‘Marvel’s Runaways’ on Hulu will hit the streaming service on November 21; this review is of the first four of the ten episode series.
What makes Adrian Alphona and Brian K. Vaughn’s comic book series unique is the random combination of characters they put in the book. Alex Wilder, Nico Minoru, Karolina Dean, Molly Hayes, Chase Stein, and Gertrude Yorkes are all over the teenage spectrum, and the Hulu’s series intelligently captures this aspect. Teenagers are awkward, can never agree, and screw-up more often than not; yet, if you sprinkle in a few superpowers, this makes for very compelling television.
There will be spoilers after the break, you’ve been warned.
On top of it all, you have dinosaur running around that looks way better than anything FOX or The CW has tried in their respective comic book shows.
The best part of ‘Marvel’s Runaways’ on Hulu is the series doesn’t over explain who people are so that you are stuck in a predetermined mindset. The show lets you learn on the fly, and if you pay close attention, you might catch on quicker. The prime example is Gregg Sulkin’s Chase Stein; the show doesn’t hit you over the head that he’s an inventor. Except for Molly, no one’s powers are quickly explained; this adds a confusion layer to the tension. The teens are off-balance in more ways than one.
Each of the four episodes end in such a way that you want to binge. The mystery and suspense build and you are compelled for more answers. By the end of the fourth episode, the cast is built up with enough backstory that you are ready to run to the finish line.
The series is about ‘What if your parents were supervillains?’ and this is not an easy concept for a teenager to handle. ‘Marvel’s Runaways’ does a great job with this internal emotional struggle, and doesn’t rush any character. These are complex heroes, unlike anything you watched in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and by the end of the fourth episodes, your heroes resemble the comic book version surprisingly well.
The second episode is a retelling of the first episode, but from the parents perspective. Usually, this type of episode bothers me to high hell, but ‘Rewind’ works well to establish the motives of the parents and gives the viewer a keen understanding of each character.
The final verdict on the success of the series will come at the end of the season, and this will depend on how dark the series is willing to go, and how quickly the plot escalates. The way episode four ends it makes me believe that the tension will hit a breaking point in episode five.
If you are a fan of Alphona and Vaughn’s creation, you will love ‘Marvel’s Runaways’ on Hulu.
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