It's been eight years since Marvel first teased us with a screen adaptation of Runaways, the comic series launched in 2003 about a group of teens who discover they have super abilities when they uncover the secret that all of their parents belong to a villain ring called The Pride.
Runaways creator Brian K. Vaughan (co-written with Adrian Alphona) was set to write a film script with Kevin Feige producing for Marvel Studios. In the years since, that script was tossed around to different directors with various talent attached. In 2013, Iron Man 3 co-writer Drew Pearce discussed a new script he had for a film but admitted that the success of Avengers blew any production plans out of the water. All iterations of the comic adaptation have sat in the Marvel vault for years.
So imagine how big the news is today to learn that Runaways is finally getting what has so long been teased. Hulu announced today that Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage (Gossip Girl, The OC, The Carrie Diaries) will be writing and producing a new series based on the feisty group of angsty, angry teens (and one pre-teen). The show fits an obvious hole in the MCU, representation of Marvel's young adult characters. A hole that was on its way to being repaired with the upcoming Spider-Man: Homecoming and that feels officially addressed now that two teen drama veterans are here to handle some super-powered, teenaged ass-kicking.
Schwartz must have a sense of the gravity of fan's expectations, stating:
“I’m a long-time fan of 'Runaways' and couldn’t be more excited to bring Brian and Adrian’s characters to life."
While on the flip side, Marvel knows if they are going to do their audience justice, Schwartz and Savage are the power-duo to do it. Jeph Loeb, EP and Head of Marvel Television gives them credit by saying:
“We’ve known the 'Runaways‘ story would make great television, and being lucky enough to have Josh and Stephanie — who have time and again created shows that speak so genuinely to this exact audience — write and produce the series is nothing short of remarkable.”
So now that we all feel pretty comfortable the Runaways are in the right hands, and on a streaming platform where they'll be allowed ample freedom, let's get into who this young, diverse, and incredibly badass pack of teens are and why, if you're not already, it's time you got amped to see them on screen.
Nico Minoru: The Witch
- Age: 16
- Parents: Robert and Tina Minoru, a pair of dark wizards
- Alias: Sister Grimm
Nico is a Japanese-American teen who discovers her parents are wizards and then quickly discovers she is one as well when her mother attempts to kill her with a magical rod, the Staff of One. Instead of hurting her, Nico absorbs the rod into her chest. Whenever Nico's blood is drawn the staff emerges for her magical use. As a witch, Nico uses spells, however, she can't use the same spell twice. Nico is an emotional teen (aren't they all?) and these feelings come in handy as they power her ability to do magic. She has a slew of relationships with some of her fellow Runaways and others, which should make for great TV. At the beginning of the comic series she's recently transformed into a hottie, to the boys' surprised pleasure.
Karolina Dean: The Alien
- Age: 16
- Parents: Frank and Leslie Dean, Majesdanian aliens
- Alias: Lucy in the Sky
Karolina is the daughter of two Hollywood celebrities and has a close connection to them at the start of the series. Karolina discovers that her parents are, in fact, aliens, and she is as well. Her true form has been hidden by a bracelet her parents have always made her wear. As the hippie of the group — a vegetarian and activist — it's somewhat fitting when she discovers her alien form is rainbow-streaked in appearance, using the sun's energy to power her. As the only alien and only homosexual of the group, Karolina brings plenty of identity-defining energy to the series. It will be exciting to see her shine, literally and figuratively, on the small screen.
Molly Hayes: The Mutant
- Age: 11
- Parents: Gene and Alice Hayes, telepathic mutants
- Alias: Bruiser
The youngest of the group, Molly is initially kept out of the loop about the truth of her parents' involvement in The Pride. Molly has recently started experiencing changes in her body when the story begins, a thing no one really wants to talk with her about. What they don't know is these aren't normal changes; she's actually a mutant. The Pride intend to use her as leverage to stop the other teens from thwarting their plans, but instead, the impending danger to her family pulls her mutant abilities out and she becomes her mutant self. Her abilities include super strength and invulnerability and her youthfulness and pre-teen insecurities keep the other teens honest.
Chase Stein: The Scientist
- Age: 17
- Parents: Victor and Janet Stein, evil inventors
- Alias: TalkBack
Chase is a loyal friend and the most teen-dude of the group. After discovering his parents' true nature, Chase steals a few of their invented weapons, including X-ray goggles and the Fistigons, a pair of super-powered gloves. Chase is rebellious, somewhat unpredictable even, but he stands up for what he believes in. Interestingly, he and Gert share an empathic link to Old Lace, the genetically-engineered dinosaur loyal to Gert.
Alex Wilder: The Leader
- Age: 16
- Parents: Geoffrey and Catherine Wilder, mob bosses
- Alias: None, Alex is the only one who decides no to have an alternate identity
Alex initially leads the group — in fact, it was his idea to see what their parents are up to in their yearly secret meeting. This makes him one of very few black group leaders in the Marvel universe. Alex doesn't have the superpowers or supernatural abilities of the rest of the group; instead he's by far the smartest of the group. As a genius, his logic and reasoning skills make him invaluable, though he tends to be emotionally distant (a trait that plays heavily into his ongoing story).
Gertrude Yorkes: The Time Traveler
- Age: 15
- Parents: Dale and Stacey Yorkes, time travelers
- Alias: Arsenic
Gertrude, or Gert, is a favorite in the series because of her purple hair, her sarcasm and her rebellious nature. A short, socialism-loving, cynical Jew, she accidentally sets off a recording bestowing Old Lace, a genetically enhanced mind-reading dinosaur, to her as an inheritance. This proves useful when she has to go head to head with her evil, time traveling parents. Her constant questioning, philosophical mind, and disdain for adults makes her an ideal TV teen.
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