Meet Nico Minoru, Former Runaway Turned Midnight Sun
Who is Nico Minoru? Learn more about the young sorceress called Sister Grimm, who defied her Super Villain parents to become a member of the Runaways and the Midnight Suns.
Teens often think their parents are the worst, but in Nico Minoru's case, they actually are! As a teenager, Nico discovered her parents are Super Villain sorcerers hellbent on destroying humanity to gift her immortality. That's a lot for any teen to process; thankfully, Nico had some friends to help her sort through it all.
In RUNAWAYS (2003), Nico learned her rich, socialite parents practice the dark arts. They and five other sets of parents were members of the Pride, a nefarious group that served supernaturally powered giants called the Gibborim. After she witnessed her parents sacrifice a teen girl in a ritual, Nico rolled up her hand-sewn Victorian sleeves and ran away from home.
For a time, she traveled with fellow teens – Alex Wilder, Molly Hayes, Gert Yorkes, Chase Stein, and Karolina Dean – who uncovered similar truths about their own L.A.-based parents. Of course, her parents eventually found her, but this quickly backfired and unleashed something that altered Nico’s life forever. After her mother stabbed her with the Staff of One, Nico’s body absorbed its essence – linking her a magical weapon so deadly that even the evil Dormammu fears its capabilities. Essentially, there is no limit to what spell the staff can cast, but it can never cast the same spell twice.
Draped in fishnets and proudly rocking black nail polish, Nico's gothic style reflects her broody and romantic interior. Before she uncovered her adeptness at chaos magic, she was full of self-doubt about her role in the universe, her love life, and her usefulness. Additionally, she was oblivious that so many people she knew had crush on her – especially regarding Karolina, who came out to a sexually confused Nico.
While she eventually became the Runaways' leader, she assumed the role only after facing a major betrayal. Initially, her first love interest Alex – a prodigy strategist – blinded her from seeing his nefarious motives when he sent her and the Runaways into peril, and that wasn’t be the last time her love life caused friction in the group. When stressed, she often looks for physical affection from others, which causes unintended tensions, like the time she kissed Chase when he was in a relationship with Gert or when she brought a vampire into their secret hideout. Years later, she realized she was in love with Karolina, and the two dated – but not before a lot of hurt feelings and mishaps.
Nico defines herself through helping others, even if it puts her in physical danger. Assuming the name Sister Grimm as her powerful new identity, Nico successfully led her crew in foiling the Gibborim’s plans and sentencing their parents to death, after which the group vowed to stick together as one another’s found family.
Despite some time apart, the crew reunited in the revival series RUNAWAYS (2017), which followed the group through time travel mishaps, resurrections, and unintended love triangles. In that time, Nico learned how to wield her spellcasting weapon and found crafty loopholes to break its inconvenient restrictions – like learning different languages so she can cast the same spell more than once – but the Staff of One still required a drop of her blood per spell. To use its power, she needed to harm herself again and again.
As such, Nico is no stranger to enduring pain. When she encountered the Witchbreaker on her time travel adventures, the witch amped up Nico’s powers by subjecting her to torture. Her willingness to undergo this suffering drastically increased her spellcasting abilities and that of the Staff of One. Additionally, in RUNAWAYS (2008) #9, Nico learned her staff could defend itself and would kill anyone who tried to steal it away from her.
Perhaps the most painful moment of Nico’s life came when she died. Chase, under Apex’s control, killed her in Murderworld, but Nico’s staff used her blood to resurrect her. After this event, Nico became more distant and had trouble trusting others again. While she stepped back from the group for some time to recover from the experience, she ultimately rejoined the Runaways. As she likes to say, she will rip out hearts, if necessary – though her loyalty often overrides this cynicism. She warmly welcomed outcasts like Ultron’s son, Victor Mancha, into their group. Then, when Karolina needed to return to her home planet, Nico sacrificed going with her to look after the group, because she wanted to ensure the Runaways had a stable force in their reality-bending lives.
Once she gained more confidence in her magic skills, Nico arranged a new agreement with the One in RUNAWAYS (2017) #15: for every spell she casts, the One – the essence of the staff – puts a drop of itself into her so it can experience life. However, this brought about the equally terrifying potential that one day she could be possessed by the One. As a result, she shifted her focus into mastering magic while also coming to terms with the cost of spellcasting. While she isn’t exactly the Sorcerer Supreme, THE NEW AVENGERS (2004) #53 proved her affinity for mystical talents, since she now can access magic without her staff present. Ultimately, Nico decided to give Karolina the Staff of One, securing it in space and away from her grasp in RUNAWAYS (2017) #38.
In MIDNIGHT SUNS (2022) #1, Nico exchanged the crime fighting lifestyle for one teaching magic at the Strange Academy alongside fellow spellcasters like Magik and Agatha Harkness. But when a dark prophecy revealed Zoe Laveau to be the undead being responsible for an impending apocalypse, Nico questioned her decision to leave her staff behind. However, based on her previous track record, it’s likely little will stand in her way when it comes to protecting the young magic users under her watchful eye.
For Nico's continuing adventures, check out MIDNIGHT SUNS (2022) #3, on sale November 23, and don't miss her upcoming role in Marvel's Midnight Suns, on sale December 2 for Windows PC, Xbox Series X|S and PlayStation 5.
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