Twenty years prior to the start of the Runaways' adventure, The Gibborim mystically abducted 6 married couples. The 12 adults were teleported to an underwater layer called The Vivarium which was one of the few places on Earth where the Gibborim could physically appear. There the ancient giants explained that they wanted to rid the Earth of humanity, as they believed it was the only way to restore peace to the world. Although they did not have enough power left to do this for themselves, they offered the six couples an increase in their already impressive powers if they would be willing to help them. The Gibborim required an annual sacrifice of an unwilling young woman during the Ritual of Blood, and they would then devour the murdered girl's soul during the Ritual of Thunder (the latter of which to take place inside the Vivarium). These Rituals were to be performed for 25 years before The Gibborim had accrued enough power to return to Earth and destroy all of humankind.
In exchange for the ritualistic murder, the six couples would rule over Los Angeles for 25 years. Each couple would be provided with a book entitled The Abstract (which bore a six-toed footprint on the cover) with a decoder ring with which to decipher the past and future events detailed within their pages. After The Gibborim had destroyed all of mankind, they would spare six of the twelve who had aided them. Those six would then receive immortality to enjoy the new paradise that The Gibborim had created, while the other six would die along with the rest of the world. All twelve agreed to the pact, and were henceforth known as The Pride.
The Gibborim explained that "the Old Ways dictate that [they] call forth six young pair bonds". This explains why their Pride consisted of six young married couples. Each couple either specialised in something different, or had super powers. They were classified as follows:
The Thieves: Catherine and Geoffrey Wilder
The Travellers: Stacey and Dale Yorkes
The Magicians: Tina and Robert Minoru
The Outcasts: Alice and Gene Hayes
The Wise Men: Janet and Victor Stein
The Colonists: Leslie and Frank Dean
The Wilders were tactically minded armed robbers. The Yorkes had been time travellers who had been to alternative pasts and futures, crashed on Earth in the 1980's and were immediately abducted by The Gibborim. The Minoru couple, who had been summoned on their wedding day, were dabbling in black magic. The Hayes couple were mutants, both with the same psychic powers. Together the Steins were scientific geniuses. Lastly the Deans were actually alien criminals who had been exiled from another planet.
These six couples were the first Pride. Together they ruled Los Angeles through their corrupt underworld for 20 years. They had informants and corrupt officials on their payload in every branch of the emergency services and legal departments. Criminals could not enter the city or perform crimes without permission from The Pride. This ensured their total control, and prevented the city from becoming a target for super criminals like New York had become.
The Pride grew accustomed to their annual commitments with relative ease. Every year they would gather in the Wilder's Malibu residence to perform the Ritual of Blood. It was a few years after they had made their pact with The Gibborim, at the Ritual of Blood, that the Stein's announced that they were going to have a baby. Initially the other couples were angry that the child would be one more person to compete with for the ultimate prize of immortality. However, when they explained that they would both be willing to give the baby their place, the other members of The Pride likewise softened. They each seemed to enjoy the prospect of having a child and creating a peaceful world in which their children could live together as immortals.
Each of the six couples went on to have one child each, therefore the six chances of immortality would be given to their six children. They agreed that they would not reveal their secret macabre existence to their children until they had turned 18, by which time they would be inducted into The pride. Therefore the six children lived relatively normal lives unaware of their heritage and powers. They were led to believe that their parents would gather at the Wilder household for an annual fundraiser, while the kinds were left with each other to play games and watch television.
However, one year Alex Wilder discovered the secret network of security tunnels that ran around his family home. While the other five kids were watching a movie, Alex investigated the tunnels and observed the ritualistic murder of a young woman through a two-way mirror. He did not reveal what he had discovered to either his friends or his family. Instead he would secretly attempt to decode his parent's copy of The Abstract at night. It was during one night that he observed Leslie and Frank Dean & Alice and Gene Hayes as they ripped future pages from The Abstract in an effort to hide their murderous plot. Alex's young tactical mind began to work, and he therefore conceived a plan that would involve manipulating the other 5 children.
Therefore when it came time for the next Ritual of Blood, he told the others about the secret passageway and suggested that they go spy on their parents. After they had watched the murder of a young prostitute they all ran away from home, and decided to use their powers to make amends for their parents' evil past.
Alex Wilder had encouraged and manipulated the others to runaway in a plot to thwart a plot to murder his own family. The Deans and Hayes adults were conspiring together. They had devised a plan to murder the other eight members of The Pride. This would ensure that they and their two children would be the only six members remaining, thereby guaranteeing their immortality. However, each copy of The Abstract included pages about the future of The Pride, and therefore they needed to remove those pages from the other copies. Therefore they secretly broke into the houses of the other Pride members to remove those pages, which is when Alex discovered their plans.
After their children had run away from home, the adults began to attack their children. Although they still loved their children, they were desperate to prevent them from leaving. However, their actions gave Nico The Staff of One to release her magical powers, and trigger Molly Hayes' latent mutant abilities of super strength.
Yet during the chaos in the Hayes household, one of the children left an unsigned note declaring their loyalty to their parents. At the time, none of The Pride knew who their mole was, and each couple began to suspect it was their own child. Ultimately, it was revealed to be Alex Wilder.
After discovering the plot to murder his family, he began to devise his own plan that would remove all the other families except for his own and the Minoru family. This would give him the chance to live as an immortal with Nico Minoru, whom he was in love with. He manipulated the other runaways. When they gatecrashed the Ritual of Thunder, he had either gained their weapons or rendered the others unconscious. However, his plan began to unravel when the others rebelled against him.
Molly used her super strength to break open the Stein's containment unit, thereby releasing the trapped soul. The Gibborim instantly murdered Alex, and as they began to turn on the others it was The ride who stood and fought to hold back the ancient giants. Nico's mother demanded that she leave with the others, and therefore the remaining runaways were saved while their parents perished in an underwater explosion.
Iron Man Legacy
In the "Industrial Revolution" storyline in the 'Iron Man Legacy' series, set in the past when Obadiah Stane has taken over Stark Industries and Tony Stark is essentially homeless in California (and Alex Wilder is a pre-teen), Stark unwittingly becomes embroiled in a conflict with The Pride. The Pride, assuming Stark is trying to encroach upon their area of authority, attempt to sabotage Stark's latest business venture; hiring The Serpent Society to kill him. Stark assumes he's just being targeted by Stane, and a long series of misunderstandings on both sides escalate the conflict until Stark's allies The Illuminati come to his aid, and The Illuminati takes on, and defeats, The Pride. The Pride, of course, easily spring themselves out of jail and resume business as usual, forgoing seeking vengeance upon Stark on the concession that Stark leaves the area to them and doesn't reveal their existence to the superhero community at large. This remains The Pride's sole appearance in the Marvel Universe outside of the Runaways title.
Alex Wilder had a group of friends whom he Role Played with online, known as Hunter, Lotus, Oscar and Stretch. They had begun to meet in real life, away from the internet. It was on one of these occasions that they begun to discuss Alex's sudden disappearance from their game. It was then that Hunter revealed that he had hacked into Alex's account. There he had read of Alex's account of his father's secret double life. However, from Alex's warped perspective, he wrote about his father being a super-hero. They discovered that Alex had died, and begun to research more into The Pride. They discovered a copy of The Abstract and began to decode it. In there they discovered a way to save someone's life, by transporting them through time from the moment just before they died.
With great uncertainty they began to perform the black magic ritual to try and bring Alex back from the dead using elements and artefacts left from the original Pride members. Oscar was immediately killed by the power of the magic. Yet the spell had been a partial success. They had brought someone forward through time before they died. However, instead of saving Alex Wilder's life the moment before he died, they brought forward a much younger version of his father Geoffrey Wilder, from the year 1985.
Geoffrey Wilder returned to The Gibborim with the offer of a sacrificed human soul if they could return his wife and son to him. He then manipulated the remaining three young adults into becoming part of his new Pride and gave them a small portion of the power that their predecessors had. They were convinced that they were saving Molly Hayes from the treacherous runaways, but in fact they kidnapped Molly to use her as bait. Wilder wanted to sacrifice Nico, as she was the one who had betrayed Alex's love. However, he encountered Xavin who was disguised as Nico, while the real Nico saved Molly.
In the ensuing chaos Wilder took Chase Stein hostage, and murdered Gertrude Hayes. Nico then used the Staff of One to remove his memories and return him to 1985. Meanwhile Victor Mancha held The new Pride hostage and forced them to listen to reason. Once they understood how they had been used and what Wilder had done, they disbanded their new Pride.
It was later revealed that Stretch had been committed to a mental asylum, Hunter joined the Peace Corps in an attempt to make amends for what he had done, while Lotus returned to her day job.
The Same Old Pride
When the Runaways met Doc Justice, he had revealed to them that he had been fighting the Pride since their inception and that the criminal network their parents created was still functioning under the name after all these years.