We’ve got our own Film Editor, Kaitlyn Booth, reporting from New York Comic Con
Marvel’s Runaways season one episode one is a solid start to a new corner of the Marvel universe that feels fresh and new.
Creators: Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage
Summary: After discovering their parents are super-villains in disguise, a group of teenagers band together to run away from their homes in order to atone for their parents’ actions and to discover the secrets of their origins.
There are two ways for the Marvel train to keep chugging; the first is they need to continue to put good products at least fairly consistently. The second is they need to continue to embrace variety in tone. The world of comic books holds so many different stories told through so many different creative teams spreading over every genre and then some. So it’s not that surprising that Marvel has been branching out further as more and more properties are able to make a profit off of the Marvel name alone. The next one of those properties is Runaways the first Marvel show to appear on Hulu. The elevator pitch is what’s in the headline; it very much feels like season one era Gossip Girl in LA and with superheroes in the best possible way.
When a bunch of teenagers find out that their parents villains, and they have powers themselves, they runaway to try and make up for their parents deeds and do some right in the world. The first episode premiered to a packed panel at New York Comic Con and while the rest of the season could fall apart the first episode is a solid introduction to these characters. As someone who personally hasn’t read much of the comics (it’s on my list) the things being presented on screen were largely new. It was all well telegraphed and even if someone didn’t know anything about the Marvel universe or Runaways they could jump in pretty easily. We see these kids apart before we see all of them together and despite only knowing them for less than an hour you’re happy when they all get in the same room together.
It’s hard to tell if there is going to be a pacing problem with only one episode. We spend most of the time watching a day in the life of each of the kids and learning a little bit about the parents. We don’t get many powers and the ones we do see are fleeting. However, the paid subscription model of television is less about individual episodes and more about a cohesive whole. The whole setting is something some fans might not like. As previously stated it feels very much like early Gossip Girl as its location (LA in this case) is more than just a setting as it feels like a character. The show also feels very much like a teenager in its aesthetic and how everything feels. It’s not a bad thing but it might be one of those tonal decisions that isn’t for everyone.
Runaways has a solid opening episode that sets up the basic beginning of the series while also making each of the kids feel fleshed out and real. They look like kids, they dress like kids, and they have petty and snarky arguments like kids. They’re interesting kids facing a well thought out world so color me interested in the rest of the season.
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