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