Nico Minoru aka Sister Grimm of the Runaways (Marvel Comics) by Djurdjevic

Nico Minoru aka Sister Grimm

Power Level:
Game system: DC Heroes Role-Playing Game


Nico Minoru is one of Marvel Comics’ Runaways. This is a group of (mostly) superhuman children and teenagers, on the run after discovering that their parents were members of a powerful underworld cabal. Our Runaways profiles cover the original version of the team, written by Brian K. Vaughan.

Minoru is a minor sorceress using a magic staff, and usually leads the team. One of her notable traits is her elaborate Gothic look.



  • Real Name: Nico Minoru.
  • Marital Status: Single.
  • Known Relatives: Robert Minoru (father, deceased), Tina Minoru (mother, deceased), Witchbreaker (great-grandmother, deceased).
  • Group Affiliation: Runaways.
  • Base Of Operations: Mobile; formerly The Hostel, under the La Brea Tar Pits museum, Los Angeles.
  • Height: 5’4” Weight: 102 lbs.
  • Eyes: Brown Hair: Black

Powers and Abilities

While Sister Grimm has no powers, she has the Staff of One. She has also proven to be a competent combatant, with the staff and without, and plays the tuba.

The staff of one

Nico has become bonded with the Staff of One, an ancient mystical artifact used by her parents. The Staff somehow disappears into Nico when not in use, and pops out of her whenever her blood is drawn, at which point she’s forced to say “When blood is shed, let the Staff of One emerge”.

The Staff shoots out from her chest, and if anyone is standing within 6 feet directly in front of her, they’ll likely be hit with great force.


She works the Staff’s Sorcery power by speaking a word or phrase describing what she wants to happen. Here are some examples:

  • “Freeze” – target was unable to move.
  • “Smoke” – produced a cloud of smoke.
  • “Away” – teleported herself away.
  • “Rock and roll” – cause a cave in of their underground hideout.
  • “Waterproof” – conjured a bubble of air large enough to carry the six of them deep underwater.
  • “Deconstruct” – temporarily transforms the Wrecker into a pile of stones.
  • “Shine on, you crazy diamond” – encases Ultron in a giant diamond.
  • “Dreamtime” – sends Spider-Man to sleep.

The Staff will not allow its wielder to cast the same spell more than once. Should they try, it causes a random spell to take place (GM’s choice). These random effects may duplicate already-cast spells. It seems to be the phrase spoken that the Staff will not allow to be duplicated, rather than the effect.

For example, the second time she says “Freeze” she unleashes a swarm of pelicans on her targets, and when she tried “Fumigation” on the Swarm, forgetting she’d used it previously on the new Tarantula, she teleported herself and Karolina into the middle of the desert.

Nico Minoru (Sister Grimm) in Goth-ish attire, flying over a white background

Ever since Nico’s encounter with her great-grandmother her staff has become erratic as she grows in power. It’s caused side effects which rebound on the team – such as causing a group of enemies to ’scatter’ around the world also caused division to develop within the Runaways as they were unable to get along.

Her intentions have also been misunderstood (“zombies not” was taken as “zombies knot”, so rather than transforming them back to human, it formed them into a giant composed of the zombies). It’s been theorized this is due to her getting to grips with her evolving power.

While the Staff has worked against others who tried using it, such as a friend of Nico’s parent who tried to use it against her, Chase was able to use it with no problem. So it doesn’t require any degree of skill to use, but trying to turn it on Nico will see it destroy the wielder (a dragon appeared out of the air to devour him and disappear).


[A complete History of the Runaways can be found in the team entry]

Nico was the daughter of a seemingly respectable, well-off couple. Unbeknownst to her, they were mildly powerful sorcerers. They were also members of the Pride, a secret cabal of six couples who controlled a vast criminal network. They practically owned Los Angeles. She and the other children of the Pride ran away and tried to stop their parents.

During this time Nico and Alex became attracted to each other, although she soon got over this when he betrayed the team.

She reluctantly fell into the role of leader and heart of the team, mainly because she was the only one suitable for the role, and doesn’t always feel up to the responsibility.

Nico Minoru (Sister Grimm) in a torn gothic dress

Art by Marko Djurdjević‎ .

Still a teenager, she’s been subject to her impulses, and has suffered from attraction in her time. First with Alex, then the vampire Topher, then she made a pass at Chase, while he was seeing Gertrude, following a tense situation he got the out of.

She began a relationship with Victor, but during their trip to 1907 she noticed the instant chemistry between Victor and Spieler, and decided not to interfere.

During the trip to 1907 she was captured by the Upward Path, and handed over to the Witchbreaker. Witchbreaker revealed herself to be Nico’s great-grandmother, and proceeded to torture Nico in an effort to strengthen her abilities. While it may have done so, it has also left her abilities slightly uncontrollable as Nico comes to term with the changes.


Nico has developed a confidence in her role as leader of the Runaways, but she is still relatively inexperienced. She also makes mistakes, sometimes forgetting she’s already used a particular spell. She takes the role seriously, though, seeing the others as being her responsibility, which often leads to her being serious and an authoritarian.

She’s concerned by her tendency to be attracted to men, especially the wrong men, and has started to control these impulses. She tends to be guarded around new people, and she distrust adults on principle.

Nico Minoru wields the staff over a red background


“People always say teenagers think they’re immortal, but I… I don’t think that. I mean all I ever think about is death. When my mom jammed that staff-thing into my chest, all I could think was… I’m surprised I even lived this long.”

Victor Mancha: “You guys have some kind of rallying cry ? You know, ‘Avengers Assemble ?’; ‘It’s clobberin time ?’ ‘Hulk smash ?’”
Nico: “’Try not to die‘.”

Victor: “Can’t you use a shrinking spell to knock that guy down a few thousand pegs ?”
Nico: “I already used my reduction incantation on Mole Man when he attacked Silverlake a few months ago.”
Victor: “Mole Man ? He’s, like, already four foot tall !”
Nico: “I thought it would be ironic, okay ?”

Nico Minoru draws the staff of one from her chest

Witchbreaker (Nico’s great-grandmother, in 1907): “I am going to hurt you some more. Do you understand why ?”
Nico: “Because you’re evil, insane, have no friends and no life and nothing to do ’cause they haven’t invented re-runs of Golden Girls  yet ?”

“It was my decision, right ? Ergo, it was wrong.”

“Call me ’emo’ again, scumpuppy, and the coroner will find your mouth in a place so wrong—”

Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG

Tell me more about the game stats

Nico Minoru

Dex: 04 Str: 02 Bod: 03 Motivation: Responsibility of Power
Int: 04 Wil: 04 Min: 04 Occupation: Runaway
Inf: 04 Aur: 04 Spi: 05 Resources {or Wealth}: 001
Init: 014 HP: 030

Artist (Musician): 02, Martial Artist: 03, Vehicles (Air): 04, Weaponry (Melee): 04

None demonstrated.

Runaways (High), Cloak & Dagger (Low), Young Avengers (Low).

Age (Young), MPR (Needs contact lenses).

The Staff of One [BODY 12 SPI 13, EV 03, Self-Link (Projectile Weapon): 06, Sorcery: 12, Bonuses & Limitations: Each spell may only be cast once (-1), require her to speak the effect she wants (-1), and can’t undo other magic (-1) (see below), Drawbacks: Unluck].

By Gareth Lewis.

Source of Character: Marvel Comics (covers up to Runaways Vol.3 #14).

Helper(s): Ethan Roe.
Writeup completed on the 26th of January, 2012.