ByCiara Pitts, writer at
Twitter: @CiaraNPitts
Ciara Pitts

After years of fans longing for the Runaways comic to be brought to life, Marvel has finally granted our wishes. The hit series by Brian K. Vaughn and Adrian Alphona is getting the live-action treatment on Hulu, and will be ready to stream this November. It'll follow a group of six teens who decide to unite against their criminal parents. Along the way, they discover their unique abilities, find self-acceptance and learn the meaning of friendship.

might sound like your typical teenage classic, but this diverse ensemble of characters is truly compelling and relatable. One character who has connected with lots of fans is Karolina Dean. She's a bubbly, free spirit who's part of the Majesdanian alien race, giving her the ability to manipulate solar light. Karolina also happens to be openly gay, an awesome coincidence due to her rainbow-like glow.

As soon as the Runaways show was announced, questions immediately came to fans' minds regarding Karolina's portrayal: How will representation be handled? Will Karolina even be a lesbian in this adaptation? But thankfully, it looks like we have some optimistic evidence that answers those questions.

There's A Good Chance That Karolina Will Be Gay In Runaways

Details on Runaways have been kept under wraps. Footage hasn't even been revealed officially, and Hulu plans to keep it that way until the release approaches. But we do know that Runaways will be faithful to the beloved comics, especially when it comes to characterization.

Earlier this year, released the show's character descriptions; they mention how Karolina, played by Virginia Gardner, is expected to explore internal struggles and her identity:

"Karolina Dean, model-perfect exterior with a lot going on behind her professionally whitened smile, is burdened by the lofty expectations and responsibilities put upon her by her parents. Underneath her veneer of privilege and perfection, Karolina is experiencing a newfound eagerness to explore her identity and pursue her own desires."

That's only a hint, but there's more to uncover. Recently, ComicBook got a sneak peak at the first two Runaways episodes. No spoilers were revealed, but they gave reassuring insight into Karolina, saying that fans of her "will be satisfied." It's probably safe to say that her sexuality in the will not only be true to the comics, but will also be explored early on in the show.

Based On The Comics, How Could The Show Explore Karolina's Sexuality?

Hulu's Runaways could introduce a Karolina story all its own, but since the show is following the comics, they have plenty of arcs to dive into.

In the initial comic run, it was hinted at from the very first issue that Karolina was crushing on Nico Minoru. But Karolina didn't get the courage to make her feelings more real until the second Runaways volume. She attempted to kiss Nico and immediately got rejected, causing Karolina to go through a whirlwind of self-doubt.

[Credit: Marvel Comics]
[Credit: Marvel Comics]

That brings us to the introduction of Xavin, who landed their ship right in the middle of the girls' incident. Xavin traveled to Earth with a mission to marry Karolina; they believed that the marriage would create peace within the Skrull and Majesdanian worlds.

Karolina initially refused, since she's gay and Xavin was in male form at the time. But when Xavin shapeshifted into their female form to please Karolina, she decided to enter the relationship. This event was also how Karolina came out to the other Runaways.

[Credit: Marvel Comics]
[Credit: Marvel Comics]

Eventually, Xavin leaves Earth in Karolina's form to protect her real self from evil Majesdanians. That was the last we saw of Xavin, which is considered the end of their romance with Karolina.

Currently, Karolina is in a relationship with Julie Power. During a clash between the Runaways and Power Pack, the two briefly flirted. They didn't reunite until the Avengers Academy comic, and by the end of the series, Julie and Karolina were official.

[Credit: Marvel Comics]
[Credit: Marvel Comics]

In the new Runaways comic, which is out this September, writer Rainbow Rowell has confirmed that Karolina and Julie's relationship is still going strong.

Karolina has had quite the complicated love life, leaving the showrunners with many options. Whether they use Nico, Xavin or Julie as a potential love interest, viewers of the show who enjoyed those stories will have their hearts captured once again.

Also, it's totally fine if Karolina doesn't have a romance right away; we're only on the first season. A storyline that follows her through self-discovery and coming out could be even more impactful. Overall, it's important that an inspiring character like Karolina will be brought to a wider audience, expanding queer visibility in the cinematic world of superheroes.

Karolina reminds us to be comfortable in our own skin; it will be powerful to witness her amazing qualities radiate on Runaways later this year.

Runaways Season 1 will be available to stream on Hulu on November 21.

What direction do you think the show should take with Karolina's sexuality? Let us know in the comments below!

(Sources: Marvel, ComicBook)


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