While very little is known about the actual plot of Hulu’s upcoming Runaways series, there’s certainly a lot of comics for the show to adapt. Based on Marvel’s Runaways comics that ran from 2003 to 2009 (and then was picked up for four issues in 2015), the show will follow the six original members of the Runaways: Alex Wilder, Karolina Dean, Chase Stein, Molly Hayes (renamed Molly Hernandez for the series), Nico Minoru, and Gertrude Yorkes — they’re all the well-meaning children of supervillains.
Despite the lack of plot details for the TV series, it’s easy enough to get to know the Runaways. You just have to be willing to do a little digging. Or, in this case, a little reading.
Some of the original Runaways are replaced after the first series of Marvel’s comics, which ran from 2003 to 2004 with 18 issues and three volumes. The first series is all you really need to get ready for the show. The art might be cheesy but the story of this dysfunctional yet loving found family of kids will, undoubtedly, steal your heart.
Volume 1: Pride and Joy, the Runaways band together.
The logical place to start is at the beginning. Volume 1 of Runaways consists of the first six issues in the series and acts as the ultimate origin story for the Runaways and their dastardly parents.
Six kids — Alex, Karolina, Chase, Molly, Nico, and Gertrude — accidentally discover that their parents are secret supervillains. They barely manage to escape their parents’ clutches and their threats to kill Molly, the youngest of the group, and rename themselves in order to escape their newly discovered legacies. They become, literally, runaways. But the parents, trying to track the kids down, stumble upon a clue that reveals one of the children is still allied with them.
Karolina becomes Lucy in the Sky due to her alien powers of flight, Chase is Talkback, sweet little Molly is Bruiser because of her super-strength powers, Nico is Sister Grimm, and Gertrude becomes Arsenic alongside her pet dinosaur from the future, Old Lace. Alex is the only one to not change his name, vowing to reclaim his name for good.
Volume 2: Teenage Wasteland, Shit gets real.
In Volume 2 of Runaways, outside forces try their hardest to tear the Runaways apart. This is prime Season 1B material for Hulu’s Runaways as they begin to understand their powers and forge relationships with one another. Still hiding from their parents, the Runaways meet a mysterious young man named Topher (a vampire) and are tracked down by Cloak and Dagger, who will be getting their own show in the near future from Freeform.
By the end of Volume 2, some of the Runaways are dragged into the Darkforce Dimension by Cloak, resulting in what is, honestly, the perfect ending to Season 1.
Volume 3: The Good Die Young, the Runaways stop the apocalypse
If beginnings aren’t really your thing, and you’re the kind of monster who flips to the last page of the book before starting it, starting your journey at Volume 3 is the way to go because it turns out the end of the world is nigh.
The Runaways discover that their parents, the Pride, were brought together by the Gibborim, anthropomorphic gods with a deep desire to return the world to a “pure” state. And that means killing just about everyone and handing control of the world and spots in paradise to their six children. Including underwater fortresses, possible deaths, betrayal, magic, and the Avengers, Volume 3 is the perfect ending to the Runaways’ first series.
Hulu’s Runaways is expected sometime in 2018.