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How Marvel's Runaways Characters Should Really Look

With a cast of characters straight out of an alternate reality Breakfast Club and a plot that sees teens taking up arms against their parents, Marvel's Runaways may seem like your typical teen drama at first glance. But this Hulu exclusive, helmed by co-showrunners Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage (who earlier worked together on The O.C. and Gossip Girl), is anything but your typical teen drama. Runaways sees a diverse group of teenagers discovering that their parents comprise a creepy organization known collectively as the Pride—a cult-like group that performs a blood sacrifice once a year to appease the mysterious Gibborim.

While early reviews say Schwartz and Savage have remained faithful to much of the super-teens' source material, there are some things that just don't translate well from the pages of a comic book to the small screen. Let's see how the characters from Marvel's Runaways should really look. Comics spoilers follow.


Portrayed by Teen Wolf's Rhenzy Feliz, not much is known about Alex's TV incarnation aside from the fact that he's instrumental in assembling the Runaways on the night the the group uncovers their parents' dark secret in his family home. There's a good chance that the Wilders might be top dogs in the Pride, as the sacrificial chamber appears to be located in their basement. From the few glimpses we see of his character in trailers, Alex appears deeply loyal to his friends, admitting that he knows their relationship can never go back to what it was in their youth—but trying his best to get the gang back together anyway.

In the Runaways comics, Alex Wilder is the group's resident wiz kid, video game aficionado, and unofficial leader of the pack—until he becomes a mole for the Pride and is incinerated after failing to secure a sacrifice for the Gibborim (but that's a story for another time.) His comic book iteration, who more than makes up for his lack of powers with a brilliant tactical mind, is a bit of a loner, wearing his loud-and-proud nerd status like a favorite loose hoodie. And it looks like the casting department got his TV counterpart right on the nose, as he rocks the same casual clothing, unabashedly geeky glasses, and afro—not to mention apparent intellect and tactical prowess—as the comic book traitor we've grown to know and love. Loathe? It's tough to tell with this kid.


Whereas Alex is the brains behind the group of super teens, Nico is the magic wand—or staff, if you want to get technical. Wielding the One Staff, a weapon she can summon by drawing her own blood, Ms. Minoru, played by Lyrica Okano (The Affair), is set to be the most badass TV witch this side of Buffy the Vampire Slayer's Willow. In typical teen clique fashion, she and Alex share a brief romance—at least in the comics. But she's more than just the token love interest, taking over as leader of the crew after Alex's betrayal and untimely demise (though she does later attempt to revive him—another tale for another time).

Hulu's Runaways sees Nico donning a similar black-heavy goth wardrobe complete with intense makeup, extra accessories, and updos galore—just like her source material—all the while bringing an apparent teen angst to the mopey young magician. It's unlikely that we'll see her taking to self-mutilation to summon her weapon, however—her comic book iteration discovers her powers after a bout of domestic abuse sees it absorbed into her body and released upon injury. Time will tell whether Marvel's Runaways goes full dark, and whether Nico adopts her comic book incarnation's short-lived Sister Grimm persona.


Diversity is the name of the game when it comes to Runaways—so it comes as no surprise that the showrunners would reinterpret the comics' Molly Hayes as Molly Hernandez, a reimagining of the youngest member of the super group who also now happens to be the adoptive sister of Gert—an additional change from her comic book character. But a race swap and a new family situation aren't the only changes Molly, who's played by Allegra Acosta of Nick's 100 Things to Do Before High School fame, is set to undergo in her transition from comic book pages to television.

Molly may have lost her blonde locks, but she's gained a thick head of curly dark hair. Plus, she rocks her semi-namesake's ever-present hat and youthful appearance, suggesting the casting team has put a lot of thought into sticking to Hayes' wardrobe and adolescent style. But whereas the Marvel Comics universe sees her as a mutant—a human blessed (or cursed) with special powers as a result of being born with the X-Gene—reports suggest that the TV origins of her abilities will be far more mysterious. Molly's new interpretation could mean brand new characters, storylines, and lore—something we're wholeheartedly looking forward to. Who doesn't love a new twist on a beloved Marvel character?


We can sum this one up in two words: telepathic dinosaur. Old Lace, an 87th century deinonychus that Gert's time-traveling parents genetically engineered to protect their daughter (it's complicated), is set to appear alongside the purple-haired heroine. But while a timestream-kidnapped dino is the definition of awesome, Gert's got a pretty good head on her shoulders with or without her prehistoric companion. In the comics, Gertrude, who would eventually take on the codename Arsenic, was characterized by her cynicism, sarcasm, and wit.

The voice of reason within the crew, she held strong socialistic leanings—not to mention a healthy dose of skepticism when it came to working alongside strangers like Cloak and Dagger. All in all, she strived to keep the Runaways on the straight and narrow, even if her two cents were sometimes called into question by the more hotheaded members of her gang.

Aesthetically, TV Gert reflects the majority of her source material's features: the oversized frames, the purple hair, the no-nonsense, punk-inspired wardrobe—it's all there in New Girl's Ariela Barer's portrayal of the social justice warrior-turned-telepathic actual warrior. We can't wait to see Arsenic and Old Lace together in action. But fingers crossed that TV's Gert doesn't suffer the same tragic fate as her comic book counterpart (spoiler alert: yes, it was heartbreaking, and fans never recovered).


It isn't uncommon for teen soaps to depict the all-too-real abuse suffered by adolescents of the brainiac variety at the hands of their jackass jock dads. But Runaways is the furthest thing from typical—which means resident athlete Chase Stein (played by Faking It vet Gregg Sulkin) became the victim of his father's violent brand of "discipline" for not sharing his parents' scientific interests. Those "interests" were by no means innocent—not in the comics, at least.

The Steins created high-tech weapons and vehicles for the Pride. In other words, they were bad news, though they did inadvertently aid their do-gooder son and his superpowered friends when he stole one of their inventions, a pair of weaponized gloves called Fistigons. While Chase himself literally and figuratively took up arms, he boasted no superpowers of his own—until Gert, moments before her death, transferred her telekinetic link with Old Lace to Chase. Who knows whether this sequence of events will transpire on Hulu's small-screen adaptation—again, we're hoping it doesn't—but it would be rad to see the two heroes sharing control of the mind-linked dinosaur.

It's hard to get Chase wrong. To put it bluntly, he's your typical pretty boy complete with swoon-worthy hair with waves for days and a closet bursting with trendy sleeveless shirts, button-downs, and track jackets. But his most well-known accessories, his X-Ray Specs and Fistigons, do make brief appearances in in the trailers—with his father, Victor, also donning the latter in one frame.


Every humanoid super squad needs an alien comrade—and the Runaways have Karolina Dean, a Majesdanian, to fill that otherworldly role. After her parents were exiled from their home planet, they took human forms and became successful Hollywood actors, starring on TV's General Hospital. In order to keep their young daughter's true nature hidden—even from herself—they locked her powers behind a medical alert bracelet she was instructed never to remove. It wasn't until she finally rebelled, after learning about her parents' involvement in the Pride, that she broke her bracelet and unleashed her true inner power. At first ashamed of her heritage, she would eventually come to accept it. Learning to embrace her sexuality proved to be an entirely different challenge that she would overcome... with a few missteps along the way.

Like Chase, Karolina Dean is the archetypal fair-haired, bright-eyed teen—so Project Almanac star Virginia Gardner must have been a shoo-in to portray the young intergalactic transplant. Sure, there may be a number of superficial differences from the source material, like wavier hair and sparklier-looking abilities. But from what we've seen of her in the trailers, Gardner perfectly personifies the archetypal blonde beauty next door—so it'll be even more exciting to see co-showrunners Schwartz and Savage turn the teen cliché on its head as the Runaway learns of her extraterrestrial abilities.