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What happens when you discover your parents are part of a sacrificial cult responsible for the disappearance of many young teens? Marvel’s Runaways answers this question and then some in its epic inaugural season.
Runaways focused on a group of childhood friends that became distant after a loss of one of their own but found themselves in each other’s lives again under the most unexpected circumstances. Season 1 explored their unusual story, as they unexpectedly stumbled across their parents performing some sort of ritualistic sacrifice. As the season progresses, the mystery and allure of this sacrifice gets weirder and more intriguing. The quest to discover their parents’ motives and shed light on their crimes becomes the epicenter of the season.
This motley crew of kids included Alex (Rhenzy Feliz), Chase (Gregg Sulkin), Gert (Ariela Barer), Molly (Allegra Acosta), Karolina (Virginia Gardner), and Nico (Lyrica Okano). Oh, and Gert’s telepathic dinosaur. Each character was diverse in their personalities, interests, and abilities, superhero abilities. Part of the charm of this first season of Runaways was watching the kids interact together and really bring life to the narrative of the story. It was a welcome change to see the shift focused to a younger group of heroes that were relatable, comedic, and possessed abilities, unlike anything we’ve seen thus far. Kudos to the young actors for bringing such fierce, tough characters to life.
As season one revealed, the parents were part of a group called PRIDE whose leader is Jonah, played by Julian McMahon. Jonah’s character became an integral part of the story as the sacrifices allowed him to transition from “flaky, old, comatose man” to a handsome, young, fit man. The season helped to explain that the parents were indebted to Jonah and thus forced to conduct the sacrifices to bring him back to his full potential via the creepy Church of Gibborim. This sci-fi twist on the story really made Runaways unique and fun to watch. There was a constant mysterious element to every episode as they peeled back layers of this complicated story.
As we learned more about the parents and their purpose in the story, it really made Runaways an interesting show to watch. Learning about how they became involved in PRIDE was quite the plot twist, especially finding out how the culty Church of Gibborim played a part in all of it. Desperate for money, stability, and success, they vowed to submit to Jonah’s demands. Learning about this, momentarily made the audience sympathize with them for committing such heinous acts. All of this became a catalyst for the rest of the events that took place during the season. This unique narrative and dynamic of the parents and their secrets really carried the show in its first season. Every episode divulged another piece of the puzzle or a deep, dark secret that caught us off guard.
Something that set Runaways apart from other comic book shows, was illustrating the journey of how the kids obtained powers/abilities. While they didn’t all possess superhero-esque abilities, each had something to bring to the table. Whether it was Chase’s badass Fistigons, Karolina’s ethereal light powers, or Molly’s super strength, we were hooked. Watching the characters progress from insecure teenagers to strong-headed individuals was one of the best aspects of this season. Highlighting this in a show catered to a younger audience was something Runaways should be applauded for.
As season one came to a close, the group was nowhere near a happy ending. In fact, they finally paid homage to the title of the show and are officially on the run. With the events that had unfolded throughout the season, the final moments reveal that someone has framed them for murder and kidnapping. With nowhere to go, the group of six is seen fleeing off into the distance. What will become of the group now that they are fugitives on the run? With season 2 of Runaways officially a go, we cannot wait to see how this story continues.
All in all, Runaways first season was a success, and their renewal is a testament to that. Watching the kids fight their parents and inner demons all while trying to be teenagers was such an entertaining thing to watch. The sci-fi, intrigue, and mystery of it all was such a treat to watch as everyone tried to make sense of what the hell was going on. Sprinkled within the 10 episodes this season, there were some slower, less interesting moments/episodes that existed for story progression or as fillers. And while they halted the quick pace we became accustomed to, they didn’t butcher the overall story. Watching the entire cast was a pleasure, and they did a phenomenal job bringing the story to life. Their epic showdowns, fights, and twisty stories became addicting to watch and left us wanting more as season one came to end. Suffice to say, we cannot wait for Marvel’s Runaways to return!