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YMMV / Runaways (2017)

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  • Alternative Character Interpretation: The Reveal three episodes into season 3 that The Magistrate's Son has possessed Alex since the Gibborim spaceship exploded halfway through season 2 is this. Was "Alex" the whole time since then really just the son posing as him for a Long Game, given that the alien prince is a sociopathic Master Actor? Or has Alex been able to genuinely assert control of his body at times? The rest of the kids disagree on this. The show seems to imply the former, particularly given that the episode where the reveal happens is called "Lord of Lies".
  • Author's Saving Throw:
    • After Inhumans being very averse to having a scene where Lockjaw is touched due to Special Effect Failure, it's very satisfying to see Gert and Molly touch Old Lace in several scenes, on-screen, thanks to Old Lace actually being portrayed by animatronic for close-up scenes.
    • Many fans were just plain confused about how Season 1 doesn't feature a single reference to the rest of the MCU, and even seems to go out of its way to distance itself from the franchise by its take on Tina Minoru having nothing to do with the character as she appeared in Doctor Strange, raising the question of why they even insisted that it's part of the franchise. The announcement of the release date for Season 2 then came with a promise that it would be tied in more tightly. This comes through in both small ways (an offhand reference to Wakanda) and large (Nico using the Staff of One starts giving her the same eye effect as Kaecilius and his followers).
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    • Fans generally weren't happy about the Staff of One being technology rather than magic, seeing it as nonsensical and overly complicated since magic had already been confirmed to exist in the MCU. The Season 2 trailer shows that the Staff is explicitly magical after all (and apparently connected with the Dark Dimension), with the previous Clarke's Third Law explanation being a lie to cover up its true nature.
    • Overall, the second season seems to be dedicated to winning over those turned away by the first, being much more in-line with the comics by featuring action, fantastic elements, and the teens actually being on the run.
    • The entire portrayal of Xavin was widely hailed as a welcome reinvention of a character who fell hard into Values Dissonance in record time. The comics version is a shapeshifting alien who's technically genderless but prefers male bodies for being more intimidating, who manages to very quickly woo Karolina away from her highly popular romance with Nico simply by telling her they're betrothed. The show gets rid of the potential Cure Your Gays undertones by having Xavin also be a woman, plus Karolina isn't moved at all by this interloper who suddenly thrusts herself into the group and insists they need to hook up.
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  • Broken Base: The show's more sympathetic portrayal of the PRIDE is a source of arguments among fans. Some think it helps the show to make the parents more sympathetic while those against it feel they take too much attention and agency from the kids and think the more ruthless and evil versions of the comics were more interesting. Some fans also don't like how all of the PRIDE's crimes are excused by them being manipulated by Jonah.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse: Much like Lockjaw from Inhumans, everyone loves Old Lace the Deinonychus. Especially popular is that the design manages to incorporate feathers like it's now known dinosaurs had, while still not messing too much with the classic image of them.
  • Epileptic Trees: Right from the start, the show significantly alters the backstories of several characters, likely to preserve the same sense of mystery as the original run. Cue speculation over how The Mole storyline will be handled — whether it will be the same person, what their motive will be (the original mole's exact motive is already out), whether they'll survive...
  • Evil Is Sexy: Although the level of "evil" varies, the members of PRIDE are all quite pleasing to the eye.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • The timing of filming the shows likely makes it impossible, but Gert and Molly rushing to put their hands on Old Lace can easily come off as a Take That! to the infamous refusal to let anyone touch Lockjaw in Inhumans.
    • Back in Avengers: Age of Ultron, Tony Stark jokes that Thor's hammer Mjolnir is designed to react to Thor's fingerprints. Here, this is almost exactly how the Staff of One works, since it's designed to react to Tina Minoru's DNA, and because Nico is Tina's biological daughter, that means Nico can also use it.
    • Julian McMahon being cast as Jonah means that he's the second member of Tim Story's Fantastic Four films to join the MCU, the first being Chris Evans as Captain Americanote .
  • Jerkass Woobie:
    • Tina Minoru. She probably has co-committed multiple murders, is a very cold and judgmental to her living daughter and is something of a snob, but she is very obviously still grieving, and when she is trying to reconnect with her husband, she is shut down because he’s having an affair and is planning to leave her. In Season 2, she tries to bluff Nico by threatening to no longer consider them family if she leaves again, and is devastated when Nico quickly agrees and goes.
    • Victor Stein in this version is painted as more of a Troubled Abuser. His behavior stemmed from years of praise and pressure from the scientific community, and he's Secretly Dying from brain cancer. He also seems to regret abusing Janet and Chase.
  • LGBT Fanbase: Loads of gay and bisexual women watching the show primarily for Karolina and Nico.
  • Memetic Mutation:
    • After the reveal that PRIDE's plan would cause a series of devastating earthquakes, after earthquakes were major plot points in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 5 and The Defenders (2017), jokes immediately sprang up that Jonah either framed Daisy Johnson as "the Destroyer of Worlds", or he was trying to dig up "the Substance" before the Hand could.
    • "I lamp you," Nico's attempt to say "I love you" under drug-induced aphasia.
  • Moral Event Horizon:
    • Brandon and Lucas cross it when they try to rape an unconscious Karolina.
    • Leslie crosses it in the eyes of many with her murder of Molly's parents.
    • Jonah crossed it when he revealed that he killed Amy Minoru because he was worried she found out about the PRIDE's plans. This prompts the rest of the PRIDE to consider turning on him.
    • Tina sails right over the line in Season 2 when she cruelly chokes Graciela to death, despite being able to easily dispatch her non-lethally. If that wasn't enough, then attacking her own daughter and her friends and nearly drowning Molly in frozen water surely is. Even Nico can't tolerate her anymore after this.
    • Catherine crosses it when she murders Darius and frames him for the murder of Destiny Gonzales. Worse than that is her absolutely unapologetic attitude afterward. Even her husband is appalled. Later she even orders a hit on Darius' kid cousin Livvie when she comes close to uncover everything.
  • Narm:
    • Robert holding several people at bay with one of the Fistagons while stripping down to his underpants. It happens during a dramatic scene, but it's not exactly imposing.
    • Molly doing a Three-Point Landing just for dropping a couple feet from a bathroom window.
    • The Yorkes' over the top reactions to Molly telling them "Bite me." It feels a lot like the scene was originally shot with her saying something more like "Fuck you" and was then censored.
    • Turns out Molly’s parents died because they just plain didn’t notice an Incredibly Obvious Bomb out in the open in the middle of the room. Even worse is that it could have made sense if Tina used the staff to teleport it inside, but apparently having a twist about who killed them was more important than making sense.
    • Nico and Molly's absurdly awestruck reactions to Karolina's powers in "Earth Takeover," which honestly feels like the writers forgot they've ever seen it before.
  • Portmanteau Couple Name: Nicolina and Deanoru for Nico / Karolina have both been seeing use on tumblr.
  • The Scrappy: AWOL is easily the show's least popular villain, for being a completely stock character with nothing interesting in the performance to rise above it. It doesn't help that he clearly only exists to give the Runaways something to do while the next storyline is being set up with PRIDE.
  • Ship Mates: Karolina/Nico and Gert/Chase.
  • Shocking Moments:
    • An especially strong use of the Staff of One causes Nico to develop the same cracks around her eyes as Kaecilius.
    • In Season 3, Morgan le Fay is revealed to somehow possess Darkhold, the book that had caused lots of problems to Team Coulson for an entire season until Ghost Rider took the book and hide it somewhere in another dimension by the end of that season. How she could ever get it is never explained.
  • Slow-Paced Beginning:
    • A common complaint so far is that the show takes a while before actually moving things along. As of the eighth episode, the titular Runaways haven't actually ran away yet, with the plot being instead focused on them trying to avoid their parents discovering that they know their secret, and each one dealing with meandering Trapped by Mountain Lions stories. It gets particularly bad when Molly confesses to the group that the Wilders know she knows something, but instead of using this as the pretense to go on the run, they instead argue before pushing Molly into a plot involving some bitchy cheerleaders.
    • Essentially the entire first season is a Prolonged Prologue for the real story, though fortunately, Hulu had the decency to announce it would be getting a second season the day before the finale's release.
  • Special Effect Failure: Zigzagged. In some shots the CGI model of Old Lace is not convincing in the slightest, especially since the show insists on intercutting it with the physical animatronic, although considering the show's budget it still manages to be surprisingly convincing in some other scenes.
  • Squick: We get some agonizing close-ups of Dale sticking his fingers into Victor's bullet wound.
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks!:
    • Fans have not taken kindly to the Shrinking Violet interpretation of Molly, the character who brought levity to a cast of angsty teens in the comics. Making her a Shrinking Violet only made her blend into the rest of the cast.
    • Some fans have objected to certain changes to the Pride, such as their more sympathetic portrayal, the fact that none of them fit the more supervillainous tropes they did in the comics, or the seeming change to the Gibborim as being a single Dark Lord on Life Support.
    • Fans of the magical side of the MCU are now mad that the Staff of One is now yet another example of Clarke's Third Law. Especially since Doctor Strange had established magic as being a thing in the MCU, which Tina Minoru and the Staff had made a tiny cameo in. Though it does still have Nico point out that splitting this particular hair is a bit silly when you're dealing with something like the Staff.
      • This is no longer an issue come Season 3 which reveals the Staff is indeed magical as our its powers and that the Clarke's Third Law explanation was lie to cover up its true nature.
    • The fact that this series is a Broad Strokes adaptation has made this series very controversial among the comic book faithful. Which is funny as this was arguably done so that the comic book fans would be kept in suspense as to what was going to happen each week.
  • Unexpected Character:
    • Topher appears in Season 2. In the comics, he appeared in all of two issues before getting Killed Off for Real. It was known they would introduce a new Runaway, but it was widely thought to be Victor Mancha (the most famous non-founding member) as opposed to him.
    • Also in Season 2, the appearance of Xavin, a character many thought the show wouldn't even try to adapt due to their comic book self being a Skrull and the character clashing with the tone of the show (not to mention having not appeared at all since being Put on a Bus to Hell in 2009). Albeit, Xavin's race was changed here but is still alien.
    • Fans were caught quite off guard by the announcement that an adaptation of Marvel's take on Morgan le Fay would be appearing in Season 3. While the Doing In the Wizard alterations of Season 1 were later undone, Morgan le Fay was not one of the team's opponents or encounters, despite the presence of the supernatural.
  • Visual Effects of Awesome: Reviewers praised both Old Lace, for creating a mostly convincing dinosaur (especially the animatronic that physically interacts with the actors) on a TV-sized budget, and Karolina's iridescent form.
  • What an Idiot!:
    • At one point the dinosaur goes missing; Dale and Stacey find it only after Gert had calmed it down. Do they add extra security to the dinosaur's pen or put a tracker on it? No. This allows Gert to take Old Lace for the confrontation at the construction site.
      • Slightly subverted as the dinosaur's tracker, her nose ring, is seen to have been activated after she's back, but is turned back off by the time the confrontation at the dig site takes place.
    • You'd think that an organization like the Pride would have at least one mob doctor on their payroll, instead of having to rely on clumsy medical improvising from the Yorkes. This is lampshaded by Tina in the second season.
    • When the kids prep for the sabotage of the construction site, each of them brings their weapon of choice (Chase - fistagons, Nico - staff, Gert - the dinosaur, Karolina and Molly - their own powers), but Alex chooses to ignore the gun he could have easily taken from his dad's study and instead brings a keycard, which ends up being useless.
    • Chase organised a meeting with the Runaways after returning to his family. Hiding from them that the Pride is aware that their meeting or that it was their idea. After he fails to convince them to return back home, the Pride ambush and split up the group. Leading to the capture of Karolina and Gert. After a whole year trying to bring the kids in, including developing technology that he has seen first hand to do it. Why did Chase assume that the Pride would just accept the failure and not take immediate action? Especially seeing that he placed his former friends in the perfect ambush spot and unaware that their parents knew where they were thanks to Chase.
  • The Woobie:
    • It's not hard to feel sorry for Frank Dean a loving father and husband who is kept in the dark of his wife's crimes, is being cheated on, and had his memory wiped after witnessing that. Especially now that the audience knows he is not Karolina's biological father.
    • Poor Andre. He's the same age as the main characters and highly intelligent and tech-savvy, but his loyalty lies in Darius because he has no other family. Alex shoots him to save his father but clearly doesn't want to kill the boy. Geoffery promises to get Andre help, but Alex knows he's just going to be another PRIDE sacrifice. And since PRIDE moved their base of operations, the kids are unable to save him. You can't help but feel bad for the poor kid whose skills could have taken him far if he had a better upbringing.
  • WTH, Casting Agency?:
    • Thanks to getting revamped in many ways, several of the PRIDE members look very little like their comic versions, which can be jarring.
    • That Molly doesn't appear to be that much younger than the rest of the cast raised some eyebrows, though this may be a case of Reality Is Unrealistic, as the actress playing her is 14, which makes her much younger than the rest of the cast, who are all in their late teens or early twenties. When the show actually premiered, people have stopped being baffled by her appearance and more annoyed by her Dull Surprise acting for most of her scenes not helped by how the script writes her as a Shrinking Violet.
    • A lot of fans have complained that Marvel chose a relatively skinny actress to play the noticeably heavyset Gert. While the actress has some meat on her bones, she still falls under Hollywood Pudgy.
  • WTH, Costuming Department?:
    • Nico's bizarre quasi-Victorian gown in "Last Rites," especially with her thinking it's what she should wear to what seems to be their final battle.
    • Morgan's Stripperific costume in Season 3 leaves very little to the imagination and looks incredibly impractical (not to mention uncomfortable).


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