Sometimes I want to be Molly Hayes. I know that sounds like something of creepy statement, what with my being an adult and her being a 12 year old, but frankly that doesn’t really bother me. Despite her age, Molly Hayes is a pretty fabulous character in her own right and one that I hope gets more page time in the future despite Runaways currently being on indefinite hiatus.
As the youngest member of this rag tag team of kids who runaway after finding out that their parents are supervillians, Molly is a fairly special character in her own right. While each of the Runaways are fairly unique in their own way (for Nico it is magic; Gert has sarcasm and a dino; Karolina is a rainbow alien to name a few), Molly has the distinction of being the only mutant amongst them. What is even more interesting is the fact that she is a mutant in a post-Decimation Marvel universe. With the capacity for super-strength, her small stature and age often lead those who oppose her to assume that she is just an ordinary child.
They couldn’t be more wrong.
While her mutation has helped out in the past, it really gets a chance to take the spotlight when the Left Coast Runaways find themselves in a cold and snowy NYC. Brought there by Cloak to help clear his name against allegations that the New Avengers have made towards him. While the rest of the gang goes off to do some digging, Cloak brings Molly to a church that has provided him aid in the past. Putting her strength to work, she’s in the middle of having heart to heart with the priest when Captain America, Iron Man and Wolverine show up.
Molly reacts much like any good fangirl would: she essentially word vomits a slew of questions at Wolverine. It’s adorably endearing and frankly something that I would do. Since I also wish to know if Wolverine’s hair is natural or with some sort of added product for volume and maintenance. It’s quite an impressive coif.
The overall situation leaves much to be desired, since instead of answering her questions Wolvie breaks out the claws and things rapidly spiral out of control. Iron Man, Cap and Wolvie are just acting out of their noble sense of justice: they see an unattended mutant kid who needs to be looked after in their eyes. Molly sees them as aggressors, those who want to take her from what is essentially is now her family and if they have to scare a bystander to do it then so be it. Her reaction is priceless and in total keeping with what we know about her. She fights back. Not only does she dress them down for acting like total jerks, which they kind of are, but she fights back. She punches Wolverine, an act that is so beautifully demonstrated by the panels of him flying through the air and into the snow outside.
Molly is still a little girl, being frightened by grown men without her safety net. When she defends herself, she’s not only showing remarkable backbone but she’s setting an example. No one should have to go with those they don’t know or trust, despite how famous they are. It says a lot the act that she manages to scare them off (it doesn’t help that Cloak shows up to take her away), but the three of them are too stunned by what just happened to really react.
It takes real guts to stand up to your heroes, but sticking to her instincts is something that I can be very supportive of. While she might need a nap at the end of a hard day’s work, there is nothing weak about Molly. Plus she has an awesome collection of hats. Who couldn’t love that?