Runaways #15 & the Secret of Nico’s Staff
I have to say, there was one thing about this run on Runaways that was driving me crazy for so long, and that just so happened to be the mystery behind Nico and her staff. When the Runaways series originally came to an end, I made it my mission to catch every chance that they had the opportunity to pop up in the Marvel Universe over the years. The biggest comeback was from Nico and Chase between the events of Avengers Arena and Avengers Undercover.
All you need to know about Nico’s trouble some time there was that she died, she came back to life, and she leveled-up! When I say leveled-up , I do mean as in a spanking new Witch Arm, and staff that took her powers to new heights. For once she wasn’t burdened by the limitations that held her back before. She could fly, blast you, and so much more with relative ease. However, when Marvel decided to do Secret Wars and mass relaunch, somehow a lot of things stayed the same, but all of that power was suddenly gone for Nico. There was little explanation, but there was always an acknowledgement that the events of Avengers Arena did happen. So, what happened? I mean even in this run of Runaways, they only teased that this did happen, but she wasn’t ready to talk about her experience. Top that with the fact that she felt like she was drowning from the limitations that were stacking up and the shroud of mystery was almost becoming unbearable.
This issue of Runaways was well worth the wait because even I was not prepared for the reason why things turned out the way they did for Nico. In this case I would say that I could have just waited to let the story tell itself, but sometimes that anxiousness does get the best of you when even this new ongoing was never certain with that question in mind for months, or maybe a year. Either way, the truth was nothing that you could have prepared for since not even Nico herself could explain this development. I think that worked for the best knowing that Nico is very inexperienced as a sorceress. This whole issue was a good refresher that she has a long way to go as someone who has all the potential, but none of the Minoru blood genuinely running through her veins. What they had to do for power was leaning towards extreme, so for a kid who aimed to become something different, the results could never be the same without the proper sacrifice for the magic. I give credit where it is due that all of this discovery also happened into the ongoing ideology in the mu currently that magic comes with a price. Especially for those who are not actually magic themselves.
To take that step further to reveal that the staff is actually a person was a brilliant twist. Who would have guessed that? Certainly not me. I mean the nods to the staff acting on its own did spin some wheels, but nothing could have actually jumped out to you to say that the staff is alive and actually a sorcerer turned into it. The manifestation of the staff was charming for the story he had to tell about how his situation came to be. We understood that there were rules that he himself set for the staff, rules that Nico’s great-grandmother set for her bloodline, and that there were other ways to tap into this power that didn’t have to be part of this contract. This knowledge changes everything for her. I can now understand why they may have wanted to wait to drop this bomb on our laps. Of course we still don’t know if this contract will still limit her to one spell uses, but the price that she now pays to summon the staff should add to her viability with the family.
A hundred spells can come and go honestly, so everything would come down to the person writing the story and how they decide that the words used for this new contract should be upheld. I certainly think there will eventually be a drawback, though only time will tell. Till then, I love that we can now move forward with clarity and a little less baggage for Sister Grimm.