Rick Riordan's Nico and James Dashner's Newt might appear to be similar from a distance. Both are the MC's BFF (somewhat), dramatic, young male characters. But, upon closer examination, you will see they are very different. You might even say Nico is the better character.
Both Nico and Newt are characters that try to make some impact on the life of the main character and the reader. The key difference is that Nico succeeds and Newt fails. Percy, the MC, accidentally gets Bianca, Nico’s sister killed, and Nico helps win the war in all three series. Nico is also the first gay character in the series, making an effect and commentary on the world. (and making fangirls mad because they want Nico for themselves. Haha, joking not joking.) Newt has a pointless sister and death, and no major impact on the MC or reader.
Both Newt and Nico are almost ruined by the world they live in. Nico is a demigod with a dead mortal parent; Newt is an un-immune forced into testing and away from his family. Newt’s life is very similar to the other characters. Torn from his family, tortured and tested, and then killed. Unlike Newt, Nico has a long complex storyline with multiple threads.
Now let’s look at what makes us laugh at both of them since they both are somewhat funny. Newt says bloody and shank a lot and has a silly accent. Nico has a mild, if unmentioned, accent, and is supremely grumpy even if he is secretly happy. Saying bloody every two seconds is barely funny; acting grumpy has humor.
In conclusion, Newt is the Nico Di Angelo of the Walmart brand. He is a complete failure at an attempt at a cute but dramatic character with a commentary on life.