Marvel's Runaways Dinosaur, Old Lace, Explained

Old Lace on Marvel's Runaways

WARNING: The following article contains minor spoilers for the first four episodes of Marvel's Runaways, streaming now on Hulu, as well as the first two volumes of the Runaways comic book series.

After frightening Molly Hernandez and cornering Gert Yorkes and Chase Stein in the three-part premiere of Marvel's Runaways, the fan-favorite velociraptor Old Lace was properly introduced in this week's episode as she returned home ... to scare Molly again. However, the dinosaur's reappearance provided Gert with an opportunity to test a theory -- that the creature responds to her commands -- and for her quirky bioengineer parents to explain what a velociraptor was doing in their basement.

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"We created it for your protection -- for our protection," says mother Stacey Yorkes (Brigid Brannagh), although she's interrupted before she and her husband can clarify what they need to be protected from. (Spoiler: It's almost definitely the Pride.) They're also puzzled as to why the dinosaur obeys Gert.

But that's all that we know about the Hulu drama's take on the creature, at least until the next episode. So, it seems like a perfect time look back at the comic book history of the Runaways' dinosaur, Old Lace (by the way, in the comics, is a deinonychus, not a velociraptor).

The dinosaur that would become known as Old Lace was discovered in 2003's Runaways #2, by Brian K. Vaughan, Adrian Alphona and David Newbold, when the titular group of teens began searching in the basement of the Yorkes home for the body of the girl they had witnessed their parents murder. After figuring out the Yorkes' password, a secret passage opened and out came, well, a dinosaur!

The beginning of the next issue depicted the dinosaur attacking the teens and almost killing Chase Stein, until Gert shouted for it to stop and, shockingly, it did! Gert quickly realized she had a telepathic connection with the creature.

As it turned out, Gert's parents were time travelers (not bioengineers, as on the TV series) who had brought the dinosaur back from the future, where it had been genetically altered so it had a telepathic bond with Gert and would obey her command. They planned on the velociraptor being Gert's companion and defenders in the event of their untimely deaths, so they had it genetically altered.

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However, when she confronted her parents in the fifth issue, she was disappointed to learn that they had designed the dinosaur so it couldn't be used against any member of their family.

In the sixth issue, the dinosaur finally gained the name Old Lace. Bitter at her parents, Gert decided she no longer wanted to use the name they gave her, and suggested that the members of the team -- now dubbed the Runaways -- adopt nicknames of their own choosing. She chose the name Arsenic for herself and Old Lace for her pet dinosaur, based on the 1941 Joseph Kesselring play play of the same name that was adapted for film by Frank Capra.

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