We don’t generally advocate for children to run away from their parents, but when the child is forty-five and still living in their parents’ basement, we are huge advocates. Unfortunately, when we shared this with the current Eat Your Comics intern, he took it as an invitation to move into the break room. The foosball table is now his sock drawer, and the coffee pot is pulling double duty as his Top Raman maker, even though we also have a microwave he can just as easily use. We don’t know how to break it to him, but he only has another day before we all go mad and kick him to the curb. We miss our foosball.
You indeed heard correctly. Mostly. You have a few details wrong, though. Even so, you have the basic premise right. The Marvel Cinematic Universe is likely getting a little larger, and a lot younger. (Actually, that’s not entirely accurate since there is an MCU show starring teenagers coming to ABC Freeform next year, but let’s ignore that. Also it’s not entirely clear whether Runaways will be part of the MCU or something separate.) Until recently, industry insider claimed that Hulu had purchased a pilot for Runaways. This doesn’t mean much because pilots are often made as a proof-of-concept to see how audiences react and to get a feel for how the show will play. However, it was just announced that Hulu skipped the pilot order and ordered a full series, which means it’s much more likely to see the light of day. Even more, Marvel just announced the actors who will be playing the central roles. Unfamiliar with Runaways? Don’t worry. We here at The Geek Holocron have you covered.
You most likely recognize the name Brian K. Vaughan from Saga or Y: The Last Man, even if you misspell it. (Nearly everyone does.) He made his first big splash at Marvel, writing single issues in such titles as Wolverine, Ka-Zar, and X-Men Unlimited. He also wrote for DC Comics for a while, but we don’t care about that right now. Where our interest lies is in a little comic he created called Runaways. It has absolutely nothing to do with the 1970s band with Joan Jett, though it’s probably just as cool. Vaughan wrote the first twenty-four issues; an addition sixteen issues were published after he left, but they weren’t as good, according to Brian K. Vaughan’s mother.
The premise is that a group of teenagers—and one pre-teen—find out their parents are part of a super-secret cabal in Los Angeles, The Pride, and decide to run away from home to get to safety and out of their parents’ grasp, as well as attempt to do some good to counteract their parents’ evil.
The leader of this group, Alex Wilder, is the son of the head of The Pride. Of the original group, he is the most normal. Even so, he has a very strategic mind. Renzy Feliz was cast in this role.
Chase Stein is the son of mad inventors. He also has no powers of his own, but he stole x-ray goggles and pyrokinetic gauntlets from his parents, so he can easily hold his own in a fight. He takes after his parents in engineering ability. Gregg Sulkin will have the tough task of balancing Chase’s intelligent and jock natures.
Nico Minoru’s parents are dark sorcerers. She never learned any magic herself, but she stole The Staff of One, which allows even noobs like her to cast spells. Unfortunately, every spell is good exactly once. Ever. She will be played by Lyrica Okano channelling her best brooding teenager.
Karolina Dean is an alien—from outer space, not another country. Her species absorbs and manipulates sunlight, and she can fly. Her natural form is iridescent, like a rainbow. She’s also the team’s token lesbian. Virginia Gardner certainly has the necessary look of a model to play her.
Gertrude Yorkes has an old lady’s name, which might be appropriate since her parents are time travelers. She travels with a dinosaur—a Deinonychus for all you paleontology geeks—her parents genetically engineers for her. Old Lace, as she calls him, is telepathically and empathically linked to her, so she can command him to do whatever she needs and has no need to fear him turning on her. Ariela Barer will take on the brash and outspoken Gert.
Molly Hayes is the youngest of the group at eleven years old. Her parents are mutants, so she is too. Her powers are super-strength and invulnerability, but only when she’s well rested. Her character has been changed for the show. Played by Allegra Acosta, she is now Molly Hernandez. There’s no word yet on how Marvel will get around the mutant problem. (FOX has the film and television rights to mutants.)
Bonus Trivia: Brian K. Vaughan only intended Runaways to be a six-issue story, but because it was so popular, Marvel picked it up as a monthly comic, which Vaughan wrote for about four years. In fact, the series started out as part of Marvel’s Tsunami imprint, a short-lived imprint designed to reach younger audiences and manga fans. When Tsunami went under, Runaways was continued.