Marvel’s Runaways: The ‘Gross Flaky Guy’ Reveal Raises Boundless Questions

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The guy in the mask has been the biggest mystery thus far. Marvel

Fantastic Four villain Julian McMahon made his debut as Jonah, dubbed the “gross flaky guy,” in Marvel’s Runaways episode 5, “Kingdom.” He first appears in a flashback to 18 years ago, when Geoffrey Wilder is still in prison for murder. Jonah visits the prison to offer Geoff $5 million for an abandoned strip mall his family owns in Compton. Geoff thinks it’s odd a rich white guy would take interest in that part of the city, so he offers to be a partner instead. But there’s a catch. Geoff needs to be out of jail to be part of the deal, so he convinces his best friend, Darius, to confess to his crime. Geoff promises to take care of Darius’ family in return, but doesn’t follow through with the offer. He probably didn’t know what he was getting into when he agreed to work with Jonah, who we now know is at the center of Pride’s origins.

At the end of “Kingdom,” Geoff gets into trouble with Darius. Long story short, Pride finds another victim to sacrifice. Unlike their last attempts, it actually works this time. When their mystical session is done, Leslie Dean asks everyone to leave the high security mediation room at the Church of Gibborim, where the “gross flaky guy” has been since the show started. But the man wrapped in bandages with a breathing mask is gone. Instead, Jonah, the same man who offered Geoff that deal 18 years ago, is standing there, looking healthier than ever.

We first meet Jonah 18 years ago. Why hasn't met Karolina yet? Photo: Marvel

He says something to the effect of, “It was close this time,” suggesting Pride has revived him many times before. There’s no telling how old he is, or if he’s some sort of alien or god, but it’s clear he and Leslie have a romantic history that involves Karolina.

“When I was laying here, my biggest fear wasn’t dying,” he confesses to Leslie, “it was that I might die without ever having looked into her eyes. I want to meet her!”

This suggests Leslie used her husband Frank Dean to legitimize the Church of Gibborim and stand in as Karolina’s father. Considering Jonah’s resilience and direct involvement in Pride’s rituals (the man Leslie worships), he may be the source of Karolina’s newfound godly powers. When Pride was performing its ritual to resurrect Jonah, his body lit up a pastel blue color, a similar shade as Karolina when she expels light. The skillset resembles the power of the Majesdanian race, from which both Karolina’s mother and father have ancestry in the comics. Every cell of their bodies is capable of storing solar energy, even their blood. If Jonah possesses the same prowess, it’s possible he could be resurrected as well. But there’s a catch: Karolina's father was Frank Dean in the comics, not Jonah. This makes the mystery of the TV version of the Gibborim even more compelling.

The Gibborim. Photo: Marvel

In The Runaways comics, Pride made a deal with the Gibborim, an ancient race of giants living in the plane of reality belonging to the Elder Gods. These divine beings planned to cleanse the Earth of humanity and restore the planet to the paradise it was millions of years ago. Pride would perform a “Rite of Blood” ritual to give the Gibborim the strength to fulfill its goals. The Gibborim would return the favor with wealth, power, and a promise that Pride would rule the Earth by their side when their agenda was fulfilled. The Gibborim claimed to be capable of resurrecting mortals, even after they passed into the Great Beyond, but they require an innocent soul to do so. In fact, The Gibborim appear to be capable of anything, provided they have enough soul energy.

It’s still largely unclear where the TV series plans to take the origins of the Gibborim in relation to Karolina and the Dean family. Any theories? Let us know in the comments.

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