Warning: Spoilers for X-Men: Curse of the Man-Thing #1
This month, Marvel Comics has confirmed that one of its most powerful X-Men, Magik, is also the god of her very own dimension: Limbo. In X-Men: Curse of the Man-Thing #1, by Steve Orlando and Andrewa Broccardo, the titular Man-Thing, formerly a misguided scientist named Theodore Sallis, is at the centre of a global attack on the planet Earth. While the Avengers battle the destructive growths, and the X-Men take a vote as to whether to get involved or not, Man-Thing/Sallis casts a spell meant for summoning the demon lord who duped him into his current nightmarish existence.
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Unfortunately, the ritual was designed to summon not Belasco, but the “Ruler of Limbo”, though the demon used to reign over the pocket hell dimension, it is now under the management of Illyana Rasputin aka Magik. Luckily for everyone involved, the contract that doomed Man-Thing/Sallis has also changed ownership, and Magik is more than willing to exercise her influence on the matter.
Much to their chagrin, both Magik and Man-Thing have a history with the one-time human sorcerer, now Hell Lord, Belasco. Theodore Sallis once summoned the demon and accepted Belasco’s offer to guarantee the success of his scientific formula “S0-2”, which ultimately led to his tragic transformation into the shambling swamp-monster Man-Thing. It was also Belasco who originally tempted and lured Magik to Limbo in the hopes of trapping her there in his stead. Things didn’t work out for him then, and teenaged Magik continues to prove herself capable of besting a centuries old demonic sorcerer, as only the ruler of Limbo can. The power the hell dimension invests in her is as awesome as it is terrible. Add to that her cunning and innate mutant abilities, and you have a being more formidable than others in the world of Marvel Comics realize.
While mutantkind is busy taking over the universe, readers now know that they’ve already conquered a piece of Marvel’s extra-planar landscape through Magik. As if being the Sorceress Supreme of Limbo wasn’t enough, Magik is also its ruler, wielding god-like power that even Doctor Strange can’t contend with. Before her, Belasco had spent countless years conquering the hell dimension until seating himself on the throne and beginning his campaign to sow chaos and ultimately return to Earth. Unlike her predecessor, however, Magik isn’t trapped in Limbo, and can move freely from one plane to another thanks to her mutant teleportation abilities. What’s more, Magik’s bond to Limbo is in a constant state of growth, and so too—in theory—is the power she can draw from it. In Captain Marvel #22, by Kelly Thompson and Lee Garbett, a future-version of Emma Frost describes the scope of Magik’s abilities as “incalculable”, sighting her ability to “both control Limbo like a god, while also running around on Earth having a relatively normal super hero life,” as an unsettling testament to her command of supernatural forces. In X-Men: Curse of the Man-Thing #1, Magik demonstrates, yet again, just how potent the combination her mutant abilities and mastery of the mystic arts really is. Not only is she instrumental in purging Earth of the vile infestation plaguing it, but she empowers Man-Thing/Sallis to defeat the villain Harrower and punish Belasco. It’s worth pointing out that she accomplishes all of this and isn’t old enough to rent a car.
Limbo may not be the most attractive realm to be the god-like ruler and Sorceress Supreme of, but the X-Men aren’t turning their nose at the authority and influence it empowers one of their own. The mystical dimensions of Marvel Comics are dark and sinister places, and not for the faint of heart. Magik may not be a paragon of virtue, but she is, without a doubt, the inheritor of unbridled power.
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