April 17, 2021 The Newspaper Serving LGBT Los Angeles

Hulu’s “Runaways” Gives Us Our First Marvel Lesbian Superhero

If you’re not one for superhero films, comic book franchises, gritty urban dramas, or even creature features, Marvel’s “Runaways,” (by way of stalwart streaming service Hulu) might not be for you. But even for those of us who fancy ourselves fully resistant to the charms of shape-shifting, supernaturally-inclined teenagers who have to band together to solve neighborhood crime, it’s still kind of irresistible. From the moment we get a taste of the show–whose lush Brentwood backdrop is already drawing comparisons to “The O.C.”–the world we’re seeing is too familiar to be boring. Or at least, as boring as it should be. I mean really–rich kids at a SoCal private school? An scenario ripped directly from “Pretty Little Liars?” The cheesy special effects that are reminiscent of “Power Rangers” at best and “Animorphs” at worst? It’s ‘90s nostalgia gone mad. 

And then the perspective shifts. While the pilot of “Runaways” focuses solely on a group of ex-friends who have been torn apart by the mysterious death of one of their number, the second episode, titled “Rewind,” focuses in on their ultra-rich parents, who mainly existed as boring backdrops for the angsty kids in the first. We see that the parents, all of whom are well-off, successful, and deeply sinister in their palatial Brentwood homes, belong to a mysterious organization called “The Pride” (no relation to this publication) which requires them to wear red robes, attend seance-style gatherings, and wrench homeless kids from the streets and offer them as sacrifice to…something.

So far, so convoluted. But add in the parents’ shady criminal pasts to contrast with their bourgeois Brentwood present, and we’ve got ourselves a compelling show. And we haven’t even gotten to the lesbian part yet.

“The Runaways” on paper is about a group of kids with superpowers and special abilities. Kind of like every other comic book plot. In the Hulu adaptation, however, these powers, somewhat predictably, are tied to each kid’s ability to find strength in the thing that’s supposed to render them weak in the eyes of society. The youngest character has superhuman strength that, coming on, resembles menstrual cramps. The jock can create high-tech gear that resembles something out of James Bond, but less ridiculous. And Karolina Dean, the sweet, blonde Scientologist (or the show’s version of that troubling cult-cum-religion, the Church of Gibborim) can glow like a rainbow. And she’s gay. A gay scientologist trapped in the “church”? That’s about as L.A. a character arc as you can get. When we first see Karolina “break free” of her special Church of Gibborim bracelet at a party, we see her look longingly at two women kissing, caught up in their shared ecstasy. She glows rainbow, and she faints.

While the success of “The Handmaid’s Tale” earlier this year allowed Hulu to grow bold when it came to choice of material (and size of bankroll,) time will tell whether or not this daring streak will continue to produce excellence in the style of “Runaways” and “Harlots.” But for now, we’re all about enjoying the ride.

Related Posts

Tina Turner Documentary Breaks Records

April 4, 2021

April 4, 2021

Singer, song writer and gay icon Tina Turner released a documentary on HBO Max as a farewell to her fans...

First Gay Teen Captain America Revealed By Marvel

March 28, 2021

March 28, 2021

Marvel Comics has revealed the first look at a new Captain America who happens to be a gay teen.  The...

32nd Annual GLAAD Media Awards

March 21, 2021

March 21, 2021

GLAAD, the world’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) media advocacy organization, today announced a new slate of...

New Grindr TV Show

March 18, 2021

March 18, 2021

The popular LGBTQ dating app Grindr is getting its own original scripted TV show set to air this fall. Bridesman...

Anti-LGBTQ Talk Show Host Rush Limbaugh Dies At 70

February 18, 2021

February 18, 2021

Controversial talk show host Rush Limbaugh died on Feb. 17th from complications of lung cancer at his home in Palm...

Hal Holbrook, Actor Who Played Mark Twain, Dies At 95

February 3, 2021

February 3, 2021

Hal Holbrook, the actor best known for his accurate portrayal of Samuel Clemens — better known as Mark Twain —...

Award Decorated Actress, Cloris Leachman, Dead At 94

January 27, 2021

January 27, 2021

Cloris Leachman, Oscar and Emmy winning actress, has died at the age of 94 from natural causes at her home...

Iconic Talk Show Host Larry King, An LGBTQ Ally, Dies At 87

January 23, 2021

January 23, 2021

Larry King, the iconic talk show host and LGBTQ ally died on Saturday Jan. 23rd.  A statement was posted on...

Betty White Will Celebrate 99th Birthday In Quarantine

January 14, 2021

January 14, 2021

Gay Icon and legendary actress Betty White turns 99 on Jan. 17th and has some wild plans to mark the...

L.A. Makeup Artist Is First Trans Man To Compete On “RuPauls Drag Race”

December 13, 2020

December 13, 2020

The cast of RuPauls Drag Race Season 13 has been announced this week revealing its first trans man contestant will...

Real Housewives Star Comes Out As A Lesbian

December 10, 2020

December 10, 2020

Braunwyn Windham-Burke star of Real Housewives of Orange County has come out as a lesbian.  In an interview with GLAAD...

East Hollywood Man Appearing on Wheel Of Fortune

October 22, 2020

October 22, 2020

Tim Quinn, an East Hollywood resident, will be a contestant on the hit TV show Wheel of Fortune on Wednesday,...

Anne Heche Eliminated From DWTS

October 11, 2020

October 11, 2020

After four weeks on season 29 of the ABC reality dance competition Dancing With The Stars (DWTS) Anne Heche has...

An Apologetic Ellen DeGeneres Returns To Daytime TV

September 30, 2020

September 30, 2020

Using technology to it’s advantage for its 18th season The Ellen DeGeneres Show returned to a virtual studio audience on...

Local L.A. Woman Appearing On Wheel Of Fortune

September 23, 2020

September 23, 2020

Local Los Angeles woman, Julie Reyes, will be a contestant on Wheel of Fortune, the longest-running syndicated game show in...