The runaways' ringleader, Nico Minoru (Lyrica Okano), may not have inherited her parents' propensity for evil — but she certainly inherited their capacity for magic. Nico takes her mother's powerful weapon, the Staff of One. There's a catch: The staff can only be activated by Nico's blood. So, in the comics, Nico has to cut herself before she can summon a spell from the Staff.
Runaways showrunners Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage were faced with a choice when translating this aspect of Nico's character to screen. If this aspect of Nico's powers were included in the Runaways show, it might come off as a glamorization of self-harm — especially in the wake of the 13 Reasons Why debate. Ultimately, Lyrica Okano revealed that Schwartz and Savage decided to do away with Nico's cutting entirely.
Though Okano can't reveal the specific method Nico uses to activate the Staff of One in the show, Nico definitely still uses the weapon. The Staff of One is shown clearly in the show's trailer, glowing lights and all.
With this Runaways alteration, it's clear that 13 Reasons Why was more than a conversation-starter. The show was a culture changer, too, and has impacted the way cast-members like Okano speak about their show. Virginia Gardner, who plays Karolina on the show, was sure to stress that Runaways had violence but it wasn't actually violent.
The takeaway: Runaways is fun, has "glow-y" lights, and, perhaps thanks to the 13 Reasons Why controversy, avoids problematic portrayals of self-harm.
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