If Occupy Avengers wasn’t enough to make conservative audiences turn on Marvel, perhaps Hulu’s new superhero show Runaways will, since it’s packed with social justice warriors (and at least one in a pink pussy hat #woke).
Runaways follows six teen supers who find out that their parents are actually supervillains because, of course, parents are even out of touch in the Marvel Universe. And like Mashable states in its description of the show, the relatively new creation of these six heroes, debuting in 2003, “[D]idn’t come with decades of continuity baggage or need any significant updates to get in step with modern sensibilities.”
And it’s oh-so-modern, as showrunner Stephanie Savage excitedly explained when pitching the idea to Marvel:
“I loved all the humor, I love the strong female characters, I loved the great cliffhangers at the end of every issue, the diversity of the characters. To me it felt so contemporary and so, sort of, already of our world that we were just so hopeful that [Marvel] would be open to it.”
As is everything modern-day, Runaways will introduce us to the first ever on-screen lesbian relationship between two main characters. Besides that, there will be the SJW character, Gert Yorkes (Ariela Barer), who is described as a “riot grrrl” ready to “dismantle the patriarchy.” She also criticizes “organized religion” as being more “oppressive to women” than any other institution. Newsbusters notes that Gert criticizes her adopted sister in one episode about “reinforcing hegemonic masculinity while marginalizing women’s identity” when trying out for a dance team.
One of the original characters undergoes a last name change to meet the TV minority quota: Hayes turns into Hernandez, who dons the knitted pink hat of the Trump resistance, which is at least part of the plot motivation, as Newsweek explains:
The show, says Barer, “is a wonderful metaphor about rebelling and resisting,” particularly at a time when the harassment and abuse of women makes daily (hourly) headlines. Acosta takes it one step further: Runaways is also a form of resistance to President Trump’s sexist rhetoric. “We’re contradicting him,” she said. “It’s a coincidence, but that’s what happened. We’re showing that we relish our race and our gender, that we can be our own superheroes.”
“It’s never us sitting around talking about Trump,” said Barer, despite her character’s frequent politicized rants. But, as Gardner added, for the message, the timing is fortuitous. “His presidency is forcing women to stand up and be heard,” she said, “and that’s what the show is about. I think it resonates more strongly because of him.”
The good news is, there are plenty of other shows to stream.