Marvel’s ‘Runaways’ is a teen drama-filled masterpiece


Marvel’s flagship show on Hulu is centered around teenage superheroes. “Runaways” provides viewers with a unique experience that far surpasses its Netflix counterparts on multiple accounts.

Those searching for the perfect entry point onto the Marvel obsession are in luck; creators Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage, producers of hit teen- drama TV series “The O.C.” and “Gossip Girl” respectively, provide a relatable, easily recognizable instant-hit. Focusing on teenagers discovering and coming to terms with their powers, “Runaways” does away with world-ending, alien bad guys and instead delves into the psyche of depressed, isolated teenagers who just so happen to have abilities.

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“Runaways” follows a group of Los Angeles teenagers who were once childhood friends. Because of the typical challenges that come along with being high school students, they’ve grown apart into their perspective cliques- the jock, the nerd, the goth, the basketcase, etc. After a fateful reunion, they discover that their parents have actually formed a villainous organization. In the comics, the teens then run away from home and claim vengeance on their parents, but Schwartz and Savage take the Hulu series on a fantastic spin- at least in the first three episodes.

It is because of this much- welcomed change to the storyline that the “Runaways” Hulu series works. The core cast of heroes is brighter and equipped with more eccentric personalities thanks to not only the amazing actors that portray them but also the amazing script that is clearly handled with such delicate care and attention. Coming from the creators of monumental teen- hits, the characters come to life with not a single actor lacking or a single dramatic moment merely glanced over. As the first episode deals with topics such as date- rape and depression, the show refuses to hold back any punches.

As another massive overhaul of the comic series, the young adults’ parents, collectively known as the Pride, are masterfully humanized. As opposed to simply being evil for evil’s sake, such as many villains in traditional comics, the Pride members are shown feeling great emotional pain at their dastardly deeds and occasionally consider their children’s well-being before committing heinous acts.

“Runaways” also shines in its accessibility to anyone remotely interested in the ever- growing superhero genre. The first episode does a great job of getting viewers accustomed to the teens’ not-so-glamourous lives, drawing you back into the world that anyone can relate to- high school. As opposed to a blinded lawyer fighting crime as a sightless vigilante (in reference to Marvel’s inaugural television series “Daredevil” on Netflix,) “Runaways” begins like any teen-drama with lies, deceit and high school students sobbing in the restroom stalls.

Everything from the series’ stylized opening sequence to the superb acting and script sets “Runaways” apart from the overcrowded Marvel catalog, making it a good recommendation for fans of Marvel or anyone hoping to discover a fantastic story. “Runaways” may be the reason to activate your Hulu free trial or make the stressful switch from Netflix.

The first three episodes of “Runaways” are now streaming on Hulu with the remaining seven episodes released weekly.