Major entertainment news tends to flood our feeds throughout the major convention season. This year’s New York Comic Con was in no way an exception to this. And that should not come as a surprise in any way, shape, or form. The massive convention overflows with all forms of entertainment media; comic books, novels, movies, and television are all accounted for. Panel after panel tease fans with upcoming sizzle reels, cast and crew discussions, and the occasional exclusive sneak peek.
During the second day of the convention, fans who fought their way through the hectic lines to gain access to the final panel of the main hall were treated to a showcase of the upcoming Hulu exclusive Marvel’s Runaways. Based on the popular comic series, Runaways tells the story of a group of super powered teenagers fighting against an evil crime syndicate that their parents happen to be a part of.
As the panel started at 7:45 pm, the crowd cheered to the arrival of showrunners and actors alike. After a few brief questions hurled from the moderator, they turned to address the audience. Asking if we all wanted to see a little clip before the November 21st release, there was a deafening round of hoots and hollers. Thinking the crowd’s excitement could echo no louder, this was proven wrong as they announced that the little clip was about fifty-three minutes long. Clearing the stage, the lights dropped and the first episode of the anticipated Marvel and Hulu series played for a rowdy room of genre fans.
The first episode clearly lays out the ground work for what the series is with hints at what it will be. Essentially, it is a standard origin story that tries to fill in a touch of backstory on the whole team as well as bring them together and introduce the villains. All in one episode. This was a bit of a problem with this pilot; there was just a hair too much crammed into this one episode. Not only did this create a sense of rush, but it also threw the pacing off. This is especially the case for the first half. The order of scenes jumping from one character to the other is almost jarring and far past disjointed. These loose ends start to come together later, but no entirely.
HEROES AND HORMONES
Once past the faulty editing, the story actually seems fairly interesting. It all boils down to a superhero team-up much like The Avengers. But with the bonuses of not needing extensive lay outs a of individual backstories to reach the culmination and the additional drama of teenage angst. Think of it like the cast of Riverdale with the powers of The Defenders. If that concept does spark your interest, then this show is clearly not for you. And why are you interested in a comic book show anyway?
All of the sets ups for power struggles and first loves escalates to the unveiling of the real evil in the series. Along with this comes a stark and appreciated change in tone. The series takes place in Los Angeles and is bursting at the seams with vibrant scenes of Southern California. From cloudless skies to hipster coffee shops, the majority of the episode was quite vibrant. At the night of the villainous unveil, the atmosphere and scenery become rather dark and tense to match the change in story beats. It is this kind of direction that offsets the editing struggle at the start and revitalizes hope for the show.
All in all, the first episode of the Hulu exclusive Marvel’s Runaways faced a rough start but came through in the end. Struggling to fit everything into one episode was a little problematic, but the build and payoff were worth it in the end. The proposed narrative seems like a gripping superhero story of the underdogs facing off against the great evil with the addition of raging hormones all around the core group. It has only had one episode revealed, and all basic problems aside, Marvel’s Runaways seems promisingly different with the added comfort of the familiar. We will find out if this is held up come the shows release on November 21st.