Meet the new lesbian superhero coming to TV in Marvel’s Runaways
She’s super-powered, she’s solar-powered – and she’s totally gay.
Next month, Marvel fans will be introduced to Karolina Dean, a superhero with a rainbow glow who forms one-sixth of the Runaways.
After the teenager and her five friends find out that their parents are part of an evil organisation, they run away (hence the name, obviously) and fight back.
Confusingly, the nefarious group which they have to take on is called The Pride – but let’s not get too hung up on that. There’s only one side the rainbow belongs to in this story.
The news follows the revelation that Thor: Ragnarok will feature Marvel’s first ever on-screen bisexual superhero, in the form of Valkyrie, a badass warrior.
The comic, called America, prompted an outpouring of support from readers who were overjoyed to finally see an LGBT Latina superhero lead her own comic.
However, Marvel also moved to quash speculation that two warriors in the upcoming film Black Panther will be in a lesbian relationship, sparking outrage and accusations of erasure.
Runaways, which will stream on Hulu, is based on a comic book of the same name, which sees Karolina go on a difficult journey to accepting her own sexuality.
As well as that, she has to deal with finding out she’s part of the Majesdanian alien race, who are able to manipulate solar light – hence her rainbow glow.
Of course, there’s always a danger that when a wonderful gay comic storyline is converted into a TV show for the masses, the LGBT parts get cut in order to appease bigots.
But the signs all point to Karolina’s original sexuality being respected and represented in the new show.
Marvel released descriptions of the characters earlier this year, which outlined how the character, played by Virginia Gardner, will struggle with her identity.
“Karolina Dean, model-perfect exterior with a lot going on behind her professionally whitened smile, is burdened by the lofty expectations and responsibilities put upon her by her parents,” it reads.
“Underneath her veneer of privilege and perfection, Karolina is experiencing a newfound eagerness to explore her identity and pursue her own desires.”
That’s not much to go on, but don’t worry – there’s more.
At New York Comic Con, the showrunners told fans that they will be staying true to the show’s source material, according to comicbook.com.
The site also said that fans of Karolina “will be satisfied” and gave reassurances that indicate its likely her sexuality will be addressed early on in the show.
This means that we can look forward to our solar-powered hero bonding with fellow Runaway Nico Minoru, who she tries to kiss in the comics – before being painfully rejected.
Don’t worry, though – Karolina finds happiness and love later in the comics.
An alien called Xavin travels to Earth to marry her so they can unite their two worlds.
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Though she initially refuses him – for obvious reasons – he eventually shapeshifts into a woman and the two get together, leading Karolina to come out to the other Runaways.
After Xavin leaves Earth, she enters into a relationship with Julie Power, a member of the Avengers Academy.
In short: get ready for a lot of lesbian representation, in its most awesome, superhero-shaped form.
Watch the trailer for Runaways here: