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Well-Received Marvel Show Removed From Disney+ and Hulu With Some Terrible Timing

From left to right: Ariela Barer as Gert Yorkes, Lyrica Okano as Nico Minoru, Rhenzy Feliz as Alex Wilder, Gregg Sulkin as Chase Stein, Virginia Gardner as Karolina Dean, and Allegra Acosta as Molly Hernandez in Marvel's Runaways

In what will likely become known as the “Great Streaming Purge of 2023,” another show has been pulled from Disney+ and Hulu. The Hulu original series Marvel’s Runaways, which debuted in 2017 and ran for three seasons, follows a group of teenagers who run away from home when they discover their parents are supervillains in disguise. Based on the comic books of the same name, the series boasted a young, talented, and diverse cast of characters, a fun premise, and an interesting crossover with another lesser-known Marvel show, Cloak & Dagger.

And yet, Marvel’s Runaways suddenly vanished into thin air. Other Disney+ and Hulu originals were recently removed from the Disney-owned streamers, as well, including Willow, The Mighty Ducks: Game Changers, Big Shot, and more, all in the name of cost-cutting. The difference, however, is that Runaways was pulled from the Hulu and Disney+ platforms with zero warning.

The removal of Runaways is unprecedented. A show that carries the brand of one of Disney’s biggest cash cows suddenly gets the axe? It was previously announced that three Marvel Studios documentary series would be removed from the platform, too—a great loss, certainly, but perhaps more expected than the removal of a show like Runaways. It might not have been 100% canon to the MCU, but Runaways was generally well-received, and its removal has sparked pained and outraged commentary on Twitter. Its elimination coinciding with the beginning of Pride Month feels especially egregious.

And, given the current direction of the MCU, where more and more young superheroes are being introduced—Kamala Khan, Kate Bishop, Cassie Lang, Eli Bradley, and Tommy and Billy Maximoff, for starters—a future reintroduction of these versions of the Runaways was perhaps not inevitable, but certainly a fun prospect to look forward to, especially since the Young Avengers and the Runaways have crossed paths in the comic books before.

If a show like Runaways can get pulled from Disney+ and Hulu without warning, what about the other, not-totally-MCU-canon Marvel shows we’ve all come to know and love? Cloak & Dagger, Legion, The Gifted? What about something like Agent Carter or Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D? Or even the Netflix Marvel shows? There is no way to be certain they’re safe in the wake of all of this.

This is a dark era for consumers and creatives alike. How is anyone supposed to become invested in new stories and projects when there is always the looming threat that something will be removed while in the middle of watching or even producing it? A lack of physical media releases certainly doesn’t help, either. For now, Marvel’s Runaways is at least still available to purchase or rent on platforms like iTunes and Amazon (though these options might be region-dependent), but there’s no guarantee it will be for long.

(via /Film, featured image: Hulu)

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El (she/her) has been working as a freelance writer for various entertainment websites for over a year, ever since she completed her Ph.D. in Creative Writing. El's primary focus is television and movie coverage for The Mary Sue, including British TV and franchises like Marvel, but she is happy to pitch in with gaming content once in a while if it concerns one of the few video games she actually knows anything about. As much as she enjoys analyzing other people's stories, her biggest dream is to one day publish an original fantasy novel of her own.