It looks as if Runaways will make at least one major change to the comics: the villainous Pride won’t have superpowers. While Marvel keeps landing hit after hit in theaters, their efforts on TV have been more mixed. Most of their Netflix shows have been critical hits, but both Iron Fist and The Defenders didn’t quite land as hard as their predecessors. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. has garnered more and more critical acclaim over the years, but has never earned stellar ratings. Inhumans, meanwhile has been an utter failure.
Within the next week, Marvel will try their hand with two new series: The Punisher and Runaways. Both have been met with mixed reactions from early reviews, but fans won’t have to wait much longer to decide for themselves. And while Frank Castle is already known in the MCU, Runaways may be a riskier bet. So far, the Runaways trailers have shown a fairly faithful adaptation of the comics, but it looks as if Marvel is hedging their bets a bit when it comes to the source material’s fantastical nature.
EW spoke with Runaways showrunner Josh Schwartz about the upcoming Hulu series, and asked whether the Pride would be true to their comic book counterparts. Unfortunately, fans won’t be pleased with the answer.
“None of the parents in this version [have powers]. You’ll get a grounded approach to a lot of these bigger concepts that are explainable through science and technology, but it’s more of a genre show. It leans more sci-fi than superhero.”
Schwartz’s comment is a little unclear, given that superhero shows are genre and sci-fi is hardly what one would call ‘grounded.’ We also know that Nico Minoru will inherit the Staff of One from her mother and Chase’s father will use some version of the Fistigons. Furthermore, Karolina will have her alien race’s powers and Gert will have a dinosaur, bringing into question just what the Runaways’ parents will have in terms of abilities.
Though half of the Pride don’t have powers, the Steins and Yorkes both use advanced technology. The Steins’ M.O. looks to be intact, but Schwartz’s answer makes it unclear if time travel will be part of the Yorkes’ story. Where Old Lace will come from if that’s the case is unknown.
As for the Minorus and Deans, Nico’s parents are supposed to be dark wizards with all sorts of powers. It seems as though only the Staff of One, and thus Nico’s mom, will have any magic in the show. Similarly, Karolina’s parents have her light-manipulating alien powers in the comics, and explaining how she has them while her parents don’t in the show will be confusing. Finally, Molly’s parents are mutants like she is, but with telepathic powers instead of her super-strength. Given that Marvel can’t use the idea of mutants, Molly’s whole character is a bit of a mystery.
The final question in regards to Schwartz’s shocking statement is how the Gibborim will play into the show. In the comics, they’re an ancient race of giants who secretly control the Pride. We know a version of them will exist in the show as the Church of Gibborim, which Karolina’s parents are devotees of. How this will fit into the show’s grounded nature is still unclear, but it looks as if Runaways won’t be as true to the comics as it’s seemed so far.
Runaways premieres November 21 on Hulu.
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