X-Men: Magik #2

Issue Date: 
January 2001
Story Title: 
A Gathering of Foes

Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning (writers), Liam McCormack-Sharp (artist), Sharpefont & PT (letterer), Kevin Somers (colorist), Mike Raicht (assistant editor), Mike Marts (editor), Bob Harras (editor-in-chief)

Brief Description: 

Amanda and Dormammu confront each other until one of Nightmare’s demons gives a first-person-account of what happened in Nightmare’s realm. Realizing something terrible has been unleashed amongst the Splinter Realms, after consulting her council, Amanda decides to side with Dormammu in discovering what it is. Amanda, Nightcrawler, Vitchen and Dormammu travel with a large army out of Limbo, and after discovering the realm of the Norse god Surtur has been destroyed, Amanda and her allies are attacked by the mysterious and powerful force that has already overtaken at least two realms. Amanda and her allies make a quick escape back to Limbo when they cannot seem to defeat the force and after speaking to Nugent on Earth, Amanda learns that Mephisto’s realm is the next target of the mysterious force. After teleporting into Mephisto’s throne chamber, Amanda engages him in battle until he finally agrees to listen to her, which is when the force unleashes itself in Hades.

Full Summary: 

Amanda Sefton stands face-to-face with the Dread Dormammu, and looks straight into his fiery eyes. Forcibly Amanda tells Dormammu that he is the last creature she would expect to be knocking on the gates of Limbo and demands he reveal what business he has in her realm. Dormammu snarls back that he would not have come to her willingly unless it was a matter of most vital urgency. He announces he has a tale that he is sure she will want to hear, though one that is best told by a witness. The powerful demon turns to a lesser-demon that accompanies him and orders it to identify itself to Magik and reveal what it saw.

The purple demon’s green eyes glow as it identifies itself as Gleeg, a captain in the Silurian Guard who watches over the gates of Nightmare’s fortress. Gleeg gets to his story, revealing that darkness had fallen and he and his warriors were settling in for the night watch. Suddenly, one of his soldiers saw something in the sky and cried out, alerting the others. Gleeg reveals it was a storm, splintering the night and sending shards of blackness down towards them. The splinters were like blades and Gleeg reveals that they ripped much of his guard to shreds, for they could not fight back.

In a matter of minutes after the shards fell, Nightmare’s fortress was overrun. Kurt Wagner, also known as the X-Man Nightcrawler and Amanda’s foster brother was transported to Limbo with her sometime earlier and he is shocked to learn this of Nightmare, moreso when Magik proclaims Nightmare as one of the most powerful beings in the Splinter Realms. She urges the guard-captain to go on with his story, and the demon announces he died. Gleeg turns to Dormammu and asks him that now he has done as he wished he has to keep his part of the bargain and release him from the agony of living death.

The Dread Dormammu holds Gleeg up by the neck with one hand and because he has no further use for it, kills it. Dormammu turns to Amanda and reveals that he kept Gleeg alive long enough for her to hear its tale, before stating that a potent force capable of overwhelming a magical lord like Nightmare threatens the Splinter Realms, and adds that from the battle Limbo’s walls have just withstood he believes Amanda has concluded the same. He shocks Kurt and Amanda when he next announces that he believes they should both work together, for if they don’t, then they will be destroyed. Amanda glares at Dormammu from under her cowl and tells him she will need time to consider his unusual proposal, and that while she does, her people will escort him to an audience hall.

Later, Amanda stands with her arms folded, surrounded by her council. She tells them all that they may speak openly, asking for their opinions. She asks Vitchen what he thinks and her loyal military commander states that a pact with the Dread one is madness and that they all should know Dormammu is to treacherous to make a pact with. Duke Bleys of the council says that he agrees with Vitchen, but cannot deny the clear and great danger at their threshold, before adding that the fact Dormammu even came to them for help shocks him enough to believe the Dread one.

Amanda admits she has thought the same and orders a scout troop to be assembled, adding that if they are going to trust Dormammu they will need proof and decides that they will agree to venture into the shadow realms with Dormammu, if he can substantiate his claims. Vitchen begins to protest and Amanda snaps back for him to just do as she says, for it is her duty and purpose – the very purpose of Limbo itself – to act as a buffer against the outer dark. She again tells her council to do as she bids them and they reply in unison ‘Yes mistress’ before walking away.

Not looking at her brother, Amanda tells him he hasn’t said anything. Kurt tells Amanda, for what it is worth, ‘If you play with a guy whose head is on fire, you’re likely to get burned’. Sarcastically, Amanda thanks Kurt before telling him it is time she sent him back to Earth. Nightcrawler tells her he is not going, but staying to watch her back. In happier times, Amanda took the codename „Daytripper„ to parody that of Nightcrawler. As if they were back when life was somewhat simpler and the siblings’ major worry was what their deluded and unstable mother was up to, they hug, and Amanda thanks Kurt, admitting she was hoping he would say that.

Kurt is glad Amanda appreciates him staying, aside from the fact she is only relatively new to the job of Limbo’s ruler, it is a job she never wanted, but had it forced upon her, but perhaps even Amanda Sefton believes in destiny now. Kurt never would have believed Amanda would become ruler of Limbo, even though their mother Margali revealed it was her destiny, but Kurt cares for Amanda too much, despite the romance in their lives being rather frozen, and besides, the X-Men look after their own.

Magik, Nightcrawler, Dormammu, Vitchen and an army of what appears to be thousands ride out from the gates of Limbo at what passes for dawn in Hell. Dormammu, riding at Amanda’s side, tells her that he appreciates her spirit of cooperation. Bluntly, Amanda tells the Dread one that very little exists between them in the way of cooperation. Dormammu tells Amanda that they will see, before alerting her to the upcoming Splinter Realm, the Realm of Surtur.

Amanda stares in shock, announcing that nothing is left of the Land of Fire, that it is simply reduced to a burnt-out cinder. Dormammu draws Amanda to the blackened husks of bone, suggesting Surtur’s demon guard has been annihilated. Nightcrawler examines one of the bodies and reminds his companions that Surtur is a Norse deity, asking also what could have possibly done this. Amanda alerts the others to Surtur’s blade, lodged into the ground, it’s eternal flame extinguished. Kurt feels a chill in the air and everyone looks up as a tempest breaks the sky.

The storm is exactly as Gleeg of Nightmare’s guard had described it and a force begins to rip and boil around them. Blades of what can only be described as living darkness drop from the sky, cutting the air as they spin towards Kurt, Magik, Vitchen and Dormammu. The warriors of Limbo begin to scream as the blades cut their flesh, but they continue to fight back against this foe they barely understand and cannot match. Kurt and Vitchen hold the left flank of the group along with some of Dormammu’s mindless servants who make no sound as they die, but just die the same, cut apart by the slices of the night.

Dormammu howls out to Magik that they will be destroyed if they remain. Amanda responds, agreeing with the Dread one, before telling him that their only hope is to link their combined power, which will provide a Stepping Disk large enough for all of their army to travel through. As Dormammu and Amanda Sefton link hands, the Dread one smirks that they shall cooperate after all. Suddenly, a whirl of darkness mixed with a sweet taste of witchcraft fills the air, before they are all transported elsewhere.

The enormous fortress of Limbo looms over the realm it sits, and the entire contingent appears in the yard. The strain of such a huge teleportation was great however, and Bleys rushes to Magik’s side as she keels over. She announces that she will be fine, but needs to speak to Nugent. Vitchen quietly comments to Kurt about how close their last battle was, and Kurt agrees, watching as even Dormammu feels the pain too, but no one goes to his aide, his mindless servants just look on blankly.

In a large chamber, Amanda stands in its center looking into a large crystal ball, where she speaks to Nugent, her ally on Earth, who tells her the work is going fine, that his machine is almost finished, now being three-quarters full with data of the worlds arcane. Amanda asks Nugent to keep at it as she fears she will need the database soon. Nugent proclaims that he has tabulated the information she provided and that after analyzing the patterns, the machine suggests the next target will be Hades itself. Off to the side of the room, Kurt is almost scared at the thought of Hades, as Amanda smiles and thanks Nugent.

Amanda enters a room where Vitchen is relaxing with Kurt and she tells her field commander that they need to prepare a expedition to Hades, to warn Mephisto. Vitchen tells Amanda as she wishes, before the guardian of Limbo announces she is weary and leaves the room. Vitchen turns to Kurt and asks him if he is no stranger to Limbo. Kurt replies that the X-Men have fought Belasco here more than once. Thinking back, Vitchen comments on how much of a tyrant Belasco was, and after him there was S’ym, who tried to rule Limbo through a technological virus. Vitchen adds that it is never less than a war in Limbo. Changing the subject, Vitchen tells Kurt that his appearance seems, in his opinion, to be at odds with the priestly outfit he was wearing when he arrived. Kurt tells Vitchen that he gets that comment a lot, though in Limbo, it is getting hard to rationalize it.

Later, in Hades, Mephisto, the Lord of Lies, sits upon his throne as two demon servants report that a battle has begun at the main gates and intruders are trying to break in. Mephisto looks up, and eyes glaring, he says, in his chilling voice, that no one comes to Hades without his permission. As he orders the servants to double the guard, a shining white light brightens up the gloomy red chamber, Amanda enters from a Stepping Disk, telling Mephisto she has come to talk not battle his gate guards.

Mephisto raises his voice and orders a group of ferocious demons to destroy Magik for her insolence. Magik fights off the demons as she tells him she came here to warn him, and raising her voice, asks for the demons to be called off. Mephisto’s form more than triples in size and holding a fireball in his hand he tells Amanda that he doesn’t think so, before shooting her with the fireball, suggesting to Magik that she never come here. Amanda dodges the flame, admitting she is tempted to agree, telling Mephisto that his welcome leaves a lot to be desired, and calling forth a Stepping Disk and her Soulsword, Amanda disappears…

… only to re-appear above Mephisto. She suggests they start over, and jumping onto Mephisto’s increased body, she leans her blade against his neck as she tells Mephisto she wants him to listen, and that if he refuses, she has no problem with giving him a compunction he will remember for a long time. Mephisto curses Amanda before asking what she wants to say. Amanda tells him just to listen, and he begins to hear a thundering sound. He asks Magik what it is and Amanda reveals that it was what she came here to warn him about, announcing that a force of great and terrible power has been unleashed upon the Splinter Realms, and that his precious kingdom is next!

Characters Involved: 

Magik II/Amanda Sefton

Nightcrawler/Kurt Wagner

Nugent and Vitchen, allies of Amanda

Duke Bleys and more of Amanda’s advisors



Gleeg, a demon from Nightmare’s realm

Random demons throughout Limbo

Story Notes: 

Amanda became the guardian of Limbo at the end of X-Men Unlimited #19, and she took the guise of the second Magik in between Excalibur #125 and X-Men: Black Sun #1. The first Magik was of course Illyana Rasputin, who was reduced to infancy at the end of the Inferno [New Mutants #73] and sadly died of the Legacy Virus in Uncanny X-Men #303.

This story is narrated by Amanda’s foster brother/lover/former teammate, Nightcrawler.

The Splinter Realms refer to the different parts of a larger Hell, all ruled by various demons and persons of power, notable among these are of course Amanda who rules Limbo and its former rulers Illyana and Belasco. Those who rule other splinters include Dormammu; Mephisto; Sattanish; Daimon Hellstrom; Umar; Pluto; Hela and Nightmare.

Nightcrawler and several other X-Men firs ended up in Limbo, when Belasco abducted Ilylana Rasputin to that dimension in Uncanny X-Men #160.

Issue Information: 
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