Hello and welcome to another edition of Marvel Snapshot! In this week’s character spotlight, we’ll be taking at look at the wild and crazy history of Magik! Yes, the one time ruler of Limbo and all around crazy Russian blonde will be front and center today, so get ready for some fire and brimstone! Illyana was created by Chris Claremont and Dave Cockrum back in 1975 (Giant Size X-Men #1-1975, New Mutants #14-1983) (image below by Travis Charest).
Back in the early days, Illyana made her way into the lives of the X-Men when she was kidnapped by Arcade. After being rescued by her big brother Colossus, she was again abducted, but this time would prove much worse than the other. She was taken to the realm of Limbo by the evil Belsaco. He wanted to use a portion of her soul to open a gateway for his masters, the Elder Gods, to come to this dimension. He did succeed in corrupting a part of her soul, and was well on his way to releasing his masters until the Storm of that dimension rescued Illyana and taught her magic. She was also trained in hand to hand combat by that dimension’s Kitty Pryde. They tried then to overthrow Belasco, but failed, and Illyana was his prisoner again. She used her new found power to trick him into thinking she was totally under his control. She eventually became as powerful as him (sorcery), and banished him from Limbo. She then became Limbo’s new ruler, and returned to Earth dimension. Although it had been years in Limbo, time passes very slowly there (or not at all), so she was much older when she returned, but it was almost the same time that she had been abducted.
Illyana then joined the New Mutants, who were Xavier’s future X-Men. During this time with Cannonball, Magma, Warlock, Cypher, and Dani Moonstar, Magik basically grew up like a normal mutant kid (compared to Limbo). They had many adventures and faced off against the Hellions, who were their biggest threat. The Hellions were the Hellfire Club’s answer to Xavier’s New Mutants. The team book was eventually cancelled, though, and then Marvel brought us the epic, and very dark Inferno story line. That story is a huge undertaking, so I’ll just say that Magik was a big player and came out even more messed up than before. And basically, Illyana was reverted back to childhood as if the earlier events of her life had never happened. She was returned back to her parents in Russia, but was soon thrust back into the lives of the X-Men. She came to live with them after the death of her parents, but was found to have contracted the deadly Legacy Virus. She died from this horrible illness, and the sadness drove her brother to leave the X-Men and join Magneto’s group of Acolytes.
Illyana eventually returned through mystical means. She was resurrected by Belsaco and he tried to once again use her for his own sinister agenda. She did return, but was without her memories of being a New Mutant. This was then changed when the New X-Men battled her and a horde of demons. She then used a portion of Pixie’s soul to create a bloodstone and a new Soulsword. Magik, along with the New X-Men, traveled to Limbo and defeated Belasco. Another tyrant, Witchfire, took over, though, and they eventually battled her as well. Another good story featuring Magik was X-Infernus, which showcased Pixie and another trip to Limbo. Since then, Magik has been a team member of the New Mutants, and although some of them don’t totally trust her, they seem to be coming around. Magik was also there when her brother was transformed into the new Juggernaut by the god of the Crimson Cosmos, Cyttorak!
As usual, check out my recommended reading list along with some of Illyana’s best covers from over the years! See you next week! Oh, and a big thanks to Capekiller for giving me the idea for this week’s spotlight!
New Mutants Classic vol. 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 – Tpb
Inferno – Tpb
Magik: Storm & Illyana – HC
New X-Men vol. 4, 5 – Tpb
X-Infernus – Tpb
Mystic Arcana: Magik (part of a limited series)
New Mutants #1-present (ongoing, 2009)