Marvel recently announced the Runaways are coming to Hulu, with the show developed by showrunners Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage of Gossip Girl. The Runaways are a group of young superheroes who find out their parents are supervillains, leading them to form a team of their own in the attempt to bring their parents to justice.
Among the team is a girl named Gertrude Yorkes, alias Arsenic. While she possesses no “powers,” she does have a mental link to a dinosaur named Old Lace. Here is where things start getting interesting. Knowing how Marvel likes to diverge from the comics, creating their own original storylines for their cinematic universe, could Old Lace actually be from the Savage Land? That poses another question: Is Ka-Zar coming to the MCU? Interestingly, this could all happen via Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Let’s explore the theory.
Old Lace's Comic Book Origin
In the comics, Old Lace was a genetically-manipulated dinosaur from the future, captured by Gertrude Yorke’s time-traveling fugitive parents. While that’s not a complicated concept to create and present in the Hulu show, we’ve already seen how Marvel has altered origins in the MCU.
Take Jessica Jones as an example. In comics she is actually a classmate of Peter Parker; when she got her powers, it was Spider-Man who motivated her to become a hero. Of course, this is completely different from the version of the character played by Krysten Ritter. That said, if Josh Schwartz, Stephanie Savage and Jeph Loeb decide not to tackle the time-traveling aspect of Arsenic’s dinosaur Old Lace, how else could the show introduce a dinosaur to the MCU? The Savage Land, of course!
What Is The Savage Land And Who Is Ka-Zar?
The Savage Land, hidden in Antarctica, is the only place on Earth where prehistoric animals still exist. In addition to being home to many types of dinosaurs, the land houses other creatures, and Anti-Metal (a variation of Vibranium, the metal used in Captain America's shield). The Savage Land was once explored by a man named Robert Plunder, a British explorer who was later killed by the creatures he found. His son, Kevin Plunder, was left alone in the Savage Land after the death of his father. Blessed by the companionship of Zabu, a sabretooth tiger, Kevin Plunder became Ka-Zar, protector of the Savage Land. So how does he connect to the Runaways' Old Lace and act as a possible connection to Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.?
Hulu-ABC Crossover | The Theory
Marvel's TV and film efforts are very divided, so crossing movies over with Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and the Netflix shows is a challenge. Now that Hulu has The Runaways, ABC's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. might be the best way to formally introduce the Hulu characters to TV audiences. Just like Netflix’s Daredevil introduced the Punisher and Jessica Jones introduced Luke Cage, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. could act as the Runaways' stepping stone, especially since story-wise, it actually makes sense.
The Pride, the evil organization the Runaways' parents belong to, could be one of the villains documented in S.H.I.E.L.D.’s Index. Once the Runaways take leave of their parents to become heroes and Gertrude Yorkes discovers Old Lace, the S.H.I.E.L.D. team could come to assist the kids, especially now that there’s a dinosaur in the picture. Now, how does this tie in to Ka-Zar and the Savage Land? If the Hulu creative team decide to alter Old Lace’s origins, making him a creature of the Savage Land rather than a genetically-created dinosaur from the future, then S.H.I.E.L.D’s new director (played by Jason O’Mara) could wind up to be Ka-Zar himself... in a way.
Is S.H.I.E.L.D.'s New Director Actually Ka-Zar?
We know that the new S.H.I.E.L.D. Director is a character from the ‘40s. While Ka-Zar was introduced in 1965, another Ka-Zar by the name of David Rand made his Marvel debut in 1939. Rand’s origins lean more towards Tarzan’s, but he's remarkably similar to Kevin Plunder.
If the new S.H.I.E.L.D. Director is David Rand, not only would the ABC show cross over with the Runaways, it would also intersect with Netflix’s Iron Fist. Picture this: after the Runaways come in contact with S.H.I.E.L.D. and the new Director, if the new Director turns out to be David Rand, he could be the key to understanding Old Lace and helping the Runaways. This would then lead into the Runaways series, with them rejecting S.H.I.E.L.D.’s offer and doing their own thing. And David Rand could be a relative of Daniel Rand, alias Iron Fist. If so, Marvel would have a way to finally cross over its TV universe across networks.
For more on developing projects in the Marvel Universe, check out these articles:
Hold On To Your Nuts, We Might Be Getting A Live-Action Squirrel Girl: Marvel Developing A New Warriors TV Series
Marvel's New Iron Man, Ironheart, Is Named After A Porn Parody... Kinda
Meet the Dread Dormammu: The Main Villain of 'Doctor Strange'?
What do you think? Will Old Lace originate from the Savage Land and the new S.H.I.E.L.D. Director be David Rand? Leave your thoughts down in the comments!
[History of Ka-Zar: Marvel Database]