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"It's just... everything my whole life has been for my mom and the church. Then I learned that what I thought was the ultimate good is somehow a part of the worst thing imaginable. And what if what I do is connected to that? What does that make me?"
―Karolina Dean[src]

Karolina Dean is a former member of the Church of Gibborim and the daughter of Frank and Leslie Dean. After removing her Gibborim bracelet for the first time, Karolina discovered her powers of light generation. Upon reuniting with her childhood friends, they discovered that their parents used PRIDE to cover up ceremonial sacrifices of the church. She teamed up with her friends and formed the Runaways. Eventually, Karolina learns that Jonah, the mysterious benefactor of PRIDE, is actually her biological father. Having been framed for Destiny Gonzalez's murder, and with no other choice, they are forced to run.

Biography

Early Life

"The day that you get your bracelet is one that you'll never forget, unless you're me. I kind of feel like I was born with mine."
―Karolina Dean[src]

Karolina was born the daughter of Leslie Dean and her lover Jonah. However, she was raised by Leslie's lawful husband Frank Dean, who ignored his wife's affair with Jonah. From her youngest age, Karolina wore a Church of Gibborim Bracelet which she never took off, unaware that it actually concealed her light emitting powers. Karolina grew as a faithful member of the Church of Gibborim, helping her mother to recruit new members among the organization.[2]

Reunion

Discovering Powers

"It was so weird. The last thing I remember were these lights. They were really beautiful."
"Yeah, it's called drugs. Clearly, you took some strong shit."
―Karolina Dean and Chase Stein[src]
Runaways Dean 2

The Deans at the Church of Gibborim

Karolina and her father Frank Dean attended a Church of Gibborim ceremony hosted by her mother Leslie Dean. She asked her mother to sign a permission slip for a field trip, but Leslie refused. Later at Atlas Academy, Karolina overheard Alex Wilder inviting Chase Stein to come over to the Wilder Mansion and Gert Yorkes joined the conversation. Karolina told Alex that she was busy with a church event, whereafter she got into an argument with Yorkes before they all left when the bell rung.

Runaways Teaser Trailer 51

Dean discovers her powers

Karolina later attended a party. Declining an offer for drugs, she became mesmerized with two girls passionately kissing. As she was also attracted to other girls, she decided to conceal her religious beliefs for once and took off her Church of Gibborim Bracelet, only to become entranced when her arms began to glow. Dancing for a few moments, Karolina then collapsed. While she was unconscious, Stein's friends Brandon and Lucas then took her upstairs and attempted to rape her. However, Karolina was saved by Stein, who put her bracelet back. The pair then left the party to head for the Wilder Mansion.

Sacrifice of Destiny Gonzalez

Runaways Team 1

Dean and the other Runaways watch their parents sacrificing Destiny Gonzalez

Karolina, Chase Stein, Nico Minoru, Gert Yorkes and Molly Hernandez all arrived in the Wilder Mansion and Karolina urged her former friends to talk about the death of Amy Minoru so they would be able to move on. They went to find alcohol into Geoffrey Wilder's office, where they soon accidentally opened a secret passageway. Going inside, they discovered their parents apparently performing some kind of ritual. Karolina and her friends then witnessed as their parents put Destiny Gonzalez in the Dematerialization Box. However, Molly Hernandez took a picture of the scene, forcing Karolina and the other teenagers to run away.[2]

Runaways1x02-754551

Dean playing Twister with the group

Karolina and her friends hid in the guesthouse while Alex Wilder left to cut down the power in the mansion. Karolina, Stein and Yorkes discussed potential rational explanations for their parents' behavior, but found flaws in each other's theories. Once Alex returned, the teenagers decided to act as friendly as they always used to so that her parents would not suspect anything. To that end, Karolina and the others pretended to be playing Twister when their parents found her. Karolina then left the Wilder Mansion with her mother Leslie Dean.

Once at home, Karolina sent a message to Gonzalez to check whether she was fine and waited for an answer.[3]

Investigation

"See? Destiny is fine. We don't have to worry."
"Uh, Photoshopped much? This picture could be a total fake. I know you want to believe, but this just isn't proof to me."
"My mom seemed fine this morning. She wouldn't have acted so normal if she'd killed a parishioner last night."
―Karolina Dean and Nico Minoru[src]

Karolina did some meditation to calm her mind, listening to a Church of Gibborim tape recorded by her mother Leslie. Leslie then came to Karolina's room and expressed her joy at the idea that Karolina had reconnected with her friends. While she spoke, Karolina saw a picture of Brandon and Lucas, who claimed to have been beaten up by Chase Stein, making Karolina worry that something had happened during the party where she had fainted. She also received a message seemingly from Destiny Gonzalez, indicating that she was fine and on a trip to London.

RunawaysBeach-1.03

Dean meets with the other Runaways

Therefore, Karolina ran at the beach, where the Runaways had gathered to discuss what they had seen the night before, to show them the picture. However, the others were not convinced, stating that it could be a fake. Karolina thus decided to confirm that Gonzalez was actually in London by asking other parishioners of the Church of Gibborim. Before leaving, however, she asked Stein about what she had seen concerning Brandon and Lucas, but Stein reassured her, claiming that it was only related to their lacrosse team.

Karolina and Vaughn

Dean and Vaughn Kaye look at a painting by David Ellerh

Karolina went to the Church of Gibborim Executive Offices. There, she was approached by Vaughn Kaye, another young member of the Church. She asked him about Gonzalez and Kaye confirmed that he had seen her getting into a car to take her to what he believed was the airport so she would leave to London. Karolina then saw Kaye toying with his Church of Gibborim Bracelet and subtly asked him whether he was seeing the same colors than she did when had taken off her bracelet at the party. However, Kaye did not share any similar experience. He then left Karolina as she stared a painting made by her grandfather David Ellerh, which happened to display a feminine figure glowing with bright lights, exactly like Karolina did.[4]

Revealing Powers

"How do you do that?"
"I don't know how! I don't even know what..."
"What does it feel like?"
"Good. Warm."
Chase Stein and Karolina Dean[src]

In the night, Dean had a conversation with the other Runaways and kept expressing doubt that her mother could be a murderer, especially since no one had found any significant evidence. She also insisted on the fact that they should stop turning on each other and instead keep looking for clues. On the next day, Dean returned to Atlas Academy, where she saw Chase Stein getting in a fight with Brandon and Lucas, something Eiffel blamed Dean for as she claimed that Dean had flirted with them, although Dean denied it. She then talked about the event with Gert Yorkes, wondering why Stein had not told her anything.

As she left school, Dean approached Yorkes, who was the only other teenager who was more convinced that their parents were innocent, and she suggested that they found evidence in this regard. They went to the Dean Mansion to check whether the ritual they had seen could be related to the Church of Gibborim and its hierarchy. They found Leslie Dean's laptop with an encrypted file related to the Ultra Project on it and decided to send it to Alex Wilder so he could decrypt it.

Fifteen pic

Dean reveals her powers to Chase Stein

Moments later, Stein arrived at the Dean Mansion and requested to speak privately with Karolina. Once Yorkes left, Stein explained that he was quitting the lacrosse team. This prompted Karolina to ask him whether something had happened between Brandon, Lucas and herself. Stein explained that he had prevented them from raping her. Deciding to trust him, Karolina took Stein in her bedroom and took off her Church of Gibborim Bracelet to reveal her powers to him, much to Stein's genuine amazement. As Stein left, Karolina worried about what her powers meant, but Stein comforted her, calling him the most beautiful thing he had ever seen.

Later that night, while she was reading the Book of Gibborim, Karolina heard her parents Frank and Leslie playing and laughing outside. As she looked at them, she was called by Nico Minoru, who informed her that Wilder had decrypted the file, which contained a list of all PRIDE's victims. As the conversation continued, Minoru suddenly began to scream, and when Karolina asked her what was happening, Minoru told her that someone had kidnapped Wilder.[5]

Rescue of Alex Wilder

"What if it was my Church? What if they figured out that we got those files on all those kids?"
"Hey, I'm..."
"No, no, please don't tell me that everything is gonna be okay. My mom is a murderer. All of our parents are murderers!"
―Karolina Dean and Nico Minoru[src]

Dean joined Nico Minoru at the Timely Coffee to figure out how they could save Alex Wilder, who had been kidnapped, with Dean fearing that the kidnappers could be affiliated to the Church of Gibborim, prompting Minoru to hug her in comfort. They were joined by Gert Yorkes and Molly Hernandez, and Minoru used her Staff of One to reveal the path taken by the car used by the kidnappers. Dean then got everyone in her car to drive and find their friend. While on the may, they managed to reach out to Chase Stein for help.

Dean quickly drove according to the Staff of One's signal, although Yorkes insisted that Dean should pay more attention to their own security. They arrived near a park where they saw Darius Davis holding Wilder at gunpoint and forcing him to get back into the car. While Yorkes thought that they did not stand a chance, Minoru told Dean to keep following the kidnappers. They caught up with them as they were stopped at a red light.

Much to Dean's surprise, Minoru got out of the car and tried to use the Staff of One to keep the kidnappers from leaving. She failed, prompting Hernandez to join her and to use her superhuman strength to lift the rear of the car, which greatly amazed Dean. As the Crips got out of their car with Wilder and Davis aimed his gun at Hernandez, Dean joined the confrontation and took off her Church of Gibborim Bracelet, releasing light beams at Davis, which enabled Wilder to run and join his friends.

Kingdom pic

Dean and the Runaways faces Darius Davis

However, Davis remained mostly unaffected by Dean's powers. He threatened to shoot at the teenagers, but Stein joined them and threw Davis back with his Fistigons. Dean and the other Runaways were then protected from Davis' bullets thanks to the shield created by Minoru and the Staff of One, causing Davis to flee. With this victory achieved, the Runaways gathered at the Timely Coffee, where they expressed amazement at each other's abilities, including Dean's, who was considerably relieved that her friends still accepted her.

Wilder then informed them that he suspected PRIDE to intend to sacrifice Andre Compton, one of his kidnappers. Thus, the Runaways rushed to the Wilder Mansion, but found the sacrifice room empty as the ceremony was actually conducted in the Church of Gibborim Executive Offices. While Wilder and Minoru briefly left the room, the others remained to investigate and Stein found a camera on one of the shelves. Dean went to inform Wilder and Minoru and found them kissing each other.

They all returned in the sacrifice room, where Wilder analyzed the camera and found that the data were stored on Wizard servers, meaning that they had to find a way to hack into it. They the returned to their respective homes, and Dean sadly reviewed the Book of Gibborim before angrily throwing away all the objects she had which were connected to the Church of Gibborim, calling it complete lies and crying at the idea that she had been a huge part of the organization.[6]

PRIDE Gala

"You know, maybe we should march in there and I could light up and I can show the world what I actually am."
"That's not exactly what I had in mind, but sure, if it gets you off the ledge..."
"Maybe it's time to be reckless and to make some bad decisions."
―Karolina Dean and Chase Stein[src]

While reviewing some of David Ellerh's drawings of Being of Lights, which resembled the powers Karolina displayed, Karolina was visited by her father Frank. They briefly talked about the Church of Gibborim's beliefs and Frank revealed that he had failed to go Ultra in the Church's hierarchy. Karolina then asked her father about how he was not part of PRIDE with Leslie Dean, and Frank replied that he felt PRIDE was only for Leslie and not him.

Runaways1x06-75845

Dean and the Runaways discuss their plan

Karolina then went to the Timely Coffee with the other Runaways, where they discussed their plan of infiltrate into the Wizard servers during an upcoming PRIDE gala held at Wizard Headquarters, in order to find evidence of their parents' crime. Later, Karolina welcomed Nico Minoru into the Dean Mansion to prepare for the gala. Minoru almost took off Karolina's Church of Gibborim Bracelet, prompting them to discuss about Karolina's powers. Karolina considered that now that her true nature was revealed, she could actually be free and almost confessed her feelings for Minoru, but they were interrupted by the arrival of Gert Yorkes and Molly Hernandez.

Karolina joined the gala with the other Runaways, expressing some disgust at the sight of their parents enjoying their time. They then decided to move forward on their plan, but as they discussed, Yorkes asked for Karolina to talk privately and asked her whether she was attracted to Minoru. However, Karolina denied and told Yorkes that she knew Yorkes was in love with Chase Stein, which Yorkes denied as well, prompting Karolina to ask Stein to get some drinks to make Yorkes jealous. The conversation ended with both girls stating that the other was not honest about their true feelings.

Karolina Flying

Dean is saved from a deadly fall by her powers

As she was quite disoriented and displeased with everything going on, Karolina took a bottle of vodka and went to the roof of Wizard Headquarters to get drunk alone. She was joined by Stein, who tried to have her confess about whatever was on her mind. Annoyed, Karolina sat on the edge of the roof and began expressing the idea of publicly revealing her powers to everyone. However, while moving around, Karolina fell from the roof as Stein failed to hold her up, only grabbing her bracelet. This caused Karolina's powers to activate and make her fly back to safety on the roof. Considerably relieved, Stein put the bracelet back and kissed Karolina, much to her trouble.

Karolina and Stein returned into the building's hall, attending the speech delivered by PRIDE. Thus, they were shocked by the reveal of the ongoing between Janet Stein and Robert Minoru, immediately followed by Victor Stein collapsing on the ground. As the party neared its end, Karolina was approached by Jonah, who claimed to be an old friend of Leslie who had craved to meet Karolina. As Karolina was quite unease with this encounter, Frank arrived and Karolina asked him to take her back home.[7]

Atlas Academy Open House

"Any chance our parents can get arrested before they talk to our teachers?"
―Karolina Dean[src]

Karolina went to the Atlas Academy for the upcoming school's open house, although she was not utterly enthusiastic about this perspective. She also briefly had to face Gert Yorkes' jealousy as she happened to be hanging out with Chase Stein since Yorkes believed that Karolina and Stein were dating. As the Runaways gathered, Molly Hernandez revealed that she had accidentally admitted to Catherine Wilder that she knew about the Rite of Blood. Karolina tried to comfort Hernandez, citing her young age, but this only caused Hernandez to get angry and leave them.

Karolina later found Hernandez as she struggled to get accepted into the school's dance squad led by Eiffel. Karolina helped Hernandez with the dancers' towels, praising Hernandez for her optimism. They also discussed about their respective superpowers.

During the open house, Karolina listened to the introductory speech with her mother Leslie, who worried about the absence of Frank Dean. She then casually walked through the school campus, encountering Yorkes and later her father Frank, who asked her where Leslie was as he had something to tell her. Later on, Karolina and Stein saw both the Wilders and the Yorkeses parents talking together and assumed that they were discussing about Hernandez, prompting them to gather the other Runaways.

Together, the Runaways discussed the advancement of the secret video file decryption and what they should do next, with Karolina confirming that they had to push their plan to its end and send their parents into prison. They then parted ways and returned home, ready to contact the others in case of need.[8]

Revealing the Truth

"That's PRIDE that's down there, which you told me you weren't a part of! Dad, you were the only one that is good, Dad, please!"
"Honey, what are you talking about?"
"Do you know what they do?"
"PRIDE? They raise money for charity, honey, that school they're building."
"No. No, Dad, that is not it. That is not it at all."
―Karolina Dean and Frank Dean[src]

Later that night, Karolina was called by Chase Stein, who told her that his father had been heavily wounded and asked her whether she could come to the Stein Mansion, but before she could actually answer, Stein apologized and ended the call, claiming that he should not have involved her. Immediately after, Leslie Dean came to visit Karolina in her bedroom and Karolina told her mother that she thought her father Frank was acting strangely. However, Leslie reassured her daughter before leaving the room.

Karolina then tried to call Nico Minoru, leaving a message on her voicemail about what had happened to Stein. She also called Molly Hernandez, who did not answer either, and Gert Yorkes, who told Karolina about Hernandez being sent to Montebello. Karolina told Yorkes that they needed to go to support Stein, which made Yorkes wonder why Karolina had called her in the first place. Karolina remained silent as Yorkes correctly inferred that Karolina did not want to be alone with Stein, due to Stein being attracted to Karolina whereas Karolina herself was in love with Minoru, who was in a relationship with Alex Wilder.

Karolina waited for Yorkes to pick her up and drive to the Stein Mansion, although she was quite unnerved by the fact that Yorkes had brought along her dinosaur. As they had parked in front of the mansion, they also saw Jonah arriving and wondered what could bring him here. Karolina, Yorkes and the dinosaur sneaked into the mansion and Karolina found Stein arguing with Frank, who kept him from seeing his father, who was being taken care of by PRIDE. Karolina told Stein to go and see Yorkes in his bedroom while she remained with Frank.

R108 Karolina tells the truth to Frank

Karolina tells Frank Dean the truth about PRIDE

Since Frank was actually not part of PRIDE, Karolina decided to trust him with the truth regarding what the Runaways had discovered about the secret sacrifices. She then joined the other Runaways at the Timely Coffee, where Wilder told them that he had decrypted the video file showing PRIDE's crimes. Karolina suggested to keep the file for themselves and wait to see if they could count on Frank to help them. This led to an argument as Stein feared that releasing the video could cause his father to die. Things escalated into a fight between Wilder and Chase, who destroyed the laptop containing the evidence.[9]

Later, Karolina was visited by Frank in her bedroom to discuss what Karolina had revealed to him. Frank told Karolina that he was amazed by the Runaways' bravery, but that they needed to let him take the matter in charge.[10]

Infiltration into the PRIDE Construction Site

"We know you have a lot of questions."
"You mean like how could you murder fifteen kids?"
Leslie Dean and Karolina Dean[src]

Dean went back to the Atlas Academy, where she tried to keep the Runaways together whereas tensions were arising among the group since Chase Stein had destroyed Alex Wilder's laptop. Later, as Dean was being insulted by Eiffel about the upcoming school dance, Gert Yorkes decided that the Runaways would go together at the dance.

Later, Dean and the others saw Molly Hernandez returning from Montebello with a VHS which had been left to her by her parents. They went to watch it and learned the truth about the potential consequences of PRIDE's actions, which could lay waste across California. Together, the Runaways figured out that PRIDE used the PRIDE Construction Site as a front for their plans and resolved to infiltrate it, using the dance as a pretense to gather.

Nico Karolina Kiss

Dean kisses Nico Minoru

Dean joined some of the other Runaways, but they happened to be waiting for Stein and Yorkes. Dean accepted to go with Nico Minoru in order to find them, but before they kept searching, Dean decided to confess her feelings and kissed Minoru, who returned her kiss. As they were still close to each other, they saw Yorkes and Stein arriving, seemingly after having sex together.

Dean joined the other Runaways and they drove to the PRIDE Construction Site, where they stumbled on Carl, a member of the Church of Gibborim providing security. Dean asked him to call her father Frank Dean to confirm that the Runaways could access the site, which worked. Once they arrived, they discovered a giant hole created by the Nemo Industrial Drilling Machine, and Karolina remained with Hernandez as she pushed a truck inside it.

Doomsday pic

Dean reveals her powers to PRIDE

However, the Runaways were soon confronted by their parents, who had arrived in an attempt to stop them. Like the other Runaways, Karolina refused to listen to them and revealed her powers to PRIDE, much to their shock.[10] As Stein's Fistigons were unable to breach into the shield created by Tina Minoru's Staff of One, Karolina fired two light beams at PRIDE, which were also blocked, albeit with more difficulty.

Jonah vs. Karolina

Dean fights against Jonah

The Runaways were soon attacked by Jonah, who had joined the fight with PRIDE. Along with the other Runaways, Karolina stood back when he knocked them over, but she quickly figured out that Jonah only had interest in her and persuaded her friends to flee while she remained behind, although Nico initially refused to leave Karolina. Karolina fought against Jonah as long as she could, opposing her own powers to his, leading to power cuts on the site, but she was eventually defeated and captured.[11]

Rescued by the Runaways

"I didn't think I'd ever see you guys again."
"We're not leaving anyone behind."
―Karolina Dean and Chase Stein[src]

Karolina, who had fallen unconscious, was taken to the Church of Gibborim Executive Offices to recover after her fight against Jonah, with her parents Leslie and Frank sitting beside her. When she finally woke up, Karolina found herself alone with Jonah, who revealed that he actually was her biological father and who expressed his relief to see someone sharing his powers.

X-Ray Specs (Runaways1x10)

Dean is rescued by the Runaways

Nevertheless, Karolina did not remain prisoner for long as Chase Stein and Molly Hernandez had infiltrated into the building to save her. As they tried to escape, they stumbled on Aura and Frances, who did not believe them when Karolina pretended that she was giving her friends a tour of the place. They managed to hide from the Church's security and from Jonah and were eventually able to get into a van driven by Alex Wilder, enabling the Runaways to escape.[11]

Running Away

"I say Phoenix."
"Does Arizona like brown people? I don't think they do."
"Just pick whatever's leaving soonest."
Chase Stein, Molly Hernandez and Karolina Dean[src]

Dean and the other Runaways went into hiding in the woods. Once she had changed her clothes, Dean saw Nico Minoru looking at her, expressing her admiration for Dean being ready to sacrifice herself during the Infiltration into the PRIDE Construction Site. Dean replied by thanking Minoru for having come back to rescue her and the two shared a kiss.

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Dean and the other Runaways watching the news

Dean spent the night with the other Runaways in the wood. In the next morning, they went to the Los Angeles Bus Depot in order to leave Los Angeles. As they tried to decide which bus to take, they heard a TV newsflash which announced that the Runaways were officially wanted for the alleged abduction of Molly Hernandez and the death of Destiny Gonzalez. This forced the Runaways to go on the run.[11]

Personality

"Gert was right, I was the perfect church girl. I never did anything disobedient or different or what I wanted. But now that I know I'm, like, a total freak, maybe I'm free to be who I really am. And to be honest about who I want to be with."
―Karolina Dean to Nico Minoru[src]

Initially, Karolina publicly appeared as a kind, smiling and optimistic figure, which her mother Leslie Dean frequently used in order to welcome new adepts into the Church of Gibborim. Deep down, however, Karolina was struggling with her mother's strict expectations. She was interested in what other people like Destiny Gonzalez felt when going against their family's expectations and was eager to break away from her role of the perfect daughter to explore her sense of identity and pursue her own desires, especially regarding her homosexuality and her feelings towards Nico Minoru. Despite Karolina sometimes disagreeing with her mother, she had a hard time accepting that Leslie was a criminal and was utterly shocked when this was confirmed.

When she discovered her powers, Karolina was firstly afraid of them, due to not knowing their origin and fearing that it could be related to PRIDE's illegal activities. She feared that her friends would consider her a freak if she revealed it to them, but ultimately decided to trust Chase Stein and tell him about it. As he reacted positively, Karolina did not hesitate to publicly use her powers against Darius Davis, with her friends once again expressing amazement. Later, Minoru reassured Karolina about her abilities, telling her that it did not change the person she was.

Karolina also displayed incredible levels of bravery and sense of self-sacrifice. When the Runaways were confronted by Jonah during the Infiltration into the PRIDE Construction Site, she did not hesitate to tell her friends to leave to safety while she remained behind to fight PRIDE on her own, leading to her capture. On a more romantic note, she also found the courage to confess her feelings to Minoru, which enabled her to start a relationship with her friend.

Powers and Abilities

Powers

"She's beautiful and she glows. Great."
Gert Yorkes[src]
Karolina flying-Runaways1.06

Karolina flying with her colorful aura

Karolina Dean has the ability to emit a glowing and glittering rainbow-colored bioluminescent light and shoot it from her hands as well.

  • Light Generation: When she removes her bracelet, Karolina's skin emits an aura of iridescent light.
    • Light Beam Emission: Karolina is able to project beams of light which are capable of blinding and injuring her enemies. She also can create power outages when using her full power.
    • Flight: Karolina is able to fly, evidenced by when she fell off the Wizard Headquarters.

Equipment

RW1.05-Karolina-Bracelet

Karolina removing her bracelet.

  • Church of Gibborim Bracelet: Given to her by her mother, Karolina was told never to take her bracelet off. However, unbeknownst to her, it was actually suppressing her powers.

Relationships

Family

Allies

Enemies

Appearances

Appearances for Karolina Dean

In chronological order:

Trivia

  • In the comics, Karolina Dean is a member of the Majesdanian race, and was bethrothed to a Skrull prince.

Behind the Scenes

References

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The Marvel Cinematic Universe wiki has a collection of images and media related to Karolina Dean.
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External Links