Daughter of the powerful Gypsy sorceress Margali Szardos, Jimaine grew up in her mother's circus in Bavaria, Germany where she first met Kurt Wagner, a young orphaned mutant whom her mother had adopted. She and Kurt fell in love, but were separated when Kurt was recruited to join the X-Men as Nightcrawler. Jimaine followed him to America, taking on the alias of flight attendant Amanda Sefton. She began seeing Kurt socially again, though he was unaware of her true identity. Margali came to blame Kurt for the accidental death of her son Stephan, and she took her revenge by exiling him to a dimension that resembled Hell from "Dante's Inferno." Amanda recruited the X-Men and Earth's Sorcerer Supreme, Doctor Strange, to help Kurt, who was eventually able to convince Margali of his innocence after which Amanda revealed her true identity to him.
Sometime later, after Amanda and Kurt had gone their separate ways, she learned of Kurt's joining the British super-team Excalibur and sought him out. Journeying to Muir Island, Amanda and the other Islanders fell under the thrall of the psionic entity the Shadow King until he was defeated by the X-Men. She later joined Excalibur, helping to defeat the sorcerer Gravemoss who was bent on obtaining the mystic Soulsword. Amanda gave the sword to Margali for safekeeping, unaware that she would use it to kill those sorcerers ahead of her on the path of mystical power called the Winding Way.
Following her mother's capture by Limbo's then-ruler Belasco, who took possession of the Soulsword, Amanda's mind was magically switched with her mother's so that Margali could recover her strength. With Nightcrawler's help, Margali was rescued and Belasco defeated. Amanda was forced to assume control of Limbo, taking on the alias Magik in order to confuse her foes into incorrectly believing her to be Limbo's former ruler, Illyana Rasputin. As Magik, Amanda aided the X-Men in preventing an invasion of Earth by the demonic N'garai and was also instrumental in uniting the rulers of the various Hell dimensions in order to prevent their realms' destruction.