"It just might be the greatest Marvel television adaptation to date" – Marvel’s Runaways review round-up

Marvel’s plan to take over your life by giving you more movies and TV shows than you know what to do with continues with their new show, Runaways. Only available on Hulu for the time being, the show sees six teenagers team-up to fight their criminal parents - one of which is played by Buffy’s Spike! If you’re not hooked by that premise already, these reviews might pique your interest, even if some first impressions were less-than-positive.

The best Marvel show yet? - Daily Beast (opens in new tab)

“But Runaways looks like the real deal—and it just might be the greatest Marvel television adaptation to date. It’s not a solemn show taking itself too seriously like most of Netflix’s superhero slate (barring Jessica Jones), but it’s also not goofy with low production values like ABC’s Inhumans or Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. It succeeds by providing a fun mix of whimsy and gravitas that pays respect to its source material while also being compelling television.”

The show's lack of narrative direction - Variety (opens in new tab)

“Runaways’ energy level isn’t a problem, at least in the opening installments. But as the season heads into its middle section, meaningful clues about what many of the core characters are actually doing are few and far between. At one point in the fourth episode, one of the adult characters involved in a nefarious but vague intrigue says, ‘We’re almost there.’ Where? What is it they’re actually aiming at, and why have they done what they’ve done? All in all, Runaways drops its plot breadcrumbs too sparingly, and thus the series lacks a narrative core around which it can reliably revolve.”

Runaways' large ensemble - New York Times (opens in new tab)

“The early episodes (four were available for review) also suffer from the need to introduce and find time for 16 regular characters among the children and parents. No one gets much time or, as of yet, much of a personality, with the exception of Ariela Barer and Allegra Acosta as mismatched adoptive sisters, one a purple-haired “social-justice warrior” and the other a shy girl with mutant super strength.”

Changes from the comic (for the better) - Vulture (opens in new tab)

“All of the changes made to the source material work in this series’ favor, providing new opportunities to delve deeper into the character relationships. While the comic didn’t spend any time with the teens at school, they all attend the same elite private academy in the show, and that social hierarchy has a direct impact on how they interact with each other.”

Runaways' engaging premise - AV Club (opens in new tab)

“The beauty of the Runaways concept is that many teens already think of their parents as evil supervillains; for these particular teens, that’s not a metaphor, which gives their acts of adolescent rebellion tremendous dramatic stakes. Runaways also throws together Breakfast Club-like archetypes—princess, jock, nerd, goth—in a blender and delights in how they collide with each other. The most valuable part of the series is how these not-yet adults somehow bring the best out in each other as they learn how to survive and create their own, vital family-of-choice, a bond that’s only more effective when it’s displayed on a more granular level in the TV show.”

Images: Marvel/Hulu

Bradley Russell

I'm the Entertainment Writer here at GamesRadar+, focusing on news, features, and interviews with some of the biggest names in film and TV. On-site, you'll find me marveling at Marvel and providing analysis and room temperature takes on the newest films, Star Wars and, of course, anime. Outside of GR, I love getting lost in a good 100-hour JRPG, Warzone, and kicking back on the (virtual) field with Football Manager. My work has also been featured in OPM, FourFourTwo, and Game Revolution.