Published April 21, 2023

Mystical Mutants of the Marvel Universe

Meet a few of mutantkind's mightiest magic users, from Magik and Storm to Selene and Madelyne Pryor.

The Marvel Universe can be a magical place. While heroes like Doctor Strange, the Scarlet Witch, and the Midnight Suns usually deal with all things supernatural, several of the X-Men and their allies have dabbled in the mystic arts as well. 

Even beyond mystical powerhouses like Magik, a surprising number of mutants have either had their lives shaped by magic or shown a magical aptitude themselves. Mother Righteous, a clone of Mister Sinister who studied magic instead of genetics, even used the mystic arts to try to shape the grim future of SINS OF SINISTER in NIGHTCRAWLERS (2023) #3 by Si Spurrier, Lorenzo Tammetta, Phillip Sevy, Rain Beredo, and VC's Clayton Cowles

Now, we’re taking a closer look at some of Marvel’s mightiest mystical mutants and how their powers and pasts shaped their time with the X-Men.


Illyana Rasputin has the mutant power to create teleportation discs, but her time as Magik has been largely defined by her considerable mystical abilities and her long stint as the ruler of the hellish Limbo dimension. After being kidnapped by the demon Belasco as a child, Illyana spent years in Limbo, where she learned light and dark magic, starting in MAGIK (1983) #1 by Chris Claremont, John Buscema, and Tom Palmer. Ultimately, Magik defeated Belasco by channeling her life force into the mystical Soulsword, which also allowed her to take over Limbo. 

During her time in the New Mutants and the X-Men, Magik tried to contain her darker impulses and the Darkchilde, her powerful, but demonic alter ego. Wanting to move past her history with Limbo, Illyana recently surrendered control of the dimension to Madelyne Pryor.


After spending many years fighting the X-Men, Apocalypse found a welcoming home in the mutant nation Krakoa. Once he joined the Quiet Council that governed the island, the ancient mutant began studying mutant mysticism in EXCALIBUR (2019) #1 by Tini Howard and Marcus To

As part of his effort to rescue his family and the lost mutant civilization Arakko from the hellish dimension Amenth, Apocalypse sacrificed several immortal mutants to create the External Gate, which led to a mystical dimension called Otherworld. After the residents of Krakoa and Arakko fought in Otherworld during X OF SWORDS (2020), Apocalypse moved to Amenth and left his library of magical mutant artifacts to Rictor, his apprentice.


While Beast has dedicated his life to studying science, a time-traveling incident once sent him down a very different path. When a young Hank McCoy was stuck in the present day alongside the original teenage X-Men, he started studying magic with Doctor Strange in his efforts to find a way back home in ALL-NEW X-MEN (2015) #8 by Dennis "Hopeless" Hallum and Paco Diaz

After increasing his mystical knowledge and power to fight Madelyne Pryor and her forces, Beast briefly transformed into a modified version of his blue and hairy form that included horns and cloven hooves. Ultimately, McCoy’s mystical pursuits were largely unsuccessful, and his memories of this period were effectively erased by Jean Grey before they went back in time.


As a mutant/fairy hybrid, Megan Gwynn—the high-flying Pixie—has a natural aptitude for the mystic arts. While studying at Xavier’s Institute, Pixie and several of her classmates fell into Limbo. There, a Darkchilde-possessed Magik found Pixie and removed part of Megan’s soul to create a Souldagger in NEW X-MEN (2004) #40 by Craig KyleChristopher Yost, and Skottie Young

With dark magic filling in the missing pieces of her soul, Pixie used the magic-disrupting Souldagger to defeat Belasco and learned a powerful teleportation spell from Magik. Although Pixie remains largely untrained in magic, she has regularly used that teleportation spell throughout her time with the New X-Men, the X-Men, and Nightcrawler’s Legionaries.


Thanks to her Omega-level weather-controlling powers, Storm is one of the world’s most powerful mutants. However, Ororo Munroe also has a rich magical heritage as the distant descendant of an ancient Sorcerer Supreme named Ayesha and the powerful sorceress Ashake. 

Storm has rarely embraced her significant magical potential outside of occasionally serving as a conduit for mystical energy. However, in the SINS OF SINISTER timeline, Storm showed her mystical skill by calling upon the magical power of her ancestors in STORM & THE BROTHERHOOD OF MUTANTS (2023) #2 by Al Ewing and Andrea Di Vito. With a combination of her mutant and magic powers, Storm opened a wormhole that helped her team steal Mister Sinister’s lab. However, the strain from this impressive feat killed the century-old mutant, at least in that timeline.


While Forge may be the X-Men’s resident mechanical genius, he spent much of his early life studying magic under the shaman Naze. When he served in the military, Forge lost several members of his squad in an attack. In desperation, he cast a spell that unleashed the demonic forces of a powerful ancient being called the Adversary to take on his enemies, as revealed in UNCANNY X-MEN (1963) #227 by Chris Claremont, Marc Silvestri, and Dan Green

Although Forge renounced his mystical abilities for many years after that, he used them once again to help the X-Men defeat the Adversary during THE FALL OF THE MUTANTS. Since then, Forge has remained focused on utilizing his technological mutant powers.


With the mutant power to sustain herself by absorbing the life force of others, Selene is one of the oldest mutants in the Marvel Universe. Over her 17 millennia on Earth, Selene even accumulated enough mystical knowledge to make her a potential candidate for Sorcerer Supreme. 

After emerging from the hidden Roman colony Nova Roma, Selene joined the Hellfire Club and faced the X-Men and the New Mutants on numerous occasions. As part of a mystic ritual to make herself a god, Selene briefly reanimated millions of mutants to sacrifice in X NECROSHA (2009) #1 by Craig KyleChristopher Yost, and Clayton Crain

Then, when mutantkind formed Krakoa, Selene unsuccessfully campaigned for a seat on the Quiet Council, where she hoped to serve as their chief magical expert. After being rejected, she attacked Krakoa with several giant monsters and was summarily killed.


While he has rarely immersed himself in the mystic arts, Nightcrawler has been surrounded by magic and other supernatural forces for much of his life. Although he is the biological child of Mystique, he was raised by and frequently fought with Margali Szardos, who wields Doctor Strange-level mystical powers at her strongest. 

The teleporter also had a serious relationship with Amanda Sefton, his adoptive sister and a powerful magic user who briefly ruled over Limbo. While Sefton reigned over Limbo, Nightcrawler even kept Magik’s Soulsword inside his body. Additionally, he imprinted himself on Bamfs, demonic imps who share his appearance and teleporting powers, during his tenure at the Jean Grey School.


Madelyne Pryor may have started life as a clone of Jean Grey, but she went on to forge a dark mystical legacy all her own. After feeling abandoned by her husband Cyclops, Pryor was tempted by the Limbo demon S’ym, who gave her magical demonic power in UNCANNY X-MEN (1963) #234 by Chris Claremont, Marc Silvestri, and Joe Rubinstein

In INFERNO, Pryor teamed up with Mister Sinister and the demon N’astirh to unleash Limbo’s armies in New York. Although that mystical attack failed, Magik surrendered control of Limbo to Pryor years later, wanting to give her a chance at redemption. Although Pryor attacked New York again with Chasm in DARK WEB, she ultimately used her powers to help the X-Men and opened an embassy to facilitate relations between Limbo and Earth.


Feeling adrift on Krakoa, Banshee found a new purpose through Mother Righteous, who bonded him to a repentant Spirit of Vengeance called the Spirit of Variance and transformed him into Vox Ignis in LEGION OF X (2022) #7 by Si Spurrier, Netho Diaz, and Sean Parsons. Vox Ignis wields the Scream of Change, a modified version of Ghost Rider's Penance Stare that can help its targets embrace change by confronting their traumas and unlocking memories. 

Under Mother Righteous, Vox Ignis lived long into the future of SINS OF SINISTER, where his Scream of Change freed several Nightcrawler chimera from Mister Sinister’s control. But after 1000 years, Mother Righteous ultimately severed the link between Banshee and the Spirit of Variance as part of her ultimate plan in NIGHTCRAWLERS (2023) #3 by Spurrier, Lorenzo Tammetta, Phillip Sevy, Rain Beredo, and VC's Clayton Cowles.

See where Mother Righteous' magic takes the SINS OF SINISTER timeline in NIGHTCRAWLERS #3, now on sale!

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