BIOGRAPHY - Page 4
Her resolution didn’t last. Illyana left again and spent years searching for the bloodstones. In her travels, she eventually met Witchfire again and killed her with the Soulsword. Upon her rival’s death, the Darkchild learned that Witchfire had lured the X-Men and the New Mutants into a trap. For reasons unknown, Xavier’s students had travelled to Limbo just as the Elder Gods were about to arrive. Illyana tried to warn her former teammates of the imminent danger, but arrived too late. All of the X-Men and the New Mutants died in battle. At that point, Illyana decided to travel back in time, to a point shortly after she started her quest, to make sure that the timeline she had just witnessed would not come true. [New Mutants (3rd series) #9]
As she arrived, Cyclops had just sent Dani Moonstar and Karma on a mission to locate a new mutant in a small town. Illyana managed to convince Cannonball that their two friends were in grave danger, and he in turn gathered the remaining members of the original New Mutants for a rescue mission. Once the group made it to the small town, Magik became distracted by the abduction of a young girl named Marci. Illyana was able to empathize, as Marci’s situation reminded her of her own peril as Belasco’s slave. Eventually, the New Mutants learned the identity of the culprit behind all their troubles; it was Legion, who had absorbed both the personalities of Marci and Karma into his own scattered psyche. These two were not the only ones Legion had absorbed and, while the many personalities in his head were fighting for dominance, he gave the New Mutants a run for their money.
Eventually, Illyana allowed him to absorb her psyche too. In Legion’s mind, she pragmatically killed several uppity personalities with her Soulsword until she was led to the prisoners and the peaceful central personality of Legion was restored to being the one in charge. When Karma learned that an evil personality of Legion had abused and killed Marci right before the child’s personality was absorbed, Illyana offered her Soulsword for her to kill that personality. Once back in the physical world, Illyana willingly took the rap for having killed that one as well. [New Mutants (3rd series) #1-5]
While her teammates were loyal to her, Magma was somewhat suspicious. Illyana had so far been mysterious, at times calculating and at times childlike, willing to break rules the others wouldn’t. She was also avoiding her brother Colossus, who kept reminiscing about the past and his little sister as he remembered her. Illyana, on the other hand, knew for sure that she wasn’t the same person anymore and, rather than live in the past, was preparing herself for the challenges the future may hold. [Nation X #1]
In spite of Magik’s recent transgressions, Cyclops still viewed her as a powerful asset and so, when Cable and Hope Summers returned from the future, she was drafted into his alpha roster. Hope had been the first mutant baby to be born after M-Day and, after having grown up in the future with her adopted father Cable, Cyclops was sure she would be a target now she was back in the present day. He was correct, as both The Right and the Sapian League had learned of Hope’s return and were in pursuit. Magik’s teleportation helped considerably, as she was able to move the X-Men around the country with nothing but a wave of her soulsword. In fact, it was this ability that made her a target of Bastion, the man-Sentinel coordinating the numerous anti-mutant groups dedicated to the eradication of Hope. When Magik went up against the Purifiers, it became obvious they were prepared for her. Hit by a weaponized mafic ritual, Magik was forcibly pulled into Limbo and imprisoned there, taking away a key player in Cyclops’ plans.
After the dust had settled, Colossus convinced Cyclops to let him take a team into Limbo to get his sister back. Using Pixie to teleport into Limbo, the team were quickly split up and Magik’s former nemesis N’astirh made his way to Pixie. Using her hatred of Magik, he told her that he would restore her soul if she would kill Magik and take the soulsword from her. Instead of begging for her life, Magik goaded Pixie into attacking her, but the young girl ignored her and stabbed N’astirh instead. During the ensuing melee, Magik was still restrained by the ritual and unable to help. She begged Pixie to kill her and revealed that every day she was with the X-Men was torture, because she realized that she was just a monster compared to them.
Instead of hurting Magik for everything she had done to her, Pixie chose to free her from her captivity. With Magik on their side, the X-Men defeated N’astirh’s forces and reclaimed Limbo once more. Afterwards, Magik thanked Pixie and vowed to find a way to restore her soul once more. They returned to the X-Men but, as time moved faster on Earth, they discovered that they had missed the rest of the fight with Bastion’s forces. A number of mutants had died in the carnage, including Nightcrawler, leaving Magik as one of the only battle-ready teleporters the X-Men still had. [Second Coming crossover, X-Men: Hellbound #1-3]
One night not long after, Magik suddenly felt the soulsword stir inside her she knew that Pixie had been kidnapped and the events that she had travelled back in time to stop were now upon her. Sending Warlock to alert the X-Men to the situation, Magik teleported the rest of the New Mutants into Limbo to stop the threat. On Earth, they would only have an hour to stop it, but in Limbo they would have two weeks. After speaking to her demon horde, Illyana explained that, many years ago, the babies that had originally opened the Inferno portal to New York had been taken by the government. They were sent to Limbo so they could be quickly grown into adults, but something went wrong and the operation, Project Purgatory, was a failure. The government on Earth thought the Limbo base and the babies were lost, but they had in fact survived and grown. Finding their way back to Earth after decades in Limbo, the mutants and the remaining military personal were now looking for a way to open the portal to the Elder Gods.
Magik and the New Mutants traversed through Limbo in search of the mutants and eventually found a portal that lead back to Earth. Confronted by the mutants upon exiting the portal, Magik was immediately defeated and the rest of her team fell soon after. After having her soul sword taken off her, Magik was transported to where Pixie was being held. The military men overseeing the operation used the soulsword to pull the small bloodstone out of Pixie. Magik was helpless to watch but she had also planned for this situation and knew it would only be a matter of time before things started falling apart. Sure enough, it was Karma who broke free of her captors first, turning one of the Limbo mutants against the others.
Seeing her time to escape, Magik broke free of her restraints and teleported herself, Karma and Pixie back to Earth. There she revealed that she hadn’t travelled back in time for all her team; it was Karma specifically that would help her beat the Elder Gods. Karma realized that Magik had purposefully let her wield the soulsword in Legion’s mind all those weeks before for a reason. Magik gave Karma the soulsword and then gathered the rest of the X-Men at the portal through which she knew the Elder Gods would emerge. Whilst all the other X-Men were ready for a fight, Magik was calm, as she knew it was all up to Karma… and Legion. Being able to wield Magik’s soulsword in Legion’s mind allowed Karma to safely navigate his troubled mindscape and set free the most powerful of his personalities, God-Legion. Magik watched as her plan came to fruition: the Elder Gods stepped out of the portal but, instead of killing the X-Men like before, they were completely removed from existence by Legion. As a coup de grace, Magik had Legion destroy the bloodstone amulet, returning the fragments of hers and Pixie’s soul to her.
With her own soul finally back in one piece, Illyana returned the favor to Pixie and gave the missing fragments of hers back as well. It wasn’t all happy endings, though, as Karma confronted Magik, as she had figured out that Illyana had been manipulating them all along. She correctly guessed that it had been Illyana who had returned Legion back to Earth months ago, all to help with the battle which just unfolded. Illyana simply agreed and even admitted that she could have stopped Project Purgatory earlier on; she just wanted her revenge on the Elder Gods. Karma was forced to tell Cyclops about Illyana’s actions, but the young girl seemed unphased by it, as she was ready to accept the consequences. [New Mutants (3rd series) #15-21]
Sure enough, Cyclops was angry at having been manipulated and kept in the dark by Magik. Still, Illyana remained unapologetic for her actions, as they had all worked out and she had achieved closure on a number of aspects in her life. She willingly accepted that she needed to be watched and even imprisoned in the X-Men’s brig for her reckless actions. Feeling that Illyana was still a threat, Cyclops had her strapped with a vest that would explode if she attempted to escape. [New Mutants (3rd series) #25]
Magik’s loyal demon servants didn’t appreciate her being held on Utopia and one day they attempted to free her. Possessing a therapist who had come to the island to help the other New Mutants, the demons tried to free Illyana, only for her to tell them to leave. She explained she wanted a life and to do that she needed to show she could be trusted. [New Mutants (3rd series) #28]
Illyana remained strict about keeping herself imprisoned, such as when the New Mutants came to her in their search for the missing Moonstar. Whilst she refused to leave her cell, she did teach Cypher a spell that would let him find Dani. Illyana’s treatment annoyed Colossus, who visited her regularly, but she reassured him it was for the best. She solemnly reminded him that, even though she had most of her soul back now, she would never be his little snowflake. [New Mutants (3rd series) #29, Uncanny X-Men (1st series) #540]
Magik was too much of a powerful mutant to be allowed to sit in a cell and rot away, so Cyclops did allow her to go on missions when it was urgent. When the Juggernaut was empowered by an ancient being into becoming Kuurth, Breaker of Stones, he headed toward to the X-Men’s base, looking to cause trouble. When it became clear that no one could stop him, Cyclops turned to Illyana for help with the mystical aspect of his empowerment. Coming up with a solution, Magik was allowed to teleport herself, Kitty and Colossus into the Crimson Cosmos, the other dimensional home of Cyttorak, the godlike being from whom the Juggernaut’s original powers came. Informing the Lord Cyttorak of his avatar’s betrayal to another god, the three managed to convince him to remove his power from Juggernaut.
The plan worked but, before they left, Illyana stepped forward and offered to take on the power of the Juggernaut for herself. Colossus was shocked but his sister explained that no one understood her and that it was her burden in life to be damned. Not wanting to see his sister suffer any more, Colossus took Illyana’s place and offered to become Cyttorak’s new avatar. When Kitty protested, Illyana held her back with her magic and together they watched as Colossus was transformed into the new Juggernaut. Illyana then teleported them back to Earth, where the demonically-empowered Colossus managed to stop Kuurth in his tracks. Afterwards, Kitty ended her relationship with Colossus over his actions, but Illyana stood right by his side, as they were now more alike than they had ever been. [Uncanny X-Men (1st series) #541-543]
After Cyclops and Wolverine developed differing views on how to lead the X-Men, they parted ways, with Wolverine setting up a new school in Westchester. Many of the other X-Men and students went with him but Magik chose to stay on Utopia, as it was clear neither she, nor her brother, were fit to be around the students. Even though Illyana still wasn’t fully trusted, she was allowed to spend more time outside of her cell. What’s more, she was placed on Cyclops’ newly formed “Extinction” team, along with her brother. This team had the function of being the face of the X-Men and would tackle the big threats to the mutant race. Their first mission came when Mister Sinister stole the head of the Dreaming Celestial that stood over San Francisco. During the altercation with Sinister, Magik stayed close to her brother’s side, often trying to even out his newly erratic temper. [Uncanny X-Men (2nd series) #1-3, X-Men: Regenesis #1]
Illyana remained an attentive sister as Colossus struggled with the power of Cyttorak. Knowing what it was like to have darkness inside her, she helped him where she could and tried to impart the wisdom she had acquired as the Darkchilde. However, when the team travelled to Tabula Rasa to explore the newly created ecosystem, Magik was abducted by some of the creatures that lived there. Colossus went into a blood-rage and killed them all and it was only thanks to Magik’s presence (and a little sorcery) that he regained his mind once again. It was becoming obvious that even she could not fully control Cyttorak’s influence over her brother. [Uncanny X-Men (2nd series) #5-8]
Despite the elevated status she now had on Cyclops’ team, Magik was still confined to the brig most of the time. She was soon joined by Colossus, who willingly locked himself away, for fear that he might hurt someone if he lost his temper. [Uncanny X-Men (2nd series) #9-10]