What if you found out your parents were supervillains? Not just jerks, or the literal worst, but actual supervillains with designs on controlling the world? Would you back them up, or go rogue? That’s what Marvel’s Runaways is about, and the first teaser trailer for it dropped as part of New York Comic-Con. And you know what? I’m actually pretty excited about this. Our own Sean Aune nudged me into reading the first couple runs of the series earlier this year, so the story and images are pretty fresh in my mind. While it’s tough to know whether the show will actually be good until I actually get to sit down with it, the first look is encouraging.
The best part is the casting. With few exceptions, what we’re seeing on-screen looks just like the comics.
The show looks like it has pretty high production values and is taking the source material seriously. We get quick looks at Nico’s Staff of One and Gert’s time-lifted pet velociraptor, and Molly’s wearing her pink stocking cap.
I’ll admit there’s a lot that could go wrong with the show. The story has tangible connections to the Marvel universe, and if it plays too coy with that, it could keep it from feeling like a superhero show. Fox’s new X-Men series The Gifted makes mention of famous mutant organizations like the X-Men themselves and the Brotherhood, reminding us that these aren’t just people with magical powers, they’re ripped straight from the pages. It’s also a show about a group teens diverse in race and gender, so the tendency to point it in the direction of Degrassi High, but with superpowers, will be a tempting one for the writers. The kids in the comics have their share of interpersonal drama, but they’re smart kids and know how to focus.
Looking at the trailer, there are really only a couple deviations from the look of the comic. The typical “jock” Chase has a look more befitting 2017 than his original “character from Bully” look. The biggest stand-out, though, is Molly, and there’s a pretty good reason for her deviation.
In the comics, Molly is a mutant. Fox owns the rights to anything mutant-related, which is why they have shows like The Gifted and Legion airing on their networks. So some re-writing of the character to make her something non-mutant – maybe an Inhuman? – was likely necessary. With so many direct hits, though – Alex, Gert, Karolina, and Nico are all spot on – it’s a good sign the showrunners are paying attention to the books.
The Runaways hits Hulu on November 21. If you’re a fan of some of Marvel’s teen-oriented books over the years, there’s a lot to take in this fall. And if you just like Marvel shows, you’ll be able to see characters from the Marvel universe on ABC, Fox, Netflix, and Hulu, and next year shows will be popping up on FXX, FX, and Freeform, too.