Real Name: Illyana Rasputin
First Appearance: Giant Sized X-Men #1 (May, 1975)
Powers: Magik is capable of teleporting inter-dimensionally, can call upon the Soulsword, is proficient in magic, and is equipped with mystical armour.
Affiliation: X-Men, New Mutants, Hellions, Phoenix Five
Did You Know? Magik is the younger sister to the X-Men’s Colossus.
A Little History
Although the origin of Magik is a little complicated, it is one of the best in comics. Before debuting as Magik in Magik #1 back in 1983, Illyana Rasputin appeared as herself in eight years earlier in Giant Sized X-Men #1.
Approximately one year before her birth, her would-be brother, Mikhail, tragically passed away…or so it seemed. Like Illyana, Mikhail was a mutant and in an effort to cover this up, the Russian government faked his death. His apparent death coupled with having to save Illyana from an oncoming train activated the mutant gene in her brother Piotr (Colossus). Once activated, Piotr’s body turned to metal and he gained incredible strength. Hearing that a mutant surfaced in Russia, Charles Xavier set out to and successfully recruited him in the X-Men.
At just six years old, Illyana was abducted and brought from Russia to the United States by Arcade. He did this to force the X-Men into battling Dr. Doom. Once rescued from Arcade, rather than returning to Russia, Illyana was brought into the X-Mansion.
Shortly after this, Illyana was called by the Demon Belasco to the Limbo Dimension. He brought her to the Limbo Dimension because he aimed to free the Elder Gods from their entrapment. The only way to free the Gods was the fill the Beatrix Medallion with five bloodstones…and the only way to acquire bloodstones was to corrupt the mind and body of another. In theory, because Illyana was so young she should’ve been easily corrupted. However, this wasn’t the case.
Also living in the Limbo dimension were alternate versions of the X-Men. More specifically, in the Limbo Dimension lived both Storm and Kitty Pryde. This version of Storm, like the Earth-616 version, aimed to do good in the world. As such, when she had the opportunity to befriend, rescue, and teach Illyana how to do good with magic, she did. Different from Storm, this version of Kitty Pryde didn’t believe in magic. Instead, she believed in hand-to-hand combat. Like Storm, she taught Illyana what she knew.
Eventually, Illyana returned to Belasco. While it may not make sense to return to someone as evil as Belasco, Illyana knew that in order to free herself from his control she would have to become more powerful than him. So, that’s what she did. She returned to learn everything he knew. When he could teach no more, she began plotting her escape.
Around the same time that Belasco had drawn the third Bloodstone from Illyana, she called upon the Soulsword. With both the Soulsword in hand and her knowledge of Black Magic, she easily defeated Belasco and banished him from the Limbo Dimension. With him gone she assumed rule over the Dimension and returned to Earth. What’s interesting is that although she only appeared to be gone for seconds on Earth, in Limbo nearly a decade had passed. This meant that she returned to Earth much older than when she left.
And that’s it. The origin of Magik.