The second season of Runaways finally lives up to its name, as the kids are on the lam from their evil parents in PRIDE, as well as their mysterious benefactor in Jonah.
In the series' return to Hulu, Marvel adapts some classic storylines while also pushing the teens in an exciting direction, less beholden to the comic books and more forging paths into new territories.
Comic fans hoping to see some new blood in the mix won't be disappointed, as Runaways does introduce some beloved characters in the series. But the focus continues to remain on the kids and their parents as they attempt to atone for their mistakes while avoiding accountability.
Runaways also continues to exude the self-awareness that made Season One so charming as the teens continue to reflect on their ridiculous predicaments with a relatable sense of dread and overwhelming. The teen angst is entirely justified as the kids continue to face deadly odds, barely escaping with victories.
The interpersonal dynamics remain a strong point for the series, and there's no lack of teen drama among the hormone-driven group of vigilantes. But Runaways also embraces the heroics of the Marvel universe in Season Two with a strong focus on the kids attempting to right their parents' wrongs.
After the events of the first season, Nico Minoru comes to the forefront in a major way, asserting herself as the leader with hard choices, as well as some badass moments in epic confrontations. Actress Lyrica Okano really shines here, proving capable of carrying an ensemble series when things get slow.
The show itself makes a lot of surprising twists early on, with a confrontation that echoes the anti-climactic first season finale in the middle of Season Two. The episode has a shocking ending that affects the entire cast and propels a lot of the tension and drama between characters for the rest of the series.
Unfortunately, all of the intrigue surrounding Jonah and his relationship to Karolina isn't as strong in the new season. In fact, the strongest storylines revolve around the Wilder family as all three attempt to make up for their mistakes in their own ways, bringing them into conflict.
The second season of Runaways is much like the first, excelling in drama with flourishes of superhero action to punctuate climactic showdowns between the kids and their evil parents. As the show gets bigger and bolder, the young actors continue to excel as the focus of the series.
There are a few logic leaps that exist for pure narrative motivation, but it's not enough to take away from the compelling character dramas in which Runaways thrives. Fans of the show won't be disappointed with the new episodes because they push the characters in exciting directions.
The finale is kind of lacklustre as it would perhaps work better for a mid-season break than it does as a segue to Season Three, but it does tease some shocking developments for both the kids and their parents. While the execution is wanting, it does set up for some interesting storylines in the future.1comments
Hopefully Marvel and Hulu continue to carve out their little corner of Los Angeles in the MCU, and Runaways remains one of the most exciting superhero shows being produced today.
Rating: 4 out of 5