Marvel’s Runaways – Opening Review

One of the more popular Marvel comics turns into a new series from Hulu.  The first three episodes have arrived, and bring a lot of the comic to life, and a few new elements.

Title: “Reunion”, “Rewinds”, and “Destiny”

Director: Brett Morgen, Roxann Dawson1, Nina Lopez-Corrado
Written: Drew Pearce

Cast:

Allegra Acosta as Molly Hernandez
Ariela Barer as Gert Yorkes
Brigid Brannagh as Stacey Yorkes
Ever Carradine as Janet Stein
Zayne Emory as Brandon
Rhenzy Feliz as Alex Wilder
Cesar Garcia as Big Creeper
Virginia Gardner as Karolina Dean
Rina Hoshino as Waiter
Brittany Ishibashi as Tina Minoru
Soraya Kelley as Parishioner
Patricia Lentz as Aura
Krystian Alexander Lyttle as Son
James Marsters2 as Victor Stein
Lyrica Okano as Nico Minoru
Heather Olt as Frances
Kip Pardue as Frank Dean
Angel Parker as Catherine Wilder
Ryan Sands as Geoffrey Wilder
Ric Sarabia as Decrepit Figure
Hojo Shin as Student
Gregg Sulkin as Chase Stein
Amy Waller as Lisbeth
Kevin Weisman3 as Dale Yorkes
Annie Wersching as Leslie Dean
Nicole Wolf as Destiny Gonzalez
James Yaegashi as Robert Minoru

Premise:

After discovering their parents are super-villains in disguise, a group of teenagers band together to run away from their homes in order to atone for their parents’ actions and to discover the secrets of their origins. (From Trakt.)

High Point:

The characters I loved from the comics are really well translated.  They focus on the kids and telling their story, but the parents aren’t ignored and are actual characters more so than they were in the comics.  Molly Hayes, I mean Molly Hernandez, is a great representation of the character despite being the most changed.

Low Point:

The stereotypes are there for ease of characterization, but they are too heavy handed.  Also, if the characters are this supposed to be these stereotypes this strongly, the idea that they voluntarily congregate is unrealistic.

Molly is a great representation of the 11 year old Molly, but for a kid north of 13 she makes some questionable choices.

The Scores:

Originality: 4/6 Many of the added elements are the same stock plot items from any other drama series.

Effects: 4/6 The CGI was less seamless than on other Marvel shows, but we are still light years ahead of rubber suits for dinosaurs.

Acting: 5/6 Everyone was completely believable in their roles, but we are still discussing child actors.

Production: 6/6 The production values are everything you’d expect, and is what you’d want to see when a favorite comic comes to life.

Story: 5/6 It seems to be moving along at a fair pace.

Emotional Response: 5/6 While I am well past the point where I can identify with the “coming of age” story, the parents are compelling.

Overall: 5/6 Another strong offering from Marvel.  Not quite to the Jessica Jones level, but so far it’s topping Defenders.

In total, “Marvel’s Runaways” receives 34/42

1B’Elanna Torres!
2Spike!
3Marshall!

10 replies on “Marvel’s Runaways – Opening Review”

  1. Jethro says:

    Wait, there’s another one on yet another subscription service?

    I think I want off this crazy train.

    • Brian says:

      If you’re willing to wait, like me, you can usually get these on DVD from your local library about a year after they hit these services.

      But if it makes you feel any better, the FCC is dismantling Net Neutrality rules, so all these separate services will get even more expensive and could potentially fail. So…Yay?

      • JD DeLuzio says:

        On our library waiting list for the next season of Game of Thrones and the first season of Westworld. Other things we see sooner, but it’s a relaxed way to watch, and doesn’t cost anything.

      • Jethro says:

        I’m not willing to wait. I’m just plain never going to watch this. We’re oversaturated with comic book shows and the quality has heavily degraded.

  2. lost says:

    I’m not sure I’m going to bother following this one. I’ve seen the first two episodes (on Showcase in Canada – no need for Hulu). I usually give a show 2 or 3 episodes to decide if it is worth my time once I’ve decided to investigate it. If the third episode doesn’t get the actual plot moving, I’ll probably bail.

    I’m not counting the first two episodes as two episodes, though. They’re really the same episode with two different points of view. I think I get why they made that choice but I don’t think it was the right one. That made things a bit more chaotic and harder to follow than I would have liked. Combine that with the required exposition and it was on the edge and made the opener a bit boring. And that’s without any knowledge of the source material.

    Jethro’s point above about comic book show oversaturation does play into my assessment some. I would be more willing to put up with “edge” shows if there were fewer shows overall. Alas, as my available time diminishes, I have to be more ruthless about what new things I choose to follow. I’ll probably “fill in the gaps” at some point in the future, but for the moment, there’s too much else I’m already following.

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