Nico is the daughter of Tina and her husband Robert Minoru. Every year, the couple used to join other five couples in an organization called the Pride. Eventually, Nico was shocked to see her father performing a spell casting scenario in which he was one of those who murdered a girl for their ritual in their organization. Nico have made a decision to help the others run from their parents. While running, Nico was shocked to see her mother yielding a staff called the Staff of One. Later, Tina Minoru revealed that she and Robert were secretly dark wizards. Attempting to jam the staff on her daughter's chest, Nico have absorbed it. Following some events, Dale Yorke's Samurai has attempted an attack against her with his battle axe, but the Staff of One have just merged with her. By saying the word "Freeze", she was able to freeze Stacey Yorkes. The incidents therefore explain the fact that Nico Minoru like her parents was actually a witch and whenever she experiences bleeding, the Staff of One merges with her. To be able to hide her identity as Nico Minoru, she used the name Sister Grimm but it does not last for long. She was then recruited by Alex and became the unofficial leader of the Runaways for a while.
Nico Minoru was created by Brian K. Vaughan and Adrian Alphona and first appeared in Runaways #1 (2003).
Mayor Story Arcs
Against the Pride
During the first volume of the Runaways title, Nico found herself leading the team in their efforts to prevent their parents from bringing the Gibborim onto Earth. During this period, she became engaged in a relationship with fellow Runaway Alex Wilder, but this was broken when Alex ended up betraying the team to the Pride. Despite the resentment she felt at him for betraying her trust (thoughts she articulated by punching him in the face), Nico still grieved his death at the hands of the Gibborim, and wasted a resurrection spell in an effort to bring him back. When the Runaways were separated and each placed into different foster homes at the urging of Captain America, Nico found herself in Father Flanagan's Home for Unwanted Goth Kids. While initially accepting her place there and trying to forget her past as a Runaway, Nico was soon drawn back into the world of super heroics when she was attacked by the villainous Marie Laveau, who was seeking the Black Mirror, one of the Four Cornerstones of Creation, which Nico's parents had stolen from her. After a lengthy magical confrontation, Nico defeated the sorceress, only for Laveau to escape with the true prize within the Mirror, the last page of the Darkhold. Following this battle, Nico accepted her place as a superhero, and left the orphanage to return to the reunited Runaways.
Against Past Geoffry Wilder
When Gert's future self arrived in their time to warn the Runaways about Victor Mancha, she agreed with Gert that he shouldn't be killed. Nico was devastated when Karolina left to be wed to Xavin in order to unite their warring planets, particularly since mere moments before, Karolina had revealed her sexual identity and her unrequited love for Nico. Just when she thought her life couldn't get more complicated, a new version of the Pride appeared, led by a version of Geoffrey Wilder summoned from the 1980's. Wilder attempted to resurrect his dead family by using Molly as bait to lure Nico to be sacrificed by Gibborim. Although they are able to defeat Wilder and the new Pride with the return of Karolina and Xavin, Gert is killed while attempting to save Chase from being sacrificed instead of Nico. This event greatly distresses her and she begins a physical relationship with Victor Mancha in order to help her cope with Gert's death. During this time, Nico confesses to Victor that she often finds herself seeking out physical comfort in times of great stress and grief.
After an upcoming threat was revealed about Victor Mancha, Nico and her co-Runaways have to abduct Victor to interrogate him about some details despite the murder of his parents. However, this became possible after Ultron's defeat. Nico then recruited Victor to the team. Following some events, the Gibborim then attempted to take Nico's soul because of its purity and its availability for the Gibborim to consume. Victor then saved her from the aforementioned villain and led to a relationship between the two Runaways. After going back to their headquarters, Xavin have realized that she have made their location noticeable for Iron Man and the SHIELD so to be able to escape, Nico ordered her team to relocate.
To be able to escape from the authorities that chase them, and to escape the anxious deal with Kingpin, the Runaways become stuck in 1907 New York City thanks to a faulty time-machine, and have been thrust into the middle of a superhuman gang war. During this time, Nico has been kidnapped and tortured by a woman known as the " Witchbreaker", in truth Nico's great-grandmother. The Witchbreaker have taught Nico about many things. Nico also have learned a lot of improvements to her abilities that increased her potentials. Despising her descendant for her supposed frailties, the Witchbreaker has inflicted increasingly painful tortures upon the Runaway in order to strengthen her, and allow her to wield the Staff of One to greater effect. Eventually escaping the Witchbreaker (off-panel, and through as yet unknown means), Nico assisted her team in returning to the past, breaking up amicably with Victor in the process after the latter fell deeply in love with a girl from that time period.
Nico Minoru along with the other Runaways have joined forces with the Young Avengers. They are the first to encounter a group of invading Skrulls in New York City though easily defeated. The team have just arrived after visiting 1907. Xavin, who is also a Skrull have tried fooling the invading Skrulls but were misinterpreted by Nico and Victor for being a traitor that helped his race for invasion. Nico and Victor have attacked her not knowing her real intentions. After, the issue was cleared that Xavin's intention was only to avoid them from fighting the Skrulls because of the greater abilities that they possess. Nico then led the Runaways while joining forces with the Young Avengers. Wiccan then asked the team to leave and promised that they will only have to call them in times of need.
After the Invasion
Following their exploits in the past and the Secret Invasion, The Runaways move into one of the Pride's safehouses on the California beach. Nico displays much greater magical power, but with some unexpected results. While fighting some of the few remaining Majesdanes (Karolina's people), she casts a spell that physically "scatters" her opponents, but emotionally scatters her teammates. After Xavin leaves with the Majesdanes in Karolina's place, the team begins fighting a deranged megalomaniacal Radio DJ. When one of her parents' former associates grabs hold the Staff of One a security daemon is released from the staff and eats the associate. She is continuing to learn her magicks and attempting to control them more fully.
Along with 15 other superpowered teenagers, including her teammate Chase, Nico was kidnapped by Arcade and taken to Murderworld. There, they are told that only one would be allowed to leave alive. She travels with Chase, and is among the group to decide not to kill Apex when they discover that she had been responsible for the disappearances of Juston and Darkhawk.
- Sister Grimm Height: 5' 4"
- Hair: Black
- Notable Aliases: Sister Grimm
- Place of Birth: unrevealed
- Known Relatives: Witchbreaker (Great Grandmother) Robert Minoru (Father), Tina Minoru (Mother)
Powers and Abilities
She possesses the Staff of One, a mystical artifact that allows her to cast amazing spells. However, a specific spell effect or manifestation can only be invoked once. Attempting to evoke the same effect results in random, often useless, effects. Being untrained in magic, Nico must verbalize the desired effect (directly or indirectly) using normal language. Nico mentioned wanting to expand her vocabulary to increase her versatility with the Staff. The potential power of the Staff is such that it could make even Dormammu afraid (according to Nico's parents), which implies that Nico is only scratching the surface of what the Staff is truly capable of.
Nico must shed her own blood, in ways such as cutting herself, in order to manifest the Staff of One, which emerges from her chest after invoking the words "When blood is shed, let the Staff of One emerge." Once she forced Old Lace to bite her in order to conjure up the Staff. When Nico has her period, she does not have to cut herself. The Staff Of One is reabsorbed into Nico's body after prolonged use.
She has occasionally used minor magic, such as conjuring a small image, without using the staff.
After the Runaway's trip to 1907 New York, Nico's Staff of One transformed in appearance to resemble the Witchbreaker's Staff. It is now more powerful than it's original form. Also, after the Witchbreaker subjected her to a great amount of pain, Nico can now cast some spells without the staff in her possession.
List of spells cast
Below is a list of spell that Nico (and in some very rare cases, others) have cast using the Staff of One. By definition, these spells are the spells that Nico can no longer cast, seeing as she cannot use a spell twice.
- "Freeze." Magically froze Gertrude Yorkes' mother for a short period of time.
- "Freeze." Due to this spell already having been used, the Staff of One randomly summoned pelicans.
- "Smoke." Produced a thick cloud of black smoke to cover the Runaways' escape.
- "Away." Teleported Nico away from Alex Wilder.
- "Mud." Summoned a blob of mud that flew right at Karolina Dean.
- "Burst!" Caused two spray-paint cans to explode.
- "Rock and roll." Generated a tremor that resulted in the Hostel caving in on the Runaways and LAPD officers.
- "Waterproof!" Summons a impervious bubble for the team to travel underwater in.
- "Float on." Levitated Chase Stein's powerless parents up to the roof and kept them there for a while.
- (Off-panel). Alex Wilder used the Staff of One to bind Karolina Dean's parents with chains made of the very metal that cancels out their powers.
- "Dance!" (Cast by Alex Wilder) Reanimates a frozen Nico.
- "Bondage." (Cast by Alex Wilder) Ties Karolina up with chains of metal that nullify her powers (this indicates that there may in fact be a way for the Staff of One to overcome it's one-time-per-spell limitation).
- "Hands off!" Caused the Fistigons gauntlets that Alex Wilder had stolen to blow up.
- (Off-panel). Nico unsuccessfully tried to resurrect Alex Wilder
- (Off-panel). Uses a fumigation spell to prevail against an insect-based enemy.
- (Off-panel). Turns Chase Stein into a fish.
- (Off-panel). Ironically uses a Reduction Incantation to make Mole Man even smaller.
- "Deconstruct." Caused a member of the Wrecking Crew to simply fall apart into several pieces, temporarily.
- "Flashback." Allowed Nico to view the last living memories of the Gertrude Yorkes of the future.
- "Rockstars! Fired an energy blast at Victor Mancha.
- "You suck." Caused Turbo's wrist turbines to reverse, causing a vacuum around her.
- "Insulation!" Negates Victor Mancha's electromagnetic powers for a while.
- (Off-panel). Turned the entire team, except for Victor Mancha, invisible.
- "Shine on, you crazy diamond." Encases Ultron in a solid block of diamond.
- "Fumigation!" Cast for the second time, the spell has the unpredicted consequence of teleporting Nico and Karolina into a desert.
- "Acid rain!" Summons a cloud that produced acid rain to cause a few security daemons to melt.
- "Old Lace to Old Yeller!" Turns Old Lace, the team dinosaur, into a small dog, temporarily.
- "Hellfire!" Fires jets of hellfire at Spider-Man.
- "Dreamtime!" Causes Spider-Man to instantly fall asleep.
- (Off-panel). Summoned a flying carpet to transport the team across New York City.
- "Sunburst!" Fires a burst of solar energy at a villain.
- "Detox!" (Cast by Chase Stein) Causes a villain empowered by MGH to vomit the drug he had ingested and lose his powers.
- "Get to work!" Turns Chase's list of things to do when he turns 18 into a wrench.
- "Revelations!" Undoes the illusion cast by Geoffrey Wilder to make himself look like his son.
- "Shut up!" Blasts Chase away in a swirl of energy (it is unknown if Chase retained his ability to speak after this).
- (Off-panel). Casts a muzzle spell on Old Lace after the dinosaur attacked her.
- "Pixies, find the leak!" Successfully summons a dozen pixies to show Nico how the new Pride has been keeping tabs on them.
- "Forget." Erased Geoffrey Wilder's memory of ever coming to the future and sends him back to the 80's, where he was summoned from.
- "Caffeine injection!" Gives an exhausted Molly Hayes a sudden excess of energy to keep her fighting against a gigantic monster.
- "Now here comes the sweet talk." Gives Xavin the voice of the monster's late wife to go along with his shapeshifting into her, convincing the beast to stop destroying buildings.
- (Off-panel). Summons a magical cage of energy to trap the Silver Bullet Gang inside it.
- "Be quiet." (Cast by Chase Stein) Makes Nico unable to speak louder than a whisper.
- "Yeah, pretty soon I'll just be a bad dream." (Cast by Chase Stein) Causes Nico Minoru to suddenly fall asleep.
- "Get Lost" Temporarily blinded Kate Bishop.
- "Chill out." Causes an Artic atmosphere which halts the fighting between the Young Avengers and Runaways.
- "Wake up" A spell used to wake up the other members of the teams, who were knocked out by Noh-Varr.
- "Prodigium Effodio" 'Excavating monster' a red light in the shape of a monster that got the heroes into the Cube through the floor.
- "Going Down" Phasing through the floor of a building to escape the Punisher--Molly calls it 'Shadowcatting'.
- "Crash" Used to knock out ninjas.
- (Off -panel) healing spell Nico used to heal herself.
- (Off -panel) Nico creates costumes for them to wear in1907.
- (Off- panel) fire controlling spell, to help the effort of rescue of the factory fire.
- "Open Sesame" used to open the bank vault.
- (Off-panel) --Witchbreaker's staff-- a Flight spell
- (Off-panel) --Witchbreaker's staff-- a spell which caused water to flow through the streets to extinguish the fires and ,temporaily, the fighting.
- "Vegan" --Witchbreaker's staff-- Stops Maneater.
- "The show must go on." --Witchbreaker's staff--Neutralizing the Yorkes ,and making them unable of changing future events such as; Gert's death ,and their own.
- "Pop" After Xavin holds the Runaways in forcefield bubbles, Nico uses this spell to explode them before the Skrulls invade
- "Stone Cold" - This was used in "What if the Runaways became the Young Avengers?" so it's not canon, but the spell froze a member of the Wrecking Crew.
- "Clot" - This was used in "What if the Runaways became the Young Avengers?" so it's not canon, but the spell attempted to stop Chase's bleeding
- "Canopener" - This was used in "What if the Runaways became the Young Avengers?" so it's not canon, but the spell opened the Iron Lad armor.
- "Rubber Soul" - This was used in "What if the Runaways became the Young Avengers?" so it's not canon, but the spell bounced Victorious' energy back to himself.
- "Applause" - This was used in "What if the Runaways became the Young Avengers?" so it's not canon, but two large red hands clapped themselves around Victorious.
- "Scatter" Nico's infamous spell that was meant to scatter the villainous Majesdanians over Earth, but it also emotionally scattered the Runaways.
- "Ocean View" After the Majesdanians break the Runaways' new kitchen, Nico uses this spell to repair it.
- "Xavin! Here! Now!" Nico uses this spell to magically pull Xavin through the air, pronto.
- "Wings" Gives Nico brilliantly large wings to fly
- "Suck eggs, skunkhead" Nico used this spell to shoot out eggs at a Majesdanian's face with the force of bullets
- "Balloons" Nico used this spell to magically attach air balloons to Cadie McDonnogh's falling helicopter
- "Zombie Not" Nico's spell attempted to turn plastic-surgery zombies normal, although since she can't "reverse magic", it causes them to form into one large zombie. It's later revealed the reason is because her magic took control of itself; it thought she said "zombie knot".
- "Oily" Nico's spell to break apart the zombies backfires again and spills oil through the streets of Los Angeles.
- "Cocoon" Wraps up Val Rhymin once and for all in a cocoon.
- "Wardrobe Malfunction" Nico causes Marie robe to turn against her
- "Deflector Shield" Reflecting magic lightning blast back towards Marie
Nico's role as the defacto leader of the Runaways usually means that she is frequently charged with making the hard decisions. Because of this Nico has had to mature the fastest in comparison to her friends, but she still maintains a positive outlook on life and looks to her friends as her family, so she also is the maternal figure of the group. But because Nico guards her friends so closely, she takes a loss much worse than they do, such as when she expressed survivor's guilt over Gert's death. Nico also shows quick thinking and ingenuity when using her spells.