For the past four years, Marvel has cemented as big a presence on TV as it's made in the film world, and there's no end in sight to the number of new and exciting projects on the way. Hulu's upcoming comic book drama Runaways will be the streaming service's first Marvel project -- read our review -- and when star Angel Parker spoke with CinemaBlend about the first season, I asked her how she thought Runaways compared to other shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and Daredevil. Here's what she told me:
Well this is definitely for a young audience, so we've got Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage, who were at the head of Gossip Girl and The O.C. So there's very much a teen audience, a teen drama element to it. That being said, there's a huge cast of adults and teens, and following their stories. It's very nuanced, sort of like the Netflix shows that are on. But it's still got, as we call it, 'Marvel moments,' you know? When a dinosaur shows up, you know you're in a different world.
Preach. Iron Fist and The Defenders brought dragons into the story, while Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. gave new life to Ghost Rider. Runaways does not skimp on those kinds of fantastical Marvel moments in the least, and yes, some of those moments involve a dinosaur who goes by the name of Old Lace. So when it comes to laying out the wild and the wonderful ideas of Marvel creators, Runaways does indeed share some imagination DNA with the comic giant's other current TV shows.
Angel Parker, who plays the effortlessly composed Catherine Wilder, was also spot-on in pointing out Runaways' teen vibe is about as big of a contrasting factor as it gets when this show is stacked up against the other Marvel dramas. I mean, the fact that the central cast has six teenagers in it might have been a sign, sure. But because this is from Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage, this isn't the kind of teen-oriented programming that would be book-ended with Saved by the Bell or Girl Meets World. There might be a high school involved, but the storyline is anything but childish, since all the teens' parents are suspected of killing other teenagers as part of their evil super-group known as The Pride.
Season 1 of Runaways will largely tell the story of the teenagers discovering and investigating their parents' mysterious history, and what it has to do with their deadly practices. Like the Netflix shows (especially the upcoming Punisher series), Runaways largely sticks to developing as grounded and realistic a foundation as possible; or as grounded as brooding, atmospheric Schwartz/Savage shows get, at least. That way, once the crazier shit starts happening, it all feels even more magical and effective.
During my chat with Angel Parker, she said that it's the "normal-to-amazing" aspect that she loves the most about the Marvel Universe.
That's the great thing about the Marvel Universe is it's ordinary people in extraordinary circumstances, and what happens if something as major in this world would happen to you in your own life, how would you deal with it and how would you stand up against evil? Would you do it, and how would you? That's what I love about the Marvel Universe is these are ordinary people with extraordinary powers, or they are put in front of extraordinary situations. So that's what I think the fans really enjoy is diving into this world. But it's still set in a time where you could picture yourself in there, so you follow the protagonist.
And just in case anyone didn't know already, Runaways' "main character" is Rhenzy Feliz's Alex Wilder, son to Angel Parker's Catherine, and neither Alex nor his parents actually have any of the powers and abilities that most of the other characters do. So in both Alex and Catherine's cases, they really are ordinary people facing unbelievable circumstances.
Stay tuned for a lot more Runaways coverage here at CinemaBlend as we get closer to the Hulu release date on Tuesday, November 21, when the first three episodes of Season 1 will be released all at once. If you're in need of more comic book TV shows to look forward to, we have you covered. And if you're looking for shows that aren't of the comic book variety, our fall TV premiere schedule should do the trick.