The Runaways were the children of the Pride and other supervillains along with various misfits bent on repairing the damage done by their parents and other adults.
Years after the Pride was formed, Janet Stein accidentally conceived a child. This unexpected pregnancy led to the decision of each couple within the Pride conceiving one child and passing on their inheritance from the Gibborim to their children.
During an annual gathering of their parents at the Wilder's Mansion in Malibu, Alex Wilder used the secret passage he had discovered to spy on his parents and witnessed the human sacrifice during the Ritual of Blood. Alex began learning all he could about the Pride and accidentally discovered a secret pact between the Deans and Hayes to betray and murder the other.
The next year, during the same annual gathering of their parents, Alex intentionally led Nico Minoru, Chase Stein, and Gertrude Yorkes to accidentally witness their parents murdering a young woman during the Ritual of Blood while Karolina Dean and Molly Hayes waited upstairs. The children decided to keep quiet until they could meet privately.
Nico, Gert, Chase, Karolina, and Alex met at the Griffith Observatory and collectively decided to find evidence to implicate their parents in murder. Using Chase Stein's Van, the group went to Yorkes where they found a dinosaur with a telepathic link to Gert and a mysterious book called the Abstract. The group then traveled to the Deans home where they learned Karolina was an alien. The group next traveled to the Steins where they discovered Victor's workshop and procured the Fistigons and X-Ray Specs. They were also ambushed by the Minorus and Steins but were able to obtain the Staff of One in the process. The group's final stop was to rescue Molly from the Hayes where Alex also secured Ring of the Abstract. In an effort to get their children back, the Pride framed them for the murder of Destiny Gonzales and the kidnapping of Molly Hayes. With nowhere left to run, the group took shelter in Chase's Hostel, a 1920s mansion buried during an earthquake in Bronson Canyon.
During a food run the group stumbled upon a store robbery, and after thwarting the adult robbers, the Runaways recruited Topher. Once they returned to the Hostel, Topher revealed he was a vampire and began attacking. To save Nico, Karolina offered herself to Topher, who died after biting Karolina due to her blood being infused with solar energy.
Continuing to search for the children, Lieutenant Flores hired Cloak & Dagger unknowingly against the wishes of the Pride. After a brief confrontation with the Runaways, the pair learned the truth and promised to contact the Avengers. However, Alex was able to tip off the Pride, who ambushed Cloak and Dagger and telepathically removed all memory of the meeting.
To forward his plans, Alex informed the LAPD of the location of the Hostel. The Runaways narrowly escaped the destruction of the Hostel and began plotting to take their parents down. The Runaways entered the Marine Vivarium and disrupted the ceremony that would give the Gibborim the power to destroy humanity. After engineering the defeat of his friends, Alex revealed himself as the mole and detailed his plans. Nico angrily refused Alex's offer to live in paradise and fighting ensued. It ended when Molly destroyed the container containing Destiny's and freeing her, Alex being killed by the Gibborim, Chase rescuing the other with the Leapfrog, and the deaths of all the Pride's members in the destruction of the Marine Vivarium.
With their parents dead, Social Services separated the Runaways. Three months after the destruction of the Pride, Karolina organized a reunion at the Griffith Observatory, where each of them expressed their annoyance and hatred towards their current living conditions. Together the team rescued Old Lace and stole the Leapfrog, and ran away again.
Victor Mancha and Xavin
The Runaways eventually located one of the Pride's old lairs beneath the La Brea Tar Pits, and took up residence there. They also began defending Los Angeles from all of the villains trying to fill the power vacuum left by the absence of the Pride.
After an unsuccessful mission to rescue Excavator from his father and the Wrecking Crew, the team returned to the Hostel to be confronted by a mortally wounded Heroine, a woman claiming to Gert's future self and leader of the Avengers. Using the 4-D Time Portico, she narrowly escaped the onslaught of Victorious, with a message to the Runaways: find Victor Mancha and stop him from becoming this deadly super-villain.
The Runaways were able to find Victor Mancha despite interference from Excelsior. With the discovery of his electromagnetokinetic powers, the revelation that his father is Ultron, the prophecy of his dark future, and the death of his mother, Victor joined the Runaways and took up residence with them beneath the La Brea Tar Pits.
Just as the group was adjusting to this new normal, a Super-Skrull-in-Training name Xavin arrived. After a brief firefight and high-speed chase, Xavin was able to explain about the pact the Deans had made with Xavin's father: in exchange for sparing the Earth from a Skrull invasion, the Deans would offer the location of Majesdane and their daughter's hand in marriage. The information provided by the Deans launched a full-scale war between the Skrulls and Majesdanians prompting Xavin to travel to Earth in hopes that a marriage between the races would end the hostilities. Karolina agreed to accompany Xavin and end the Skrull-Majesdanian conflict after Xavin shape-shifted into a female form to suit Karolina's sexual preference.
Shortly after M-Day, the Runaways were approached by the X-Men, who were hoping to recruit Molly to the Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters to learn and train alongside her fellow mutants. Although a fight broke out, the X-Men accepted Molly's decision to remain with her friends, but also left the invitation open.
The Runaways briefly visited New York City when they were recruited by Cloak to rescue Dagger and clear his name. While there they encountered Spider-Man and the New Avengers. After tracking down a MGH dealer the Runaways were able to Reginald Mantz and prove that he was impersonating Cloak.
The Runaways continued to defend L.A. from villains like Mole-Man, Swarm, Tarantula, Flag-Smasher, and the Silver Bullet Gang. Once, after a battle with Dragonness, Molly was knocked unconscious and "recruited" by the Provost to his ring of child thieves. Molly was able to inspire her fellow captives and together defeated the Provost.
The New Pride
Shortly after Alex's death, a group of his online friends joined together to perform a spell to resurrect Alex. However, the spell killed Oscar and summoned a young Geoffrey Wilder from the 1980s. Under Wilder's leadership, Hunter, Lotus, and Stretch formed a new Pride and began plotting to complete the Pride's work. This included Wilder posing as Chamber to infiltrate Excelsior and hacking into Victor's operating system to spy on the Runaways. Their plans came to a head one evening when they lured the Runaways out to the suburbs, took control of Victor, and revealed that Nico and Chase had secretly kissed. During the ensuing chaos and infighting, the Pride was able to kidnap Molly Hayes. It was only through the return of Karolina and Xavin that the team was able to rescue Molly from being sacrificed to the Gibborim. Unfortunately, the Runaways paid a high price for Gert's life.
In the aftermath, Chase departed with Old Lace and the Abstract, the Pride disbanded, Wilder was returned to the 1980s with no memories of the future, and the Runaways buried Gert behind the Hollywood sign before returning to the Hostel to mourn. While Molly searched for answers about death, Nico and Victor secretly began hooking up, and Karolina attempted to ease Xavin's transition into life on Earth. Meanwhile, Chase abducted Lotus to force her to help him contact the Gibborim. After rescuing downtown Los Angeles from a giant monster, the Runaways were rejoined by Chase.
Although they attempted to stay out of the Superhero Civil War, S.H.I.E.L.D. forces began enforcing the Superhuman Registration Act in California. When the Young Avengers arrived to recruit the Runaways, a brawl soon broke out. The fighting was halted by a misfired spell and the arrival of Marvel Boy. Under the direction of the Warden of the Cube, Marvel Boy disposed of most of the teams and captured Wiccan, Hulkling, Karolina, and Xavin. It was only through the combined efforts of both teams that they were able to save their friends.
Sometime later, Chase began to finalize his plans to resurrect Gert by offering himself as a sacrifice. Using pages stolen from the Abstract, Chase deactivated Victor and stole the Staff of One. With Alex' anonymous help, Molly was able to help the team find Chase, reactivate Victor, and help the others save Chase from offering himself to the Gibborim. Unfortunately, when the group returned to the Hostel they found Iron Man and his Cape-Killers waiting for them.
The Runaways narrowly managed to escape from Iron Man and began to head east to New York City. In New York, they met with a former associate of their parents, Kingpin, who offered the team protection from the government if they stole an artifact for him. The team successfully stole the item but were confronted by the Punisher then a winged monster then an army of Kingpin's ninjas. The group only barely escaped when Chase plugged the Overdrive into the Leapfrog transporting them back to 1907.
While in the past, the group became involved in a conflict between the Street Arabs, the Upward Path, and the Sinners. In an effort to find a way home the team splits up. Victor and Spieler went to consult with Professor Duck and began to develop a romantic attraction. Meanwhile, Nico was abducted by the Upward Path where she met a distance ancestor, Witchbreaker. Chase and Xavin encountered younger versions of Dale and Stacey Yorkes, and Chase used the opportunity to steal their 4-D Time Portico to rescue Gert from the past before she was killed. Elsewhere, Karolina and Molly sought out Klara Prast, a Swiss immigrant and child-bride of an alcoholic and abusive man, in hopes of recruiting her to the Runaways to rescue her from her husband.
Events finally culminated with a large battle between the three factions of Wonders. During the chaos of the battle, the Runaways were able to regroup and escape with plans to bring both Klara and Spieler to the future with them. Unfortunately, before they could escape, they were confronted by the Yorkes. It was only through the timely arrival of Chase in the 4-D Time Portico sporting a new set of Fistigons that they were able to board the Leapfrog and return to the future except for Spieler who decided to remain in 1907.
Upon returning to present-day New York, the Runaways encountered the beginning of the Skrull invasion of Earth. Shocked by the events and wanting to protect his friends, Xavin immediately knocked out the others and attempted to bring them to safety. However, Xavin became distracted with Nico and Victor's regaining consciousness and witnessing Dorrek VIII being attacked by Skrull forces. Departing from the others, Xavin tried to help Wiccan and Speed save Hulklings life. While trying to evade X'iv and Chrell, Xavin and the others were joined by the rest of the Runaways. Together they defeated the Super-Skrulls allowing the Runaways to run away from the war in New York.
Return to L.A.
When the team finally returned to California, they took up residence in the Malibu House, and Chase was forced to get a job to help support the others. Not long after settling in, the Runaways were attacked by the Majesdanian Light Brigade looking to punish Karolina for the crimes of her parents that led to the destruction of Majesdane. Against her wishes, Xavin (disguised as Karolina) took her place and agreed to be tried for her crimes. Shortly after losing Xavin, the Runaways faced off against Val Rhymin, Monk Theppie, and their army of plastic surgery "zombies".
After the X-Men relocated to the east coast, they sent out a telepathic message to mutants around the globe inviting them to come to San Francisco. To stop the message from repeating in her head, Molly and the other Runaways visited Graymalkin Industries. The X-Men again tried to recruit Molly and she again declined.
Tragedy struck when an unmanned drone plane crashed into the Malibu house, demolishing the house, destroying the Leapfrog's body, and seemingly killing Old Lace. It was only through the intervention of Chase's Uncle Hunter that the Runaways were able to evade arrest by the U.S. Army. Hunter led the Runaways to a new fleet of Leapfrogs, and he and Victor were able to install the Leapfrog's "heart" into a new vessel. Hunter also offered to support the Runaways, but while en route to meet with Hunter, Chase was hit by a car. Chase did, however, make a full recovery.
When Daken discovered that an associate of the Pride was apparently the source of the Heat drugs, he went searching for, and found, the Runaways. Daken learned of Marcus Roston's falling out with the Pride, and was able to manipulate the Runaways into helping him take down Rouston.
When Chase began sensing Old Lace was still alive, a spell from Nico led the team to Avengers Academy and Reptil. With his help, Chase and the Runaways traveled to Dinosaur World and were reunited with Old Lace. Although there was some conflict over letting the kids remain unsupervised, the Runaways were able to leave on good terms with Dr. Pym and the Avengers Academy.
Chase and Nico were among the sixteen superpowered teens captured and brought to Murderworld by Arcade where they were pitted against each other in a fight to the death. As a cover story, Arcade left a note from Nico and Chase stating they needed time to explore their relationship. Arcade also sent periodic texts to the Runaways though all these efforts did not convince Molly that they left of their own free will. During their absence, Victor joined briefly joined Pym's Avengers A.I. team.
Chase and Nico both survived Murderworld, but not without trauma. Chase gained the Darkhawk Amulet and briefly but inadvertently transformed into the new Darkhawk, and Nico actually died and was resurrected by the Staff of One. Along with the other survivors, Chase and Nico agreed to the pact of silence about what really happened on Murderworld.
Although Chase and Nico both returned from Murderworld, only Chase returned home to their friends while Nico remained distant. After Arcade leaked video footage of Murderworld online, Chase broke the silence pact and began to capitalize on the notoriety and began appearing on numerous talk shows. However, six months after Murderworld, Chase and Nico left again accompanied by the other Murderworld survivors to enter Bagalia in search of their friend Cullen. They also agreed to infiltrate Baron Zemo's Masters of Evil to bring them down from the inside. The Masters of Evil resurrected Alex Wilder to help train Nico in the dark arts. Death Locket betrayed the group and shot Chase. Fortunately, Nico healed him, but he remained in a coma for a few months. Nico also started hooking up with Alex. The Masters of Evil trapped the Avengers Underground and Alex joined them as part of his deal to get out of hell. Luckily, Cammi stopped them, then flew into space. The Runaways and the other Murderworld survivors got to relax at "some stupid lake somewhere."
Find Your Way Home
Sometime later, Nico left the team in order to travel to Japan to reconnect with members of her family, but her reunion was cut short by the arrival of Antimatter, and thus she became press-ganged into joining A-Force. After Nico's departure, Molly was approached by her grandmother, and she left with her of her own accord. Victor became addicted to Vibranium, which affected his powers and accidentally caused him to murder Vin, a creation of Victor's "brother" Vision and Victor's "nephew" during a mission on behalf of the Avengers. He was murdered by Vision's wife Virginia in retaliation. Klara also left, being taken by state officials into foster care. Chase and Karolina were the only remaining members of the team together, staying at a Pride hideout in Malibu, but Karolina eventually left to go to college.
Using the time machine that belonged to Gert's parents, Chase went back in time in an attempt to save her from dying. Though he failed to stop her from getting hurt in the first place, Chase retrieved Gert's body and returned to the present. He arrived to Nico's house, and using the Staff of One, Nico managed to save her life. Furious after learning that her team had drifted apart, Gert rallied Nico and Chase to get the team together. Both Karolina and Molly initially declined, but the team finally reunited to help Molly escape from her grandmother, who had turned out to be a mad scientist. Victor returned in a way as well, since his dormant head had been delivered to Chase by Tony Stark, but he refrained from opening the package until after Gert returned. Chase managed to kick-start Victor's consciousness, but due to the traumatic experience leading to his death, Victor refused to be attached to a new robot body. The team made of their home the the underground main building of the Hostel, since Chase had discovered the building they previously utilized was the Hostel's guesthouse and not the Hostel itself. The Runaways also tried to get Klara back on the team, but she didn't want to leave her foster parents. During this time, Karolina's girlfriend, Julie Power, broke up with her, and Karolina started dating Nico not long afterwards. Gert and Victor also acted on their feelings for each other.
The Runaways' new normal was shaken up the unwelcomed return of Alex Wilder heralding the arrival of the Seed of the Gibborim, a trio of gods and the offsprings of the Gibborim who intended to make the Runaways follow through with the ritual the Pride had failed to perform. They forced the Runaways into house arrest and gave them a week to concede, leaving one of their own behind, Gib, to keep an eye on the teenagers. On the day of the deadline, Gib turned against his siblings, having become attached to the Runaways. The other two offspring of the Gibborim, Bo and Rim, where defeated when Gert rammed them with her parents' time machine, banishing them into the future. Despite his opposition against his kin, Gib was disheartened by the loss of his siblings, and the Runaways welcomed him into the team. Since his former team remained spiteful of him, Alex quietly went away. Following this misadventure, Victor decided to regrow his body with to better protect Gert.
In hopes to find a sense of purpose, Karolina started dabbling in super-heroics, and was quickly joined by Nico. Karolina's exploits caught the attention of local hero Doc Justice, who welcomed the Runaways into his mansion when they were forced out of their underground home by an inadvertent public drainage work. Unaware that Doc Justice thrived off sensationalizing his superhero life, the Runaways minus Gert accepted to operate as crime-fighters under his wing, becoming a new incarnation of the hero's former squad, the J-Team.
The unusually high mortality rate of former members of the J-Team led Gert to become increasingly suspicious of Doc Justice, ultimately discovering that in the fifty years of his career, the hero routinely orchestrated the death of his young protégés to raise his own profile. Gert convinced Doc Justice's son and assistant, Matthew Caniglia, to interrupt a staged mission that was intended to end with Karolina's murder. Although this encounter resulted in Doc Justice's death at the fangs of Old Lace, Karolina's inner solar power was almost fatally depleted.
The team returned to the Hostel but their morale was battered by Doc Justice's betrayal, and the heroic Doombot friend of Victor moved in with the Runaways out of concern for the team's safety due to the fiasco. Gert decided to resume her high school studies, and was joined by Victor and Gib, the latter using his powers to manifest a human appearance. The team was further shaken up by the concurrent arrivals of a version of Gert from the future and the Light Brigade. Future Gert wanted to take Chase to her future for a fresh start to prevent his descent into villainy, and the Light Brigade, having been drawn to Earth by the depletion of Karolina's light and no longer holding a grudge against her, offered to take her away to treat her injury. After present Gert and Molly helped future Gert force Chase into the future with her, Karolina agreed to leave Earth with the Light Brigade with the promise to return.
The founding members:
- Alex Wilder - son of mafia crime bosses, and a master strategist.
- Nico Minoru (formerly Sister Grimm) - daughter of dark wizards, armed with the mystical Staff of One.
- Karolina Dean (formerly Lucy in the Sky) - daughter of alien invaders with solar energy-based powers.
- Molly Hayes (formerly Bruiser or Princess Powerful) - daughter of telepathic mutants, and possesses the mutant powers of super-strength and invulnerability.
- Chase Stein (formerly Talkback) - son of mad scientists, armed with his father's Fistigons and a naturally skilled pilot.
- Gertrude "Gert" Yorkes (formerly Arsenic) - daughter of time-traveling criminals, possesses a telepathic link with her genetically-engineered dinosaur from the 87th century.
- Old Lace - Gert's dinosaur.
Later members include:
- Leapfrog - Ship equipped with advanced A.I.
- Victor Mancha - cyborg son of Ultron equipped with electromagnetic abilities.
- Xavin - a Skrull war-prince, son of invaders, and Super-Skrull-in-training with the powers to manipulate Cosmic elements, similar to the Fantastic Four.
- Klara Prast - child-bride and Swiss immigrant from 1907 with the power to control vegetation.
- Rufus the Cat - a genetically altered cat of Dr. Hayes.
- Gib - the only remaining member of the Seed of the Gibborim who betrayed his siblings to protect the Runaways.
Prospective members include:
- Topher - a vampire posing as the son of petty criminals. Granted provisional membership.
- Stature (Cassie Lang) - daughter of former thief turned Ant-Man, Scott Lang, who ran away from home planning to join this team until she saw the news reporting on the Young Avengers.
- Excavator (Ricky Calusky) - illegitimate son of Piledriver from the Wrecking Crew. He was offered to join the team but chose to stay with his criminal father.
- Karolina's Medical Alert Bracelet (Formerly)
- Education robot built by Hank Pym to home-school the younger members (and any of the others if they wish) (Formerly)
- Abstract and Decoder Ring (Formerly)
- X-Ray Specs (Formerly)
- Joss Whedon is a vocal fan of the series and a letter written by him was printed in Runaways #18. It was also reprinted in the first hardcover edition.
- Despite rarely being used since Runaways, Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe and the Marvel website still frequently refer to the characters by their "Superhero" names.
- Brian K. Vaughan named the characters Geoffrey and Catherine Wilder after his parents and Molly Hayes after his younger sister.
- Cassie Lang was planning to run away to join this team until she saw the news reporting on the Young Avengers.
- Many of the Story Arc titles for the Runaways series are related to Death and Dying:
- "The Good Die Young" in Runaways #13-Runaways #17.
- "Dead Ringer" in Runaways (Vol. 2) #13.
- "Dead Means Dead" in Runaways (Vol. 2) #19-Runaways (Vol. 2) #22.
- "Live Fast" (Die Hard) in Runaways (Vol. 2) #22-Runaways (Vol. 2) #24.
- "Dead End Kids" in Runaways (Vol. 2) #25-Runaways (Vol. 2) #30.
- "Dead Wrong" in Runaways (Vol. 3) #1-Runaways (Vol. 3) #6.
- "Rock Zombie" in Runaways (Vol. 3) #7-Runaways (Vol. 3) #9.
- The Runaways frequently end up on the "wrong" side of the law:
- Lieutenant Flores and the LAPD were aligned with the Pride and searched of the Runaways as fugitives.
- Following the deaths of their parents, the Runaways chose to run away from Social Services against the wishes of Captain America and S.H.I.E.L.D.
- Failing to register under the Superhuman Registration Act, the Runaways were confronted by Iron Man and his Cape-Killers.
- After successfully retrieving the Overdrive for Kingpin, the Runaways were confronted by Punisher intent on punishing them for breaking the law.
- Karolina Dean was arrested by S.W.O.R.D. as part of Gyrich's "Go Home Aliens" initiative.
- Along with the other Murderworld survivors, Nico and Chase were arrested by S.H.I.E.L.D. for the premeditated murder of Arcade.
- All three long-lasting relationships that within the Runaways have ended in tragedy:
- Nico and Alex: Alex betrayed the group and was then killed by the Gibborim.
- Chase and Gert: A young Geoffrey Wilder tried to sacrifice a soul to the Gibborim and killed Gertrude who died in Chase's arms.
- Karolina and Xavin: Xavin sacrificed themself when they went in Karolina's place with vengeful Majesdanians.
- Gert actually died in Chase's arms twice: Once as an adult from an alternate reality and once as a teenager from this reality.
Chronological Reading Order:
- Runaways #1-Runaways #17
- Mystic Arcana Sister Grimm #1
- Runaways #18
- Runaways (Vol. 2) #1-Runaways (Vol. 2) #12
- Free Comic Book Day (Vol. 2006) #X-Men Runaways
- Runaways (Vol. 2) #13-Runaways (Vol. 2) #21
- Civil War: Young Avengers and Runaways #1-Civil War: Young Avengers and Runaways #4
- Runaways (Vol. 2) #22-Runaways (Vol. 2) #24
- Runaways Saga #1
- Runaways (Vol. 2) #25-Runaways (Vol. 2) #30
- Secret Invasion: Runaways/Young Avengers #1-Secret Invasion: Runaways/Young Avengers #3
- Runaways (Vol. 3) #1-Runaways (Vol. 3) #10
- Breaking Into Comics the Marvel Way! #1
- Runaways (Vol. 3) #11-Runaways (Vol. 3) #14
- S.W.O.R.D. #2-S.W.O.R.D. #3
- Uncanny X-Men: The Heroic Age #1
- Daken: Dark Wolverine #17-Daken: Dark Wolverine #19
- Avengers Academy #27-Avengers Academy #28
- Avengers Arena #1-Avengers Arena #18
- Avengers Undercover #1-Avengers Undercover #10
- Avengers A.I. #1-Avengers A.I. #12
- Vision (Vol. 2) #8-Vision (Vol. 2) #12
- A-Force #1-A-Force #5
- A-Force (Vol. 2) #1-A-Force (Vol. 2) #10
- Runaways (Vol. 5) #1-Runaways (Vol. 5) #38
- 133 appearance(s) of Runaways (Earth-616)
- 5 appearance(s) in handbook(s) of Runaways (Earth-616)
- 5 minor appearance(s) of Runaways (Earth-616)
- 12 mention(s) of Runaways (Earth-616)
- 4 mention(s) in handbook(s) of Runaways (Earth-616)
- 229 image(s) of Runaways (Earth-616)
- 1 quotation(s) by or about Runaways (Earth-616)
- 15 member(s) of Runaways (Earth-616)
- 4 item(s) used/owned by Runaways (Earth-616)