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In Marvel’s Runaways, The Red Hydrogen One is the Evil Phone

Corvus Phone 1

I’m in the middle of watching this season of Marvel’s Runaways on Hulu with my family. It’s a lot of fun; pity it was canceled as part of whatever corporate machinations are going on at Disney/Marvel/Fox.

Without too much in the way of spoilers, in the middle of the season, one of the major plot points is around an evil phone. This phone is extremely evil. I haven’t finished the season yet, but someone’s distributing a lot of evil phones to people, and they’re making them do evil things, in a very Black Mirror kind of way.

The phone should be immediately recognizable to any phone geek watching the show:

Corvus Phone 1

Yes! It’s the Red Hydrogen One!

Red Hydrogen One Phone 2

Red Hydrogen One Phone 4

The Red Hydrogen One is a huge, weird, expensive, and failed smartphone from the Red camera company. Its flagship feature was supposedly magical; with a 3D screen and camera, it was going to ignite a renaissance of 3D “holographic” content. It did not.

The phone was still on the market when Runaways Season 3 was being filmed this May. In October, it got knocked down to half price and then discontinued. It doesn’t look as though Runaways had a relationship with the Red camera company, so that means somebody probably paid full price for one.

Corvus Phone 1

The phone’s back isn’t removable, so the production team may have had to destroy a Hydrogen One to get this shot. I don’t know whether the real phone crumbles to dust when you pull the black feather out from under the battery, though.

Corvus Phone 1

Corvus Phone 1

Smartphones are a huge part of daily life, and pretty often, smartphone companies pony up to get their products or brands seen on the screen. Captain America: Civil War had a product placement deal with China’s Vivo phone company, and earlier Marvel films featured Samsungs.

The long-running cop show Hawaii Five-O had an ongoing deal with Windows Phone that seems ridiculous until you remember that even the NYPD actually carried Windows Phones for years.

But it’s unlikely that the evil Corvus Phone on Runaways is a licensed product; it’s been hacked by the production department to be its own fictional brand, and, most importantly, it’s evil. Still, it’s a fun Easter egg for people who like weird tech.

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