Marvel's Runaways: Who is Jonah really?
Warning: This story contains spoilers from Marvel’s Runaways and the 2003 comic on which the Hulu series is based. Read at your own risk!
The true antagonist of Marvel’s Runaways has started to become more clear with the introduction of Julian McMahon’s Jonah.
The mysterious man, who was previously dubbed Gross Flaky Guy behind the scenes, has become whole again thanks to the Pride sacrificing wayward youths whose life-force apparently keeps Jonah young. But his ultimate goal in gathering Pride still remains to be seen.
“This is a story about family, and the introduction of Jonah is an extension of that story,” executive producer Josh Schwartz tells EW, seemingly confirming that Jonah is indeed Karolina Dean’s real father.
After suffering a near-death experience when the initial sacrifice failed, Jonah now has a new lease on life, immediately asking Leslie Dean (Annie Wersching) if he can see “her,” which some viewers have speculated to mean he could actually be Karolina’s real father — a huge complication for the young Runaway. “Karolina is coming into her own and figuring out her own identity — both superhero and personal,” Schwartz says. “Obviously this is a huge potential revelation for her and a better understanding of just who or what she is.”
The question of identity also rings true for Jonah — at least for the audience. Spoiler alert: In the comics, the bad guys of Gibborim are actual giants, and yet Jonah is not. Well, we assume he’s not, especially because the show has skewed somewhat more grounded than the source material. “The idea was to honor the spirit of the book while finding different ways of expressing the mythology that feels inside the tone of the show,” Schwartz says. “So the idea of this other being, what is Jonah exactly, and tying it into these sacrifices, those were the conversations that led to this idea of the form being Jonah.”
Another theory could be that Jonah is of alien origin, which would be a nice nod to the fact that the Dean family were aliens in the comics. “We don’t want to say anything,” Schwartz says to the alien query. “All we’ll say is he’ll help explain a lot of understanding Karolina’s origins, because they may not be so different.”
A new episode of Marvel’s Runaways will be released Tuesdays on Hulu.