Thursday, February 12, 2015

In the Know: Magik

Marvel has announced a new Inferno series from Dennis Hopeless and Javier Garron, spinning out of Marvel's upcoming mega-event Battleworld.  The series will feature Colossus on a quest to save his sister Illyana, at the same time that Illyana,better known as X-Man Magik, is busy indulging in her badassery in this Hell-on-Earth.  So, what better time to get acquainted with Magik?  I love this part of the X-Men universe.

Essential Reading

X-Men: Inferno (Louise Simonson, Chris Claremont, Steve Engelhart, Gerry Conway, Ann Nocenti, Walter Simonson and various) - When Magik leads her fellow New Mutants on a routine trip to Limbo, they find themselves trapped, and Illyana is tricked into opening a portal to Earth that allows hordes of demons to descend upon Manhattan.  Her soul is on the line, as her final transformation into the demonic Darkchylde is close at hand.

Magik: Illyana and Storm (Chris Claremont, John Buscema and various) - A four issue mini-series that explains Illyana's sudden growth from a child to a young adult in the pages of X-Men, in which she spends seven years in Limbo, raised by the demon Belasco, her soul compromised, and gifted with magical properties.

Recommended Reading

Excalibur: Soul Sword Trilogy (Warren Ellis, Terry Dodson and various) - You can find this story collected in Excalibur Visionaries: Warren Ellis (Volume 1).  Illyana has died of The Legacy Virus and has passed her legendary Soulsword on to her best friend, Kitty Pryde, who begins to act strangely.  Several different interested parties from the magical corners of the Marvel Universe converge to take control of the weapon.  This story features Amanda Sefton, Nightcrawler's sorceress girlfriend, who will eventually become the next Magik in the X-Men: Black Sun mini-series.  Although to really see the fallout from this storyline, you have to read Excalibur's confrontation with Margali Szardos and Belasco in Limbo in X-Men Unlimited #19 (and I recommend reading Excalibur: London Burning before picking that up).

New X-Men: Quest For Magik (Christopher Yost & Skottie Young) and X-Infernus (C.B. Cebulski & Giuseppe Camuncoli) - Amanda Sefton is driven out of Limbo by Belasco, who has stolen the Soulsword from her.  Belasco also resurrected Illyana, as he is in love with her, although he ultimately deems her resurrection a failure, as she appears soulless. Illyana reclaims her mantle as Magik, while proving just how dark and untrustworthy her demon nature makes her, and confronts the current owner of her soul (in the form of her Bloodstone amulet), Belasco's daughter Witchfire.

Further Reading

X-Men: Magik (Andy Lanning, Dan Abnett and Liam McCormick-Sharp) - Amanda Sefton, as Magik, conquers Limbo alongside her boyfriend Nightcrawler, stopping the likes of Mephisto, Nightmare and Dormammu from their attempts to invade Earth.

Exiles #22-45 (Exiles: Legacy, Exiles: Unnatural Instincts, Exiles: Fantastic Voyage and Exiles: A Blink in Time) - The Magik of Earth-4210 was a wild card member of the team of dimension-jumping characters, and possibly the most bad-ass and memorable.

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