The Runaways: Who are Marvel’s Truant Superheroes?

The Runaways won’t be easy to catch

Iron Man: (leading a squad of soldiers) “Hey kids. Cool hangout.”
Karolina: “What do we do? We’re in no shape to fight.”
Chase: “I’m going to vote against walking away.”

– Runaways #24

A gang of teenage boys sees a young girl walking alone at night. Thinking they’ve found some “entertainment”, they approach the girl. She notices them and runs away with the gang in pursuit. The gang corners her, only to hear something growling behind them. Something big. They turn around and see a hungry dinosaur.

A gang member tries to throw the girl to the beast and is rewarded with a super strong punch to the groin. Another group of teenagers arrives and charges to the girl’s rescue.

One is wearing weaponized gauntlets. Another cuts her palm and wills free-flowing blood to become a witch’s staff. A third starts glowing in rainbow color as she rises into the air. Between witches, freaks, and a slavering dinosaur, the gang beats a hasty retreat from The Runaways.

The Runaways are one of Marvel’s youngest teams. They don’t have code names or costumes, but this is one group of heroes you don’t screw with. So who are they? How did they get their powers? What are they running from? You wanna find out? Good, cause it’s time to run away.

The Pride: Preparing to Run Away

Alex: “Everybody was able to sneak out okay?
Gert: “Yeah, my parents were practically unconscious. Satanic rituals must really wear a person down.

Runaways #2

The Runaways were seemingly normal children raised by loving parents. Their parents would bring them to an annual charity event and leave them to play while they talked. One year  while playing the kids discovered a secret passage. They learned that their parents were part of a cult called The Pride and saw them ritualistically murder a girl.

The terrified children stole a few items from the cult, including high tech gauntlets and a magic staff. Several of the children also discovered that they had superpowers. They escaped from their homes and began planning to stop The Pride.

The Runaways eventually discovered that their parents had struck a deal with demons called The Gibborim. The Pride and their children would rule over a new Eden if they unleashed The Gibborim by sacrificing humans. The Runaways managed to defeat The Gibborim, but The Pride were killed in the crossfire, forcing The Runaways to go on the run again.

Sins of the Parents: The Runaway’s Members

Victor: “Do you guys have some sort of rallying cry? ‘Avengers Assemble?’ ‘It’s clobberin’ time?’ ‘Hulk smash?’
Nico: “Try not to die.”

Runaways #7

Alex Wilder, played by Rhenzy Feliz, is a genius who discovered the secret passage and started the whole story. Alex stole a magic book called The Abstract that contained all of The Pride’s plans. He is not much use in a fight, but is a major threat if he has time to use his brainpower.

Nico Minoru (Lyric Okano) is a witch raised by religious parents. She stole a magical artifact called The Staff of One that can cast any spell once. Repeating a spell causes a random event, but Nico can get around that with synonyms and foreign languages. She is completely overpowered.

Nico summons the Staff of One with her own blood, which originally meant cutting herself. This was changed for the TV show out of fear that children would imitate her.

Karolina Dean (Virginia Gardner) is an alien who can fly and control light. She was the most shaken by her parents being evil and has struggled with self loathing and her sexuality. It’s very on the nose that the girl often covered in rainbow colored energy is also gay, don’t ya think?

Before we go further, let’s recap. The kid with the glasses is the smart one. The goth kid used to cut herself for power, and the gay kid is covered with rainbow-colored energy.

Also on the team is Gertrude Yorkes (Ariela Barer), a rebellious punk and social justice warrior. Gertrude discovered a genetically engineered dinosaur that she learns to control mentally. She named the dino Old Lace and temporarily used the nickname Arsenic.

Chase Stein (Gregg Sulkin) is an underachieving jock with an abusive father. He stole a pair of X-ray goggles and high tech gauntlets he calls “Fistagons”. And that is why Chase isn’t allowed to name things anymore. He also hijacked the Leapfrog, a frog-shaped vehicle that serves as the team’s main transportation.

Molly Hayes (Allegra Acosta) is a pre-teen mutant with superhuman strength and invulnerability. She is the comic relief of The Runaways, whether that means misunderstanding a situation or punching The Punisher in the nuts at full strength. Ow. Speaking of strength, Marvel has declared Molly the fourth toughest female superhero in their universe. The only tougher women according to Marvel’s editors are Rogue, She-Hulk, and Captain Marvel. That’s one tough kid.

The Runaways In Media

A Runaways movie was first proposed in 2008. It spent years in Development Hell before it was canceled to focus on The Avengers. Nearly a decade later, The Runaways were resurrected as a Hulu-exclusive TV show. The Runaways are played by relatively unknown actors. The Pride are mostly character actors with Buffy-star James Marsters thrown in for star power.

Didya get all that?

Apples fallen far from the tree.

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