LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - When Brian K. Vaughan was approached by Marvel Comics to write a comic book to bring in new readers, he hit on the idea of “Runaways,” the story of a diverse group of teenage friends whose bond grows stronger when they make a gruesome discovery.
Launched in 2003, the comic book soon became a fan favourite. Now streaming service Hulu has turned them into a television series, to be released on Tuesday.
“He (Vaughan) did so many things so well, starting with the idea that every teenager thinks their parents are evil. What if your parents actually were?” said Josh Schwartz, one of the show’s executive producers.
The story follows six teens who discover their parents are not only sacrificing people to a mysterious cult but are also key members of The Pride, an organisation that runs the dark criminal underbelly of Los Angeles.
After running away, the teenagers investigate their parents and discover that they have inherited their special powers.
“It’s just such a universal concept whether your parents won’t let you drive the car or you caught them sacrificing a human in the basement,” Schwartz said.
The six main characters are some of the most diverse in the Marvel universe. Gert (Ariela Barer) is a bookish feminist with a pet dinosaur; Molly (Allegra Acosta) is a naive but feisty fighter; Nico (Lyrica Okano) is a burgeoning sorceress; Karolina (Virginia Gardner) is a lesbian flying alien, while dumb jock Chase (Gregg Sulkin) and supersmart nerd Alex (Rhenzy Feliz) rely on inventions from their parents.
Together they use their gifts to try to bring an end to their parents’ nefarious ways.
“Having a cast of six really diverse superhero is already going to help people immensely, let alone having a gay character on top of that,” said Gardner.
Comic book writer Jeph Loeb, who is also an executive producer on the Hulu show, believes fans of the books won’t be disappointed.
“If all we’re going to do is take the comic book and blow it up and put it on TV, then it’s not fair to the original art form and it’s not really fair to the audience.
“I think people will really be surprised by a number of things, not least this extraordinary cast,” Loeb said
Reporting by Reuters Television; Editing by Dan Grebler