On Friday, Marvel Studios and Hulu dropped the first full-length trailer for their upcoming adaptation of Runaways. If you haven’t watched it yet, it looks pretty incredible.
One thing that stands out from the trailer is just how much the series looks like the comic. It’s definitely not a shot-for-shot remake, treating the comic almost as storyboards in the way of, say, Zack Snyder’s Watchmen, but anyone who has read the first arc of Runaways will find the story here extremely familiar.
The trailer opens with a Alex Wilder (played in the series by Rhenzy Feliz) being lectured at by his dad (Ryan Sands) about how why it’s important to stay connected with friends and family. The sequence echoes the opening scene of the comic, where Alex’s parents tell him to stop playing his superhero-themed MMORPG and get ready to go, but with subtle differences.
While the scenes play out similarly, Alex’s dad comes off far more sympathetically in the trailer than the source material. “The kids who know you when you’re young—no one will ever know you like that again,” the elder Wilder says, trying to convince Alex to come along. In the comic, on the other hand, Alex’s dad is confrontational from the start. He demands to know what Alex is wasting the family’s money on, and insists that Alex cancel his game subscription even after he points out it was a birthday present. Instead, it was Alex’s mother who tried to smooth things over with talk of friends-as-family.
The theme of “the same, but subtly different” continues throughout the trailer. Alex greets the other teenagers at the door, rather than coming downstairs to find them already there; he uncovers a secret passageway to the Pride’s layer, rather than already knowing about the catacombs within his own home; Nico Minoru (Lyrica Okano) seems to find the Staff of One in her home, rather than acquiring it during a fight with her mother (Brittany Ishibashi); Gert Yorkes (Ariela Barer) is seemingly pounced on by the velociraptor Old Lace, rather than initially standing on the sidelines. This isn’t quite the Runaways we know — the minor differences abound — but it has managed to maintain the look and feel of the Brian K. Vaughn/Adrian Alphona comic series.
It’s astonishing how much these characters look like their comics counterparts. Alex has a nearly identical look, with only his t-shirts updated for a contemporary look. Molly’s (Allegra Acosta) hat looks like it was pulled right out of the comics. Nico’s look is perhaps not quite as goth Lolita, but she remains immediately recognizable, as do Gert and Karolina (Virginia Gardner). The only Runaway who looks significantly different from his comics counterpart is Chase Stein (Gregg Sulkin), who appears far less the doofus SoCal teen and more Freeform teen heartthrob.
Particularly impressive, though, is the glimpse we get of Karolina’s alien form. It’s only a moment, but the shot of Karolina’s hands and arms lighting up in blue and pink pastels looks like it was pulled straight from the comics. It’s an effect that would have been hard to make work on a TV budget even just a couple of years ago, so it’s kind of amazing that Marvel and Hulu decided to stick with that look and were able to pull it off.
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