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, The Pride.,
Art by Adrian Alphona.
Brian K. Vaughan, Adrian Alphona
Los Angeles; secret lair beneath the La Brea Tar Pits.
The Pride are a fictional Marvel Comics supervillain team, a criminal organization that controlled the Los Angeles area of the Marvel Universe. As they are the parents and the initial and most prominent foes the Runaways have faced, they are perhaps the team's greatest enemy to date. The Pride consists of six couples - the mafia controlling Wilders, the time-traveling Yorkes, the telepathic mutants Hayeses, the alien invaders Deans, the mad scientists Steins and the dark wizards, the Minorus.
The Pride was often considered to be an efficient super-villain team that barred other villains from controlling Los Angeles. Although the real world did not know of The Pride's existence, other mafia mob bosses controllers had, such as the Kingpin, who admits the group ran Los Angeles with efficiency and vision. The Pride first appeared in Runaways #1, published by Marvel Comics in 2003, and were created by Brian K. Vaughan and Adrian Alphona.
2 Recent activities,
3.1 Original members
3.1.1 The Wilders,
3.1.2 The Yorkes,
3.1.3 The Deans,
3.1.4 The Steins,
3.1.5 The Hayeses,
3.1.6 The Minorus,
4 "The New Pride",
5 Former agents,
6 Other versions
6.1 House of M,
8 External links,
Although The Pride were the center of focus throughout the first volume of the series, their actual origin was only covered in the thirteenth issue. The six couples were called together in 1985 by the Gibborim, three mythical giants who had ruled the world when it had "originally been one, serene utopia". The Gibborim informed the couples (who revealed themselves to be aliens, time-travelers, magicians, scientists, mutants, and criminals) their desire to turn the world into the same peaceful utopia it had been millions of years before, but did not have the strength. The Gibborim required the six couples' help ("a Pride") to wipe out the entire planet, and when they achieved their goal, six of the twelve who served them the best would be able to rule the world with them, while the other six would perish with the rest of the human race. The couples agreed, and formed The Pride.
The Gibborim required a sacrifice every year for twenty-five years in order to get their strength. During this time, they had given The Pride wealth and had their abilities and powers enhanced so they could rule over the entire Los Angeles, to a point where Norman Osborn calls them "the dominant and most feared criminal organization of the West Coast." Every year, The Pride gathered at the Wilder residence, using the excuse of an "annual charity fundraiser", while in reality, they would perform the "Rite of Blood", the ritual sacrifice of an innocent young female victim; the spirit of the victim would then be fed to the Gibborim in the "Rite of Thunder".
After Janet Stein became pregnant during their third year as The Pride, The Pride agreed to end its struggle against one another. Each couple would instead ensure their child would receive one of the six places in the coming paradise, so The Pride's legacy could go on. Unbeknownst to the rest of The Pride, the Deans and the Hayes had made a deal: to murder the rest of The Pride and take the six tickets in paradise for themselves and their daughters, Karolina Dean and Molly Hayes.
When Obadiah Stane took his company, Tony Stark relocated to Los Angeles after saving a homeless man with psychological problems, but unintentionally attracted the attention of the Pride, who believed that he had come to L.A. specifically to confront them. Despite their attempts to eliminate Stark by hiring the Serpent Society to kill him, Tony was able to assemble a new company called Imperio Techworks, convincing the locals to invest- the new Iron Man acquiring Japanese investors after defeating a monster-, prompting Wilder to send Tony a message about his presence in the city, unintentionally exposing the Pride (Tony had assumed their attacks against him were organised by Stane). Although he was able to defeat and imprison the Pride with the aid of the Illuminati, knowing that he couldn't hold his 'territory' once the Pride were out of prison as they were too well-connected, Tony handed Imperio Techworks over to one of his employees and departed after leaving Geoffrey Wilder a message; if the Pride left Imperio alone, Tony would not bring in virtually every superhuman contact he possessed to attack them.
Seventeen years later, The Pride's children see the Rite of Blood and run away. With assistance of LAPD Lieutenant Flores, their parents frame their children for the murder of the innocent girl who served as their most recent sacrifice. A note left at the Deans' house reveals that one of the Runaways is secretly loyal to the Pride. The mole within the Runaways tips of the Pride about their involvement with Cloak and Dagger and alerts the Pride of their new hideout, forcing the Runaways to escape.
During a ceremony at the Rite of Thunder,Alex obtains Nico's Staff of One, Chase's Fistigons and Gertrude's dinosaur, Old Lace, manipulating his teammates into defeat and reveals himself as the mole. In reality, he also discovered the Deans and Hayeses' betrayal.
Alex manipulated the Runaways as a way of taking the six tickets in paradise for himself, his parents, Nico and offered the remaining two places for her parents. Nico brutally refuses his offer, beating up Alex in the process. Within seconds, the other Runaways retrieve their stolen items from Alex. Molly crushes the container carrying the girl's soul, the Gibborim destroy Alex, and the undersea lair in which they offer the soul collapses, trapping The Pride inside. Right before the lair collapses, the rest of The Pride finally learns of the Deans and Hayeses betrayal. The Runaways assume The Pride is dead, even though no bodies were found. With their defeat, the activities and the true extent of the Pride's influence in L.A. is reported to the public, leading to a slew of indictments, most notably within law enforcement, ranging from theft to homicide. A news report three months later announces that the government is refusing to reveal any detail about the Pride or the Runaways, who are now known to the public as their children and defeaters.
Despite the Pride's allegiance to one another, rifts and alliances had been common amongst the group; indeed, the most notable of the alliance was the Hayes and Deans, who had plotted to betray the other remaining Pride members because they were human. All members of the Pride are given nicknames by the Gibborim.
Geoffrey and Catherine Wilder ("the Thieves") are Alex Wilder's parents. They are crime bosses who posed as business people. They handled illegal drug trade, gambling and robbery in Los Angeles. For this, these two established strong and powerful connections throughout the Los Angeles, a reason the Pride is able to frame their kids for murder and kidnap. Geoffrey had led the entire Pride. Geoffrey originally appeared as a stern, demeaning man, who had forbidden his son from playing online roleplaying games. His cool persona is often distinguished, meaning other characters can detect his attitude, as evidenced when Nico is able to identify a 1985 version of Geoffrey. When the Gibborim had called them to the first meeting, Geoffrey and Catherine had been on the run from the cops, after a fresh robbery, where it was revealed that Geoffrey and Catherine had eloped, defying Catherine's mother's wishes. Originally appearing as average parents, it is shown the two can also have short tempers; when one of the Pride's agents informed Geoffrey that their children had run away, Geoffrey carried a dagger to Alex's room; Catherine later shot the same agent in the knee.
Geoffrey Wilder later returns, after a group unintentionally brings a 1985 version of him back from his time. He was later defeated, and returned to his time with his memory wiped by Nico.
Dale and Stacey Yorkes ("the Travelers") are Gertrude Yorkes's parents. They are time travelers who posed as antique dealers. The two, using a special 4-D portal, traveled all over time, and had commissioned a genetically engineered dinosaur, mentally linking it with their daughter. They had lived in the 87th century. When the Gibborim had called them to the first meeting, Dale and Stacey had accidentally landed in 1985, where Stacey quotes was "the worst decade of the century". They believed the Gibborim would make a better world, one that wasn't full of superheroes who had foiled their plans in the past (and presumably the future). The two have a distinct way of speech (unlike the rest of the Pride, they have older-fashioned speech), and often imply they know what will go on in the future. They dress in pilot styles resembling that of Amelia Earhart, complete with the goggles, scarves, and gloves. It was later revealed their outfits were actually technical advances; their gloves cause fire and restraining shields. The Yorkes appear as self-righteous, obnoxious people, particularly Stacey. Gert had had a strong dislike of her parents because of an incident involving Gert's pet pig, which the Yorkes hated; after Gert had been playing with it, she had briefly left to answer the phone, and when she returned, she found it had been gone. She suspected her parents of the crime.
When the runaways are time-displaced to 1907, it was revealed the runaways had landed in a time the Yorkes were visiting, where the Yorkes are the heads of a super powered street gang known as the Sinners. When Chase reveals Gert is dead to Dale, he snaps, prompting him to almost assault Chase with his fiery gloves. Later on, Dale reveals the Yorkes have several kingdoms through time, and plan on destroying all of 1907 New York for the sake of their daughter. Unable to wipe their memories as she had already used that spell, Nico stops the Yorkes with her most complex spell yet ("The show must go on"), revealing a painful secret about the Yorkes: the Yorkes will remember everything they now know about their daughter's upcoming death as well as their own, but are enchanted to be unable to act on this knowledge in any way, even to each other; they cannot change the future or say anything that would cause a Grandfather Paradox.
Frank and Leslie Dean ("the Colonists") are Karolina Dean's parents. They are alien invaders from Majesdane, the homeworld of their race, who posed as Hollywood actors. The Deans are intergalactic arms traders to the Skrulls. In their alien form, they appear humanoid with bright, wispy skin, and can manipulate and control solar energy for a variety of purposes. When the Gibborim had called the Deans for the first meeting, the Deans were on a Hollywood set for their show, General Hospital. The two had inhibited Karolina's alien powers for most of her life because of a medical alert bracelet that was forged from far-distant metal, telling her she had an allergy to penicillin. Frank had included Karolina in his will with a paper instructing her to take off the bracelet, but Karolina had discovered the will early. Frank and Leslie had originally appeared as a happy, smiling couple that complimented Karolina's special fajitas, but as issues went on, it was shown the two would have violent and warlike tempers; when the runaways battle their parents over Molly Hayes, Leslie appears rather viciously, returning every time she was knocked out; when Frank arrived from New York and discovered his daughter had already left home and discovered her powers, he had violently attacked Victor Stein roaring for his daughter. The Deans also were the only ones that didn't want a child. However, Leslie believed that have a child would've put them on People magazine. The Deans had conspired with the Hayes's to kill the rest of the Pride and take the six tickets in paradise for them, their daughter, and the three Hayes.
When on the run, Karolina meets Xavin, an alien, and more of the Deans are revealed: the Deans had actually been exiled from their planet for criminal activities; the two immigrated to Earth were they took their last name from a memorial of James Dean. When Prince De'zean of the Skrulls (aliens) had arrived at Earth to conquer it, Frank and Leslie had stopped him. In exchange, the two gave the Skrulls the coordinates of a much more valuable planet: Majesdane, the Deans' birth planet, which was hidden beneath a white dwarf star. To assure the Skrulls the coordinates were real, the Deans offered the Prince their daughter's hand in marriage; therefore, Karolina was engaged to the son of the Prince, Xavin. The Skrulls then left to destroy Majesdane, culminating in a fifteen year war. The Deans had privately believed that Xavin would die in the war, and wouldn't expect him to survive to come and collect the marriage agreement. More recently, Karolina had a dream involving both her parents; in a split image, Leslie pulled Karolina to Earth, while Frank pulled Karolina to a milky ball that was Majesdane. It was later revealed by the Majesdanian soldier, vaDanti, that it was specifically Frank Dean who told the Skrulls where Majesdane was hidden.
Daken, the psychopathic son of Wolverine invades Los Angeles with the hope of usurping the void left by the Pride. He begins taking drugs that are mixed with Majesdanian blood, referred to as "Heat Pills" but unaware it's costing him his abilities.
Victor and Janet Stein ("the Wise Men") are Chase Stein's parents. They are world-renowned brilliant inventors- Tony Stark once encountered them at a conference and was suitably impressed by their work-, are known for making fortunes for what people believe are necessities. They also made "weaponized" gloves called Fistigons, multi-spectral goggles and the transport ship "the Leapfrog". When the Gibborim had called them for the first meeting, the Steins were in their laboratory. At the back of the Stein home is their workshop, which appears as a small shed. When entered, the space is equal to that of a large cave. The Steins are also responsible for the money the Pride obtains, as Victor revealed he and Janet had counterfeited the new fifty within two minutes. The Steins have also created watches that zap electricity, watches that scan police radars and senses, creating the container that carries the soul they sacrifice, and they dress in scientific outfits for their villainous costumes. Janet Stein's pregnancy is the reason the remaining Pride wished to have children, and started the idea of offering their place to a child. Victor is the one parent often described as being the most abusive, as he first appears punching Chase across the face for getting C's, with Janet scolding slightly. A remark from Chase implies that his father regularly beats him. Chase later quotes his parents often argue. On the night of the Rite of Thunder, Victor tells Geoffrey that he really loves his son, and Janet later admits she doesn't know how her soul is, because of the murders.
When Chase receives an opportunity to get Gert back to life, he immediately agrees to take it: sacrifice an innocent life and Gert would be alive. Chase agrees to the deal and wishes to sacrifice himself, because he had realized he was innocent; Victor would often abuse Chase when he was young, hitting him with a Burbank phone book, which Chase quotes as "strong enough to hurt but not leave any marks". Janet would then put on the radio, so she wouldn't hear her son crying downstairs. Victor would hurt him for getting a D in Algebra, a parking ticket, or even if he was just having a bad day. Chase had never thought of them as good excuses, so he had begun to make up his own, and even believe them, until he realized that he was entirely innocent.
Gene and Alice Hayes ("the Outcasts") are Molly Hayes's parents. The two are telepathic mutants who posed as a doctor and a speech therapist. Gene first appears as a very awkward man, unwilling to talk about his daughter's puberty. Alice is described a strong and caring mother, but still able to offer up her own daughter as a ransom to capture the five other runaways. When the Gibborim had called the Hayes for the first meeting, Gene and Alice had been getting harassed by the neighbours, who had thrown rocks at them for being mutants. Just before a furious Gene was about to protect a whimpering Alice, the two had been called forth by the Gibborim. This led to the Hayes's strong hatred towards humans, a reason they were willing to conspire with the Deans to kill the human members of the Pride and ensure the six tickets in paradise for themselves, Molly, and the three Deans. It was revealed early on that the Hayes had no idea Molly was a mutant herself, Molly having tested negative for the mutant gene, but when Molly's supposed puberty was actually her mutant genes kicking in, the Hayes were shocked. The two are telepaths, capable of memory removal and sedation, but this has been reversed on at least one occasion--when they had wiped Cloak's memory of ever encountering the Runaways, Cloak and Dagger traveled back to New York, where after receiving a blow to the head, Cloak remembered.
Molly had difficulty in believing her parents were villains for two main reasons: because of her age, and her strong empowering belief her parents were actually innocent people. After Molly had escaped a villain named "the Provost", Molly rescued several other runaway children who had thought their parents villains and offered them a place on the team. When they rejected and said they would go to their families, Molly later had a dream of her parents, reminding her they would still be going to Disney Land, and Molly admitting to her dream-mother that her whole experience as a runaway was a horrible nightmare. The dream-Alice comforts Molly by telling her it was nothing but a dream, and not to worry, because she's home.
Emma Frost later mentions that she knew the Hayeses; The Hellfire Club had originally reached out for them, but the Hayeses refused. Frost tells Cyclops that the Hayeses were monsters and suggested that Molly was probably better off without them. Later, Molly and her chaperone Wolverine are captured by a super villain seeking revenge against the Hayeses for stopping his bid for Pride territory and brutally massacring his men and sadistically torturing him seven years previous. He happily confronts Molly with the reality of her parents' evil and sadism, telling her that her parents allegedly killed many people, including children, often for no reason and took pleasure in torturing them. He plans on exacting his revenge by killing Molly, though Wolverine manages to defeat him. Afterward, Wolverine comforts her, stating that her parents must have truly loved her despite being super villains, though Molly accepts that they were "bad people" and realizes that she will never see her parents in the same light as before.
Robert and Tina Minoru ("the Magicians") are Nico Minoru's parents. The two are dark wizards who posed as an average, church-going, middle-class couple. The two are the least-liked by the Pride; in a holograph, it's revealed the Steins and Yorkes consider them unstable because they're magicians; the Deans and Hayes hate them because they're humans; Geoffrey Wilder also criticizes Robert on one occasion. When the Gibborim had first abducted the Pride for the first meeting, the Minorus were on their wedding day. Arriving in the Gibborim's chamber with the rest of the Pride, the two quickly unleashed a black hole of bats at the Pride. In their first appearance, the two appear as an average couple, where Robert is unwilling to be late, and Tina is an Oprah fan. When the Runaways witness the Rite of Blood, they see that Robert conducts the enchanted spell of sacrifice. The Runaways see the Minorus in action when they get ambushed at the Stein's laboratory; Tina conducts her powers using a mystical Staff known as the "Staff of One", and Robert conducts his powers through a spellbook. Tina attempted to stab Nico with her Staff, but, due to Nico's own innate magic and hereditary link with Tina, the Staff was absorbed by Nico, who kept it. It is later hinted that there is more than one Staff of One, as shown when Bo, the first lady to a drug dealer in New York, knew of Nico's incantation and Chase commented that Nico had "a Staff of One." The Minorus, though having mentioned that they only "dabbled" in the dark arts the first time the Pride was gathered, were given enough mystical power by the Gibborim, to rule Los Angeles and even beyond. In the final battle with the Pride at the Marine Vivarium, Nico ignored the Wilders' and her parents' wishes to rule in the new world. Regardless, Tina screamed at Nico to run while she and Robert held back the Gibborim, a reason the Runaways were able to flee to safety.
The Minorus are considered highly proficient spellcasters of the dark arts, able to evoke spells of various effects with spoken incantations and without, capable of conjuring bats from nowhere, conducting the Rite of Blood, garbing themselves and others in their costumes, summoning the Staff of One and an enchanted tome (the Abstract), summoning water spouts, killing a genetically engineered prehistoric creature, teleporting a Majesdanian alien back to his home planetoid in another galaxy, freezing another, even a holder of the Staff of One in time, and project energy blasts of sufficient strength to hold off Elder Gods (if but for moments). The Minorus are involved with various other mystical matters such as Dormammu and Agamotto. Nevertheless, for whatever reason (presumably due to the lack of the Staff of One because Nico stole it), the Minorus appeared incapable, despite their immense power and experience in dark magic, of locating the Runaways, though they were but at most several miles from the Pride.
When the Minorus combine their strength, without the usage of magical artifacts, are capable to send Frank Dean back to the planet he came from, while the Sorcerer Supreme Doctor Strange, with access to all his own magical items at the Sanctum Sanctorum, claims he cannot bring the New Avengers to Japan through any magical means.
Robert and Tina later appear in a dream Nico has, where the two criticize Nico and call her a slut for kissing Alex, Chase, Topher, and Victor. Nico then overcomes her previous insecurities by quickly killing her parents in her dream by screaming a spell, "and I liked you better dead!"
The Minorus are mentioned to Nico by Marie LaVeau, who reveals that they were acquaintances of hers, and that they were never fully committed to the Dark Path, only to the Pride, unlike Marie. Marie claims to Nico that the Minorus used her, gained her trust, and betrayed her, taking the valuable and extraordinarily powerful Black Mirror from her. The Mirror possessed the ability to gaze into other dimensions, and even the power to travel through time, "if used correctly." Maries scathingly adds certain members of the Pride, such as the Yorkes, had access to the secrets of time traveling, which were shared not with the Minoru clan. The Minorus were so determined to learn about their own past and family secrets they used the Mirror to do so. Yet whatever vision they saw, it was so terrifying even they were unnerved and magically sealed the Mirror so none could ever use it again, instead causing a mere reflection to stare back at the beholder. Nico is told Marie requires her blood to unlock the Mirror's locking spell, and Nico herself does so, though also, as she intended, releases the Staff of One. Nico engages Marie in direct magical combat, and triumphs. However, after Nico unsuccessfully tries to utilize the power of the Mirror to revive Alex Wilder, Marie finds the last page of the Darkhold, and promises Nico that they will encounter each other again, leaving the teenage witch to stare at the shattered remains of the Black Mirror, indeed a mirror of her own life at the time.
After their death, their influence still lives on - the "New Pride" found their magical runestone as part of the ritual to summon Geoffrey Wilder to their present time, and uses more of their magical artifacts to their benefit, such as the Eye-Spy Cauldron to spy upon the Runaways and the chameleon glamour charm Wilder utilized to conceal his true identity by magically giving himself the voice and physical appearance of Chamber and Alex Wilder. The Minorus have also curiously made mention to the Spine of Agamotto, a benevolent powerful magical being who is the main patron of the Sorcerer Supreme and creator of the Eye of Agamotto to install a "lummox" as Los Angeles's governor. Nico also assumed the security daemons in their hostel were among the old defense spells of the Minorus, and according to her, the Silver Bullet Gang (a gang of werewolves) were actually driven out from Los Angeles by her parents.
Monk Theppie, an ally of Val Rhymin mentions Robert Minoru, his (presumed late) friend, once said that all things are possible, and says he misses the Minorus, appearing near tears when he thinks of them, and saying that the L.A. magic scene hasn't been the same without them: "Good times." This past relationship to the Minorus is also revealed to Nico when the two confront.
"The New Pride":
At the end of issue 6 in the second series, a figure who had impersonated Chamber from the X-Men, is implied to be a resurrected Alex Wilder, and has formed a new Pride using some of the original team's tools, including the Minoru's Chameleon Glamour, a small talisman to disguise the user into any form. They had later used the Minoru's Eye-Spy Cauldron to spy on the Runaways, who had left from New York City and were returning to Los Angeles. They had also obtained the Stein's copy of the abstract. It was later revealed that they were a group of Alex's former online friends on a role-playing game; Stretch, an overweight boy who lives with his grandmother (had roleplayed as several female and scantily clad superheroes such has Emma Frost, Ms Marvel, and the Invisible Woman), Hunter, a thin young man with a stereotypical slacker appearance (had roleplayed as the Hulk), Lotus, a female fantasy fan who participates in Renaissance Fairs (had roleplayed as Daredevil) and Oscar, a man who often was fired from many jobs because of using the computers for online games (had roleplayed as Spider-Man).
It was later revealed they were "the new Pride". Hunter hacked into Alex's game account, and through that eventually found his computer's journal, and learned about the Pride. After Alex's death, the friends find certain items from the Pride in an attempt to bring back Alex, but end up killing Oscar, and bringing back a younger version of Alex's father, Geoffrey, from a time period of one year after joining the Pride. Geoffrey then lied to the new Pride acting as the "good guy" and saying that the Runaways killed Alex. Ironically, the new Pride formed because Alex's friends claimed that they wanted to become more "responsible members of society", and begin acting like adults. The Runaways' philosophy states that no adults are to be trusted.
Geoffrey Wilder murders Gertrude Yorkes as part of a sacrificial ritual, but he is captured and returned to his own time (with his memory erased in the process). The new Pride disbands after the Runaways reveal Geoffrey Wilder's true goal. Following Gert's death, Stretch checks himself into a mental health facility, and Hunter joins the Peace Corps to atone for the "blood" on his hands. Lotus is kidnapped (or, as she puts it, "hired") by Chase Stein to help him resurrect Gert. When the attempt fails, Chase releases Lotus, telling her to burn her copy of the Abstract.
Lieutenant Flores of the LAPD. Shot in the leg by Catherine Wilder for bringing Cloak and Dagger to L.A. and then killed by Geoffrey Wilder after he failed to capture the children.,
Alex Wilder, revealed to be a spy for his parents and the rest of the Pride. Killed by the Gibborim.,
House of M:
The Pride is mentioned as ruling Southern California in the House of M reality warp. Unlike mainstream reality, their children stay with their parents.