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Image by Ricardo Gomez Angel
  • Writer's pictureRock

Magik: Miss Misunderstood Mutant Mage

I hope they do right by her.

One of my personal favourite Marvel characters for DECADES has been Illyana Rasputin, Colossus' little sister that got dealt the worst of hands early on in her life. She overcame the most horrific childhood to become one of the strongest and most complex characters going at that time...

Or that's what I thought was going to happen. Instead, a series of writers kept on putting her to the side, or playing up her becoming evil, or giving her funky half-armour or some odd love interest or... or, or, or. I'm assuming they just didn't know how to write a teenage girl that had gone through SO much trauma, and so they kept getting distracted by more popular and easier to write characters.

Which is just a damn shame, because she really should resonate with so many people due to what she's gone through. An immigrant, a broken home, abused (oh, gods, she was abused, mentally most of all), she's not just deep, she's goddamn subterranean.

If you haven't read the absolutely amazing 4-issue Limited Series from 1983 (jeez, I am OLD...), then stop reading this and go. Do it now. I'll wait.

If you didn't, or just plan on it, I'll try to sum up why Illyana is such a damn strong character, a survivor of things that would have broken most full grown adults, let alone a six-year old girl.

As briefly as possible, she gets kidnapped at SIX YEARS OLD by a LITERAL demon, another dimension called Limbo. There, over the course of the four comics, she either finds out that everyone she knows is either now dead, or over the course of the books, dies. She eventually triumphs and uses her mutant power (teleportation 'discs' that let her move from Limbo back to our dimension) to get home... seven years later.

Seven. Years. In Hell (or as close to as makes little difference).

And she comes out stronger than just her mutant power, she is now an accomplished sorceress, one that rivals Dr. Strange and the Scarlet Witch in raw power. (In recent comics, I've read, she's now a teacher in Strange Academy. Which makes me REALLY want to read it.)

I have loved Ms. Rasputin since that Limited Series. Her struggles spoke to me, as I'm sure we've all felt lost, alone, abandoned, forsaken by friends and family, at one point or another in our lives (even if we actually weren't, we've all FELT like we have been). I hated seeing her shunted aside time and time again, or being made to seem almost a villain at times for her darker side. It always struck me as the worst kind of victim blaming when her survival should have been celebrated and held up as an example of people being bent to almost breaking, but still managing to make it through.

Jake Solomon, the Creative Director at Firaxis, has said that (like me) Magik is one of his all-time favourite characters. As a fellow unashamed fan-boy of Illyana, I am excited and hopeful that she'll finally get a portrayal deserving of her story.

- Rock

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