I was more than excited when I heard that Runaways was being adapted for Hulu. Ever since the Marvel shows started airing on Netflix I have wanted something that was a little bit less, how do I put it, predictable. With Daredevil all the motives were clear from the beginning. Fisk was a bad guy doing bad things and Murdock was a good guy doing questionably good things. This trend flows through Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, Ironfist, and into the Defenders. All through all of these properties, we know who to root for and who not to root for. More or less. But in Runaways airing on Hulu, the lines are a little bit blurred.
Here we have a bunch of teenagers doing what teens do best, rebelling against their parents. The only difference is that the kids witness their parents doing something truly awful. While snooping around Alex’s father’s study during one of their parent’s PRIDE, an organization that is supposed to better the community, meetings Alex along with the other kids stumble upon a ritual that their parents are doing. In it, they sacrifice a kid for an unknown reason. This kid just so happens to be a runaway, someone no one would miss, or so they thought. This event forces the kids to band together in order to find out why their parents would do something so horrible.
And there it is. The “why”. You see, William Fisk had a hard childhood an grew into a cold man. Kilgrave had a hard childhood and grew into a cold man. Same for Ward Meachum. And Willis Stryker. It’s always the same story. Life sucks so I’m going to be mean. However, with the parents in Runaways, this is simply not the case. They are being forced into their current actions by an entity that they really don’t understand. That coupled with the fact that they actually care for the safety of their kids makes me want to root for them just as much as I root for the kids.
It’s this reasoning that makes Runaways stand out from all the rest. Is it a little slow, yes. Does it sometimes dabble a little too hard in the teenage drama? You bet your buttocks. In the end, it is this interesting portrayal of a double narrative that will make me tune in every week in order to see how this situation pans out. Until then, keep running Runaways.