X-Men: Magik #4

Issue Date: 
March 2001
Story Title: 
Bound for Destruction

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

Brief Description: 

As S’ym skulks away, Amanda calls all of the other Splinter Realm rulers and their followers and they begin the war against the deadly and powerful foe. When nothing seems to stop it, the most powerful rulers combine their powers and using Amanda as a conduit, attack the creature, where Amanda learns its origin – that it was created from the magical database she had her ally Nugent make. Nightcrawler teleports back to New York and attacks the database physically, which wounds the creature back in Limbo, giving the exhausted Amanda the chance she needed to strike it down and destroy it. Afterwards, Dormammu and Mephisto say goodbye, but not before warning Amanda to take care where her ambitions lead her. Kurt tries to cheer Amanda up, and staring down at the destroyed Limbo, he manages to do so, leaving Amanda Sefton safe and Limbo in good hands.

Full Summary: 

Amanda Sefton, powerful sorceress, longtime ally to the Uncanny X-Men and member of two of the splinter X-teams, is now known as "Magik" and is the ruler of Limbo, gateway to the Splinter Realms of Hell. She stands near her foster brother, Kurt "Nightcrawler" Wagner, of the X-Men as the two former lovers just learn the Amanda’s ally Duke Bleys is actually their longtime foe, S’ym, and that his master is the mysterious foe currently wrecking destruction throughout the Splinter Realms.

Nightcrawler tries to make sense of the revelation as S’ym laughs and tells Amanda that she played right into his master’s hand by unifying the Splinter Realms so intending to destroy him, when in fact they are now all one target. Amanda gasps, after realizing what she has inadvertently done, and now the evil force that has been laying waste to the realms has reached the gates of Limbo, where they can see the demonic foe for the first time.

Magik turns to S’ym as the demon slips away via teleportation and asks him why he betrayed them adding that the enemy will consume him along with everyone else. S’ym smiles as he announces to Amanda that his new master promised to make him ruler of Limbo. Kurt asks S’ym if he really thinks something like that is going to honor a pact. S’ym mutters as he fades from sight, Amanda warning him that she will be back for him.

Amanda teleports herself through a Stepping Disk and up to the top of her citadel and Nightcrawler follows with a bamf. As the two stand atop the roof, Amanda points up towards the enormous horn, the Horn of Harrowing, which is intended to be used only in times of great need, Amanda believes that time is now. Amanda looks stern as she reveals that if the creature succeeds in conquering the Splinter Realms it will become a being of absolute power, the very reason why the Realms were splintered to begin with.

Kurt and Amanda share one last passionate embrace, they know what is at stake, before Amanda takes the Horn and sends out the signal, announcing the last stand. Kurt Wagner asks God, ‘…or someone…’ for mercy on their souls as the ground shakes with the forces of the Splinter Realms gathering. They are from all corners of the Splinter Realms, many bitter rivals forever, drawn together in this disparate time of need, though they may be the salvation of all creation, or its ultimate downfall.

Over one billion take to the battle, led by four of the most powerful beings in the Splinter Realms, and possibly all existence – the Lord of Lies; Mephisto, the enormous Satanish, the deceitful Pluto and the sultry Umar. Everyone else follows after them. Amanda Sefton stands on the balcony of her citadel still and calls out to her subjects and those of other realms, ordering them to strike in the name of all creation!

The adversary rises above the allied forces and its lethal storm ripple in the fiery winds, as if stayed by the sight of the formidable resistance. The embodiment of evil begins its onslaught, its malicious skull head leers down on the forces, its eyes glowing blood-red, and its power that destroyed all of Hades and extinguished Muspelheim, sears into Limbo. Two hundred thousand die in the first second.

The creature moves on, destroying the walls of Limbo underfoot, for it is evil and nameless, the sum of all fears and malice, it is ageless, and evil beyond understanding. Those who would normally be called villains fight it for their freedom and lives, they fight to deny it. Kurt Wagner finds a space on the main gatehouse and tests his swords against the storm-forms while the air begins to mists with blood vapor.

The Dread Dormammu stands upon a large rock, and beneath him his mindless followers fight as hard as he does along the Eastern flank, where a cyclone of magic energy ten miles wide spins around them. Mephisto commands the western side as Kurt wonders if even the Lord of Lies is accustomed to so many screams of torture and anguish around him.

Magik’s most loyal warrior and military commander, Vitchen, vanquishes one thousand storm forms before a brutal wound causes him to drop to the ground. Higher than everyone else, Amanda Sefton stands on a spire the brightest glow in all of Limbo, she shines like a star on the darkest night ever, directing all of her power into the heart of the great and terrible beast, she calls out to it; ‘What are you, creature? What evil spawned you? What are you?!’ The creatures’ eyes glow stronger…

Amanda calls out to her allies, telling them they need to bind their powers again. Nightcrawler is surprised and tells her they have enough trouble using their powers against the creature as it is. Mephisto proclaims that Magik is right, adding that they can only hope to defeat the entity if they understand its nature. Dormammu states that it will be the last time, but he and Mephisto will join their powers into one weapon. Badly wounded, Vitchen tells Amanda that whatever power he can muster belongs to her. Magik manages a small smile and thanks them all, before ordering them to focus their energies as one, focus them through her.

Blood begins to drip from Amanda’s eyes, mouth and nose as energies from the other rulers suddenly flow into her, as she acts as a conduit for the power, before casting a spell of divination and letting it emerge from her body. Amanda probes directly into the heart of the beast, and finally learns what it truly is. She collapses to the ground, exhausted, Kurt bamfs up to her as he grabs her, Amanda tells him that there is no more time, and blood trickles from her eyes, as she reveals it is all her fault.

Exhausted, Amanda manages to open a Stepping Disk for her brother and in a heartbeat, Nightcrawler is back in New York, the apartment home of Amanda’s ally, Nugent. The short man is surprised to see Nightcrawler, who offers no greeting, other than a motion towards the machine, where Kurt grabs his sword and buries it inside the machine, praying that it is enough. Kurt recalls how Amanda had Nugent build the machine as a repository device for all magical knowledge, choosing Earth as its base because it was free of ambient magical background energies.

Amanda never realized however, that the arcane "Pandora’s Box" might evolve, drawing together all of the elements of the vast eldritch data within and become something else. The archenemy of the Splinter Realms, is the offspring of a machine, an absolute force of magical evil, returning from the far future to conquer and safeguard the time of its birth. Kurt watches as it splits open along the gouges his sword made cuts in, and watches as a maelstrom of energy spills out of it.

Back in Limbo, the deadly enemy begins to falter as if it has been weakened. It drops, and before it can renew its assault, Amanda Sefton, armed with her Soulsword, are there, and she strikes the creature down, powerfully with a strong blow, and then all Hell breaks loose – literally, as the creature screams, shaking the Splinter Realms, blood spreading everywhere, adding a tainted glow to the low shimmer in Limbo.

Kurt is told that Limbo will probably burn for weeks after wards, the same amount of time it may take to bury the dead. One by one, the strange and unlikely allies begin to leave. The Dread Dormammu tells Amanda that this has all been an "education", as the mistress of Limbo thanks him, adding that it is not an experience she would choose to repeat. Mephisto fares Amanda well, adding he has a Realm to remake, but not leaving before warning Amanda to have a care about where her ambitions take her next time.

Amanda Sefton frowns as she tells Kurt that Mephisto is right, that she had the machine built because she thought it would aide her in her task, but in trying to do her job, she almost destroyed all of creation. Nightcrawler tries to comfort her by telling her that recognizing ones mistakes and putting them right is the greatest talent a leader can have. He adds that as far as everything else goes – the courage, tenacity and authority – Amanda has nothing to prove.

Amanda Sefton and Kurt Wagner stare down at what is left of Limbo, and the X-Man tells his sister that for what it is all worth, the Crossroads of Limbo and the realms it guards could not be in safer hands. Then Amanda Sefton, or Magik, or Jimaine Szardos, or Daytripper, whatever name one wants to call she who has taken in her stride a destiny she never wanted, turns to Kurt and says ‘Know what, Fuzzy Elf? You know exactly what to say to make a girl smile’. And all goes quiet in the realm of Limbo, at least, for now.

Characters Involved: 

Magik II/Amanda Sefton

Nightcrawler/Kurt Wagner

Nugent and Vitchen, allies of Amanda





And other rulers of the Splinter Realms

Random demons throughout Limbo and the Splinter Realms.


The deadly foe created from the magical database

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; Satanish; Daimon Hellstrom; Umar; Sattanna; Pluto; Hela and Nightmare.

In Ancient Greek mythology, Pandora was the first woman created, and in the most commonly known version, was the person responsible for letting all the evils loose upon the world by opening a box which contained them (well, actually it was not a box but a jar, but that’s just another inconsistency in the myth).

As of the date of writing this summary, this issue is Amanda Sefton’s final appearance, though she could have been one of the unnamed guests at the wedding of Polaris and Havok. [Uncanny X-Men #425-6]

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