Illyana Rasputin is a mutant teleporter mage and the occasional demon queen of limbo. As little sister to Colossus, she eventually joins him on Earth-616 alongside the X-Men as a permanent member. She takes the codename Magik and protects others with the New Mutants.
A late addition to the Rasputin family, Russian farm girl Illyana Nikolievna Rasputina was the beloved “little snowflake” of her parents and older brother Piotr (“Peter”), born a year after the apparent death of her eldest brother, the cosmonaut Mikhail Rasputin. Unknown to his family, Mikhail was a mutant, and the Russian government faked his death; grief upon hearing of his demise triggers Peter’s mutant powers too, and when Illyana is five, Professor Charles Xavier, AKA Professor X, recruits Peter into his American-based mutant team, the X-Men.
Impatient and full of life, Illyana asks her parents if she would get powers too, and when she could join her brother overseas. Her chance came sooner than her family thought, and most unexpectedly. When a Dr. Doom robot imprisoned the criminal Arcade, his assistant Miss Locke kidnaps the 6-year-old Illyana and other innocent hostages, forcing the X-Men to rescue Arcade. Not trusting Locke to keep her end of the bargain, a team of X-Men reservists invade Arcade’s Murderworld and retrieve the hostages. The siblings miss one another, so Peter arranges with his parents for Illyana to stay at Xavier’s School for a little while. The X-Men dote on her, especially Peter’s teenage would-be girlfriend Katherine “Kitty” Pryde.
Teleportation and Sorcery
Magik can teleport herself and others via circles of light dubbed stepping discs; though this is apparently an innate mutant power, her demonic corruption has seemingly inextricably tied the discs to limbo, so that they also appear there randomly without Magik summoning them, and so that the discs always travel via limbo. Possibly because limbo’s nexus status makes it close to all places and times, Magik can teleport across interstellar distances or transtemporally, and home in on specific people without knowing their exact location.
Illyana is a skilled swordswoman and creates the Soulsword when she is trapped in the immortal sorcerer Belasco's limbo dimension. She draws the sword from her own life force and uses it to destroy supernatural beings and magical weapons. It begins as a simple sword but evolves with use, both in appearance and power. The Soulsword can disrupt most spells or slay magical beings, but which passes through normal people without harming them. When using it, Illyana’s body becomes covered in a mysterious mystic armor.
When she is unable to wield it, the sword is passed to Rasputina’s best friend, Kitty Pryde. She gives it to Amanda Sefton (alias sorceress Jimaine Szardos), who in turn passes it on to her mother, Margali Szardos. Belasco then takes it from her. After a battle with Belasco, Jimaine takes possession of the Soulsword, and hides it inside her adopted brother Nightcrawler’s own body. She uses an axe in battle until she reclaims her Soulsword.
Magik also possesses exceptional psionic shields able to thwart Earth’s most powerful telepaths. Magik becomes the Sorceress Supreme of limbo, using a mixture of white and black magic to cast binding spells and energy blasts, heal, wipe memories, perform scrying, project an astral form, and other talents; however, on Earth, her magic is weaker.
When Magik taps into her magical powers, mystical armor appears to cover her body known as Eldritch armor. The armor protects her from physical and magical attacks, enhances her strength and shields her from the Transmode Virus. After becoming Darkchilde, her demon form, and later when she uses her magic, hooves and horns are known to appear as well.
Belasco, limbo’s demon-lord, seeks Magik as a replacement. He lures her to his dimension and taints her soul with evil then trains her in sorcery. Belasco has his lackey S’ym torture her when she misbehaves but the student surpasses the master and she eventually escapes his terror, restores her humanity, and makes S’ym swear fealty to her.
The Beyonder senses the evil in Magik and draws it out further, transforming her into Darkchilde—a more demonic version of herself that features horns and cloven hooves. While she transforms back, her Darkchilde aspect helps the X-Men defeat the villain Shadow King.
Faithful Family and Mutant Memberships
Piotr “Peter” Rasputin, AKA Colossus, is Illyana’s older brother and he often seeks to protect his little sister when he can. For Illyana, Colossus is her moral compass.
Cosmonaut Mikhail Rasputin is Illyana’s oldest brother but he apparently dies. Illyana later encounters him when she is telepathically enticed through time by him. There, in hoping to save her from her death, he infects her with a virus hoping her darker side develops an immunity to it and she is sent back in time without her memory.
Illyana joins the New Mutants and X-Men as Magik when she leaves limbo and often protects human and mutantkind with her teleportation powers and mystical knowledge. While on the New Mutants team, she befriends Kitty Pryde and they eventually share what amounts to a psychic bond. Magik and the other New Mutants are later manipulated into joining Mojo’s Bratpack and the White Queen’s Hellions, each for a short time but they are freed from these affiliations.
Illyana Rasputin’s Record
The X-Men later relocated to a Bermuda Triangle island, unaware it was observed by sorcerer-turned-demon Belasco. Trapped in an interdimensional limbo (aka. Otherplace, not the true Immortus-ruled Limbo), Belasco saw Illyana’s innocence as his route to freedom, telepathically luring her through a teleportational stepping disc into limbo. Via limbo’s twisted chronology, this Illyana of “mainstream” Reality-616 was actually the second (or latter) Illyana to arrive in limbo, with Illyana of Reality-8280 having traveled there sometime in limbo’s “past.” Reality- 8280’s X-Men followed their Illyana there, becoming trapped while she somehow escaped. Reality-8280’s Logan/James Howlett, AKA Wolverine, and Colossus died, their Kitty was transformed into the feral warrior Cat, and their Kurt Wagner, AKA Nightcrawler, and Ororo Munroe, AKA Storm, studied magic and were corrupted; Storm later won back her soul, creating an idyllic garden as a symbol of redemption. After Illyana-616 arrived, soon followed by her X-Men, Storm-8280—determined to prevent a tragic repeat of past events—helped the new arrivals escape, but this time Belasco snatched Illyana.
Requiring five bloodstones (already possessing one) to free his N’Garai masters and win his own release, Belasco swiftly tainted Illyana’s soul with evil to create a second bloodstone; however, Storm and Cat took Illyana back to Storm’s garden. Reasoning that the corruption now rooted within Illyana could never be removed, Storm planned to teach the child magic to combat it. Cat
angrily disagreed and fled with Illyana that night, intending to return her to Earth via a portal in Belasco’s citadel. Cat and Illyana traversed limbo on foot for nearly three years, during which time Cat taught her to fight and they became close friends. Belasco caught them after they entered his citadel, turning Cat into a nearly mindless pet and having Illyana conjure a third bloodstone as her first act as his apprentice.
After two years of tutelage, being punished by Belasco’s chief enforcer S’ym whenever she disappointed her master, Illyana’s mutant powers emerged. Her natural affinity for time travel and teleportation focused itself in limbo’s stepping discs, and she slipped back in time, witnessing a younger Storm battle Belasco, who feigned defeat so that Storm would complete her corruption by failing to show mercy. Returning to the “present,” Illyana saw Storm fighting Belasco to free her, and when Cat fatally wounded Storm, Illyana was forced to slay Cat. Belasco demanded Illyana damn Storm for eternity by making a bloodstone from her soul, but Illyana killed Storm to prevent this. Enraged, Belasco used more of Illyana’s soul to make the fourth bloodstone, then trapped her in an icy waste. Hoping to reclaim her soul, Illyana tried to follow Storm’s example and create life, but she continually failed until she realized that, unlike Storm, she wanted revenge. Drawing from her own soul, she created a sword as the ultimate expression of her magical powers, shattering the enchantments trapping her. Teleporting to Belasco’s citadel, she fought him, growing increasingly demonic as she gained the upper hand; however, mindful of Storm’s mistake, she stopped short of killing him, thus regaining her humanity. Belasco belittled her “weakness” as Illyana teleported back to Earth-616, where she found her seven-year exile had been mere seconds for the X-Men. Uncertain of how to explain her sudden aging to her parents, Illyana became a permanent member of the X-Men’s household.
At first, the now-teenage Illyana kept quiet about her time in limbo, not wanting to shock her friends further with the revelation she was a demonically tainted mutant sorceress. She also secretly feared Belasco would retrieve her and the bloodstone medallion she had taken, unaware he had departed limbo after his foe Kevin Plunder, AKA Ka-Zar, defeated him. Now almost the same age, she became best friends and roommates with Kitty Pryde. Their bond grew so strong that their souls became literally and inexplicably intertwined. On Illyana’s birthday, S’ym invaded Xavier’s School and fought its young students, the New Mutants. Illyana subdued him and he swore fealty to her, making her effectively ruler of limbo in Belasco’s absence.
Soon after, the Hellfire Club’s White Queen Emma Frost kidnapped Kitty; with the X-Men unavailable, Illyana revealed her powers to the New Mutants, joined them as Magik, and together they rescued Kitty. Some of Magik’s teammates, notably Roberto da Costa, AKA Sunspot, and the religious Rahne Sinclair, AKA Wolfsbane, were disturbed by Illyana’s sorcerous background, but it was Magik who was most worried that her soul might be forfeit, especially when magical armor began spontaneously manifesting after a battle against the Demon Bear, spreading further across her body each time Illyana drew her sword. To her joy, however, Peter unconditionally accepted her new magical nature after learning of it when she helped the X-Men battle Dire Wraith mages.
Soon after, Illyana’s magic proved vital in defeating the mutant Wraith/human Jimmy Marks, AKA Hybrid. After Hyborian mage Kulan Gath possessed a human host and transformed New York into a Hyborian realm, Sorcerer Supreme Dr. Strange tapped Illyana’s time-affecting ability, drawing the super-Sentinel Nimrod from an alternate future (Earth-811, the “Days of Future Past”) to slay Gath’s host just prior to the possession, diverging Gath’s Hyborian city into the alternate Earth-8591 timeline.
Subsequently, Illyana was telepathically enticed through time by Mikhail, teleporting with the New Mutants several years into the future where they encountered their future selves. Noticing her own absence, Illyana discovered that she would eventually be returned to childhood before dying from the Legacy Virus. Mikhail told Illyana that he hoped to save her by removing the disease before it spread, but she discovered too late that he had infected her in the hope that the demonic side her de-aged future self had lacked might develop immunity.
Their memories of the future erased, the New Mutants returned to the past.
The immensely powerful Beyonder later detected the demonic taint within Illyana and drew it to the surface, transforming Magik into the cloven-hooved, horned Darkchilde. Though she soon reverted to human, thereafter extreme emotions or extensive use of her magic would trigger the change again. Despite this concern, Magik played a key role in saving her teammates from the mind-controlling Shadow King. During a brief side-trip to ancient Egypt with Dani Moonstar, AKA Mirage now Moonstar, Magik helped the sorceress Ashake defeat the mage Heka-Nut. After visiting Asgard to battle Amora the Enchantress and Loki, the former of whom briefly separated Illyana’s Darkchilde from her and gave it physical form, the New Mutants encountered the Beyonder again. He offered to cleanse Magik of her dark side, but when she and the New Mutants rejected him, he killed them, erasing them from existence, though he soon restored them. Dying traumatized most of the team, and the school’s new headmaster, Max Eisenhardt, AKA Magneto, unknowingly psionically influenced, transferred the New Mutants to the White Queen’s care. They briefly joined her Hellions, and she telepathically repressed their trauma, but the subconscious taint remained, which in Magik’s case strengthened her darker side. Learning he had been manipulated, Magneto came for his errant students, and proper counseling eventually helped them come to terms with their recent experiences.
Later, the New Mutants again fell prey to external manipulations when interdimensional media
mogul Mojo transformed them into members of his mind-controlled Bratpack. Soon freed, the New Mutants subsequently rescued the X-Men when Mojo next targeted the school’s elder team, an act the youths viewed as their graduation. When Mr. Sinister’s Marauders massacred
the underground Morlock community, Magik teleported the X-Men into their tunnels but was
ordered to evacuate survivors rather than help fight. Against orders, the New Mutants returned to help, but were attacked by Magus, father of their techno-organic teammate Warlock. Magik teleported the team to limbo to escape, but Magus followed, infecting S’ym with a transmode virus; this turned S’ym techno-organic too, spurring him to lead a demon rebellion. Magik regained some control by sheathing her Soulsword in limbo’s soil, but each time circumstances forced her to draw it again, S’ym gained ground. Maire O’Connell, Belasco’s first apprentice, sought Magik’s help to regain her mortality, only to be slain by S’ym.
After teleporting Colossus to Dallas to aid the X-Men against the demonic Adversary, Magik helped the New Mutants defeat the insane geneticist the Dr. Frederick Animus, AKA Ani-Mator, but not before he slew Doug Ramsey, AKA Cypher. Mourning, the New Mutants returned home to watch in horror as the X-Men died live on television, willingly sacrificing themselves to power a binding spell cast by their ally Forge to contain the Adversary. Unaware the X-Men had been immediately resurrected, an enraged Magik attacked Forge, but Wolfsbane convinced her to spare his life.
Soon after, while fleeing the extraterrestrial pirate Spyder, Magik teleported the New Mutants into limbo but was attacked by S’ym’s forces. S’ym’s demonic rival N’astirh convinced Magik to force open a portal to Earth, permitting a demonic invasion of New York. Battling N’astirh and S’ym, Magik concluded that she would have to resume ruling limbo permanently in her Darkchilde aspect if she wished to contain the demons; however, Wolfsbane, believing Magik could be saved, used limbo’s stepping discs to retrieve a younger, untainted incarnation of Illyana (possibly Reality- 8280’s version) and brought her to Earth. Confronted by her innocent self and her brother Colossus, Magik seemingly chose to negate her time in limbo, ending the invasion. In the aftermath, only the child Illyana was found sealed within the Darkchilde’s armor. Magik’s Soulsword and armor mystically transferred themselves to Kitty Pryde, later passing through several hands until claimed by a new Magik, Amanda Sefton, the new ruler of limbo. The young Illyana returned home to Russia, but government forces later slew her parents and kidnapped her, hoping to reactivate her powers to use against the mutant Soul Skinner. Rescued by Colossus, Illyana returned to America, but she was found to be infected with the Legacy Virus and died soon after. The grieving Colossus later believed he was visited by teenaged Illyana’s ghost on Christmas Eve.
A few years later, during the Scarlet Witch’s “House of M” reality warp, Illyana was briefly resurrected. Belasco sensed her return, but could not locate her after Reality-616 was restored, becoming obsessed with possessing her again. Reclaiming limbo from Sefton, but still unable to locate Illyana, Belasco tried recreating her, but found himself only able to restore her body, not her soul; his recreated Darkchilde escaped into limbo. Convinced the “real” Illyana survived elsewhere and his Darkchilde was only a simulacrum, Belasco then transported to limbo the X-Men’s latest students, who had been with Illyana during the warp. Sensing this, the Darkchilde diverted some of them to the wilds of limbo, where she convinced them to help her oppose Belasco. Choosing the student Megan Gwynn, AKA Pixie, for her purity, the Darkchilde
created a bloodstone out of the girl’s soul, thus allowing Pixie to create a soul dagger, which was instrumental in defeating Belasco and allowing the Darkchilde to assume control of limbo. She planned to forge the remaining four bloodstones from Pixie’s soul, but the arrival of Colossus stopped her. Ashamed to face her brother in her demonic state, the Darkchilde returned the heroes to Earth, but later attacked Pixie and the X-Men to regain her Soulsword, partially restoring her humanity.
When the anti-mutant Bastion targeted the X-Men’s teleporters, one of his agent’s weapons opened a portal to limbo, from which tentacles emerged to seize Magik and pull her in. Cannonball led a rescue team to limbo; Pixie freed Magik, who reclaimed limbo’s rulership and apologized to Pixie, promising to try and restore Pixie’s fractured soul.
Though Pixie is then captured by Project Purgatory and Magik, with the New Mutants in seeking to rescue her, return to limbo but are defeated by the Inferno Babies, mutants trained since infancy in limbo. Though Magik escaped with Karma and Pixie back to Earth. Magik hid her Soulsword inside Karma and teleported the remaining X-Men to limbo’s gateway but they were stopped by limbo’s Elder Gods. Using the Soulsword, Karma releases Legion’s mind who subsequently destroyed the Elder Gods, restoring the bloodstones along with Magik and Pixie’s souls. Cyclops restrained Magik after she knowingly put the team in danger and she, recognizing her role in the sequence of events, accepted.
Despite her incarceration, Colossus and Kitty sought her help to defeat Juggernaut, and later Cyclops selected Magjik to become a member of his Extinction Team though she remained a prisoner. While on missions , she wore lethal fail-safes to prevent her from escaping.
Illyana is later granted powers by the Phoenix Force alongside four other X-Men, including Cyclops, and they become the Phoenix Five. When Cyclops is defeated, the remaining members fled. Though Magik later joined Cyclops at the New Xavier School. Having interacted with the Phoenix Force (which was really an infection of nano-sentinels by Dark beast), Magik’s powers changed allowing her to channel increased energy from limbo, but Dormmamu pulled her into limbo to reveal that it in fact was destroying the dimension. Dormmamu then pulled the team into limbo to kill them, but they fought back and Magik absorbed all of limbo’s energy causing it, and the creatures within it, to disappear. Sending the X-Men back to Earth, she sought out Doctor Strange in the past to learn more about magic and control her mutant abilities. She helps him defeat the Empirikuland then led a new New Mutants team alongside Tabitha Smith, AKA Boom-Boom, Julio Richter, AKA Rictor, Guido Carosella, AKA Strong Guy, and Wolfsbane.