, and she’s quickly rescued by two women. If you thought nothing else could go wrong at this hour, that “rescuing” involved luring her into a van for the Church of Gibborim. She recognizes that this is a cult-like organization, and reluctantly accepts.
Flash forward six months later and we’re introduced to our first lavish L.A. family, the Wilders: Geoffrey, Catherine, and their son Alex. While his parents are successful in the business world, Alex would rather close himself off from the world and play video games. His loneliness and lack of enthusiasm come from his longing to reconnect with his childhood friends, which Geoffrey encourages him to do.
Next, meet the Minorus: Tina, Robert, and their daughter Nico, whose angsty, goth appeal is badass rather than cringe-worthy. Tina is extremely over-protective, and the family is still grieving the loss of Nico’s sister, Amy. Then we have the Steins: Janet, Victor, and their son Chase. While Chase comes off as the stereotypical jock, he has an untapped brilliance and a sensitive side, which will be developed as we move further. His father, an engineering genius, is tough on Chase ─ even on the verge of abusive ─ which made me sympathize with him while reading the comics.
A change of location, we enter a bright auditorium where a church service is being held. This is none other than the Deans: Leslie, Frank, and our one and only baby gay Karolina. Together, they lead the Church of Gibborim, which Karolina is the face of. Her eagerness to break free and lead her own path is evident, but her mother continues to hold her back. And for the final family, the Yorkes: Dale, Stacey, their daughter Gert, and adoptive daughter Molly Hernandez. Their parents are much more quirky and laid-back compared to the rest of the teens’ rigid home life. We learn that Gert is a passionate feminist, while Molly is the youngest and most easy-going member of the group.
A component of the Runaways show is seeing the kids in high school, something we never got a glimpse of in the comics. In a quick scene, we’re introduced to the crush dynamics: Gert like Chase, Chase likes Karolina, Karolina likes Nico, and Alex likes Nico, too. As I’m already shipping Karolina and Nico (they’ve even got their own ship name, “Deanoru”), I’m glad that this crush is being depicted so naturally, and so early on.
Meanwhile, the parents are preparing for their meeting for PRIDE, a charity organization that has a lot hidden underneath it.
Back at school, Alex attempts to get the band back together, only leading to a giant disagreement among them. I love seeing the dynamics within the group, but this interaction felt forced. The hostility was unnatural, but there might be something from their past that caused it. Not to mention, Alex’s obsession with Nico is turning out to be creepy, rather than endearing. Out of the equation was Molly, who was experiencing extreme pain during a dance audition, which is linked to her super strength that she has not yet discovered.