The child of time travelers in the original comics, Gert Yorkes takes on the code name Arsenic. Although she doesn’t have any powers, she has a dinosaur companion from the 87th century named Old Lace. Their code names are a reference to Frank Capra’s 1944 film Arsenic and Old Lace. Old Lace is a genetically enhanced Deinonychus — at first misidentified as a Velociraptor — capable of “tele-empathic” bonding. As she’s bonded to Gert, the dinosaur is able to feel any pain that she feels. Gert also has the ability to transfer her bond with Old Lace to other people.
While some initially assumed that Old Lace would be CGI for production, she was actually a complex puppet and physically present on set.
Molly Hernandez, named Hayes in the comics, is a young mutant who possesses super-strength. Molly is also the youngest member of the group and one of the strongest characters in the Marvel Universe, having once punched Wolverine through a church. She goes by the code name Princess Powerful.
Like Karolina, Molly’s backstory will change for the adaptation. Her parents, also members of the Pride, died in a mysterious fire before the start of the series, and she’s adopted by Gert’s parents the Yorkes. As the rights to Marvel’s mutants belong to Fox, we probably shouldn’t expect the M-word to be uttered on Runaways.
The oldest of the group, Chase first appears to fit into the stereotype of the “dumb jock,” but later proves himself technologically competent and intelligent. He possesses X-ray goggles that allow him to see through solid objects, and the “Fistigons,” which let him create and manipulate fire. He takes the code name Talkback in reference to his smarmy attitude.
Chase’s relationship with his parents is particularly fraught and abusive, as they disapprove of his pursuit of athletics over science and engineering. The first appearance of Victor Stein in the comics shows him punching his son for getting bad grades. Chase is also responsible for finding “the Hostel,” a collapsed underground mansion that serves as the Runaways’ headquarters.
Masquerading as a charity organization, the Pride in the source material serves the Gibborim, a race of six-fingered giants attempting to destroy life on Earth and create a new Eden in its place. For this, the Gibborim require a blood sacrifice every year for 25 years. The giants offer the Pride the chance to live in utopia in exchange for performing those sacrifices. Although they work together closely, many members of the Pride don’t get along.
There are some differences between the Pride in the comic and the TV show, not least of all that Molly’s parents are dead. The living members of the Pride are Geoffrey Wilder (Ryan Sands), Catherine Wilder (Angel Parker), Tina Minoru (Brittany Ishibashi), Robert Minoru (James Yaegashi), Dale Yorkes (Kevin Weisman), Stacey Yorkes (Brigid Brannagh), Leslie Dean (Annie Wersching), Frank Dean (Kip Pardue), Victor Stein (James Marsters), and Janet Stein (Ever Carradine).
The Wilders in the comics are former small-time criminals and de-facto leaders of the Pride. Geoffrey Wilder is a land developer and his wife, Catherine, is a lawyer. The Wilders control various illegal enterprises and have powerful connections in both government and the LAPD. Like their son Alex, they’re masters of strategy.
The Minorus are powerful magicians still reeling from the loss of their daughter Amy. Tina is a brilliant innovator and CEO, though she’s unable to connect with Nico in the wake of Amy’s death. There’s also some speculation that Tina may be responsible for the fire that killed Gene and Alice Hernandez. Robert has a better relationship with Nico and is the much more caring of the two parents. Tina appeared in a tie-in comic for 2016’s Doctor Strange and in the movie itself, although Linda Louise Duan played the role.
Although they’re a bit socially awkward, the Yorkes are brilliant scientists — not time travelers, as in the comics — and care deeply about family. They’re looked down upon by other members of the Pride and are looking to relocate to Central America in an effort to escape the group.
Like their daughter, the Deans have fairly significant backstory changes from their comics counterparts. In the comics, the exiled Majesdanians were both successful actors. However, in the TV series Frank will be a washed-up teen star in a failing marriage and Leslie leads the Church of Gibborim, and aims to revive a mysterious man kept on life support in her private meditation room.
The Steins are both brilliant engineers capable of designing weapons such as the Fistigons for use by the Pride. Victor is a brilliant engineer, but emotionally and physically abusive. In the TV series, Janet supports Victor’s career, sacrificing her own brilliance in the process.
Although the Pride was an important part of the comics, the group remained relatively under-explored, a problem that the TV series will rectify. Showrunner Josh Schwartz said that the show aims to “delve into those characters and realize that everybody is kind of flawed” and avoid “cliched mustache-twirling bad guys who are just out for world domination.”
There are a lot of characters in Runaways, but early reviews for the show have been immensely positive, and indicate that the production has done a great job of exploring its characters. While the series is — for the most part — comics accurate, there’s always a chance that plot points, and so the team’s makeup and dynamics, will change in different ways than the source material.
Debuting on Hulu on November 21, Runaways was created by Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage and stars Rhenzy Feliz, Lyrica Okano, Virginia Gardner, Ariela Barer, Gregg Sulkin, Allegra Acosta, Ryan Sands, Angel Parker, Brittany Ishibashi, James Yaegashi, Kevin Weisman, Brigid Brannagh, Annie Wersching, Kip Pardue, James Marsters and Ever Carradine.
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