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Marvel's TV universe is about to expand big time this upcoming season with new additions like Inhumans, New Warriors, Cloak and Dagger, and Runaways -- not to mention everything on Netflix. The TV shows of the MCU haven't been able to really connect with each other in the way that the movies do, but that doesn't mean the connection isn't there. Hulu's Runaways, for instance, is a part of the MCU, and we'll see the connections through the eyes of a teenager. Marvel television head Jeph Loeb had this to say about where Runaways fits into the MCU:
It all lives in the same world. How and where it's connected and what it's going to be connected to remains to be seen. ... It lives in a world of if you're a teenager ... since it's all connected through social media and its own way, would you be following Iron Man or somebody that was more your age? The fact that they've found each other and are going through this mystery together is what they're concerned about, not what Captain America is doing on a Friday night.
Jeph Loeb has a full plate with all the new Marvel programming soon to hit the airwaves, and he addressed how these new shows live in the same universe at the Television Critics Associations summer press tour (via THR) . While there are no promises that these shows will be jumping networks for crossovers, Loeb stressed that doesn't mean there isn't some form of connection. Many of the shows prominently feature young heroes, which should be a nice counterbalance to the more adult POV of the movies. It should also allow the young characters to digest news as a teen would. So while the Runaways may not be checking their phones every five minutes for Captain America's Instagram, they can still see a post alluding to, say, the current events of Cloak and Dagger.
Jeph Loeb also made it clear that the individual production teams are at least aware of what everyone else is up to. However, because the different shows take place all over the country, it's more natural to keep things separated for now than forcing them together.
You'll see things that comment on each other; we try to touch base wherever we can. It's very much like real life -- things that are happening in L.A. are not exactly going to be affecting what's happening in New Orleans, or what's happening in New York isn't on the minds of everyone living in Chicago. It's being aware of it and trying to find a way for it to be able to discuss in a way that makes sense.
While we all would like to see these shows cross over, the logistics of being on different networks makes that understandably difficult. There could always be a more concrete level of connection in the future, but we should be glad they aren't forcing anything and are just letting the shows exist on their own terms for now. Even the CW needed a little time to achieve the level of continuity porn it has now.
Runaways hits Hulu on November 21 and will release new episodes on a week-by-week basis.