Although the freshman outing of Marvel’s Runaways was self-contained, it seems that the show’s second season will connect to the larger Marvel Cinematic Universe. Season 1 was an addictive slow burn, finally culminating in the titular teens actually running away from their villainous parents. It was recently announced that the series will return for a second season on December 21 and will pick up directly where it left off. The episode order has been upped from 10 to 13 installments.
Runaways is based on the comic of the same name, created by Brian K. Vaughan and Adrian Alphona. It was adapted for television by Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage, who worked together on two other beloved teen dramas, The O.C. and Gossip Girl. The book centers on a group of teens who discover that their parents have rather nefarious plans and team up to stop them. Its original run began in 2003 and although critically-acclaimed, the comic was canceled after 18 issues. However, Runaways was resurrected less than a year later thanks to high numbers in digest sales. These characters have continued to endure, with their most recent stories being written by Rainbow Rowell and drawn by Kris Anka. The Hulu series has garnered positive reviews, keeping the essence of the book intact, while Schwartz and Savage have undeniably added their own spin.
TVLine reports that the show’s sophomore season will indeed connect to the rest of the MCU. "We'll have a reference, late in the season, that will probably be our first real breadcrumb that connects us to the MCU in some way,” Savage stated. This season will also introduce more characters that readers are familiar with and see the group relocate to the Hostel, which serves as their base of operations in the comics.
Although the MCU has done an amazing job of building up their Cinematic Universe in the movies, the TV shows often get the shaft. This makes sense, considering that they are airing on networks as varied as ABC, Netflix, Hulu and Freeform. Some shows have definitely been connected to the larger continuity more than others. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. has featured direct fallout from the films, although it has distanced itself more in recent years. The Netflix shows have dropped minor hints here and there - although they have connected to each other. Surprisingly, Cloak and Dagger found impressive ways to tie into both movies and TV shows. Showrunner Joe Pokaski has even expressed interest in a crossover with Runaways. Considering the fact that Runaways is got a broadcast debut on Freeform, perhaps this will one day become a reality.
Although the first season of Runaways was undeniably good, many felt that it took a bit too long for the team to live up to their name and actually leave home. That is where the series left off, though, so it’s likely the plot is only going to accelerate from here. Season 1 certainly took its time, but Schwartz and Savage did a great job introducing viewers to these characters. One aspect that majorly differed from the comics is the far more nuanced approach taken to the parents. The writers made them far less straightforward villains, adding some real depth to them in the process. Schwartz and Savage obviously love this comic, but they aren't afraid to take some risks with the source material. It remains to be seen how Runaways will connect to the MCU, but fans are certainly looking forward to discovering where the story goes from here.