In term’s of Disney’s handling of anything Marvel related, you know one thing: they’re going to make sure something Marvel related will be available on everything. From the dark Netflix-verse to, Agents of SHIELD, it shouldn’t have come as a surprise to anyone that they’d eventually put something on Hulu. That something is a TV series based on the cult classic comic book series The Runaways. There have been rumors about a series or movie based on this title since the MCU was in its infancy and while it seemed to be in development hell for the longest, Marvel finally pulled the trigger on a series.
If you’re unfamiliar with The Runaways, it’s basically six kids who find out their parents are supervillains and in a cult, doing the bidding of a bunch of aliens. Shortly after finding this out, the kids go on the run and discover various powers and talents that they use to fight their parents. And while this info is helpful, it’s not necessary for the enjoyment of this series. Marvel released the first 3 of 10 episodes in one fell swoop on November 21. While I was off work and eating copious amounts of Turkey Ribs (they were fire), I decided to watch the first three and see if it was worth the hype…it was.
The biggest strength of Runaways so far is the casting. Starting with Rhenzy Feliz as Alex Wilder, the leader of the group in the comics, the Six titular characters are all great in their own way. We are initially introduced to the group through Alex’s desire to bring his old friends back together, who drifted apart after the death of one of their own a few years before the series started. Despite all going to the same high school, the teens have drifted apart into their own groups. Alex, the video game playing loner; Chase, the lacrosse playing jock who struggles with abuse from his father; Gert, the SJW; Karolina, the model and perfect church girl; Nico, the goth girl who lost her sister before the series; and Molly, the youngest who lost her parents in a fire before the series and was adopted by Gert’s parents.
As well rounded as the Runaways themselves are, their parents are cast just as well. While the first episode focuses on Alex trying to get the gang back together and the gang’s troubles on the way to reuniting, the second episode focuses on the parent’s perspectives on those same events. Both culminating in the kids watching their parents performing a ritual and sacrificing a girl from Karolina’s parents’ church. The parents are alerted to the presence of the teens when Molly takes a picture of the events using her phone and the parents see the flash. While the kids manage to convince their parents they saw nothing, episode three focuses on the team trying to figure out just what happened and slowly sees them gaining their powers and talents.
Outside of one cringe-worthy moment involving Alex’s father confronting his former cohorts, a set of Rolling 20s Crips (I haven’t heard anyone say “Cuz” so awfully since Tyrese and Paul Walker in 2Fast 2Furious), the episodes are written so that you don’t feel like you’re watching a generic superhero series or a sappy teen drama. Feliz’s wilder gives off an air of mystery while showing the traits that made him a great leader in the comics. And, if you’re aware of the story in the comics, you can see the big payoff coming from his portrayal already.
While there are SFX present, the show isn’t reliant upon them. They are used sparingly, though I suspect this will change when one of the crew gains their reptilian partner, briefly shown at the end of episode three. Overall, the show is off to a great start and this show is poised to start off Marvel in the direction of young adult series. It is definitely worth the watch and even the ever-skeptical Ronnie enjoyed it. If this recap was enough to get you to watch it, tune in November 28, when the 4th episode drops and catch the recap to follow.