Nico Minoru

Creators: Brian K. Vaughan (writer); Adrian Alphona (artist)

First appearances (Comics):

  • Marvel Comics: Runaways #1, July 2003

Other media appearances:

  • In the MCU series Runaways released by Hulu streaming television, Lyrica Okano portrays Nico Minoru. Runaways is a teenage series partially based on Marvel Lore where Nico is a teenager trying to atone for the actions of her villainous parents.
  • Nico will be one of the leading characters in the upcoming RPG developed by Firaxis Games.

MARVEL Lore vs MSF

Nico Minoru is one of the Marvel characters whose skills (almost) completely describe the original Lore. As someone whose alignment is good and who studies witchcraft, she can create both positive and negative effects on the battlefield. Since her power depends on Stuff of One which is incapable of repeating the same effect again, she is the first character in MSF whose abilities provide different results with each turn.  

However, to be fully accurate she should lose health before every use of the ability (The Staff of One emerges when Nico sheds blood). Also, sometimes her abilities should cause useless effects – after invoking the effect for the first time, every next time is random to the point where she can conjure pelicans instead of freezing the target.

Considering that many MSF characters have abilities that are not related to the lore whatsoever, we can say that Nico is truly presented in MSF.

Nico Minoru’s MCU Powers

Whenever Nico sheds blood, The Staff of One emerges allowing her to invoke almost any effect depending on the vocal phrase she is using. The potential of the Staff of One is almost boundless. Even Dormammu shows anxiety when it is mentioned. However, Nico cannot repeat the same spell again, therefore she cannot anticipate the results of prolonged battles. That is why she learned to conjure and invoke some minor spells without using the Staff.

  • Random Spell Casting
  • Witchcraft
  • Elemental Control
  • Conjuring
  • Levitation
  • Resurrection
  • Healing
  • Time Manipulation
  • Visual Manipulation
  • Weather Manipulation
  • Telekinesis
  • Multiple Existence

Runaways

Nico’s parents, Tina, and Robert Minoru were a part of a non-profit organization called “Pride”. Along with five other families from the organization, they organized a charitable event every year at a separate location.

One year, Nico persuaded other kids to see what their parents do at special meetings where kids were not allowed. She was shocked when she realized that they were witnessing the ritual occultic assassination performed by her father who seemed to be the main figure among the other parents.

All kids decided to escape their villainous parents and confront them in a joined effort to stop them from bringing Gibborim (an Evil Deity who offered five families fame and fortune in exchange for their obedience) onto the Earth. From that day forward those kids are known as “Runaways”.

In the days to come, four major events shaved Nico’s future. 

First was Nico’s initial confrontation with her parents when her mother tried to put Nico under her control using Staff of One. Staff was in Tina Minoru’s possession at the time. When staff touched her chest, Nico fully absorbed it, becoming what she is supposed to be. After that, she started using the magical power of the staff and eventually became the leader of Runaways.

The second was her romance with Alex Wilder (one of the Runaways kids) who betrayed her at the end by joining up forces with his parents in Pride. Even though should never forgive him for his actions, she wasted the Resurrection spell on him when he was sacrificed and killed by Gibborim. She did that willingly, knowing that she will never be able to Resurrect anyone else again.

The third major event was Captain America’s decision to dissolve Runaways and give all kids to foster homes. While being in the foster home, Nico had a major conflict with an evil witch Marie Laveau from New Orleans. Marie was looking for a Black Mirror that was stolen from her by Nico’s parents. Nico survived the epic confrontation and emerged victorious, but Marie escaped with an even better reward than she wanted – she claimed the last page of the Darkhold before escaping.

The last major event of the early period of Nico’s life followed the battle with Marie. It was then that Nico decided to embrace the fate of the Superhero, reunite the Runaways again, and battle evil.

The Witchbreaker

After several adventures involving Runaways and Victor Mancha (son of Ultron), Nico was forced to run from the authorities because of Victor’s origins.

In an unexpected turn of events, she finds herself back in 1907 New York where she meets a woman who claims that she is her great-grandmother. The woman who calls herself The Witchbreaker (due to the Staff she wields) tried to teach Nico a wide variety of abilities. As a result, the Staff of One becomes The Witchbreaker and Nico learned to levitating along with other powers.

When Nico reunited Runaways and got back to her time again, she was more confident and powerful. She has full control of her abilities, and she can evoke the most complicated events with her staff. It is unknown in what manner Nico left her great-grandmother and how she returned to the present time. Rumors go that she eventually escaped captivity.

Secret Invasion

After returning to modern New York, Nico finds out that the city is invaded by an alien race known as Skrulls. Skrulls are capable of shapeshifting into any person they see, so the fight against them was extremely difficult. Nico suggests that Runaways should join forces with Young Avengers who were already fighting Skrulls trying to save New York and its citizens. However, most of the other Runaways suggest otherwise, telling her that it is best to “run” as they usually do. An excuse was that if they join Young Avengers there will be no one to save them if they fail, therefore it is best to not join them in combat until Young Avengers need saving.

During those events, it came to the confrontation between Runaways itself. Xavin who is the Scrull himself, tried to fool the invading forces to let them think that he was helping them. Instead, he fooled Nico and Victor who believed that he was a traitor. The situation was resolved in the end and Xavin real intentions were confirmed.

Avengers Arena

Arcade, a notorious villain who enjoys putting Superheroes fighting each other, abducted sixteen superpowered teenagers at some point. Nico Minoru and Chase Stein (both Runaways) were among them.

Arcade prepared battling ground thoroughly in a fashion that will force kids to fight and make their lives miserable. He called it a “Murderworld”.

After a series of betrayals and twists, only four kids remain including Nico and Chase. They refuse to fight each other. As a result, they were forced to fight for their lives against an overwhelming number of monsters and even against Living Typhon. Finally, the remaining kids prevail by being rescued by a Death Locket. He managed to avoid death in the Arena and on the day 29th he killed Apex who took control of “Murderworld” from Arcade.

On day 30th, the adults led by Hank Pym and Wolverine arrive to rescue the kids. Nico Minoru and the company decided to remain quiet about recent events during their absence. However, Arcade who had everything recorded, announces his victory by releasing a video about the entire battle on the internet.

During her stay in the “Murderworld”, Nico literally died and was left without an arm. With a dying breath, she touched her staff that was separated from her body and cried “Help”. Due to immense blood sacrifice, the Staff of One resurrected her and granted her an artificial gauntlet capable of invoking magical effects without the staff.

After being reborn, Nico became more powerful but darker at the same time. This transformation crucially affected Nico and her future.

Avengers Undercover

After being rescued from the “Murderworld” Nico and Chase became famous individuals and were forced to participate in TW Shows and answer all kinds of interviews.

That broke the first principle of “Runaways” – to be hidden from the eyes of the world and authorities. 

As a result, some of the Runaway members decided to take the villainous path and join Baron Zemo. Baron Zemo, then, presents an impossible choice in front of the team – to join him or to be fully revealed and punished by the S.H.I.E.L.D. Nico came to the idea of the third solution. She pretended to help Zemo while in fact she was helping S.H.I.E.L.D. for the eradication of their charges.

A-Force

When Singularity fell on Doctor Doom’s Battleworld following the collapse of the Multiverse, she landed on the island domain of Arcadia where Nico Minoru founded her. It was Singularity who came to the idea to create a team made of the World’s famous women Superheroes.

Naturally, Nico Minoru was the first pick for the team since the two of them have already made a strong, almost unbreakable, bond. However, they were not alone and mighty girls like She-Hulk, Captain Marvel Dazzler, and Medusa joined them in an endless battle against evil and cruelty.

Megalodon, Antimatter, Thanos … are just one of the mighty adversaries A-Force had to face during the years with Nico Minoru as one of the leading members.

Basic information

  • Real name: Nico Minoru
  • Species: Human
  • Gender: Female
  • Place of Birth: Los Angeles, California
  • Occupation: Sorceress
  • Height: 5’4’’
  • Weight: 102 lbs.
  • Eyes: Brown
  • Hair: Black