Everything you need to know about Runaways, Marvel’s teen hero team

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They’re not to be confused with the pioneering rock band, nor the eponymous film about that band’s brief career, but these Runaways do certainly share an anti-authoritarian bent. Indeed, if Suicide Squad shows what happens when super-villains are forced to be heroes, Runaways answers the question of how super-villains’ kids would rebel against their parents. What else? They’d become super-heroes.

That’s the logline for the latest Marvel show, which is now coming along courtesy of some talents behind Gossip Girl. A comics-to-screen adaptation has had a few starts and stops, with both TV and movie versions being considered over the years, but now a web series is certainly and definitely coming to Hulu. So, what’s the 411 on this comic and its lesser-known-supers-who-may-soon-become-household-names?

In Runaways, the kids are alright, but the adults are absolutely awful. A half-dozen young friends discover that their moms and dads are secretly the Pride–a cabal of sinister masterminds–and then promptly move the hell out. Running away is hardly complete without some accompanying spots of thievery though, so the six nab their folks’ secret weapons as they exit. And throughout the course of their misadventures, a few even discover that they’ve inherited powers from the villains who raised them.

The founding members of this unofficial “anti-team” include:

  • Gertrude Yorkes :: A junior time traveler who shares a direct rapport with a dinosaur
  • Alex Wilder :: A mob family’s heir,with a prodigious intellect and a cunning tactical mind
  • Molly Hayes :: A mutant (as in X-Men mutant) with a mighty strength belying her small stature
  • Chase Stein :: A two-fisted, second-gen mad scientist who wields nasty, hi-tech boxing gloves
  • Karolina Dean :: A spunky alien who can fly and throw flashy rainbow-light powers around
  • Nico Minoru :: A sorceress who commands darker magik than Scarlet Witch. The team leader!

Subsequent members include a shape-shifting Skrull, an immortal geomancer, and a synthetic being created by the Avengers’ foe Ultron (which makes him something of a half-brother to the Vision). So, as you see, there are oodles of connections tying these youngsters to most corners of the Marvel U.

Soon enough, the Runaways face the Pride directly. Their battle reveals true loyalties, and not every member walks away alive. Afterward, the team clashes with young upstarts vying to replace the Pride, government agents enforcing the registration laws of Civil War, a couple of alien invasion forces, and even time-displaced heels from the early 1900’s. Given the format, and the pedigree of talent involved, it’s a safe bet that these plots will be grounded a touch in the Hulu show, but with specifics of the kids’ origins likely getting streamlined and simplified.

These characters were created by Ms. Marvel artist Adrian Alphona and the writer of Saga Brian K. Vaughn. One volume was scripted by Joss Whedon too, and his involvement actually offers a handy comparison point, as Runaways definitely feels Buffy-esque at turns. Imagine the “Scooby Gang” handling a whole slew of sci-fi and fantasy concepts in addition to vampires and witchcraft.

Or instead of imagining, you can easily just read the comics. In comparison to other Marvel properties, it’s a lot easier to catch up on the entirety of Runaways before the show drops. There aren’t hundreds of issues to collect. All the volumes encompass only about a dozen trade paperbacks right now.

What other under-rated Marvel teams deserve a slot beside the Runaways on Hulu’s programming docket? Put on your fantasy execs hat and pitch ’em in the talkback.  

Image Credits: Marvel

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