Marvel’s Runaways is one of the latest series from the superhero moguls at Marvel Studios, succeeded only by Cloak & Dagger, and it’s managed to embody something other superhero thrillers have yet to accomplish: the redefining of the superhero.
Marvel and DC are massive and have been excelling on the big and small screens for a decade now, but if they want to keep momentum alive, they have to continuously reinvent the idea of the superhero and what these individuals can and cannot do, how they live their lives, how their choices affect others, etc.
Runaways exceeds expectations in this regard. Sporting only ten episodes in its debut season, the series focuses on six children and five sets of parents, and manages to give each child, parent, and family enough background, presence, depth, and overall humanization. These also aren’t adults fighting crime and kicking the behinds of infamous villains. This is a coming-of-age story that happens to involve the kids’ parents being involved in a dangerous organization and coming to better understand their families, their varying abilities, and ultimately themselves.
With a cast of characters as large as this, many writers would falter when tasked with this large of a cast. However, instead of making the series solely about the children preventing their parents from furthering their nefarious plans, the creative minds behind Runaways gave each child, parental unit, and family obstacles – mental and physical – which fleshed out the show immensely despite its first season’s short tenure.
In addition to the complexity of the characters, the children’s abilities are particularly interesting. Nico (Lyrica Okano) can wield a powerful staff that obeys her commands; Karolina is an alien with supernatural powers who appears as a teenager; Alex (Rhenzy Feliz) leads the runaways due to his sheer intelligence; Molly (Allegra Acosta) possesses superhuman strength; Chase (Gregg Sulkin) built and uses Fistigons – superpowered gauntlets; and Gert (Ariela Barer) has a dinosaur that for whatever reason obeys her. And only her.
On top of the wonderful aforementioned aspects of the series, Runaways boasts representation. The families are diverse, the leader of the group is African-American, and an LGBT+ relationship blossoms throughout the season. This diverse of a cast of characters isn’t often seen in superhero cinema, so Runaways gets an A+ from us.
Runways is currently available for streaming on Hulu. The second season of this hit series is slated for a December 21, 2018, release on Hulu. To get a taste of the series, you can watch its trailer here:
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