Nobody asks me questions on Tumblr, most likely because I’m untrustworthy and have been known to pickpocket. In the absence of actual questions, I’ve decided to ask myself questions on Tumblr instead. What do I have to ask myself today??
QUESTION: Steve, which Magik is the one in Uncanny X-Men right now?
Hello Steve. Good question! One of the top eight I’ve ever been asked. Magik’s life is a confusing one, because alternate dimensions and time-travel both rear their heads in it. However! Slowly but surely, we can work out what’s been going on.
When we first met her, Illyana Rasputin was a young girl, Colossus’ sister, who appeared in odd cameos and bits and pieces. It wasn’t until Uncanny X-Men #160 that she was trapped in a hell dimension called Limbo, aged up to be a teenager, and learnt to wield a sword and cast spells. This… wasn’t explained, particularly, by the comics. She just kind of suddenly aged up and grew out her bangs, becoming the Magik we all know today.
It wasn’t until a limited series called Magik that her time in Limbo was explored, and we learnt about the demon called Belasco who made her essentially his slave, and all sorts of horrible things happened to her. She escaped Limbo eventually, and became a member of the New Mutants — but the demons of that dimension followed her and invaded New York as part of the Inferno event.
Conflicted and betrayed all around, Magik was ultimately saved from Inferno by her brother (which, as I have a blonde younger sister myself, why I particularly like Inferno as a storyline). However, she sacrificed herself, more or less, and when Colossus opened up her battle armor he found not the teenage Illyana – but the younger, innocent version of the character. Magik was gone, and Illyana was back. Time travel!!
So the younger Illyana stayed around, and Magik was apparently erased from existence. Or so we all thought! Because Illyana ultimately became one of the many victims of the Legacy virus, and passed away – causing Colossus all kinds of pain. All trace of the character was gone from the comics for several years – maybe a decade? – before one day House of M happened.
In that event, Scarlet Witch brought back a lot of characters to life, and Magik was one of them. Appearing in reality for the first time in a long time, her reappearance got the attention of Belasco – still in Limbo – who
stopped her from being disassembled when Wanda’s spell crumbled. He pulled her essence to Limbo, and assembled all her memories and thoughts into a body.
It wasn’t the real Magik. It was a demonic body called Darkchilde, with the thoughts and memories of Magik. After taking part of Pixie’s soul to build a new soul sword (a soul dagger, in fact), she used the blade to kill Belasco and take over Limbo for herself. She then joined the New Mutants for Zeb Wells’ run with the team, ultimately revealing her plan to regain her soul and make herself complete and real again. The plan succeeded, although Colossus’ hopes that his sister was back were ultimately crushed.
In Kieron Gillen’s Uncanny X-Men, we got to find out Magik’s second plan: to make her brother realise that his little sister was gone forever. Once she regained her humanity, she finally succumbed to a fate that anybody who had been dragged twice through Hell would suffer: she went insane. Revealing her true nature at the end of that X-Men run, she teleported away, and joined Cyclops’ renegade X-Men team.
So there have been three Magiks over the course of the X-Men. The first one, who became Magik and died at the end of Inferno. The second one, who grew up without ever becoming Magik and died of the Legacy virus.And now the third one, the one we have at the moment in Uncanny X-Men, who is Darkchilde-turned-Magik.
Fiddly, isn’t it?