BIOGRAPHY - Page 3
Replaying the news broadcast off the X-Men’s apparent death with a videorecorder again and again, Magik discovered it was Forge who had cast the spell that caused the X-Men to “die.“ Planning revenge, she attacked Forge (the New Mutants in tow), but Freedom Force intervened, since Destiny was able to predict the plot.
During the fight, Destiny foretold the Inferno event and that Magik would have to “leave and learn“ or Earth would never be the same. Illyana did not care much; instead she took Forge, whom she was unable to beat on Earth, to Limbo. However, as she was about to kill him, Mirage pulled the vision from Magik’s mind she was most afraid of - a completely demonic version of herself. Seeing how close to that image she already was, Illyana spared Forge. [New Mutants (1st series) #65-66]
One night, Baba Yaga, the witch crone from Russian fairy tales, had come to slaughter the New Mutants; only Illyana was able to escape the last second. Baba Yaga planned on eating the kids but Illyana could not counteract her magic directly. Because sorcery is least effective against iron, she thought of her brother Colossus, since steel is a form of iron. She decided to use a necromancy spell to summon the dead back to life but, before she completed it, the true Colossus appeared through one of Gateway’s teleportation portals. The fight went on and was quickly ended when Colossus punched Baba Yaga, who screamed in agony. The siblings comforted each other, realizing how much they missed each other. Colossus assured Illyana that she was a good person despite everything, as long as she tried to be good. Illyana was comforted, even though she believed him to be a ghost created by her necromancy spell. Gateway‘s portal opened and Piotr went back to Australia. Alone, Magik thought about casting again the necromancy spell to have Colossus around forever, but she realized that this spell would turn her eternally into a demon and she wondered why she got off lucky the one time she used it. In Limbo, S’ym revealed that Baba Yaga was a ploy to make Magik use the necromancy spell, which would have condemned her. Now he decided to wait, because each time Illyana used her sorcery, he knew the walls between Limbo and Earth would weaken more, until Limbo’s demons would rule Earth. [Uncanny X-Men (1st series) #231]
After another adventure in outer space, the New Mutants had to teleport through Limbo, where they were engaged in battle by S’ym and lost. With her full powers blocked, Magik could only transport her team through time, though they remained in Limbo. In this way, the rest of the team finally witnessed Illyana’s harsh upbringing first-hand. An unknown demon named N’astirh pretended to help the team out of love for Magik. He tricked her into fully accepting her dark side, triggering her transformation into the Darkchylde, though this also meant giving her back full access to her power.
However, as soon as she opened a stepping disk to New York, N’astirh’s magicks wrested control from her. The disk remained open and demons rained down on Times Square. Once there, N’astirh put Magik in a no-win situation, where she had to wield the Soulsword again, causing her to fear losing her sanity, but in the meantime her teammates could close the stepping disk. As she was approached another time by S’ym, Illyana was rescued by her brother who was also fighting Inferno’s effects in the streets of New York.
Slowly, the Darkchylde felt that she was about to give in to her dark side. Colossus was shocked about his sister‘s latest transformation. Ashamed, she left to Limbo and, with her dark side fully active, she easily resumed leadership there. Wolfsbane asked to at least to save the seven-year-old Illyana she saw earlier in Limbo, which gave Magik an idea how to end Inferno. She used a combination of magical spells, her Soulsword and stepping disks to suck all the demons back to Limbo and sacrificed herself in a last stroke that would purge herself from ever having existed.
When the others found the scorched eldritch armor, they thought their teammate dead, but suddenly a voice from the inside was heard. Colossus ripped it apart to discover the six year old Illyana within; it appeared as if the teenage Magik had never been. [New Mutants (1st series) #71-73] Colossus trusted the New Mutants in returning her to Russia, while he and the X-Men departed for Australia. A couple of days later, the team indeed brought her back to the Ust-Ordynski Collective, where she was welcomed by her mother with open arms. [New Mutants (1st series) #77]
About a year later, though, her parents were killed by Russian agents, who wanted to recruit Illyana and catalyze her latent mutant abilities to battle the Soul Skinner, whose telepathic control did not work on children. Though too late to save the Rasputins, the X-Men found a way to defeat the Soul Skinner and rescue Illyana before her physiology was permanently altered by the genetic accelerator she was strapped in.
Now orphaned, Illyana moved back to the States with her brother and stayed at the mansion in Westchester. Unfortunately, after only a few days at the school, an examination revealed that the child had contracted the deadly Legacy virus, a fatal disease that killed mutants through their genetic code. [X-Men (2nd series) #17-19, Uncanny X-Men (1st series) #300]
Kitty Pryde came for a visit as soon as she learned of her best friend’s fate, and watched over the girl together with Jubilee. Illyana died in their care while her brother Colossus and the X-Men were away on a mission, trying in vain to find a means to save her life. Her funeral was attended by all active X-teams at the time. [Uncanny X-Men (1st series) #302-304]
Years after Illyana’s funeral, reality was briefly re-written by the deranged Scarlet Witch. In the altered timeline, mutants ruled the world with Magneto’s family, the so-called “House of M,” being in charge. Illyana was very much alive and a junior SHIELD agent in training of the group called
the Hellions. She was presumably younger than the other members, as she had grown up naturally instead of spending several years in Limbo. The Hellions had a feud with the Xavier Institute students but eventually worked together to expose a ring of Japanese geneticists. While the others were left fighting, Illyana was ordered to teleport away to expose everything. [New X-Men (2nd series) #16-19]
Soon thereafter, most the Scarlet Witch’s tampering was undone and it seemed Illyana was again gone. However, there were some unexpected after-effects to the event. Spying from another dimension, Belasco had witnessed his former pupil being alive and wanted her to return to his side. When he couldn’t locate Illyana, he assumed she had gone into hiding, which is why he returned to Limbo to vanquish Illyana’s successor, the new Magik aka Amanda Sefton. Driven by his obsessive love for her, Belaco then attempted to recreate Illyana from shards of her being. What he got was a soulless version instead – the part demonic Darkchild who had all of Illyana’s memories but not her soul. Disgusted by his creation, Belasco banished the Darkchild from his castle.
To find the real Illyana, he kidnapped the ones he last saw with her - the (counterparts of the) students of the Xavier Institute. One group of students became his prisoners, whom he tortured for information, while a second group landed in another part of Limbo, due to the influence of the Darkchild. She offered to help them rescue their friends, but for that she needed a new Soulsword. The Darkchild more or less forced Pixie to agree and then created a bloodstone from a part of Pixie’s soul for an amulet of her own, causing a Souldagger to manifest for Pixie. Actually, the Darkchild wanted to take more of her soul, but was stopped by Rockslide. Teaching Pixie a teleportation spell that allowed her to transport the entire group to Belasco’s citadel, Illyana was able to destroy her former master. Now mistress of Limbo, Illyana greedily intended to take the rest of Pixie’s soul for her own. However, at that moment, the X-Men came to the rescue and Illyana was ashamed when Colossus saw her in her demonic state. As she teleported everyone but herself back to the Xavier Institute, she vowed she would regain her soul. [New X-Men (2nd series) #37-41]
A first step to that would be getting back the Bloodstone amulet with three pieces of her soul and her own Soulsword. Soon Limbo was embroiled in conflict. While Illyana was searching for those objects, she was unaware that the other side’s leader, Witchfire - the mysterious daughter of Belasco - had the bloodstone amulet and planned to complete her father’s work. When on Earth Pixie accidentally hurt Nightcrawler and drew the Soulsword out of him, Darkchild sensed her magical weapon and teleported into the Danger Room to confront them. After a heated battle with Pixie, Illyana regained her Soulsword and instantly became more human again in body and personality. Still, she fled from the X-Men and teleported back to Limbo, where she became a prisoner of Witchfire.
Fortunately, the X-Men sent a squad after her. Some among the group, like Colossus, came because they wanted to save her, while others, like Pixie, had more selfish motives for coming. In fact, Pixie wanted to achieve the same as Illyana, namely reclaim the missing piece of her soul. However, things didn’t quite work out like that. Intent on getting five bloodstones to complete an amulet and evoke the Elder Gods, Witchfire magically combined the amulet containing Illyana’s three bloodstones with Pixie’s single one and proceeded to draw a fifth and final bloodstone from Pixie’s soul.
With Illyana freed by Nightcrawler and the other X-Men, who kept Witchfire momentarily busy, Illyana and Pixie managed to pry the fifth bloodstone loose before the dimensional walls came tumbling down. However, instead of directly returning to Pixie’s essence, the newly created bloodstone became part of her Souldagger. In the confusion, Witchfire managed to escape with the amulet. Still feeling inhuman, Illyana did not want to come with the X-Men, despite her brother’s pleas. Nevertheless, after Nightcrawler and Cyclops lectured her on the meaning of humanity and family, she promised to give it a try. [X-Infernus #1-4]