image: Marvel Comics Art by Jo Chen. Gert (Arsenic) and Old Lace from Marvel's 'Runaways'

Marvel’s Runaways Drops Today on Hulu. Here’s Why I’m Excited!

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Runaways is one of my favorite Marvel comics (I have a weakness for plucky teen superhero teams, what can I say?), and I’m so excited to start keeping up with Marvel’s Runaways on Hulu. There are a couple of reasons in particular that I’m excited that go beyond me loving the source material.

OLD LACE

As you can see in the image above, one of the best and most whimsical and awesome relationships in Runaways is the one between a girl and her dinosaur. (Marvel seems to love those!)

Gertrude Yorkes has a telepathic connection with a dinosaur she found in a secret compartment in her basement (it’s comics, okay? These things happen). Being that Gert is the child of supervillains, as are all of the Runaways, she chooses a codename that has the least superhero/villain sound to it. She takes on the name Arsenic and dubs her dinosaur Old Lace. You know, like the old movie.

Well, as far-fetched as a relationship between a girl and her dinosaur might seem, that very relationship is coming to the Hulu show! According to ComicBookMovie.com, Old Lace “will be brought to life via a mix of CGI and a lifelike animatronic puppet created by Legacy Effects, the team behind Jurassic Park.” When Kaila interviewed actress Ariela Barer, who plays Gert, Barer said that Old Lace’s puppet is so realistic that she “cried after their first scene together.”

And thanks to Entertainment Weekly, we now have our first good look at Old Lace alongside an image from the source material:

image: Marvel/Hulu Old Lace on the "Runaways" Hulu series and in the Marvel comics

I just love that Old Lace will be a thing, because really? It wouldn’t be Runaways without her, and Gert wouldn’t be Gert without her.

Speaking of Gert…

FLIPPING THE ‘MALE GAZE’ SCRIPT

The Runaways comic had a lot of great stuff going for it. Its original line-up was a majority-female team, with Alex and Chase being the only dudes, and the same seems to be true on this show. Karolina Dean was a lesbian character from the beginning, had a crush on Nico, and eventually becomes engaged to a Skrull named Xavin, who could possibly be read as trans as 1) Skrulls can change form, 2) Xavin presented as male at first, but had no qualms about adopting female form for Karolina, and 3) during an argument with Karolina, Xavin subconsciously reverts to female form, leading Karolina to believe that Xavin’s true gender is female, no matter how she presents.

Lots going on there.

However, there are also some elements that could stand to be updated. Over at CBR.com, they bring up an awesome point that has me excited for all of the possibilities when it comes to correcting certain elements of the original comic.  They remind us of a moment from Runaways #4 during which Chase gets a hold of X-ray goggles and sees this:

Apparently, a similar scene plays out in Episode 3 of Marvel’s Runaways on Hulu, except that it’s Gert that has the goggles, and it’s Chase that she’s checking out.

After the six teens discover that their parents may be murderers, they split up into teams to investigate, with Gert ensuring she’s paired with Chase to search his father’s workshop for clues. There, she immediately dons Victor Stein’s X-ray goggles and does precisely what you’d expect her to do: She gives Chase’s exposed body the once-over. He catches her and asks, “Were you just checking out my junk?” Gert mumbles awkwardly before finally admitting, “I maybe gave it a cursory glance, purely out of scientific curiosity.”

But it’s not as simple as flipping the script, because the double standard is also addressed … as is the cause and the need for the double standard to exist. Chase says, “Are you serious? You saw my actual dick. Isn’t that what you call, like, a double standard or whatever?”

Gert’s reply: “After centuries of patriarchal oppression, me getting to objectify you is just called evening the playing field.”

I’m really looking forward to seeing their relationship play out on screen. Like, really, really. Other than Molly, their relationship is the thing that makes me happiest about the Runaways’ story.

The first THREE episodes of Marvel’s Runaways are available on Hulu NOW.

(image: Marvel Comics)

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Teresa Jusino
Teresa Jusino (she/her) is a native New Yorker and a proud Puerto Rican, Jewish, bisexual woman with ADHD. She's been writing professionally since 2010 and was a former TMS assistant editor from 2015-18. Now, she's back as a contributing writer. When not writing about pop culture, she's writing screenplays and is the creator of your future favorite genre show. Teresa lives in L.A. with her brilliant wife. Her other great loves include: Star Trek, The Last of Us, anything by Brian K. Vaughan, and her Level 5 android Paladin named Lal.