Brian K. VaughanAdrian Alphona and Christina Strain's Runaways has been an obvious choice for live action adaptation since it first debuted in the early 2000s. The tale of a group of teens who discover their parents are supervillains and go on the run has the potential to be a huge hit, and this week it was announced that Hulu has ordered the Marvel property to series under the supervision of the creators of Gossip Girl.

But who are The Runaways? They haven't been a team in comics for quite some time, and haven't had an ongoing series in even longer. We've put together a Crash Course to make you a Runaways expert in no-time.

This Crash Course contains spoilers for the original Runaways run.

 

 

L-R: Gertrude Yorkes, Nico Minoru, Alex Wilder, Chase Stein, Karolina Dean, Molly Hayes

 

The Runaways are a group of teenagers who discovered their parents were the criminal kingpins of Los Angeles known as The Pride. Using their parents' own technology, magic, and superhuman enhancements, they conspired to take them down.

The team consisted of

  • Alex Wilder, team leader.
  • Nico Minoru, who inherited her parents' magical Staff of One.
  • Chase Stein, who stole his inventor father's high tech "Fistigon" gauntlets and pilots the Runaways' ship, The Leapfrog.
  • Karolina Dean, an alien princess made of light.
  • Molly Hayes, a mutant with super strength that makes her super sleepy.
  • Gertrude Yorkes, who has a dinosaur.
  • Old Lace, who is a dinosaur

While the team was successful is bringing down their parents in a clash with the ancient gods The Gibborim, Alex Wilder proved to be a traitor and died alongside his parents. With no homes to return to, the Runaways were placed with family or in foster care, but they escaped to find each other and head back out on the run.

 

L-R Xavin, Victor Manca, Klara Prast

 

Later additions to the team included:

  • Xavin, an alien shapeshifter who became engaged to Karolina
  • Victor Mancha, cyborg son of Ultron
  • Klara Prast, turn-of-the-century girl with plant powers

Runaways was known for its shocking endings and unpredictable story beats, with Vaughan and Alphona unafraid to to hurt and even kill members of the team to show the consequences of the life they were in. When the original creative team left, Joss Whedon and Michael Ryan took over for a story arc, but frequent delays by Whedon slowed the title's momentum.

There were attempts to revive the franchise with Terry Moore and Humberto Ramos, who were succeeded by Kathryn Immonen and Sara Pichelli, but the spark seemed to be gone, and the title couldn't recover its footing. In the following years, the team has mostly been split up, with Victor joining the Avengers A.I team, and Nico and Chase kidnapped by Arcade in Avengers Arena

 

 

There was a volume titled Runaways during Secret Wars by Noelle Stevenson and Sanford Greene, but it bore little resemblance to the original team, except in free-wheeling spirit. Nico currently serves as a member of A-Force, but upcoming solicitations seem to point towards that title ending soon.

Hopefully with news of a Runaways series piquing interest in the franchise again, Marvel can get a jump on green lighting a new title for the team with fresh young creators that can breathe new life into the characters.