Spoiler Warning for the first three episodes of Hulu’s “The Runaways”
The Runaways recently dropped on Hulu and man let me tell you it was so much better than I expected. Hulu only dropped three episodes on Nov. 21 with the promise of more episodes being dropped again next Tuesday, so it kind of sucks that they aren’t dropping the whole season like Netflix, but I’ll take my Runaways binge-watching anyway I can get it. I have a lot to tell and a lot to cover in terms of the changes they made from the comic books so what I describe won’t necessarily be in order, but you’ll get a basic sense of what to expect.
The show opens up with a teenage girl who has surprisingly ran away from home. As she is making her way through the streets, it appears she is being attacked by two guys who only speak Spanish. Just when it seems like they have the upper hand on her, a white van pulls up and two women wearing all white step out and subdue the men with tasers. They lead the girl back to the van, where it seems other people they have picked up are waiting. The women tell the girl they have food and shelter and can help. At first the girl is hesitant, but then reluctantly gets in the van. As the van pulls away, you can clearly see the title “The Church of Gibborim” plastered on the side of the van. It is then revealed that the two men were trying to save her, not harm her.
The show then fast forwards six months later and takes us through each of the main cast of characters, one by one, showing us their personalities and the relationship they have with their parents. Strangely enough it seems like the relationship everyone has with each other centers around a character that has never appeared in the comic books and was completely made up for the TV series. This character is Amy Minoru. She is the daughter of Tina Minoru and Robert Minoru. She also the older sister of Nico Minoru. So far in the series, the character is only mentioned by word of mouth and is only seen through pictures. It is shown that at the time when we are dropping in on these characters’ lives that Amy has been dead for two years now. It also shows that this character was so important that her death has changed the kids and the parents lives permanently. The parents of course still get together once a year for their Pride meeting and that the kids would all hang out together, but after Amy’s death, the kids don’t hang out, let alone talk to each other anymore. The show has so far not revealed how she died or anything else about her character other than she was a star tennis player when she was alive. I am not sure yet, but for some reason I think Amy might have been used as one of the Pride’s sacrifices. I am not sure yet and I am pretty sure the show will tell us later on down the line, but I am just calling it now ahead of time.
After Amy’s death, it seems Nico has taken on a goth personality in every sense of the word. She is wearing the clothes, listening to the music and even performing magic rituals. You could say its because of Amy’s death, but then you could argue that it’s in her bloodline since her mother is a witch. In the comics, her father was also gifted in magic, but that aspect seems to be absent here. If his is a master in the arcane arts, it has yet to reveal itself in the show. Speaking of which, her parents are quite interesting. Nico’s mom (Tina Minoru) is a tiger mom down to the literal T. She is a brilliant innovator, a ruthless CEO and a perfectionist. Nico’s dad Robert Minoru seems to be a man who works for the company that Tina owns. The death of Amy has strained this family the most. So much so that it seems they don’t really talk to each other anymore. It seems like even though they all live in the same house, they go on living their separate lives and live more like they roommates rather than a family.
Chase Stein and his family is another story. Chase is a lacrosse-playing jock, who shows brilliance in engineering, but is coming up short in other subjects academically. Chase’s father is Victor Stein, an engineering genius and from what we’ve seen of the household, an abusive father. Chase’s mom Janet Stein seems to be a stay at home mom. It is clear that Victor is an abusive father and husband and both Chaze and his mother are afraid of him.
One of the most interesting changes to the show from the comics is Gert Yorkes and Molly Hernandez, who are both being raised by Stacey Yorkes and Dale Yorkes, bioengineers that have sort of a hippie personality. Gert is a social justice warrior, while Molly is a carefree spirit. We learn that Molly was adopted by the Yorkes after her parents died in a fire. This is definitely not in the comic books where both of her parents were alive, but I guess this strengthens the strong bond she has with Gert that she had in the comics. I’ve also learn due to Fox owning the X-Men that Molly is not a mutant in the series. Molly has hit puberty and these changes to her body have activated her powers of super strength, which makes her super tired after she uses it. Since Molly isn’t a mutant, the show has not yet explained what is happening to her and how she is getting these powers, although the producers have said that this will be explained later on in the series. We are shown the funeral for her parents though and it seems that they have not died in a simple fire. It is speculated that the fire was no accident was caused on purpose and set up by the Mionru’s for what reason is unknown yet, but I am sure that it will be delved into more as the series continues.
Karolina Dean is the daughter of Leslie and Frank Dean. She is your picture perfect good grades and well behaved child who is burdened by her privileged upbringing and wants to pursue her own desires. Leslie runs and owns The Church of Gibborim along side her husband Frank, who is trying to pursue a career as an actor. The Church is a front to lure in desperate people who the Pride can use as sacrifices. Leslie is an alien and so is her daughter. A major change they made from the comic book was Frank was also an alien and he was a member of the Pride, but he is a human in the show and has no knowledge of the Pride’s true purpose. Also in the comic book there is no Church of Gibborim and both Leslie and Frank are successful actors in Hollywood.
Last, but not least is my favorite character Alex Wilder. Alex is the leader of the group and despite having no powers, he is a tactical genius like his mastermind parents. His parents are Catherine Wilder, who is a successful lawyer and Geoffrey, a successful business man. Those professions are really a front though as Catherine and Geoffrey are shown to be the heads of a mafia organization. In fact it was Geoffrey who was the first to suspect the Mionru’s for setting up the fire that killed Molly’s parents.
The show starts off with a Pride meeting at the Wilder residence. While looking for liquor in Geoffrey’s office, the kids stumble upon a secret entrance and witness the Pride murder the girl that was taken by the Church of Gibborim at the beginning of the show as a sacrifice. They have all decided to investigate what their parents are really up to and why are they killing people. In the comic book, the Gibborim were these deities that needed human souls to make them more powerful, but in the TV series, the Gibborim seems to be one person who needs human souls to heal himself. This person seems to be in a secret room in The Church of Gibborim, which only Leslie knows about. At the last Pride meeting, the one the teens witnessed Victor Stein was having trouble with the machine that is suppose to kill the sacrifice and transfer her soul to the Gibborim. Fearing it would make him look weak in front of the other Pride members he kept it a secret. When the sacrifice lived, he also kept that a secret and killed the teen and disposed of the body himself. After finding out that the soul transfer did not work, the Pride settles on the solution that they are going to need another sacrifice.
I love how this shows takes a drastic shift from the comic book to make the show fresh and interesting. It seems like the woman of the Pride organization are the ones who are in charge and calling the shots running on a matriarchal system. In the comics, everyone was equally powerful, but it was Geoffrey who ultimately led the Pride. Another big change that never happened in the comic book is Robert Minoru and Janet Stein are having an affair. No one else in the story knows so far, but it looks pretty clear that they plan to divorce their significant other and end up with each other. The show doesn’t just show the circumstances the teens are going through, but the problems and situations the parents have to face as well, something that wasn’t touched on in the comic book. The show like the comic book is a perfect blend of humor and seriousness, where it feels like death and exposure is around every turn.
“The Runaways” is currently streaming on Hulu with new episodes debuting on Tuesdays.