Let’s face it: 2017 hasn’t been the best year for the television arm of Marvel Entertainment. Iron Fist and Inhumans both faced an uphill battle from the beginning while The Defenders failed to meet expectations on many fronts. With a little over a month left in the year, it’s not a lost cause for Jeph & Co. — largely thanks in part to Runaways.
In their first venture onto Hulu — a rising contender in the rapidly expanding world of online video streaming — Marvel knocks it out of the park with Runaways, and it should bring plenty of joy to many fans of Alex, Gert, and company.
Runaways is arguably the best comic adaptation Marvel Television has put forth to date — for the most part, the characters are spot on representations of their comic book counterparts. There are some changes when it comes to the origin of a couple of the characters, but it’s nothing to fuss about. Brian K. Vaughan and Adrian Alphona should most certainly be happy with how the characters they created are portrayed in live-action.
What we see from Runaways is largely what you’d expect from a group of characters who find out they each have super powers at nearly the same exact time they find out their parents seemingly dabble in the occult.
The series touches on the topics each one of us have faced. No, not finding out we have super powers — and hopefully not finding out we have blood-thirsty parents. Runaways takes the teenage angst and turns it up to 11.
Trying to balance work and school while keeping somewhat of a social status is tricky business — add in superpowers and the occult, and you have a great recipe for television success. And showrunners Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage hit the nail on the head.
Marvel got the perfect duo for this project. Instead of taking a property and making it more grounded in an attempt to make it more relatable to us, Savage and Schwartz embraced the characters we all know and love and made something great out of it. Runaways is a true testament to what happens when the House of Ideas give creators projects right up their wheelhouse.
I spoke about changes earlier and I wanted to touch on a couple of those. One of the largest changes is that of Molly. While she’s Molly Hayes in the comics, her name is Molly Hernandez on the show — an understandable change. After all — she’s technically a mutant in the comics and you all know why Marvel can’t feature mutants in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Played by Allegra Acosta on the Hulu show, Molly is one of the most interesting characters we see in the first half of the season — which says a lot when you step back and think of who else is on the show. Gert (Ariela Barer) is great and Alex (Rhenzy Feliz) might be the most relatable. Not to take away anything from the other Runaways, because they’re all solid representations of their comic book counterparts.
With the exception of the Yorks (Brigid Brannagh and Kevin Weisman), the rest of the parents are rather miserable from the moment the show starts — making you instantly get on the side of the kids. Like the Pride murdering an innocent person gave you any chance to think otherwise, right?
And without getting into spoilers too deep, Old Lace is phenomenal —especially for the practical effects they used for the Cretaceous-era beast.
Quite frankly, Runaways is one of the best efforts Marvel has put forth into the first season of one of their shows — even more so when compared to the shows we’ve seen this year. Runaways is a faithful comic adaptation — with just the right amount of changes — to keep both diehard fans and casual viewers satisfied. In the ever-expanding Marvel Cinematic Universe, we have a winner with Runaways – a show perfectly capable of being the foundation of future Marvel shows on Hulu.
The first three episode of the Runways premieres tomorrow, November 21 on Hulu. As the weeks go, we’ll be doing individual episode reviews as we normally do for every show.