For a character who won’t be in the actual Doctor Strange film, Marvel’s Nico Minoru has been appearing quite often lately. First, her mother — another important Marvel character — is in the film’s prelude comics, and now Nico is getting a Doctor Strange branded action figure. She’s also a member of the Runaways, a superhero group currently in the works as a Marvel-branded TV show. Who is Nico, exactly, and is Marvel prepping their next magical superhero?
Nico Minoru first appeared in Brian K. Vaughan’s The Runaways comic as a founding member of the eponymous superhero team made up of the children of the supervillain cabal controlling Los Angeles. One night, during an annual family gathering between the parents who make up the villain group, the kids witness their parents murder an innocent teenager for a mystic ritual.
As the teens vow to fight their parents, Nico goes on to assume the de facto leadership of the Runaways team.
The Minoru family, for their part, were revealed to be magicians who fronted as antique dealers. Nico would go on to inherit her parents’ affinity for magic, becoming one of the Marvel Universe’s most prominent magical characters.
As such, Nico is very much connected to the mystical universe presented by Doctor Strange. In an early prelude comic for the MCU Doctor Strange film, Nico’s mother Tina Minoru was seen with the film’s villain, Kaecilius. That’s a possible nod to her role as a villain in The Runaways series, which is apparently the source of several easter eggs in Doctor Strange.
There’s no doubt that Nico Minoru will play a big role in the next stages of the MCU, but it’s not difficult to imagine that she will be given a bigger role in the MCU’s magical universe. She was, after all, at one point considered the next Sorcerer Supreme after Doctor Strange.
Her advanced appearances within the Doctor Strange brand ahead of the actual Runaways television show are definitely evidence enough that Marvel is keeping the character in high priority as the company moves towards establishing the magical portions of the MCU. First the appearance of her mother in the prelude comics and now her own figure (complete with Dormammu body piece) means that Minoru family figures heavily into Marvel’s magical world.
Will Nico finally appear in a sequel for Doctor Strange, and where will The Runaways show fit in the MCU, assuming the films don’t lock Minoru from crossing between Marvel film and television?
Doctor Strange will release in theaters on November 4, 2016.