Magik was a 1984 limited series of 4 comic books, featuring the Ascended Extra Illyana Rasputin (sister of the X-Man Colossus). 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 had 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 took her to Storm's garden, who wanted Illyana to be her apprentice, but Cat offered 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 saw an old battle of Belasco and Storm: she killed him and became 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 from the back. 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 mantain it, it is left to become one with the rest of Limbo. To punish her, Belasco removed Illyana's power over the discs, and left her in the wild, alone. She tries, on her own, to repeat Storm's magical feats, but failed 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 became red, with horns and a demoniac tail, while Belasco gets human again.
And then, she realizes that she was about to become like him. She tossed the sword, and refused to go on fighting. Neither one being a demon anymore, Belasco left limbo, and Illyana did so 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.
- Astral Projection: Storm made several.
- Becoming the Mask: Kitty Pryde was usually called "Kitten". With a sense or irony, Belasco gave her traits of a cat, and then turned her completely into a cat.
- Cool House: Storm's magic garden surely qualifies.
- Corrupt the Cutie: It's all about this.
- Demonic Possession
- Exposed to the Elements: As punishment for her transgressions, Belasco left 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 were not hard enough for Illyana, she was captured by zombies of the deceased X-Men.
- FaceHeel Turn: Nightcrawler
- Magic Is Evil: Lampshaded by Cat. All magic in Limbo comes from Belasco.
- 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 were running, Illyana fell to the ground, incapable of going any further. Cat was willing to leave her behind, alone against a nearby monster... forcing Illyana to stand up and run even more.
- Orcus on His Throne: Belasco
- 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.
- Praetorian Guard: Nightcrawler
- Send Me Back: All that poor Illyana wanted all the time was to go back home in Soviet Russia, with her farmer parents. And, with one of the discs, she could... but, being much older than she was supposed to be, they did not recognize her, and shut the door in her face.
- Kitty Pryde explicitly compares the Limbo teleportation devices to the stepping discs described in the works of Larry Niven. That's what they become known as from then on.
- S'ym is an Homage to Cerebus the Aardvark and his creator, Dave Sim.
- The comic book is contemporary of the Star Wars films, and it is highly influenced by them.
- 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.
- The Dragon: S'ym
- What Happened to the Mouse?: Fans spent years speculating on what became of the original Illyana who escaped back to her own time.
- 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 took her as her apprentice, Storm and Illyana used astral projection for some first teachings in magic. Just some minutes... and when they returned to their normal bodies, a whole year had passed.