At New York Comic Con this past weekend, fans were shown the first episode of Hulu’s and Marvel’s Runaways. Since its announcement over a year ago, I’ve been incredibly hyped for Runaways to hit the small screen. Runaways ranks among my favorite comic series and after the initial excitement about its announcement wore off, I proceeded with cautious optimism. I wondered how the various powers would be adapted for live action. As someone who wanted a near exact retelling of the first graphic novel volume, I am pleased to say the show does it right.
Sure there are some changes, one big change even comes during the cold open. Yet the changes make sense. Concerns that the show wouldn’t be able to adapt some of the powers are thrown out the window with the first episode (but maybe the Leapfrog won’t be making the jump). With a series willing to bring a telekinetic Velociraptor to the screen, you know you’re in for a fun ride.
Concerns about superhero fatigue won’t fly for Runaways. Because, one thing’s for sure, Runaways feels different. The show touches upon themes of puberty, masturbation, drugs, and rape, all within the first episode. The show handles these concepts well and without feeling like a soap opera. Character tropes are acknowledged and played off as comedy, instead of feeling cringe-worthy. From the first episode, it’s obvious that the show knows what it’s doing.
The show also feels incredibly well-shot. Instead of the film grain we’ve come to expect from the Marvel/Netflix side of things, Runaways offers us bright colors. The bright colors of the the show don’t feel cheap however, as many shows can. Instead, we’re presented with a film-like quality more akin to Spider-Man: Homecoming.
Episode one was all I could have hoped for, complete with hard hitting teenage themes, incredible super powers, and shady parents. I’m very happy that the show doesn’t shy away from what made the graphic novel so great and I can’t wait to see the rest of the series. Marvel may have another hit on their hands.
Runaways comes to Hulu on November 21st.
Episode Score: 8.5/10 – Great