If you're a Marvel fan, then 2017 has probably felt like one big holiday to you because every time we turn around the MCU is gifting us with another glimpse into its thrilling world. On top of the many larger-than-life theatrical releases and action-packed Netflix originals that have come out this year, though, there is still more to look forward to from Marvel, including the highly anticipated Justice League film and MCU's first collab with Hulu: Runaways. As with any Marvel project, there is a lot to look forward to, but the Marvel's Runaways' cast is the part that already has me hooked.
Like I said, this year has been great for superhero fans; it all started with Logan back in March, and before long, Spider-Man: Homecoming, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, and Thor: Ragnarok all had Marvel diehards running to the theaters; on top of that, Netflix has released several new binge-able collabs with Marvel this year including Iron Fist, The Defenders, and The Punisher. While each of these projects has its own entertaining storyline, they all have one thing in common: amazing characters. Runaways might be Hulu's first attempt at a Marvel adaptation, but, if the characters are any indication, it probably won't be the last.
The show is based on the comic books of the same name and it tells the story of six kids forced to team up when they realize their parents are members of a murderous cult known as the "Pride." After seeing the Pride in action, the six teens band together to learn more about the cult. Obviously, these six characters make up the bulk of the show's action, so it's worth getting to know them before you dive in.
Alex is played by Rhenzy Feliz, and he is the most level-headed of the six Runaways.
"Alex is the self-appointed leader of the group," says Justin Schwartz, one of the show's creators. "He's definitely more of the nerdier type, more of a loner, more tech-based. He gets all of the Star Wars references in the show."
On his character, Rheny Feliz tells The Hollywood Reporter,
He's someone with a strong sense for right and wrong. If that means having to go up against his parents, then that's what that means. If it means going up against the entire world, that's what he's willing to do. He cares about people and he cares about life. It doesn't matter who's on the other side of the gun. He's going to do what's right. When he's faced with this dilemma of needing to stop his parents, he does anything and everything he possibly can to make sure that happens. As weak as he may feel and as small as they may all feel, he musters it out of all of them. He inspires them. He makes sure they're going to do what's right. That's extremely admirable to me.
Nico is played by Lyrica Okano, and she's the goth of the group. "She's the Wiccan Goth girl," Schwartz says about Nico, "She keeps everybody at arm's length, but is hiding a very big heart. She doesn't say much when we meet her."
On what her character represents on the show, Lyrica Okano says,
Nico Minoru is a lot of things. She's all of those kids out there who don't feel like they fit in and they don't know how to express how they're feeling, so she hides all of that with her Gothic persona. She tries her hardest to push people away from her, but she has so many layers. She's really vulnerable inside. She reminds me a lot of myself when I was a teenager. I didn't know how to communicate how I was feeling to other people, so I would spend hours doing makeup. I think it's so important to show that characters like Nico exist. She's a Wiccan, and I think it's rare we imagine a Wiccan to be Asian-American. There's this whole tragic story behind her. It's been such an honor being able to portray that.
Karolina, played by Virginia Gardner, is the girl who seems to have everything...from the outside, that is. Her parents are accomplished members of the Church of Gibborim, and Karolina seems to be their perfect daughter.
"Karolina is an angelic, smiling, happy daughter of the charismatic leader of a church and a movement," says Schwartz. "She's the millennial face of that church, who seems like everything she does is perfect and everything she does is #blessed. She actually feels a lot more like a prisoner inside of her own family."
On top of Karolina's already interesting arc in Runaways, she is an openly gay character. On playing Karolina and portraying her sexuality, Gardner tells The Hollywood Reporter,
The character's sexuality was something that stood out to me immediately and made me feel like it was an important role to play. It's a group that needs representation. Being able to provide that, hopefully an up and coming generation of women and men will be able to look at Karolina and relate to her and maybe feel a little bit less alone.
Of course, every group has its jock, and Chase Stein, played by Gregg Sulkin, is ours.
"On the surface, he seems like your classic lax bro," says Schwartz, but, ultimately, "He's smarter than he wants other people to know, and he's hiding a darker family secret that he doesn't want people to know."
Apparently, Chase's dad is the worst member of the Pride, which makes for a really tense relationship between the two. On playing Chase, Sulkin says,
Chase is a star lacrosse player who seems to be living a perfect life, however, he's dealing with issues at home which no one is aware of. When Chase finds out that the Pride isn't who they say they are, he is conflicted as to whether the group should turn them in to the police, or to try and see the good in his father and perhaps protect him..
Gert Yorkes, played by Ariela Barer, is a purple-haired "sarcastic social justice warrior," in the words of Josh Schwartz.
According to the actress who plays her,
Gert's a total badass in every sense of the word. She's relatable, she's smart and funny and quick, and also a little mean — but only with good reason! She's flawed, but finding power in all of that.
The character also deals with anxiety, so Barer hopes her portrayal will help remove the stigma surrounding mental illness. "This is going to sound so cheesy," the actress says, "but even though Gert has anxiety, anxiety doesn't have her."
Molly Hernandez, played by Allegra Acosta, is a bit different from the comic book version. Indeed, the character's name and background were changed, because of legal issues with Fox's X-Men. That doesn't mean were not in for a badass character, though; on the character Molly, Acosta says,
Molly is just such a badass. I've always been so attracted to strong female characters who can be strong by showing their vulnerabilities and being a kid, and what also attracted me to her is that they changed her to a Latina. I think it's so important we have so many characters of different ethnicities. We need to represent more on TV, and I'm so honored to be playing her.
The actress continues,
She reminds me of Hit-Girl from Kick-Ass. She's so strong and beyond her years and mature. I couldn't believe I was going to play someone as cool as Molly is. We have a lot of similarities. She's super driven and passionate and curious. She's kind of the muscle of the group, and a detective all around. I love her. I love playing her.
No matter who your fave is, you have to agree, they're all badass. You can stream Marvel's Runaways first three episodes starting Nov. 21 on Hulu.