Magik (comics)

This page refers to the first Magik, Illyana Rasputin. For the second Magik, see Amanda Sefton.

Magik (Illyana Nikolievna Rasputina - typically anglicized to Rasputin) was a Marvel Comics character, associated with the X-Men. Created by writer Chris Claremont and artist Dave Cockrum, she first appeared in Giant-Size X-Men #1 (May 1975).

She was the younger sister of the Russian X-Man Colossus. In the 1983 limited series Magik (Illyana and Storm), she aged seven years while in a paranormal dimension called Limbo, became a sorceress, and developed the mutant ability to create "teleportation discs." She then joined the junior team the New Mutants.

Fictional character biography


Illyana Rasputin (born Illyana Nikolievna Rasputina) was born in the Ust-Ordynski Collective farm, near Lake Baikal, Siberia, Russian SFSR, Soviet Union to Nikolai Rasputin and his wife Alexandra Natalya Rasputina. Illyana's two older brothers, Mikhail Nikolaievitch Rasputin and Piotr "Peter" Nikolaievitch Rasputin were both mutants. The X-Men suspected Illyana to be a mutant as well, but they figured that years would pass until her adolescence and the emergence of any possible powers. They were wrong in this hypothesis, however.

Peter's superhuman powers manifested while saving Illyana from a runaway tractor.


When she was six years old, Illyana was abducted and brought to the United States by Arcade, who used her and several other hostages to coerce the X-Men to assist him in opposing Doctor Doom. She was rescued and brought back to the X-Mansion.

Shortly thereafter, Illyana was kidnapped again, this time to the Limbo dimension by Belasco and S'ym, inhabitants of this demon dimension. She was raised there and corrupted by Belasco, who taught her black magic and sought to claim her soul to be used as a key to bring forth the Elder Gods to rule Earth. This was to have been done with the creation of a bloodstone, or a magical pendant possessing the life essence of a being who is pure or innocent. She was later tutored in the practice of white magic by that dimension's version of Storm (who turned to magic when her mutant powers waned) and eventually rebelled against Belasco. Finding the use of magic abhorrent, Limbo's version of Shadowcat trained Illyana how to proficiently use a sword in combat.

Before he kidnapped Illyana, Belasco used both Storm and Shadowcat as potential gateways to freeing the Elder Gods by manipulating their souls with his evil. Both refused his magic before the process could be completed. Because of this, Illyana formed a mystical bond between both Storm and Kitty once she too was used in the same manner.

Belasco was successful in using Illyana to create three parts of the bloodstone pendant and only needed two more in order to bring forth the Elder Gods. Realizing this, Illyana created the Soulsword and took over limbo as its new ruler. During her battle with Belasco she magically developed horns, a tail and fangs. She discovered that these new features only appear when she holds the Soulsword. After winning the battle, she banished Belasco from Limbo and claimed S'ym as her servant. She then managed to return to Earth several years older, although no time had passed on Earth since her kidnapping. She subsequently joined the New Mutants.


Over time, a strange armor began to appear on her body each time she wielded the Soulsword, which, much like her brother Colossus, gave her a form of invulnerability and increased strength. The armor appeared only on one of her shoulders and arms at first, but gradually began appearing on more of her body with each time that she wielded the sword. During the "Inferno" storyline, the demon N'astirh tricked Illyana into opening up a colossal teleportation disc between Earth and Limbo, which triggered an invasion of Earth by demons from Limbo. At this point Illyana's demonic physical traits completely overtook her body, transforming her into a full blooded demon. At the end of this ordeal, after S'ym had been defeated, Illyana regressed back to the human age she was when she was kidnapped. However, she still possessed the bloodstone locket Belasco gave to her, implying that she still had ties to Limbo.

Because of the mystic bond she shared with the Kitty Pryde from the Limbo dimension, the Soulsword then passed on to Earth's Kitty Pryde in England. It embedded itself into a stone near Excalibur's lighthouse headquarters, waiting for Kitty to claim it and become its new wielder. She rejected it out of fear she would become a twisted dark image of herself, just as Illyana had. Seeing how much its presence bothered her friend Kitty, Rachel Summers attempted to remove it from the bedrock with the powers of the Phoenix Force but could not move it, because, Kitty guessed, it would only move upon her command. It stayed embedded in England until it eventually fell into the hands of the supervillain Doctor Doom, who shortly thereafter lost it to the demon Darkoth. It eventually was acquired by Amanda Sefton, who would become the new Magik, and then go on to be ruler of Limbo and wielder of the Soulsword.

Illyana, still a child, returned to Russia where she lived with her parents for some months until they were murdered by the Russian government in order to secure Illyana's abilities to defeat a psionic being known as the Soul Skinner. Illyana then returned to the X-Mansion to live with her brother Piotr and the other X-Men.

Legacy Virus and death

Not long afterwards, Illyana contracted the Legacy Virus, and finally succumbed to it and died in the X-Mansion, despite all efforts in order to save her made by Charles Xavier and Moira McTaggert. Not being able to be there for his sister, Colossus, consumed by grief and rage, betrayed the X-Men and joined the Acolytes right after her burial in Siberia.

Her spirit however contacted both Wolverine and Piotr from the afterlife. She came to Logan shortly after he had the adamantium pulled from his body, and urged him to return to the world of the living to save Jean Grey. Illyana's spirit returned again, this time to her brother Piotr, who had recently returned to the X-Men and the United States with Kitty and Nightcrawler following the disbanding of Excalibur. When investigating odd occurrences inside the Mansion, Piotr located one of stepping disks that Illyana had magically bound to the school. He found himself transported to a pocket world, which held a memory imprint of Illyana. There Piotr manages to learn how to let go a little more and to move on with his life, while still remembering his sister.

Despite this, Illyana's memory convinced him to make one final sacrifice. When the cure for the Legacy Virus turned out to need the death of one mutant, he secretly and willingly gave his life, so nobody else would have to die like Illyana did. Colossus would later be resurrected by an alien race. In addition, when Colossus visited Breakworld it was mentioned by Danger (the Danger Room AI) that the "magic bullet" headed towards Earth held Illyana's genetic signature.


After finally overthrowing Amanda Sefton as leader, Belasco returned to his previous position as ruler of Limbo. He created a powerful spell to return Illyana to him after seeing her reappear during the House of M crossover event. The spell managed to pull forth the remaining essence and memories of Illyana still held within Limbo's dimension. The essence took shape and became the Darkchilde. Unfortunately, Belasco was not satisfied with his creation, claiming that it was not the true Illyana Rasputin (due to her lack of Illyana's soul) and banished her to the outer parts of Limbo.

The newly reborn Darkchilde eventually found some of the teenage mutants who became separated from their teammates and were being attacked by a horde of demons. Although she aided the mutants against the demons, she later used a spell to immobilize them in an attempt at stealing a portion of Pixie's soul to create both a bloodstone and a new Soulsword as Illyana felt Pixie had the most innocent of souls present. The spell was interrupted by Anole, who broke free from Illyana's confinement and punched her away.

Pixie's soul extraction was partially successful however, creating one part of a bloodstone pendant and a soul dagger. Illyana then attempted to complete the process and destroy those who wished to interfere, but a reformed Rockslide stopped her and continued to assault her. During the beating, Illyana's human memories of her friends and life among the X-Men seemingly returned to her.

Although only a part of Pixie's soul was taken, Illyana then informed the other students that Pixie was now capable of performing magic, the hole in her soul having been filled with "black magic." She taught Pixie a simple teleportation spell, since Belasco sealed his castle from her own magic and powers, and the young mutants made an attack on Belasco. During this battle Illyana displayed that she still has the ability to cover her entire body in armor at will. Belasco was soundly defeated by the combined efforts of Illyana (using a bloodstone amulet) and the Xavier student body.

Illyana then gave into her Darkchylde persona and announced her desire to create several more bloodstones in order to become god-like in power. Before Illyana could begin the process, however, she was interrupted by the arrival of her brother, Colossus, who questions if his "Little Snowflake" has indeed returned to life. In a cry of pain and desperation, Illyana sent everyone back to Earth, rejecting Piotr's offer of help. Illyana then reclaimed the throne of Limbo with S'ym and N'astirh as her servants, and informs them that her next move is to reclaim her soul.

Divided We Stand

Illyana is in her castle and recounts how she was an impatient child and plots to get her soul back. At first she plans on using her Bloodstone medallion but decides against it because it has ruined so many lives and refuses to follow in the footsteps of Belasco. Motivated by her relationships with Kitty and Piotr, she tries to reclaim her soul through love and teleports to the Xavier Institute only to find it destroyed and abandoned. Feeling sad and angry, she declares that she will not get her soul back through love but through suffering and will target those who have wronged her and make them pay with their souls.


Illyana will be the central character in the upcoming sequel to Inferno, X-Infernus, which will be released in December 2008. C. B. Cebulski will be writing and David Finch will be doing covers. Giuseppi Camuncoli will be pencilling the issues.

Powers and abilities


Magik has the mutant ability to teleport herself and others through time and space from one location to another by creating "stepping discs". She can mentally control these discs, which are part of a dimension known as Limbo in the Marvel Universe. This dimension is specifically known alternately as "Demonic Limbo", "Limbo-Belasco", or "Otherplace". However, when Illyana mentally calls for a Stepping Disc she must use Limbo as a midway point before she can teleport to an alternate location. If she teleported herself or someone else from one place on Earth to another the person passed through Otherplace in the process. Magik could also teleport herself or someone into the Otherplace dimension or out of it. It is not known if she was genetically predetermined to travel through Limbo, or if she did so because, having been spirited there as a child, it was the only alternate dimension she was instinctively aware of. Magik has succeeded in teleporting herself across continents, from one continent to another, and even interplanetary and intergalactic distances on occasion. Apparently she can mentally scan Limbo while on Earth in order to locate whoever she wishes to teleport from Limbo down to her on Earth.

Unlike most other teleporters in the Marvel Universe, Magik can teleport through time as well as space. She has teleported moments, days or centuries into the past or future. Especially early on, she had difficulty modulating this ability and would often inadvertently travel through time and space when intending to teleport only through space. Magik was told by Doctor Strange that she had potential for great feats of manipulating time on a wider scale.

Illyana Rasputin could only utilize her superhuman mutant powers when she was an adolescent; on reverting to a prepubescent state her mutant powers returned to latency. As Magik, she never entirely mastered her teleportation ability, although her control over it improved with practice. Hence, the greater the distance over which she teleported, the greater the possible margin of error in terms of her arriving at the point of time she intended.


Magik is the sorceress supreme of her Limbo dimension. The extent of her powers in Limbo has yet to be defined, but powerful demons of Limbo did not dare challenge her.

In Limbo, Magik can probably cast any magic spell that Belasco could, having had access to his store of sorcerous knowledge. The only exception to this is spells of teleportation, which Belasco kept from her (as stated in the Magik limited series) to ensure she never escaped captivity. Magik's recent teaching of a teleportation spell to Pixie (who has no known natural teleportation ability) is an inconsistency to this fact. Her sorcery was a unique mix of black magic that she learned from Belasco and white magic she was taught by an alternative-reality Ororo Munroe. She could not create uncorrupted life with a portion of her soul as Storm her mentor who was able to do when creating an acorn that grew into a tree. Illyana's acorn was rotten on the inside as her own soul was in her body. However, she was able to create a sword from a portion of her soul to use as a weapon. On one occasion she was shown to have easily inhibited the powers of the Enchantress while in Limbo despite the Enchantress being a powerful sorceress in her own right.

Magik's magical abilities are far more limited in Earth's dimension, though she could still manipulate magical energies for various effects. Even an unskilled (but Earth-based) magic-user like Forge has demonstrated himself to be her superior. On Earth she has performed astral projection, sense mystical presences, scry, and cast very simple spells. Her magical powers on Earth are primarily the use of her Soulsword, which is the ultimate embodiment of her mystical might, and the summoning of the armor and demonic features that often accompany the soulsword.

The soulsword generally has no physical effect whatsoever, but disrupts even the most powerful magic as it passes through. It can shatter enchantments and destroy mystical creations and creatures. Illyana can make her soulsword appear and vanish at will.

Illyana and her soulsword have a mysterious mystic affinity for Kitty Pryde, who has summoned and been cut by the soulsword.

When the Beyonder took away her "Darksoul" Illyana apparently lost her ability to manipulate magic.

It is also mentioned that Illyana has formidable psionic shields, most likely a result of the time she spent in Limbo and the effects of her partially demonic soul. As such even powerful telepaths such as Charles Xavier and the Phoenix enhanced Rachel Summers can not mentally read Illyana's thoughts.

Eldritch armor

The more that Magik uses her magical power on any occasion, the more mystical armor appears on her body in addition to demonic features such as horns, hooves, a tail and scales.

Also shown during the Inferno storyline was an aspect of limited super-strength while in the armor, which makes Illyana similar in power to her brother. This was shown when the rather large demon S'ym was easily thrown several feet by Illyana when he attempted to force her to the ground. Illyana's armor also provided her protection and immunity to the Transmode Virus, which was shown when her transmode virus infected demons attempted to dethrone her. The armor also deflects or limits outside magic from affecting her, which was shown during her battle with Forge.


Magik's Soulsword disrupts magic energies, constructs and creatures. It also augments the power level of any magic user who holds it.

While it can kill magic creatures, such as demons, upon contact, it cannot physically injure non-magical persons. The only exception to this has been Kitty Pryde, who can still be cut by the Soulsword even when Pryde is using her phasing power to become intangible. Pryde is also one of the few people other than Magik who can wield the Soulsword effectively. When Pryde does so, Magik's armor begins to appear on Pryde's body. Moreover, when the Beyonder once freed Illyana from the influence of her darksoul, Pryde gained the ability to produce and wield the Soulsword. Illyana later took the darksoul influence back into herself in order that she could again wield the Soulsword to save Pryde's life from a demon.

As Magik, she was an excellent swordwoman, and a good hand-to-hand combatant who received training in unarmed combat from Cat and at Xavier's school.

Other versions

Age of Apocalypse

In Age of Apocalypse, Illyana was never kidnapped by Belasco at all. It was believed she had been killed during Apocalypse's attacks on Russia, but she was actually taken to the slave camp known as the Seattle Core, which provided energy for Apocalypse's empire. Colossus, Shadowcat and Generation NeXt rescued her, at the cost of the lives of every single member of Generation NeXt (except for Husk, who was later revealed to have survived). Illyana then helped Bishop go back in time to prevent the Age of Apocalypse from occurring.


During Excalibur's "Cross-Time Caper" storyline, the team encounters a child-like version of Illyana, clothed in the regalia of Dr. Strange, who runs an organized crime cartel in partnership with her friend Shadowcat. When Alistaire Stuart and a near comatose Rachel Summers are threatened by the authorities Illyana grants them sanctuary however she merely intends to use her guests to ensure her success in a bid for dominance over the world. When the authorities once more attempt to search Illyana's apartment, an altercation occurs and she is shot dead but merely resurrects into her fully demonic form, which was incredibly powerful, but not sufficiently so to withstand the assault of a restored Phoenix.


An Illyana from yet another timeline (Earth-4210) was also a member of the team known as The Exiles. Illyana replaced Blink when the Timebroker apparently sent her home. She had been led to believe that had she not become an Exile, she would murder her family. This universe's Magik was much more temperamental and ruthless than the Earth-616 Magik and clashed with the team from the very beginning. Shortly after the Timebroker returned Blink to the team, the Timebroker decreed that half the members of the combined Exiles and Weapon X group had to die. Fearing for her life, Magik tried to join King Hyperion and told him of the mission Exiles and Weapon X had been given. In order to corroborate her claims, Hyperion snapped Magik's neck to see if a replacement Exile was sent. Magik's body was kept in the stasis gallery at the Panoptichron, until the Exiles took over the timeline fixing operation and sent the bodies of the fallen Exiles and Weapon X'ers home. Magik was buried by Colossus and their parents.

House of M

Magik was seen once again in the House of M reality. Not a true Alternate Earth as such, House of M was a temporary recreation of Earth-616 by Scarlet Witch, in which mutants were dominant on Earth. Magik was a member of a S.H.I.E.L.D. squadron of young mutants called the Hellions. Like most of the other Hellions, she eventually joined the side of the New Mutants, a team being groomed as future leaders, in fighting the establishment of the House of M in Japan, in a showdown against impossible odds.


In the Shattershot crossover, a reality was shown in which Illyana was regressed in the same way as in Earth-616, but never succumbed to the Legacy Virus. She grew up to master her mutant and mystical powers, called herself Darkchild and joined X-Force alongside New Mutants like Sunspot and Cannonball.


  • In another reality in which Illyana is an adult, her son is trapped in an incorporeal form. She makes a deal with Mephisto to provide him with a body, at the cost of all mutants' lives, but her son ultimately rejects the offer.
  • In a 2006 issue of What If...?, Magik was a member of a soviet version of the Fantastic Four known as "The Ultimate Federalist Freedom Fighters".

In other media


  • In the 1992 animated television series X-Men, Illyana appeared the episode Red Dawn, voiced by Tara Strong. In that episode, she and her mother remained by the side of Colossus and the X-Men as they fought the newly-released Omega Red. She also appeared in one of Cable's visions of the altered time-stream in Time Fugitives, in which, without the antibodies developed to fight Apocalypse's techno-organic virus, many mutants, like Illyana, developed harmful mutations which killed them.

Video games

Novels and adaptation

  • Illyana was mentioned in the novelization of X-Men: The Last Stand stating that Shadowcat and Illyana were pen-pals.
  • She appeared in X-Men Dimensions, but is confirmed not to return for X-Men Dimensions 2.



External links

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