What should we expect from Runaways season 3? The second season of Marvel's young-adult teen drama is now streaming on Hulu, and it comes to a cliffhanger ending that's clearly intended to set up another season. The battle between the teenage Runaways and the Pride has come to a head, but terrifying new threats are stirring in the shadows.
Brian K. Vaughan's Runaways comic series was a massive success - but, curiously, the book didn't last. That's because the eventual defeat of the Pride meant the central theme - that of teens on the run from their parents - had been used up. Everything that followed felt like little more than an afterthought. Fortunately, the TV show has studiously avoided making the same mistake, with themes of inter-generational conflict set to continue on into the future.
Marvel Television has had something of a rough year, with a number of high-profile cancellations as its partnership with Netflix appears to be breaking down. Fortunately, 2018 has ended on a high note with Runaways season 2, and there are no hints of similar strains in the relationship between Marvel and Hulu. Should Runaways be renewed, what can we expect?
Runaways Hasn't Been Renewed For Season 3 (Yet)
It seems a safe bet that Hulu will renew Marvel's Runaways. Although viewing figures are unknown, there's strong evidence that the show is very competitive indeed. According to third-party analytics, it's one of the most in-demand young-adult shows in the United States, beating the likes of The Outpost, Orphan Black, and Misfits. What's more, a strong Marvel brand would be a real asset for Hulu in what looks set to be a year of major growth; there have been reports Disney intend to expand the streaming service to overseas territories when their Fox acquisition is complete, and the Marvel TV series would be very marketable indeed. Given all this is the case, it's perhaps no surprise Marvel was willing to take a more experimental approach with Runaways season 2, with a cliffhanger ending that leaves all the major plot threads up in the air. Marvel Television is evidently confident Runaways will be renewed for a third season.
When Runaways Season 3 Will Likely Release
It seems likely Runaways season 3 will release towards the end of 2019, probably in late November or early December. That's certainly the slot Hulu took for both seasons 1 and 2. Less certain, though, is the matter of just how Hulu will choose to release the next season. Season 1 came out in a traditional episodic format, with one episode available every week. For season 2, Hulu chose to drop all 13 episodes at once. The streaming service is clearly experimenting with different approaches, and they'll presumably go with whichever they feel has been the more successful.
Runaways Season 3's Story
Runaways season 3 will (at least initially) focus on the growing threat of the Gibborim Magistrates. Although the aliens are eager to leave Earth, they've shown no concern at all for any human lives lost during their efforts to return to their own people. It seems likely the Pride and the Runaways will be forced to work together against this alien threat. Unfortunately, it's believed one of the kids is themselves a Gibborim host, meaning there may well be a traitor in among the Runaways' ranks.
At the same time, there are also a number of prominent subplots that are sure to be explored. The last few episodes of Runaways season 2 introduced the alien shapeshifter named Xavin, who came to Earth seeking Karolina's hand in marriage. Xavin is a wild card, familiar with the powers of the Gibborim but with her own agenda. Meanwhile, it seems safe to assume that Nico's subplot - one involving her being corrupted by the Staff of One - will also continue into season 3.
Finally, it's quite possible Runaways season 3 will bind the show a little closer to the rest of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The first season was almost entirely separate from the MCU, but the second featured a number of Easter eggs - from nods to the Dark Dimension to an explicit reference to Wakanda. It's possible the next season will be even more overt in its MCU connections.