Saturday, March 27, 2010

Super-Witch Profile: Nico Minoru

My affinity for powerful chicks extends outside the YA section of the bookstore and beyond witches-- I'm also an avowed comic book geek who loves women in spandex who can pack a punch.  Fortunately comics also have no dearth of magical types either!  However, it is frequently the nature of superhero comics to have a lot of characters scattered throughout various books and teams, so that you wouldn't always know from looking at them that there's a magic-maker among them!  So I plan on doing profiles on the witchy types that populate the superhero world to introduce them and help you find them!

First up: Nico Minoru.  Nico is one of the Runaways-- a group of kids from Los Angeles who find out that their parents are a cabal of supervillains called the Pride.  And so, as the title suggests, they run away, returning only to vanquish their evil begetters.

Nico is a Japanese-American gothic lolita who inherits her magical powers from her parents.  During one battle between the Runaways and the Pride, she accidentally steals the main conduit for her family's power--the Staff of One--when it gets absorbed into her body after her mother strikes her with it.  She can retrieve it only by shedding blood (a trick that comes in handy about once a month!)  The Staff of One has one other limitation-- every spell she casts with it can only be used once, often leaving her reaching for a thesaurus, frequently with unexpected results.

She's been the leader of the group for most of its existence, but she still finds time to have the most complicated love life of all of the Runaways.  She first gets entangled with Alex Wilder, the group's first leader, followed by a short fling with idiot tech savant Chase Stein, before getting together with a later addition to the team, cyborg Victor Mancha.  (And let's not even get into her "it's complicated" relationship with psychedelic alien Karolina Dean!)

Her best stories are found in the pages of Runaways, which come in easy-to-consume digests, full-sized trade paperbacks, (starting with "Pride & Joy") and thick oversized hardcovers. Created by and written mostly by Brian K. Vaughan (who was also a writer forLost), the series has also been written by Buffy creator Joss Whedon, and acclaimed writer-artist Terry Moore.

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