Runaways was ahead of its time. Its 2009 cancellation was a damn shame (even if that third and final volume is nobody’s favourite), because everything in those initial two was Young Adult gold long before Young Adult was Marvel’s big thing. The remaining original members have since been scattered all over the Marvel universe - everywhere from A-Force to Secret Wars to Avengers Undercover - but it seems like it’s finally time for a reunion.
Ahead of Hulu’s live-action series premiering next year, Marvel spent the last week teasing what is almost certainly a new comic series, featuring a handful of the founding members. And while it’s unfortunate we can’t have the whole gang back together (Spoilers: they were a bunch of teens on the run from their supervillain parents. Things didn't go so well!), the idea of reuniting Nico Minoru, Chase Stein, Karolina Dean, Molly Hayes and Old Lace is exciting regardless.
Here’s some Kris Anka teaser art to set the stage:
Oh yeah, in case you weren’t aware, Old Lace is a telepathic raptor from the future.
I don’t get misty eyed over marketing very often, but these characters mean a hell of a lot to a hell of a lot of people. When it was still around, and in what little capacity it could as a non A-list Marvel book, Runaways brought a whole host of diversity to a world that was sorely lacking it, and told some brilliant coming of age stories in the process.
Sure, the Xavin stuff may not have aged particularly well when viewed through a modern lens (she’s the first to come up among the shape-shifters-as-transgender-metaphor characters at every Trans Representation In Comics panel at every major convention!) but I can’t recall too many mainstream comic books that were even touching on the complexities of gender identity around that time, let alone back-to-back with stories like that of Karolina discovering her sexuality and coming out to her friends, all in relative isolation.
Point being, Runaways was a miracle comic (and a personal favourite!) that went away too soon. There’s no word yet on the start date or creative team – it’s safe to assume Anka’s involvement and a post-Secret Empire launch as part of the upcoming “Legacy” renumbering later this year – but regardless of the specifics, this feels like one instance where pulling on nostalgia strings is promise enough, provided they can keep the original mission statement intact.