TCA 17: ‘Marvel’s Runaways’ Virginia Gardner on Karolina Dean’s Rainbow Power & Sexuality

Marvel’s Runaways is a story that addresses the question every teenager asks themselves at least once in their lives. No, but what if my parents really ARE evil?

The cast of Runaways is made up of a diverse cast of characters and actors, from different walks of life. At first glance you might think Karolina Dean (played by Virginia Gardner) is the typical kind of teenage character that Hollywood loves. She’s white, she’s blonde, and she’s drop dead gorgeous. “She’s more than she seems,” says Gardner, “And is the epitome of the character where you look at her and expect one thing, but what you really get is something else entirely.”

What are the secrets she’s hiding? SPOILER ALERT FOR THOSE WHO HAVEN’T READ THE COMICS:


No really. Look away now.


Still there? We warned you.


She’s an alien. And she’s gay. At least in the comics. So we asked about that latter characteristic. Will we see Karolina’s sexuality represented in the series? “Well, I can’t say anything much because obviously Marvel might have me killed, but I will say that fans will be happy.”

I think it’s safe to say there will be no straight-washing (is that a phrase? It is now) for this character.

As for her rainbow powers, which are the only powers of the kids that has been shown in the trailer so far (and no, it’s not public yet, sorry guys), Gardner admits a bit of trepidation originally about how those powers would be portrayed on screen, after all, she literally turns rainbow and shoots beams of light out of her hands. But from what we’ve seen, and what she’s teased, it looks like this is one character whose powers we don’t need to worry about.

One of the revelations out of today’s TCA panel was an elaboration on the way that the parents would be given a bigger presence in the series. Including a rather interesting dynamic right off the back. While the first episode will be told from the perspective of the kids, the second episode will tell the exact same story, only from the perspective of the parents. “It really allows people to connect on a different level,” says Gardner.

A highlight of the series in the comic books was that, even though the characters are in Los Angeles, and so many of the regular Marvel canon are in New York, there were appearances from some fan favorite characters who came to help the Runaways with their troubles. So who would Gardner like to see? “Cloak and Dagger would be great. As would Jessica Jones. But she’s on Netflix [And Cloak and Dagger are on Freeform], so I don’t know if that’s something that could ever happen.”

Marvel’s Runaways premieres on Hulu on 21st November, 2017.