The Original Team
The leader of the group, he possesses no super-human powers, but his keen intellect and his possession of his parents' Abstract make him a formidable strategist. His parents were mob bosses who ran the more traditional criminal ring of the Pride, with prostitution, drugs, murder, and whatnot. He is introduced while playing an Avengers MMORPG and has an affinity for classic television series, and begins to bond with Nico when he learns that she enjoyed the copy of The Prisoner that he had lent her. He is the most vocal of the group in their need to oppose their parents.
At the end of the first story-arc it is revealed that Alex has been working against the group the whole time. He had discovered the nature of their parents activities a year ago and, instead of being repulsed, decided to help his parents. He discovered that the Deans and Hayeses, the two non-human couples of the Pride, were planning to betray the rest of the group so that they and their children would live in paradise, instead of all the adults surrendering their positions to their children. Alex manipulated the rest of the kids into discovering the nature of their parents as part of his plan to defeat the machinations of the Deans and Hayeses, and betrayed the Runaways in their final confrontation with the Pride. However, ultimately, Alex and the Pride as a whole were defeated by the Runaways and he was killed in the battle.
Later issues reveal that he became trapped in The Nothing After Death, and tried to earn his way out by helping the Runaways back on Earth by passing messages to Molly. He was eventually resurrected in Avengers Undercover and became a villain in Power Man and Iron Fist.
In the 2017 series, he returns to the team at the end of issue 12, out of options and on the run from the Seed of the Gibborim, who want the Runaways to honor their parents' bargain.
- The Atoner: Subverted. Presumably to correct his past actions, he helps the team stop Chase from trying to sacrifice himself to bring back Gert, although post-resurrection he went back to being a villain in Power Man and Iron Fist #10, working to set up a new Pride. In the 2017 series, he tries to make a genuine HeelFace Turn by returning to the team. Whether this is because he is genuinely remorseful or simply because he needs the others' help to protect him from the Seed is unrevealed.
- All Your Powers Combined: In the final battle of the third volume, Alex ends up in control of Chase's fire-blasting gauntlets, Nico's Staff of One, and Gertrude's psychic connection to Old Lace. All of which would have been much more helpful if he weren't The Mole. He had no way to take Molly or Karolina's inborn abilities, but it's still a pretty impressive accomplishment for somebody with no powers of his own.
- Audience Surrogate: Subverted. Alex was set up to be the one that readers could get easily attached to as the most normal character in the Fantasy Kitchen Sink the series presents, being a Non-Action Guy only relying on his wits compared to his friends having a wide variety of fantastical origins. However, as it turns out, Alex was the most evil of them all, and was only using the others as secret Mole for the Pride, thus completely subverting expectations there.
- Back for the Finale:
- He briefly appears at the end of Vaughan's run as the mysterious voice who helps Molly reactivate Victor. It's never explained how he managed to contact Molly from beyond the grave.
- He appears again at the end of Volume 5, where it's revealed that he's been spying on his old team ever since he left the Hostel after defeating the Seed.
- Badass Normal: He does not have any super powers or useful gadgets like the others, but makes up his lack of powers by using his intelligence.
- Black and Nerdy: He's the team strategist and is one of the most intelligent characters in the series.
- Back from the Dead: He gets resurrected in Avengers Undercover.
- Black Dude Dies First: He's the first member of the team to get killed.
- "Blackmail" Is Such an Ugly Word: He insisted that he didn't betray the Runaways, because that would imply that he was ever loyal to them to begin with.
- Came Back Wrong: Ever since his resurrection, he's become increasingly unpredictable.
- The Chessmaster: The team's strategist. Ultimately revealed to be a Manipulative Bastard, as he is a traitor who sided with the Pride.
- Decoy Protagonist: He's initially set up to be the main character of the series as a whole, until it turns out that he was The Mole for the Pride and he's killed off not long after this is revealed. After that, there's no real main protagonist in the team, though Nico does get slightly more focus since she takes over as leader.
- Easily Forgiven: Averted. Out of the entire team, only Molly is at all happy to see him alive again, and none of them are willing to defend his actions. Chase in particular openly can't stand him and repeatedly brings up how Alex was plotting to murder them all.
- Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Alex loves his parents through it all, and secretly assisted them because he was so fanatically loyal to their cause. Additionally, he genuinely loved Nico and offered her a place in the new world the Pride was creating (she obviously declined).
- Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: After he betrays the team and tells Nico he partly he did it for her so they could live together in paradise, he seems surprised when Nico rejects his offer.
- Failed a Spot Check: Was completely unaware that his parents and the rest of the Pride were fighting the Illuminati in his house. To be fair, he had headphones on and was playing video games at the time, but still.
- Glamour Failure: Zigzagged. Alex is a little traumatized having existed in The Nothing After Death for a few years, but otherwise looks normal. However, he reveals to Molly that touching him reveals his true nature that he is nothing more than a reanimated corpse. Those who experience it still see his face as normal, but his touch is that of cold, dead flesh.
- Hypocrite/Insane Troll Logic: He claims "The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few" to justify aiding his parents in destroying humanity. What he fails to grasp is that this will benefit absolutely no one except him and the people ''he'' wants to live through the apocalypse, and that while most of the Pride at least were willing to die so their children could inherit a better earth, Alex just wants to ensure himself, his crush, and their folks can have eternal life.
- I Did What I Had to Do:
- In the 2017 series, he tries to excuse his past betrayal by claiming that he had no choice but to side with his parents. The other Runaways aren't terribly impressed with this.
- He uses it again at the climax of "That Was Yesterday", regarding his threat to sacrifice Victor. He points out that the others considered sacrificing Gib, and that making hard decisions is part of being a leader. Nico retorts that a real leader would sacrifice themself, not someone else. There may be pragmatic reasons for this aside from his own narcissism... he later reveals to Molly that he is, for all intents and purposes, a living corpse, which implies he may not have a life to sacrifice.
- A Lighter Shade of Black: He can be just as ruthless as his parents, but at heart Alex isn't truly evil, just hopelessly devoted to pleasing his folks. He doesn't have anything against his team, and eventually tries to reconnect with them, but claims if the world was about to be destroyed, he'd still want his parents to live over them.
- No Celebrities Were Harmed: David J. Walker, the writer of Power Man and Iron Fist, has said he views Alex as Donald Glover if he were a supervillain.
- Pop-Cultured Badass: He is quite knowledgeable about the other superheroes.
- The Reveal: Alex is revealed to be The Mole for The Pride, completely unbeknownst to his parents.
- Rogues Gallery Transplant: The initial secret villain of the Runaways before his death. Since getting revived, he became a villain to Power Man and Iron Fist.
- The Strategist: He pretty much controls the team's actions. Becomes a Mole in Charge when his true allegiance is revealed.
- The Team Normal: Alex is the only member without a special gift, being born to the most mundane couple of the Pride. Nico, Molly, and Karolina have powers related to magic, super strength, and flight/energy projection, whereas Chase and Gert don't technically have any powers but make up for it with advanced tech and psychic links to a genetically-enhanced dinosaur. In his case, he's just a guy with his wits to rely on.
- Tech Bro: In his Heroes for Hire appearance, he is reimagined as a coolly-dressed techbro, moving into the neighborhood and making a fortune by selling software that can erase someone's criminal history. The success quickly goes to his head, causing him to engage in riskier ventures, like gang wars and black magic, forcing Luke Cage and Iron Fist to intervene.
- Teen Genius: Utterly without powers of his own, Alex is nonetheless a highly skilled strategist and thus de-facto Team Leader.
- Token Evil Teammate: In the 2017 series, he is allowed to rejoin the team only because he has a unique understanding of how the Gibborim think. This is because he spent a year listening to them in Limbo. He naturally comes up with the idea to kill one of the Seed to obtain their power.
- Turn Out Like His Father: He ends up becoming a criminal boss like his father post-resurrection in Power Man and Iron Fist.
- The Undead: In the revived series. He looks perfectly normal, but feels like a corpse to anyone who actually touches him. He also no longer needs to eat (and can't hold the food down if he tries).
- Villainous Underdog: He's the only original Runaway that isn't an alien, magic, has super technology, psychic links to genetically engineered dinosaurs, or superhuman strength. Instead, he only has his wits to get by, and is also the secret villain of the first arc. His plan was very risky, as he had to lead the others, while also avoiding his parents controlling the law to capture them, the same ones he was trying to save, and he had very limited resources as a wanted criminal. Literally, all he had to rely on were the other runaways, the same ones he was trying to deceive. And if wasn't for the Gibborim, he would've succeeded.
- "Well Done, Son!" Guy. He orchestrated the entire first run to make his parents proud and show them he was an adult. When the Gibborim come across him in The Nothing After Death, he admits he can relate to them - they didn't want to be monsters, they just wanted to make their father proud.
- Wham Line: When he intervenes to save his parents' lives, revealing himself to be The Mole.
Gertrude "Gert" Yorkes (Codename: Arsenic)
- "I've known our parents were evil since I was five. This perverted little gathering just confirms it."
Like Alex, she has no real powers, but her Time Travelling parents left her a very special inheritance: a genetically engineered, psychic dinosaur named Old Lace, who follows her every command. Unlike the rest of the group, Gertrude and Nico had been close friends for years and spent time together beyond the once-a-year Pride meetings, and she often serves as a voice of reason and (relative) maturity for the group. Forward-thinking even as a child, Nico recounts that when they were little kids Gert once took all of Nico's pony dolls and hid them in the woods, explaining that they deserved to be free.
Near the conclusion of the first story-arc she begins to develop romantic feelings for Chase, who reciprocates, and they become a couple for the remainder of their time together. She is self-conscious about her appearance, being shorter than average and slightly overweight, but how this is portrayed varies by the artist. It is revealed that, in the future, Gertrude will become a super-hero named "Heroine," and will become leader of The Avengers until she is killed by Victorious (see "Victor" below). However, due to the actions of her future self the timeline has been changed, and Gertrude instead died while still a young runaway. Dying in Chase's arms, she transferred telepathic control of Old Lace to him.
She is later revived in the 2017 series, though she is unable to get the control back and has been struggling with her new place.
- Anger Born of Worry: Her increased hostility and frustration during her and the Runaways' time with Doc Justice becomes more blatant when she learns of the various deaths on the J-Team. While she was cranky before from being left behind, she was at least trying to accept her friends' decison while learning how to support them as Mission Control — until she learns of the body count. When she brings her concerns to Victor, he acknowledges that all of them are pretty aware of the dangers involved and had a meeting about to decide it. Of course, this is before it turns out Doc Justice has been murdering his teenage sidekicks for years, to get more attention for his "heroism."
- Armor-Piercing Question: Ends up getting one from Matthew, Doc Justice's assistant, over whether her concern regarding her friends' heroic actions is actually her envying them because they made the team. He then goes to warning her that her cynicism and bitterness could actually push her friends away with her, with the undertones being that it happened with Matthew.
- Back from the Dead: Chase ends up rescuing her by going back in time to when Geoffrey Wilder stabbed her and bringing her back to the present where Nico healed her before she died.
- Big Beautiful Woman: She's a bit pudgy but certainly not ugly.
- Brilliant, but Lazy: She is the second smartest member of the original team, and probably could have become the team leader if she had wanted. But she prefers to take a background role, letting her teammates and Old Lace do most of the work.
- Brought Down to Normal: Post-resurrection, she no longer seems to have control over Old Lace, as she was unable to stop Old Lace from killing Dr. Hayes' cats. Confirmed later — Chase is still psychically connected to Old Lace, and neither of them know how to transfer it back.
- Character Death: Gets killed by a time-displaced member of the Pride.
- Covers Always Lie: Jo Chen's covers depicting Gertrude generally have her looking nothing like she does in the comic at all.
- The Cynic: By far the most jaded of the kids, even dismissing "with great power comes great responsibility" as inane.
- Deadpan Snarker: All of the main characters have their snarky moments, but Gert, being moodier and more introverted, fits this trope the best. She's often got a sarcastic quip ready for the occasion.Chase: I can, like, totally mold my flames into anything I can imagine!
Gert: And I see you've imagined a square. Very creative, Talkback.
- Died in Your Arms Tonight: Both versions of Gert die in Chase's embrace, while saying "I love you" to him.
- Don't You Dare Pity Me!: Post-resurrection, she quickly gets frustrated when her teammates treat her like she's fragile.
- Flat-Earth Atheist: Gert refers to herself as an agnostic... while one of the team's greatest adversaries is a trio of fallen angels. This probably makes her more of a Nay-Theist.
- Future Badass: In one timeline, she grew up to lead the Avengers.
- Future Me Scares Me: And not for the normal reasons, either. Gert's future self was a hero and leader of the Avengers — who were all slaughtered under her watch. This has convinced Gert that she shouldn't be in charge of anything, and tries to distance herself from the woman who failed so completley.
- The Heart: Chase and Nico insist that her death was where the team fell apart, and Karolina calls her the team's moral center.
- Inferiority Superiority Complex: Gert's biggest flaw is this. She is utterly insecure because of her appearance, lack of athletic capability and relative mundanity compared to her friends (she only has her psychic link to Old Lace and even then, she loses that to Chase when she dies.) As such, she tends to snark at her friends or have a condescending behavior with her intelligence. Despite that, she is more content to remain in the background rather than try and go for the leadership role, thus not taking any real responsibilities and not putting herself in a situation where
- This likely has increased by the 2017 revival. She has no powers and no real motivations or direction for her life. This has been leading her to act with greater suspicion and hostility, even as the team is happy to have her back. This attitude gets her called out by Matthew, Doc Justice's assistant, noting that her concern for her friends could likely be also envy that they were chosen and she wasn't. Given her insecurity and her actions, Matthew is at least partially right.
- Jewish and Nerdy: She was raised Jewish, and is one of the smarter members of the team (after Alex and, later, Victor).
- The Kid with the Remote Control: She had a telepathic link with a genetically engineered dinosaur called Old Lace. The link got transferred to Chase when she died.
- Make-Out Kids: With Chase, after he saves her life. They can't keep their hands off of each other, are outright stated to be sexually active, and many a joke is made about the areas of the lair they've "christened". It's implied (and later outright stated during her Dying Declaration of Love) that she's so tactile due to being insecure about her appearance and was always amazed at the idea that a jock like Chase would have ever been into her.
- Meaningful Name: Possibly a reference to Gertie the Dinosaur.
- The Millstone: Post-resurrection, her control over Old Lace has become unreliable, her combat skills are about what you'd expect from a teenager who disdains sports, and since she can't get a job and refuses to go back to school, she spends a lot of time lounging around the Hostel. This behavior persists when she's a reluctant member of the J-Team. Given how she has no more control over Old Lace and expresses no desire to physically better herself, she is not on the field team. She does end up learning about Mission Control with Matthew.
- Nerdy Bully: She often lords her superior intelligence over her teammates, particularly Karolina, as a cover for her insecurity about her weight and appearance.
- Properly Paranoid: Issue #30 reveals she was right to be uncomfortable with the group subbing as the new J-Team when she gets into Doc Justice's files and discovers hard evidence he orchestrated the deaths of at least several of his teammates for the sake of keeping the J-Team both marketable and in the public eye. And he wants Karolina dead to serve that goal.
- Psychological Projection: Gert genuinely assumes that all parents are secretly as bad as her parents were. To be fair, up until the 2017 series, the only other parents she interacted with were her friends' parents, who were all supervillains.
- Sugar-and-Ice Personality: She's usually an irritable jaded snarker, but sweetens up towards Chase.
- The Team Normal: Even more so than Chase in the 2017 incarnation given how she lost her connection to Old Lace and has no place on the J-Team, though she later tries to be Mission Control.
- Vitriolic Best Buds: She and Nico have been friends since they were kids. She likes to show her affection by snarking at Nico.
- The Watson: She's brought back to life in the relaunched series. Two years in-story, a whole decade in the real world. She fulfills this role by asking what has become of the members of the team in that time, which serves as something of a recap.
Karolina Dean (Codename: Princess Justice, formerly Lucy In The Sky)
- "I wish we'd never learned about any of this! I was much happier being kept in the dark! I... I hope our parents do kill us now! I... I... I can fly? I CAN FLY!"
Karolina at first appears to be a clichéd Valley Girl child of celebrity parents (tall, blond, attractive, and always fighting for "a cause"), but she is actually the most confused and internally conflicted member of the group. After discovering the nature of the Pride, Karolina learns that she is an alien from the planet Majesdane, which had exiled her parents to Earth for criminal activities. Solar powered, she also gained the power to fire energy blasts from her hands and generate forcefields. The revelation that she is not even human, along with more personal crises of identity, lead to severe depression, although her newfound ability to fly does provide her with some joy.
- Ambiguous Disorder: She is prone to bouts of severe depression and hypersexuality. It's unclear if this is due to bipolar disorder, a consequence of the stresses of being a Runaway, or a possible quirk of her Majesdanian physiology (though none of those answers are necessary exclusive.)
- Affectionate Nickname: Other members of the team occasionally call her "K." Molly once called her "Lina Bean". Nico's taken to calling her "Karrie" and "Rainbow Girl" in the 2017 series.
- Bare Your Midriff: Karolina has worn many outfits like this, especially when Adrian Alphona is the artist.
- Brought Down to Normal: Following her run-in with SPF and near-death experience, Karolina has lost her powers, and can't seem to recharge them. She eventually agrees to let the Light Brigade take her back into space to recharge her powers.
- Childhood Friend Romance: She's known Nico for a long time, and has always loved her deep down.
- Closet Key: Implied to be this for Nico.
- Covers Always Lie: Similar to the Gert example above, one of the covers by Jo Chen depicts her flying in her de-powered form◊, which she is unable to do.
- Death Seeker: She tries to commit suicide-by-vampire (in exchange for Molly being spared, but still) during the Teenage Wasteland arc. In the second series, she expresses a desire to kill herself after Nico rejects her advances, but gets better after meeting Xavin.
- Depending on the Artist: No two colorists can really agree on how Karolina looks powered-up. The first run had the colors and intensity vary wildly from panel to panel. Colorists on actual Runaways-titled books tend to follow the example set by Christina Strain in volume two: a set palette of bright blue, pink, and yellow, with glitter effects, though the positioning of the colors shift from panel to panel. However, when Karolina appears outside of her home book, in crossovers or guest appearances, it's more or less a free-for-all. Avengers Academy, S.W.O.R.D. and several covers portray her glow as something that just extends from her back, rather than encompassing her entire body.
- Desperately Looking for a Purpose in Life: She starts feeling this way around the "But You Can't Hide" arc of the revived series.
- Driving Stick: Karolina has her driver's license, but cannot drive a stick shift. Hilarity Ensues (and much cursing about the impossibility of stick shifts) when she has to drive Chase's van.
- Even the Loving Hero Has Hated Ones: Karolina is one of the most patient and tolerant teen superheroes you're likely to meet, but she really, really hates child abusers.
- Flight: Her alien powers allows her to fly.
- Flying Firepower: Her basic power set allows her to fly and fire light-based energy blasts.
- Gayngst: Her Coming-Out Story would have enough of this trope considering she's her parents' model daughter, but her crises and angst are only compounded by the revelation that she's a Human Alien with a fiancée, as well as her initial unrequited feelings for Nico.
- Genius Ditz: Despite her airhead reputation, she managed to get into Pomona College, one of the most exclusive colleges in California.
- Good Feels Good: In the revived series, she gets back into superhero work because she enjoys the rush that comes with helping people (and she really wants to do something useful.)
- The Heart: Chase definitely thinks of her in this role, pointing out how everyone was that much worse to each other when she was temporarily Put on a Bus.
- Human Aliens: Is virtually indistinguishable from a human girl, unless she powers up.
- I Just Want to Be Normal: The revelation that she is not even human, along with more personal crises of identity, lead to severe depression. She at first even prefers to tell people she is a mutant than admit she is an alien.
- The Joy of First Flight: Is exhilarated and excited upon discovering her flight powers.
- Light 'em Up: That suicide-by-vampire mentioned above? It kills the vampire. Her blood is essentially the same as sunlight.
- Lipstick Lesbian: She's one of the most feminine members of the group. That doesn't stop her from liking other girls.
- Living Mood Ring: Depending on the Artist, her skin and hair sometimes glow a certain color to indicate her emotions (pink for love, blue for distress, etc.).
- Look-Alike Lovers: With Julie Power. Lampshaded when Gert sees them together and says they look like twins.
- Put on a Bus:
- In the second series, she spends several months in space after promising to wed Xavin. When the wedding fails, she and Xavin return to Earth.
- At the end of the fifth series, she goes back into space with the Light Brigade, who promise to heal the injuries that caused her to lose her powers.
- Queer Establishing Moment: Fans suspected that Karolina might not be straight as early as the first issue of the original series, when she was very enthusiastic about how hot Nico was. Any doubts about her sexuality were banished in the second series, when she tries to kiss Nico.
- Sleeves Are for Wimps: Usually wears turtleneck sleeveless shirts.
- She's Got Legs: How can Nico tell she's been moonlighting as a superhero?Karolina: You think that looks like me? I don't think that looks like me.Nico: I'd recognize those thighs anywhere.
- Stepford Smiler: In the 2017 series, she seems to have gotten her life together, going off to college and acquiring a therapist. But in exchange, she is now heavily suppressing her powers, she's cut herself off from the other Runaways, and two of her affirmations suggest that she is forcing herself to forget about Xavin.
- Super Cute Superpowers: She turns into a rainbow-colored beam of light in human form, and can fire projectiles and make shields of the same color.
- They Do: After so long? Nico realizes she loves Karolina and her initial confusion was a struggle over her own sexuality... after Nico asks for another chance, Karolina becomes a couple with her.
- Twofer Token Minority: An extraterrestrial lesbian.
Victor Chase Stein (Codename: Gun Arm, formerly Talkback)
- "Hey, I may not be book smart, but I am street smart.""Which street? Sesame...?"
Chase is the third normal human in the group. His Mad Scientist parents had a number of inventions, which he puts to good use over time, but he mostly serves as the group's wheel-man (or, you know, giant robot frog-man). His relationship with his parents was much more hostile and confrontational than he rest of the group, and he takes their newfound homelessness in stride. He serves as the heart of the team, as well as much of the early comic relief, but he has a real mean streak which pops up from time to time.
- Abusive Parents: The original group all had supervillains for parents, but his were the only ones who treated him this way, and his father was once seen hitting him for getting a "C" in his studies.
- Badass Normal: He doesn't have super powers, but he is able to utilize his parents' inventions to be an effective fighter.
- Big Brother Instinct: As the oldest member of the Runaways, he eventually matures into being their main breadwinner, guardian, and a reluctant role model for the younger members like Molly.
- Book Dumb: Chase gets straight C's and has the lowest general knowledge of the group, but is quite street smart, and more than capable of cobbling together simple, yet effective plans, under pressure.
- Borrowed Catchphrase: When he had the fistigons, he had a thing for saying "Flame on!"
- Character Development: Chase starts off the series as a Jerk Jock but by the time of the 2017 relaunch he has matured into essentially being the closest thing the group has to a responsible adult.
- Demoted to Comic Relief: In the series' original run, Chase was one of the main characters, to the point that in the second series, his fears of losing Gert (and grief when she dies unexpectedly) fuel much of the drama, and his attempts to confront his parents' abuse and avoid becoming like his father drives the final arc of the third series. In the relaunch, he's pushed to the sidelines and turned into a Sad Clown who's so dumb that he replaces his own hand with a cannon, with the Lemony Narrator calling him the lamest Runaway ever.
- Dislikes the New Guy: Chase is initially very hostile towards Victor after he joins the team, because Victor is possibly fated to become the supervillain Victorious, who kills Chase's girlfriend Gert in the future. They later become good friends.
- Dr. Fakenstein: Subverted, as his parents were mad scientists with the last name of Stein, but Chase himself is fairly Book Dumb and rejects his parents.
- Dumb Jock: When the series starts, it's established that he's clearly more invested in lacrosse than he is in his studies. Other characters frequently remark how ironic it is that two Mad Scientist parents would have a Dumb Jock son. He does become more intelligent later on, capable of fixing his Fistogans and repairing a time machine. This is lampshaded in the 2017 series, where he tells Gert that he's always intuitively known how to fix things, but doesn't have the creativity to invent them.
- Embarrassing First Name: The 2017 series reveals his first name is actually Victor after his father, but he dislikes it and goes by Chase, his middle name.
- Former Bigot: He used to be rather homophobic, but when Karolina came out as a lesbian, he made a conscious effort to change, and was one of the few Runaways who actually made an attempt to befriend Karolina's fiancee Xavin.
- Has a Type: While he had a crush on the traditionally beautiful Karolina early on and has remarked that Nico is pretty in a scary goth kinda way, the girls he typically warms up to tend to be plus-sized with multicolored hair.
- Hidden Depths: He presents himself as a slacker with no ambition besides lacrosse, but the poor guy has issues.
- How Dare You Die on Me!: He goes kind of crazy after Gert's death. At his lowest, he considers sacrificing an innocent stranger to the Gibborim in order to bring her back. When he realizes that he doesn't have it in him, he tries to sacrifice himself instead.
- Incompatible Orientation: He has a very obvious crush on Karolina at the beginning of the series, but it later turns out that she's a lesbian.
- Insecure Love Interest: Thanks to everything he's internalized from his parents' abuse, Chase spends most of his relationship with Gert secretly convinced she's out of his league and acting as some kind of Morality Chain on him.
- Jerk Jock: Initially, he comes off as the stereotypical hormone-addled jerkass athlete, but it's later revealed that this is mostly a persona he adopted to protect himself.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: For all that he tries to pretend that he's a lone wolf who doesn't care about anyone, his actions often demonstrate otherwise. He serves as a big brother figure to Molly, for instance, insisted on rescuing Xavin during the Secret Invasion, and abandoned his efforts to bring Gert back after realizing that such efforts were hurting the rest of the team.
- The Kid with the Remote Control: He, too, has a telepathic bond with Old Lace... after Gert's death, that is.
- Knife Nut: Chase is very fond of his switchblade.
- Multiple-Choice Past: He made up stories to justify the way his parents treated him and ended up believing some of them. Even he's not quite sure which bits are real anymore.
- The One Guy: Very briefly the only guy on the team, in between Alex's death and Victor's introduction. Even lampshaded when he insisted that the leapfrog was a male vessel, because the team had "more than enough estrogen". He became this in the 2017 revival, which brought back the original team sans Alex and left him as the only guy until Victor joined once again.
- Opposites Attract: With Gert. He's a hot-blooded, fun-loving Book Dumb, while she's a Deadpan Snarker Badass Bookworm.
- Playing with Fire: The Fistigons, gauntlets stolen from his parents' lab. They're destroyed when Alex tries to use them against the team, but he finds some more of his parents' tech in Volume 3.
- Promotion to Parent: It takes a while, but Chase was always the oldest of the Runaways and by the time of the 2017 series the age gap has never been more obvious. He drives them around, is their main source of financial support, and even makes a rota to ensure they do all their chores and get Molly to school on time.
- Put on a Bus: Future!Gert drags him off into the future in order to prevent a Bad Future where he turns evil.
- The Slacker: Chase is a deliberate underachiever, as a way of rebelling against his parents' expectations.
- Street Smart: One of his most consistent yet overlooked traits. He chose a white van and switched out its license plates so it would blend in better. Told Alex he could stretch their meager convenience store resources. He found the storage facility where Old Lace and the Leapfrog were being held, and located both Hostels. And threatened Topher and later Victor with a knife.
- Team Dad: While always something like the team big brother, Chase steps up into the "male leadership" role in the 2017 series as it feels like his responsibility. He tries to get a job to support the team and acts as Molly's legal guardian alongside Nico.
- The Team Normal: Becomes this in the second iteration, as the other normals Alex and Gert died while additional supers Victor and Xavin replaced them, leaving Chase as the only one without any powers. He does access some super advanced tech, is an expert pilot of the Leapfrog, and he inherits Old Lace after Gert's death, all of which do a pretty good job at making up for his lack of actual superpowers.
- Troubled, but Cute: This is how Nico described Chase in "Homeschooling". She's not far wrong; he's a pretty affable guy whose snarky attitude hides very poor self-esteem owing to years of parental abuse.
- Troubled Teen: He comes from an abusive home that included physical beatings and may have killed someone by accident and/or been molested by an Honorary Uncle (he's been known to suppress some of his memories.) Consequently, he has anger issues and can get hotheaded, which only get worse when his girlfriend Gert is suddenly murdered, sending him on a dark path for a while that almost ended in him making a Deal with the Devil. He mellows out considerably in the 2017 series; having to become Molly's legal guardian actually forces him to grow up a bit.
Nico Minoru (Codename: The Gloom, formerly Sister Grimm)
- "I'm not a leader. I'm a den mother. And not a very good one."
Nico was an ordinary Japanese-American teenager with ordinary parents... or so she thought. One night, while hanging out with the kids of her parents' friends as they do annually, Nico and the others discover something shocking: their parents are a cult of supervillains called The Pride.
Moreover, Nico learns her parents are actually dark wizards, and she comes into the possession of her mother's Staff of One — a mystical artifact that casts spells once ever, and only when its user sheds blood. With the Staff in tow, Nico and her fellow runaways flee home, hoping to correct the moral wrongs of their parents.
Upon discovering her maybe-boyfriend Alex Wilder is actually a mole serving their parents and defeating him, Nico becomes the Runways' new leader. Over the next few years, she and the Runaways clash with the Young Avengers during the first Civil War, gain (and lose) a few members, and make it through the Secret Invasion.
Some time later, Nico and Chase are abducted by the supervillain Arcade and forced into the Avengers Arena, where she and other young characters of the Marvel Universe (like X-23 and some of the Avengers Academy) must kill (or be killed) in order to escape. Nico actually dies at one point during this ordeal, but thanks to the Staff of One, her death isn't permanent. With the help of Chase and their fellow captives, most (but not all) of them manage to make it out alive.
But Wait, There's More! Months after escaping Arcade's Murderworld, Nico is understandably distraught, having quit the Runaways and condemned Chase for becoming a media sensation in light of those events. When she and the other survivors find Cullen Bloodstone (another Murderworld escapee) conspiring with the Masters of Evil in Bagalia in order to take revenge on Arcade, Nico is reunited with a resurrected Alex and very nearly seduced to joining the dark side with him. After months of struggle, Nico and the survivors are rescued with the help of S.H.I.E.L.D..
When the Marvel Universe is destroyed by a final incursion with Earth-1610, another Nico exists in the Arcadia region on God Doom's Battleworld, and serves on their team of law enforcers called A-Force. Alongside She-Hulk, Medusa, Dazzler, and a cosmic entity called Singularity, they investigate the wrongful arrest of America Chavez and take down the amoral Lady Loki.
When the Marvel Universe is restored, Singularity (who migrated from Battleworld to Earth-616 in the wake of the Siege on God Doom) locates her friends from Arcadia — despite none of them remembering Battleworld, or Singularity herself — to reform A-Force. Together, they meet Dazzler Thor (another Battleworld holdover) and start adventuring together.
Unfortunately, they soon get drawn into Civil War II, which starts with She-Hulk (their leader) being put in a coma. Afterwards, Nico winds up living on her own again, at a loss for anything to do...until Chase shows up with an unexpected guest, kick-starting a new Runaways series.
- An Arm and a Leg: She lost her left arm during Avengers Arena, replacing it with the Witch Arm after her resurrection. In the 2017 relaunch, however, her arm is back to normal, which is eventually revealed to be the work of "the One."
- Artificial Limbs: Her Witch Arm.
- Belated Love Epiphany: Nico doesn't realize she might actually have feelings for Karolina until she leaves for another galaxy.
- Blood Magic: For most of her career, her Staff of One has been summoned whenever is bleeding, though it's not too picky on how. The Witchbreaker has hinted that she could find other ways to fuel her magic. In the 2017 series, her powers are now fueled by her soul.
- Boxing Lessons for Superman: During her and the Runaways' stay with Doc Justice, she ends up learning how to fight with the Staff of One in combat. She's becoming pretty good.
- Brought Down to Normal: She sends the Staff of One away with Karolina at the end of the fifth series, leaving her without a way to use magic.
- By the Power of Grayskull!: "When blood is shed, let the Staff of One emerge." This seems to be involuntary.
- Cartwright Curse: Downplayed - Alex and Victor have both died and come back, although in Victor's case they'd been broken up for a while by that point. Karolina got Put on a Bus less than an hour after trying to kiss her. Then there's Topher (turned out to be a vampire Sixth Ranger Traitor and died the same night he kissed her.)
- The Chains of Commanding: She has never been comfortable with being the team leader, and the fact that her tenure included Gert's death did not help. Gert lampshades this and it seems to be why she's okay with following Doc.
- Childhood Friend Romance: Her two major paramours, Alex and Karolina, were both childhood friends before she developed romantic feelings for them, although prior to the start of the series they only saw each other once a year.
- Combat Stilettos: She once used her high-heeled shoes as a weapon against Victor.
- Control Freak: She really doesn't like not being in control of her own life. Sometimes, she'll cut herself in order to control the Staff of One's emergence and withdrawal. She tried to manipulate Victor into cheating on her so that she could dump him before he figured out that she wasn't happy in their relationship. And she's mentioned that she used to have an eating disorder.
- Costume Porn: Many of the outfits she wears (and her team members) were made by her, and apparently she did this before they all went on the run but only for herself. She also has this reaction to the outfits of the civilians in 1907.
- Drama-Preserving Handicap: The Staff of One can cast any spell only once. To preserve drama, many writers have Nico having cast a potentially useful spell off screen. Though later power ups and creative wording write arounds do appear, many writers forget them.
- Deal with the Devil: In the 2017 series, the spirit inhabiting her staff agrees to change the terms of their contract so that she no longer has to cut herself, but in exchange, she has agreed to let him have her body if she casts a certain number of spells.
- Depraved Bisexual: Nico gets slut-shamed by her parents for kissing Alex, kissing Chase, dating Victor and falling for Karolina.
- Drama-Preserving Handicap: The Staff of One can only cast one spell per effect, although there are ways around this limitation. In the 2017 series, she also has a limited number of spells left; if she continues casting, the spirit inhabiting her staff will claim her body.
- Elegant Gothic Lolita: In the first two series, she favors fancy lace, puffy skirts, and frilly Gothic clothes, implied to be created by her own hand. In the 2017 series, she seems to have outgrown this, wearing more practical clothing.
- Ethnic Magician: Averted. Her and her parents have magical powers, but it's not linked in any way to them being Japanese and her powers actually have more in common with European styles of magic.
- Even the Girls Want Her: Karolina had a crush on her for years before she noticed the attention. During her time in A-Force, her teammate Singularity also had a Precocious Crush on her. Pixie also showed attraction to Nico, which was mutual.
- The Fashionista: A gothic version of this trope, since she likes to make her own clothes and they're all gothic in some way. If she hadn't gotten stuck with her parents' legacy, she planned to become a fashion designer.
- Fatal Attractor: Alex was The Mole, Topher was a Sixth Ranger Traitor, and Victor left her for Lillie.
- Flight: Nico gains the ability to fly after Witchbreaker untaps her magical powers.
- Gender-Blender Name: Nico is a boy's name of Greek origin. Then again, it could also be a diminutive of "Nicole", a female name of French origin.
- Goth Girls Know Magic: Played with — her magic-wielding parents pretended to be hyper-sensitive Christians who greatly disapproved of her new look. They ended up giving her her powers by stabbing her with the Staff of One.
- Green-Eyed Epiphany: Her reaction to Karolina and Xavin.Nico: So you guys are still...together?
- Green-Eyed Monster: Her feelings for Karolina lead to a bad case of this with Xavin and Julie.Karolina: Um. You're still in the Avengers database. Julie looked you up for me...Nico: Right. Julie. Your girlfriend.
- Has a Type: Her taste in women. She's shown to be attracted to Karolina and Pixie, the former being an alien and the latter being a mutant.
- Hot Witch: She is one attractive magic user.
- It Only Works Once: Any incantation she uses. Using the same words twice results in a Random Effect Spell.
- Loophole Abuse: However, she can use the same incantation multiple times if she speaks it in a different language - so if someone who has a thesaurus in their brain/hard drive like Vision II happens to be nearby, the number of uses for one incantation goes from 1 to however many ways she can find to say it in different languages.
- I Want My Beloved to Be Fashionable: When Karolina becomes a superheroine while they are dating, Nico insists on designing her costume.
- Lady of Black Magic: She wears elegant and elaborate Gothic clothing and uses the Staff of One to cast magic. She becomes a much more powerful witch after Witchbreaker tortures her.
- The Leader: Once the team reformed after Alex's death, although she doesn't think of herself as one.
- Loyal Phlebotinum: Initially averted. Nico's blood summons the staff, but anyone who took it from her could use it. Although this is no longer possible after she Took a Level in Badass, and if anyone else tries to use the staff, it will eat them.
- Mercy Kill Arrangement: She asks Gert to kill her if she ever loses control of the Staff of One. Gert has adamantly refused any such arrangement.
- Perky Goth: A flashback to a year before the series begins shows that she dressed more or less normally, and even wore glasses, suggesting that her more gothic style of dress was something she took up recently. The "perky" part starts to become more downplayed the more she goes through over the course of the series.
- Raised Catholic: She has a strange relationship with her Catholicism: she seems to look back on it fondly, but the fact that her parents were trying to raise her to be a good Catholic while being terrible criminals unnerves her. She used to be an altar girl. Her family has been Catholic since at least the 1900's, when her ancestor Witchbreaker hunted "sinners" alongside the Adjudicator and Black Maria. She's functionally non-religious, but turns back to her faith for comfort and security, something she bonds over with Victor.
- Relationship Upgrade: With Karolina, as of issue 12 of the relaunch.
- Semantic Superpower: The Staff of One can be used to conjure practically anything (resurrection is an exception), although each spell can only be used once — and if Nico wants to perform a similar magic, she must use a different phrasing of the word. Different languages also work — she's used "heal" in a large number of them.
- Sex for Solace: Though not sex specifically, she has a nasty habit of reaching out for relationships (and kisses) when she feels stressed. She's done this with Victor and Chase - twice.
- After Gert's death, Nico had sex with Victor out of a desperate need to feel something other than grief.
- In Avengers Undercover, Nico had sex with a resurrected Alex due to feeling responsible for Chase's comatose state.
- In Rainbow Rowell's Runaways, Nico tries to kiss Karolina to feel comfort due to her failed attempt to bring the Runaways together again.
- In Issue 34, Nico nearly kisses Pixie after they both get out of a tricky and stressful battle.
- Shipper with an Agenda: She decides to encourage her then-boyfriend Victor to spend more time with Lillie, because she knows they're both infatuated with each other and she doesn't want to get in the way. It backfires when Lillie gets cold feet and stays in the past, and Victor isn't pleased when he finds out Nico manipulated him.
- Ship Tease: On-again, off-again with Karolina. As of vol. 5 issue #12, they're officially together.
- Squishy Wizard: Has no built-in durability, and can be hurt or injured like any normal person, despite her magic.
- Team Mom: She's played den mother to the rest of the team since its inception. Takes over as the team's leader after Alex's death, and frequently monitors the budget and allowances for the others.
- Token Wizard: She is the only member of the Runaways whose powers are mystical in origin.
- Took a Level in Badass: Whatever the Witchbreaker did to her has affected her powers in ways that have yet to be fully explored. The most dramatic example is how the Staff of One reacts to people: before, anyone could try to use it. Now, if anyone besides Nico so much as touches it, it EATS them.
- Try Not to Die: The Catchphrase she devises for the team.
- Twofer Token Minority: Threefer, Nico is a bisexual, Japanese-American woman.
- Two First Names: The name "Minoru" is strictly a given name in Japan. A male-only given name at that.
- Vitriolic Best Buds: She and Gert have been best friends and fierce rivals since they were kids. Most days, they usually end up being friends.
- Words Can Break My Bones: Nico can use the Staff of One to create any magical effect she can describe (usually in one or two words). However, each description can only be used once.
Molly Hayes (Codenames: Blue J, formerly Princess Powerful, Bruiser)
Species: Human mutant
- "I'm a mutant but not a bad one like Magneto a good one like Doop and the X-Statix and when I grow up I'm gonna join the X-Men and get married to Wolverine so you better not act prejudiced around me. 'Kay?"
The youngest member of the group, 11-year-old Molly's parents were mutants. They thought she did not inherit the X-Gene from them, but during their escape her eyes glow an eerie pink and she gains super strength. She has limited invulnerability and super strength, but using these abilities are extremely tiring and can only be sustained for a short time before she requires a nap (though this no longer seems to apply as of volume 3). Serving as the voice of innocence and child-like good-nature, numerous characters nonetheless explain that Molly is much more intelligent and mature than she appears, but she hides it well.
- Animal-Eared Headband: Several of the many hats she wears have animal ears on them.
- Ascended Fangirl: Shown both in her original crush on Wolverinenote and in her visit to the X-Men in Vol 3 #10, where throughout the tour she (again) slips into overexcited motormouth mode.
- Badass Adorable: A very cute preteen who is nevertheless unafraid to use her mutant strength.
- The Big Guy: Despite having the smallest physique in the group at first, she is the strongest and most boisterous fighter.
- Boobs of Steel: Her future counterpart in Battle of the Atom is the bustiest and the most physically-endowed woman of her team.
- Boxing Lessons for Superman: In the "Cannon Fodder" arc, she starts actually doing weight training in order to build up her notoriously low stamina.
- Brainwashed and Crazy: Not her per se, but her future version from Battle of the Atom who attacks the X-Men while under the control of Xavier Jr..
- Breakout Character: Was well-liked during her run, and she gets involved in the most spin-offs.
- Civvie Spandex: Once put together a makeshift costume using her own clothes. It didn't stick.
- Cute Bruiser: An adorable young girl who punched Wolverine out of a church◊. She has started to grow out of it by the more recent issues of the 2017 series.
- Hidden Depths: She's actually much smarter than she appears to be but hides it because it's more fun.
- Intergenerational Friendship: With Wolverine, of all people.
- Kiddie Kid: Subverted; she generally acts younger than her 11-12 years of age, but this is actually Obfuscating Stupidity on her part.
- Must Have Caffeine: Or anything with enough sugar to fuel her powers. Nico once magically gave her enough of a sugar rush to topple a giant.
- Mutants: Her powers come from the mutant X-gene like the X-Men.
- Nice Hat: Despite being on the run, she manages to have a whole collection of adorable hats. Xavin lampshades it.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: She absentmindedly left Abigail's youth-freezing cupcake out in the open, which is when Julie found it and ate it in a moment of depression. While thankfully it turned out Abigail had an antidote and Julie's age was properly restored, this just served as the final nail in the coffin of Julie and Karolina's relationship.
- Pintsized Powerhouse: She's a tiny little girl, but she's got super strength. She's starting to grow out of it by the 2017 series
- Power-Strain Blackout: In early issues, she would black out from exhaustion after a throwing a single punch. As she got more used to it she wouldn't pass out, but would still need a nap after using her powers.
- Precocious Crush: On Wolverine, until he managed to scare her and she promptly Worf-Effected him.
- Psycho Pink: Molly's parents were a pair of sadistic supervillains whose eyes glowed pink whenever they used their powers. Incidentally, whenever Molly's eyes and hair acquire a pink glow, it's usually best to run far away...
- Romantic Two-Girl Friendship: She develops a really close friendship with Klara in the third series. In the 2017 series, when Klara declines to return to the team, Molly spends a long time sulking in her room.
- Sleepyhead: The more strength she uses the sleepier she will get. She adapted to this by learning to enjoy sleeping and it's now one of her favorite activities.
- Statuesque Stunner: Her future counterpart in Battle of the Atom positively towers over Wolverine◊. Not that towering over Wolverine is that hard. Her present day has been shown to have recently passed Wolverine in height herself so she's beginning to get there.
- Super-Strong Child: Her mutant powers gives her Super Strength.
- Unlimited Wardrobe: Hats-wise, anyway, she will never run out.
- Wise Beyond Their Years: "The girls I live with are just mutants. You guys are my friends."
Victor Mancha (Codename: Kid Justice)
Species: Human cyborg
- Molly: You're a villain, and your ringtone is stupid.
Victor: You don't know what you're talking about, little girl! That's a Rick Jones song!
The first new recruit to join the team after it reformed following Alex's death. Victor's mother was Marianella Mancha, a former petty thief, while his father is none other than Ultron. Victor lived a normal life (or so he thought), attending high school in Los Angeles, with a deep admiration for superheroes across the world. Little did he know, he was only a few years old, implanted with Fake Memories, and was intended to become the Manchurian Agent that would infiltrate The Avengers and dismantle them from the inside, destined to become the supervillain known as Victorious...
... but then the Runaways learned of this thanks to the Gert Yorkes of that Bad Future travelling back to warn her younger self. They basically kidnap him from high school, where Victor learned of his powers fighting off the others, and after a hectic fight and chase, Victor is ultimately subdued and taken back to the hostel. Following an interrogation, they learn that his father is Doctor Doom, or so it seemed. In reality, his father turned out to be Ultron, and it was there where Victor learned of his destiny, and from that moment onward he vowed to never become that person, taking a heroic path instead.
- Affirmative Action Girl: Gender Inverted. Victor was introduced to fill the "second male" void left by Alex's death at the end of the first arc, and essentially serves as his replacement being the permanent male member of the Runaways alongside Chase. Though unlike Alex, he's not a Non-Action Guy.
- Anime Hair: Depending on the Artist, this can range from mild to completely ridiculous.
- Archnemesis Dad: Subverted with Ultron. Despite being on opposite ends of the moral spectrum, and Victor being his "son", he's never fought his father after learning what he was. Even Victor's role in the Age of Ultron storyline was pretty minor.
- Ascended Fanboy:
- In the original timeline this is what led to the Bad Future: Victor becomes the Avenger Victorious and kills all other superheroes. In the main timeline he does partake in heroics, but it isn't until Hank Pym recruits him for his team in Avengers A.I. that he becomes a fully-fledged Avenger.
- In the "Canon Fodder" story arc in Rainbow Rowell's Runaways, he's revealed to be a huge fan of the original J-Team, and upon visiting Doc Justice's mansion, he gets all of the Runaways to become the new J-Team, with himself being the new Kid Justice.
- Brain Bleach: Being a computer, he can delete his own memories, which comes in handy when the team's game of Truth or Dare gets into squickier territories.
- Breakout Character: Of the three Runaways introduced following the end of the first arc, Victor is the only one who's managed to last and become recognized as a core member that essentially replaces Alex. The fact that he's spread out into other books whereas Xavin and Klara were mostly contained to Runaways before being Put on a Bus further highlights this.
- Cool Big Bro: Not only has this dynamic with Molly once he joins the team, but with Klara as well. It sometimes has shades of Big Brother Instinct.
- Decapitation Presentation: His decapitated head is sent to the Runaways by Tony Stark after being killed in The Vision (2015). This is a benevolent example, though, as it is implied Stark did it so that the team could rebuild him.
- Driven to Suicide: Already unhappy with being resurrected and convinced that he's doomed to kill Gert as Victorious did in the Bad Future, he starts suffering from severe hallucinations and decides to deal with it by killing himself. Thankfully, it doesn't take.
- Endearingly Dorky: Turbo called him "charmingly fanboyish".
- Everyone Has Standards: After having been kidnapped for being the son of a supervillain meant to become one in the future, he was willing to play along to find out who his parent was... until they brought up the Red Skull as a potential candidate and seriously considered the possibility that it could be him. That was the moment Victor refused to cooperate and used force to escape because he didn't want to even entertain the idea that his father could be a Nazi. Fortunately, he was right, as instead his father was the still-evil-but-not-a-Nazi Ultron.
- Fake Memories: His entire life up until a few years ago is one big fake memory. He's actually younger than Molly, and what he remembers of his childhood and teenage years are all fabrication.
- Finger in the Mail: His decapitated head is sent to the Runaways by Tony Stark after being killed in The Vision (2015).
- The Friend Nobody Likes: At first, even when he joined the Runaways the other members had been cold and distrusting towards him because of his future as a supervillain, with Molly being the only exception. They eventually got over it, though.
- Future Me Scares Me: He's never actually met his Bad Future self, but the idea is more than enough to scare him.
- Genius Bruiser: It's easy to forget, since he mainly sticks to his long-range abilities, but he's definitely super-strong. One time a villain called the Swarm threw a mailbox at him, and he effortlessly punched it out of the way, flattening it in the process.
- Gratuitous Spanish: Since his Mexican mother raised him, he often utters exclamations in the language.
- Good Thing You Can Heal!: At the start of the 2017 series, he's been reduced to a disembodied head, but discovered that he was able to regenerate his body by dumping his head in a full bathtub.
- Going Cold Turkey: Refuses to get anywhere near Vibranium in the 2017 series.
- Half-Human Hybrid: Part human, part robot His "father" is freaking Ultron.
- Heroic BSoD: Has one after getting a new body and finding out it was armed with weapons. He still remembers killing his nephew.
- Iconic Sequel Character: Victor is considered a core Runaway and yet wasn't introduced until the second volume.
- Logic Bomb: He was programmed to be both spiritual and logical, so something that contradicts one while supporting the other, e.g. "Could God make a sandwich so big even He couldn't finish it?" causes him to freak out and shut down. Chase mentions that he has about three statements left that could make him do this, and each one only works once.
- Long-Haired Pretty Boy: He has long-ish hair and is the most attractive boy in the group.
- Losing Your Head: After his body is destroyed, his head is sent to the Runaways. It turns out he can think and talk fine as a head, and was faking being "dead" after the head was activated.
- Luke, I Am Your Father: Zigzagged. First it looks like Dr. Doom is his dad, having had a one-night-stand with his mother when she was on a trip in Latveria. Then the villain turns out to be a robot, and not one made by Dr. Doom. Ultron then shows up and explains that he is Victor's dad, and created him in an effort to make a sleeper agent who could bring down the Avengers; the Dr. Doom backstory was his idea of a false origin story for Victor that would set his plans back on track despite the Runaways' interference.
- Manchurian Agent: What Ultron planned to use Victor for, having him eventually join the Avengers to destroy them internally. It didn't pan out.
- Meat-Sack Robot: Victor Mancha is an Ultron construct whose body was designed so that over time, his organs would reconstruct themselves in ways that would enable them to mimic organic material, until his cybernetic nature became impossible to detect.
- Nice Guy: Victor is a pretty down to earth, easy going, calm and friendly guy most of the time.
- Orphan's Ordeal: His dad killed his mom and revealed his origins, leading him to join the Runaways.
- Raised Catholic: Ultron mentions his mother was very devout, and it goes along with his programming to be spiritual. He's more comfortable with it than Nico is, asking if he can pray with her at one point.
- Religious Robot: Or robot-human hybrid.
- The Smart Guy: He's very good with machines and computers. Possibly because he is one.
- Selective Magnetism: His electromagnetic powers.
- Shock and Awe: Again, electromagnetism, which often translates to firing lightning from his hands.
- Sixth Ranger: The first Runaway to join after the initial 18-issue storyline.
- So Proud of You: During the team's crossover with Avengers Academy, Hank Pym lets him know that all of his regrets over creating Ultron are worth it, because if he hadn't created Ultron, then Ultron wouldn't have created Victor.
- Tangled Family Tree: As Ultron's "son", he's related to half the Marvel Universe, including three of the Young Avengers and two of the Champions.
- Technopath: To an extent, he has some control over electronics due to being Ultron's son.
- Teen Genius: Due to being a computer, he is far more knowledgeable about trivia than Gert.
- Twofer Token Minority: "My mom was Mexican, you racist dipstick. My dad was a machine!"
- Tyke-Bomb: Originally created to destroy the Avengers from the inside.
- Unwanted Revival: In the 2017 series, he is livid that Chase reactivates him because he thought dying would finally prevent him from becoming Victorious.
- Unwitting Instigator of Doom: It's heavily implied that his hacking some random computer was responsible for the accident that seemingly killed Old Lace in the "Homeschooling" arc.
- Wet Blanket Wife: After Nico slept with him in a moment of weakness, he assumed that they were going to become a normal couple and tried to play the role of the supportive boyfriend, but often ended up annoying her instead.
- Younger Than They Look: As mentioned above, despite looking the same age as Nico and the others, he's actually younger than Molly.
A Shapeshifting Super Skrull in training from the Planet Tarnax VII. Being a Skrull, for whom changing shape (and gender) is of no more importance or difficulty than changing the color of your hair, Xavin is sometimes male and sometimes female. They (even the characters become confused over the proper pronouns to use) possess all the powers of the Fantastic Four (though not nearly on the same level as them) and join the team as the result of a bargain made long ago between their parents and Karolina's.
- Abusive Parents: X's parents are both dead, but what little we hear of them suggests this.Xavin: "My father killed a family of screaming Majesdanians in front of me when I was five. I cried so, I was left with the corpses for three days."
- Action Girl: When shapeshifted into a female form.
- Ambiguous Gender Identity: Xavin's exact gender identity is fairly vague; the "official" interpretation is that Xavin should be treated as genderfluid.
- Arranged Marriage: Karolina's parents sold out their own home planet to the Skrulls after being exiled from it, and offered them K's hand in marriage as a bargaining chip. While both Xavin's and Karolina's parents are dead, Xavin attempted to use this as a way to end the war. Despite both their efforts, it didn't take.
- Back for the Finale: They appear on the very last page of the very last issue of the fifth season, where the Light Brigade refer to them as "General Xavin".
- Barrier Warrior Xavin has Sue Storm's power to create invisible barriers.
- Child Soldiers: Before coming to Earth, they were trained to be a Super-Skrull.
- Everyone Has Standards: They initially oppose taking in Klara, because child labor is normal for Skrulls and getting a few bruises from an overseer is an occupational hazard, as far as they're concerned. But when Klara drags herself back to the team after having been thoroughly worked over by Mr. Prast, Xavin is clearly horrified.
- Fantastic Racism: A target of this trope from Majesdaneans after Skrulls destroy their homeworld. One calls their relationship with Karolina "perverted" (because it's interspecies).
- Flight: Thanks to possessing Johnny Storm's fire powers.
- Former Bigot: Xavin used to be a massive Skrull chauvinist, often using dehumanizing language towards their teammates, sometimes unintentionally (like calling Molly a "hatchling") and sometimes not (like referring to Klara as a "stray" or Victor as the "house android".) Seeing their own people destroy themselves in the Secret Invasion caused Xavin to greatly rethink their beliefs.
- Gender Bender: According to Xavin, changing genders is as simple as changing hairstyle for a Skrull. Well, physically anyway. Their mental self-image took longer to loosen up. They come to see a female form as the default, but in battle assumes a large male form to be more intimidating.
- Green-Skinned Space Babe: Starting in volume 3 - before then, Xavin defaulted to male when in Skrull form.
- In Love with Your Carnage: Xavin admires the Kingpin of all people for keeping New York on a tight leash, despite being a Badass Normal in a city full of superheroes.
- Inferiority Superiority Complex: Xavin loves to boast about how they have the most training and military experience of anyone on the team and is happy to lord their Super-Skrull abilities over their teammates, but beneath all the bravado, Xavin is insecure about their abilities (by Skrull standards, they are considered a Master of None), is ashamed of their failure to end the war with Majesdane, and fears that Karolina is only putting up with them out of pity.
- Invisibility: Thanks to possessing Sue Storm's invisibility powers.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: By far the hardest to get along with but usually places everyone else's needs above their own.
- Just a Machine: Unsurprisingly, considering this is the general Skrull attitude towards bots, but the way Xavin treats Victor ranges from unthinkingly calling him the "house android" to being an outright Jerkass (particularly in the Civil War crossover). However, in later issues they seem to be getting along decently enough. In Secret Invasion, Xavin even begs Victor to protect the others and run away before the other Skrulls can get them.
- Love Martyr: To Karolina, despite their relationship being rather loving and healthy, Xavin is willing to give up much for her. This may be due to the fact that Karolina is one of the few good things in Xavin's life.
- Master of None: Despite having the powers of the Fantastic Four, they're apparently considered subpar by the standards of Xavin's fellow Super Skrulls. Might be what they try so hard with bragging about said powers with the rest of their Runaway friends.
- Playing with Fire: Again, Johnny Storm's powers.
- Proud Warrior Race Guy: Played with. Taking down a giant monster is gratifying, but full-scale war is a horror to be avoided at all costs.
- Rubber Man: Thanks to possessing Reed Richards' powers.
- Shapeshifting: They can change forms at will. At one point, they transform into Karolina to take her punishment.
- Smug Super: Xavin loves lording their Super-Skrull abilities over their teammates. It's implied they do so out of insecurity.
- Statuesque Stunner: As of 2021, their default form is a more muscular but feminine version of their Skrull form.
- Superpower Lottery: Xavin possesses the shapeshifting ability that all Skrulls have as well as the powers of the Fantastic Four, which the Skrulls obtained through genetic engineering. The only drawback is that they have trouble using multiple abilities at once due to their lack of training.
- Super Strength: Comes from Ben Grimm's powers.
- Token Enemy Minority: A Skrull among the good guys.
- Token Evil Teammate: Played with; heroism and friendship are almost literally foreign concepts to Skrulls, so Xavin is a lot more willing than their teammates to use underhanded methods to survive (for instance, they are one of the few people who backs Nico's plan to work for the Kingpin.) That said, while Xavin is not necessarily good at thinking like a hero, by following Karolina's lead, they usually end up on the side of angels anyway.
- Token Heroic Orc: Xavin is one of a handful of heroic Skrulls in the Marvel Universe.
- Transgender Fetishization: Or rather genderfluid. Initially created to act as a romantic/sexual partner for a lesbian character, although Characterization Marches On indeed as the comic progresses. Otherwise, considered very attractive in their default human form.
- Twofer Token Minority: Xavin is a Skrull, their default human form is black, and they're a genderqueer in a lesbian relationship.
Klara Prast (Codename: Rose Red, Tower of Flower)
Species: Human mutant
- "I have always just... I thought that was how plants grew. Because you asked them to. On our farm in Bern, I would speak and the crops would listen. But the roses... the roses would speak back."
A young immigrant girl from 1907 with the ability to control plants whom the team encountered when they had been flung back in time. When Karolina and Molly learned about the abuse she suffered at the hands of the (adult) man her mother had married her to, they convinced her to come back to the present with them. She is close with Molly, being the two youngest runaways, but her unfamiliarity with the present and her own abusive history make their relationship vastly different from "normal" friendship.
- Abusive Parents: Her mother thought her power was unnatural and was happy to arrange a marriage for her (even if her husband was old enough to be her father.)
- Ambiguous Disorder: She has a great deal of difficulty socializing and can be prone to weird moods. Whether this is the result of the abuse she suffered or if there's some other factor at work is unrevealed. Avengers Academy hinted that she may have PTSD.
- Ambiguously Gay: For all her protests that she finds the sight of two women kissing to be disgusting, her initial character arc is essentially about embracing who and what she is, a plot that is often a metaphor for coming to grips with homosexual feelings.
- Ambiguously Human: There have been many theories as to the source of Klara's powers, ranging from mutation to some sort of connection to the gods. One of Marvel's handbooks listed her as a mutant, but it's never been stated in any of her appearances that this is the case.
- Ambiguously Jewish: It's never been explicitly stated which religion she belongs to. On the one hand, she hails from Bern, a traditional stronghold of the Swiss Reformed Church, and some of her stated beliefs suggest a belief in predestination. On the other hand, she used to be a laborer in the garment industry, which was often a field dominated by Jewish immigrants in the early 20th century, and child marriage was not known to be common in the Swiss Reformed Church, but did sometimes occur in conservative or Orthodox Jewish sects.
- Back for the Finale: After spending most of the fifth series on the sidelines, she makes a brief cameo in the Grand Finale, enjoying a video chat with Molly.
- Beware the Nice Ones: She's normally a sweet girl, but if you make her cry or threaten her, she (or at least her plant friends) will mess you up.
- Country Mouse: She is a country mouse twice over, having been pulled off a farm in Switzerland in the early 20th century to live in New York City, and then later brought into the 21st century.
- Cowardly Lion: She hates fighting and doesn't do well with confrontation, but if her friends are in danger, she will not hesitate to risk her life to save them.
- Deliberate Values Dissonance: She initially finds Xavin and Karolina's relationship disgusting, attitudes which would not have been out of place in the early 20th century.
- Disappeared Dad: According to the Marvel Handbook, she was raised by her mother alone. Her missing father may be connected to her powers.
- Fantasy-Forbidding Father: Her mother pushed her into a marriage to try and discourage her habit of talking to plants.
- The Fatalist: Between her extremely strict upbringing and the abuse she suffered at Mr. Prast's hands, she used to believe that her sole lot in life was to suffer for being different and then die. She snaps out of this pretty quickly after the Secret Invasion miniseries, where, in the face of near-certain death at the hands of a Super-Skrull, she decides that she'd very much like to live.
- Fish out of Temporal Water: Mostly averted during the series' third volume. The only indications that she is from another time are her old-fashioned views of homosexuality, interracial relations (it's not clear whether she was more squicked by Xavin (in female human form) and Karolina kissing because they were both girls or because one of them was black) and the occasional mention of her husband. She adapts pretty quickly to most of the modern world and enjoys playing Wii.
- Forgotten Fallen Friend: Non-lethal example. In the 2017 series, she's never mentioned outside one brief instance in which she was taken by social services. And despite the Putting the Band Back Together feel the renewal has, nobody ever suggests bringing her back into the group. Issue 11 later reveals the group did try to retrieve her, but Klara's happy where she is and asks not to return.
- Former Bigot: She almost rejected Molly and Karolina's efforts to recruit her because she was uncomfortable being on a team with a black genderfluid alien and a lesbian. She got over this pretty quickly, though, and in the 2017 series, has been adopted by an interracial gay couple.
- Girly Girl with a Tomboy Streak: During Terry Moore's run, she had a feminine personality, but wore Chase's old clothes, even his old pajamas.
- Green Thumb: Her powers allows her to control plants.
- Happily Adopted: The 2017 series reveals she's being adopted by a loving gay couple and finally has a sense of stability that wasn't present when she was with the group.
- Has Two Daddies: Her foster parents are two gay men, which surprises Nico given Klara's previous views on homosexuality. Klara apologizes to Nico for her past beliefs by saying the group showed her she was wrong and love is all that matters.
- Heroic Bastard: According to the Marvel Handbook, she was raised by her mother alone, which suggests that her mother never married.
- Punny Name: Klara Plast = Chloroplast.
- Put on a Bus to Hell: In the 2017 series, Nico and Chase reveal that after Nico left the team, the state came for Klara and put her in foster care, which is generally portrayed in a negative light in the series. And given that Klara is precisely the sort of kid that would not do well in the system, her future prospects did not look bright. Subverted in that it later turns out Klara's quite happy with her new foster dads and has no desire to return to the Runaways, even though she still considers them her friends.
- Really 700 Years Old: She was born in the late nineteenth century, but arrived in the modern day via time travel, which technically makes her the oldest Runaway.
- Romantic Two-Girl Friendship: She and Molly are nearly inseparable, and it's possible that she cares more about Molly's safety and well-being than her own.
- Sugar-and-Ice Personality: She is shockingly rude to strangers, but extremely loyal to her friends.
- Talking to Plants: As far as anyone can tell, her powers work by her issuing either verbal or perhaps telepathic commands to plants. Since it comes naturally to her and she's been doing it since she was a little girl, she has difficulty explaining how her powers work to other people.
- Too Hungry to Be Polite: Any time she's seen eating, she's usually wolfing down her food.
- Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: She is a pyrophobe, a consequence of nearly dying in a factory fire back in 1907. Among the reasons for her reluctance to return to the Runaways is the fact that so many people connected to them have suffered fire-related deaths.
Gib (Codename: Old God)
A member of the Seed, the children of the Gibborim, born alongside Bo and Rim. Assigned to watch over the Runaways when the Seed tried to demand that the kids complete their parents' work, Gib began to question whether his nestmates were right and decided to protect the Runaways when Rim attacked them.
- A Form You Are Comfortable With: In issue #32, he expresses a desire to attend high school to learn more about humanity. When it's pointed out to him that he'd stick out like a sore thumb due to his appearance, he simply makes himself look human. This makes Chase realize that Gib's "default" form isn't his true appearance either.
- The Big Guy: He is, to date, the tallest person on the team.
- Gentle Giant: Despite his imposing size and fearsome appearance, he seems to hate violence.
- Horror Hunger: He bluntly states several times that the Gibborim, and subsequently, him, needs to feed on human souls from sacrifices to satiate their hunger and to grow. Naturally since the Runaways aren't keen on killing innocent people, they've been trying to get him on regular food and perform non-lethal sacrifices, both to little success. Sadly, they don't find one in time before he nearly dies and he's only saved when Old Lace drags the body of Doc Justice to him to feed on.
- Jabba Table Manners: Prior to joining the Runaways, he had never physically eaten anything in his life, and thus doesn't even comprehend the mechanics of chewing.
- Lima Syndrome: He grows to sympathize with the Runaways after holding them captive for a week. The fact that they fed him and invited him to Christmas probably helps.
- Obliviously Evil: Prior to living with the Runaways, he had no idea that people don't like being sacrificed. He just assumed that that was what non-Gibborim were made for. Even afterwards, he struggles with the notion that other creatures feel pain, as he thoughtlessly tries to chew on Old Lace's arm.
- Power Makes Your Hair Grow: Once he's fed on Doc Justice's soul, not only is he returned to full health, but his horns grows even longer, along with several more accessories spontaneously appearing on his face and horns.
- Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right!: He rebels against his nestmates because he could barely live with killing a robot, and can't stomach the thought of exterminating six million sentient beings.
- Suspiciously Similar Substitute: With his green skin, pointy ears, and connection to a fanatically genocidal race, one could be forgiven for mistaking him for Xavin, the only Runaway who remains unaccounted for in the 2017 series.
- Token Enemy Minority: He is the only Gibborim member of the Runaways.
- You Cannot Grasp the True Form: In issue #32 Gib claims that his true form (which is not his default form) would drive the Runaways mad.
A rogue minion of Doctor Doom, and Victor's former teammate from Avengers A.I., who later showed up to help build him a new body. In the wake of the J-Team fiasco, Doombot has become convinced that the Runaways need a more mature presence to watch over them, and has moved in to the Hostel to serve that role.
- Actually a Doombot: It's his entire schtick.
- Curb-Stomp Battle: Gib leaves him broken and offline between issues #16 and #17. Chase and Victor manage to fix him, but it took a lot of work — as well as a soul-searching discussion between Victor and Doombot.
- Innocently Insensitive: His initial attempt at a new body for Victor, designed with combat in mind, ends up upsetting Victor because he never wants to hurt anyone ever again.
- Large Ham: His personality is based off Doctor Doom.
- Leaning on the Fourth Wall: When asked how he's able to travel back and forth to the Hostel without attracting attention from the Avengers, Doombot notes that ever since AI disbanded, everyone seems to have forgotten that he exists.
- Logic Bomb: Averted. He's programmed to believe he's the real Doom, and is also aware that he's a Doombot, but the contradiction doesn't seem to bother him.Chase: Do your components smoke when you think about that?
Doombot: No. Doom embraces the duality.
- One Steve Limit: Sharply averted; he is the fourth person named "Victor" to be associated in some capacity with the Runaways.
- Restraining Bolt: Hank Pym placed a miniature black hole in his chest in order to keep him in line.
- Sharp-Dressed Man: Doombot has eschewed the traditional tunic favored by Dr. Doom in favor of a stylish forest-green suit.
- Third-Person Person: Much like his creator.
- White Sheep: He is not quite as villainous as his namesake.
An alternate-reality version of Gert Yorkes from at least five years into the Runaways' future. Having seen some terrible event, she has travelled back into the present to recruit Chase to help her.