This page details the 1984 limited comic series. For the character Illyana Rasputin/Magik, please see her character page.
Magik (technically titled in the indicia Magik: Illyana and Storm even though the covers displayed Storm and Illyana: Magik) was a 1984 Marvel four-issue limited series, featuring Magik (sister of the X-Man Colossus). It was written, as with pretty much everything X-Men at the time, by Chris Claremont.
During X-Men #160, the team was trapped in Another Dimension ruled by the dark lord Belasco. When the team managed to escape at the end of the story, Belasco and Kitty waged a tug-of-war over Illyana. Kitty lost her for a second but got her back and pulled her through, only to be faced with a teenager. For the X-Men it was a moment, for Illyana it was seven years.
The limited series tells what happened in those years. Because of a time travel paradox, there was a second group of X-Men in that dimension who got trapped while their Illyana was saved. Storm, now an old woman, became a sorcerer, and helped the newly arrived X-Men (including her younger self) to return to Earth, but could not prevent Belasco from getting Illyana and making the first of five power stones that would allow Belasco's gods to break the dimensional barriers. Storm was easily defeated, and then rescued by "Cat" (Kitty Pryde, with feline traits added by Belasco). They take her to Storm's garden, who wanted Illyana to be her apprentice, but Cat offers to teach her how to use a sword and fight physically, without magic. In Belasco's castle Cat kills Nightcrawler, Belasco's servant, but fails to kill Belasco himself. He changes her even more, turning her into a complete cat, with an animal mind, and Illyana accepts Belasco's guidance, becoming his apprentice.
Some time later, Illyana's mutant power awakens: she can control the teleporting discs that are all around limbo. But, initially, she can not control the destination, which could be anywhere and anytime. She falls into limbo's past and sees an old battle of Belasco and Storm: she kills him and becomes a demon like him. The "Belasco" she killed turned out to be an illusion by the sorcerer, but the intent was still there and Storm was corrupted all the same (it would take her several years, up to her old age, to be good again). Another disc, and Illyana returns to the castle. There, Storm fights again against Belasco, but Cat kills her. Illyana kills Cat, and foils Belasco's plan with the dying Storm. This time she could summon a teleporting disc at will, and take Storm's corpse to her garden, to bury her. But then, it becomes cold and the plants begin to die: it was a magic garden, and without Storm to maintain it, it is left to become one with the rest of Limbo. To punish her, Belasco removes Illyana's power over the discs, and leaves her in the wild, alone. She tries, on her own, to repeat Storm's magical feats, but fails each time. Then, she changes her mind: rather than life, she tries to create a weapon. She returns to Belasco's castle and began to fight him; during the fight she becomes red, with horns and a demonic tail, while Belasco turns human again.
And then, she realizes that she's about to become like him. She throws away the sword, and refuses to go on fighting. Neither one being a demon anymore, Belasco leaves limbo, and Illyana does as well. At that point, she reunites with the X-Men, in the scene described at the begining.
Magik contains examples of:
- Ascended Extra: Before this story, Illyana Rasputin was just Colossus' sister who was playing in the farm, just about to be crushed by a runaway tractor, and then saved by the mutant who can turn his body into steel. She came to live with the X-Men when Ms. Locke, The Dragon to villain Arcade, kidnapped the X-Men's loved ones to blackmail them into rescuing her boss from Doctor Doom. After all that was dealt with, the political climate in Russia would have made things awkward if they returned to drop her back off. So they kept her around and she was with them when she was abducted by Belasco.
- Becoming the Mask: Kitty Pryde was usually called "Kitten". With a sense of irony, Belasco gave her traits of a cat, and then turned her completely into a cat.
- Corrupt the Cutie: It's all about this, how Illyana goes from Colossus' little snowflake to Magik. She isn't fully corrupted, but there's some serious tarnish left on her.
- Darker and Edgier: Not that contemporary X-Men comics were exactly light and fluffy anyhow, but this is the story of a pre-teen girl stuck in a demonic land where pretty much everything is trying to corrupt her, and the one unambiguously good person dies pretty early on. There's very little levity to be found.
- Dead Guy on Display: Colossus's body is left by Sym exactly where he died. Illyana finds him.
- Evil Feels Good: An old Claremont standby, and a major problem for Illyana. She knows what Belasco is after and what it'll ultimately do to her, but at the same time part of her enjoys the feeling of evil, and the power.
- Exposed to the Elements: As punishment for her transgressions, Belasco leaves Illyana half-naked and deprived of her mutant teleporting powers in a frozen wasteland, and his magic would prevent her from freezing to death or starving, though she would fully feel the effects.
- Everything's Deader with Zombies: As if things weren't hard enough for Illyana, she's captured by zombies of the deceased X-Men.
- Face–Heel Turn: The Nightcrawler in Belasco's kingdom. Gone is the goofy, lighthearted quipster. Instead, he's a fully loyal evil goon for Belasco.
- Fisher Kingdom: Limbo responds to the whims of whoever's in charge of it. Since Belasco is in charge, it's a horrible wasteland that corrupts and kills anything in it.
- Greater-Scope Villain: The Elder Gods, Belasco's bosses. His whole plan with turning Illyana into the Darkchilde is to let them into the mortal realm, where they will promptly wreck the whole place.
- Journey to the Center of the Mind: Ororo takes a trip into Illyana's soul, and sees the corruption Belasco has started has already taken root.
- Magic is Evil: Lampshaded by Cat. All magic in Limbo comes from Belasco. Ororo disagrees.
- Mercy Kill: Illyana takes Storm's life so as to deny Belasco making her a Human Sacrifice.
- No One Gets Left Behind: Averted. When Illyana and Cat are running, Illyana falls to the ground, incapable of going any further. Cat is willing to leave her behind, alone against a nearby monster... forcing Illyana to stand up and run even more.
- Roaring Rampage of Revenge: In revenge for the multiple levels of torment inflicted on her in Limbo, Illyana creates her Soulsword and attacks Belasco. He only survives due to her realizing that killing him is turning her into the Darkchylde, body and soul.
- Sixth Ranger: The miniseries ends with her watching the New Mutants playing in the snow, and she joins the team in the next issue of their series.
- Storming the Castle: At the end of the story, Illyana captured Belasco's castle, all by herself.
- That Man Is Dead: Used by "Cat" when called "Kitty" by Illyana.
- Timey-Wimey Ball: Thanks to her discs moving in time and space, at one point Illyana gets hit by a car driven by the New Mutants, who she hasn't met yet, but who do know her.
- Training from Hell: Heh. But also in a less literal sense, Cat's training of Illyana is harsh and brutal.
- Year Inside, Hour Outside: From the X-Men's perspective, a mere moment in reality equaled seven years in limbo for Illyana.
- Year Outside, Hour Inside: When she takes her on as an apprentice, Storm and Illyana use astral projection for some teachings in magic. When they return to their normal bodies, a whole year has passed.
- You Can't Go Home Again: Technically, Illyana can, and easily, thanks to her Mutant powers. However, Mr and Mrs. Rasputin are confused and outraged by this mysterious girl in rags showing up on their doorstep, and without her brother or any of the other X-Men to explain the situation, Illyana gives up and leaves.