How would you react if you found out your parents were super-villains? And even worse, murderers? That’s the set-up for Marvel’s Runaways, a comic series that started it’s first run in July 2003, featuring a group of kids who witness their parents committing a sacrificial murder.
Runaways Vol. 1, Pride and Joy, covers the first six issues of this unique group of kids who band together in the face of tragedy, and now that a TV series has been developed and is currently airing on Hulu, it’s time to revisit the “real” origins of this young team from Los Angeles.
Alex, Nico, Carolina, Chase, Gertrude, and Molly have something in common: their parents belong to a charitable organization known as The Pride. The parents gather annually, and the kids have grown apart over the years. But when Alex shows the others that he’s discovered a secret passage in his parents’ home, the kids take the opportunity to do a little spying to see just how boring the grown-up meeting is. Instead of some tedious meeting, they witness Pride members committing murder.
Written by Brian K. Vaughan and drawn by Adrian Alphona, Runaways Vol. 1, Pride and Joy, does a nice job of setting the scene, showing us that these kids don’t much care for each other, but once they discover the evil machinations of their parents, each needs to learn to trust and rely on kids they don’t know much about. They are no longer safe in their own homes and come to discover that their parents are far from ordinary bad guys, let alone just plain old moms and dads. When you find out that your parents are aliens or time travelers or mob bosses or mutant telepaths or dark wizards, life can get awkward.
If you watch the Runaways on Hulu but haven’t yet experienced the original source material, be prepared for lots of differences. If the show had been a straight adaptation, it may have ended up seeming too much like a comic book, rather than another series for people to turn to after watching Stranger Things 2. And I don’t mean that as an insult to the comic book series. I like what Vaughn and Alphona did back in 2003-2004, and I think you will too, even if you are a big fan of the show. It’s quirky, fun, and even a little scary at times, and I look forward to diving into the next collection of Runaways comics.