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Sunday, October 30, 2016

Illyana Rasputin Magik Key Comics Part 3

We are finally at Part 3. We'll finally for me.

This Illyana Rasputin Magik key comics series has taken me a lot more time than expected, but then again I think I've put in quite a bit of information considering. I had to drop the other five requests just to focus on one, and since this was requested while I was already working on it, I figured I'll just have to focus on one and move onto the next.

So in Part 1 & 2, I discussed a bit about Newsstands Canadian Newsstand price variants, and Direct Editions during the 80s. I do not think every title got a Direct Edition during the early 80s or a Newsstand Edition during the later 80s to the present.

I won't be talking about Newsstands in Part 3 at all or whatsoever, and I'll be wrapping it up with this series at least for the meantime. Alright, click this Part 2 link if you missed it. Let's wrap this up.

1st Amanda Sefton as Magik

She was once known as Daytripper, but in this comic, we see the character obtain the Soulsword from Kitty Pryde and become the new Magik. Amanda Sefton is the 2nd character to take up the mantle, and this comic was part of a limited 5 issue series.

She even becomes the new ruler of Limbo while Illyana is...err...supposedly dead. Apparently when Amanda assumes the Magik mantle, it becomes unclear if Illyana's teleportation powers are mutant-related since Amanda can also control the stepping discs and they're somehow linked to Limbo instead.

Gotta love new changes. Okay, not really.  

Amanda would later be dethroned when Illyana returns in the New X-Men volume 2 comic series. She falls from Limbo and states that he's coming back, and the "he" refers to Belasco.

There is also a Dynamic Forces variant cover by Jae Lee that's exclusive to 5,000 copies. Regular cover to this issue has an estimated print run of roughly around 60,782 and is by Vince Evans. November, 2000 is the cover date for X-Men: Black Sun #1.

1st appearance of House of M Illyana Rasputin
1st appearance of House of M Hellions
Magik joins Hellions

During the events of House of M which Scarlet Witch basically screws up the entire Marvel Universe and depowers tons of mutants, Illyana returns as a regular recurring character in comics. So in the House of M reality of Earth-58163, Illyana is a member of the Hellions, and the team is overseen by S.H.I.E.L.D.

She is revived during the House of M, but when reality returned to normal, the character disappeared again. She would not be in this continuity for very long, but she would be resurrected.

Reguar cover estimated print run of this issue is roughly around 44,842. There is a 2nd printing, but not sure of variants.

New X-Men #16 volume 2 has the cover date of September, 2005.

Begins return of Illyana

In New X-Men #38, somehow Illyana is once again back in Limo as the Darkchild, but she is soulless. Belasco could feel that Illyana was alive during the House of M event, and he searches across Limbo for his apprentice.

This story arc which begins with this issue to issue #41 and would then be continued in X-Men: Divided We Stand #2 and then in the X-Infernus limited series.

In the New X-Men series, Darkchild realizes that Pixie is the most innocent and pure of souls and wants to use her soul to create a new Soulsword since the Darkchild cannot. Once again, back to the soulless part.

However, the process is disturbed and only one Bloodstone and a Souldagger is created, resulting in black magic filling the hole in her soul left behind in the knife's creation. Pixie is no longer innocent as well.

Magik as the Darkchild sends Pixie back to save her friends and students, and she stabs and kills Belasco with the Souldagger. After this, Magik still wants to use Pixie's soul to create more Bloodstones, but her brother Colossus appears.

Disgusted with herself, she teleports the students back to the Xavier Institute. Her brother pleads to let him help her, but she refuses and sends him back, sealing off all portals to Limbo (New X-Men #41).

New X-Men #38 volume 2 has the cover date of July, 2007. It marks the beginning of Illyana returning to mainstream comics and continuity.

Illyana Rasputin returns to Earth

Darkchilde or Darkchylde in this series is the 2nd comic title and limited series devoted to Illyana Rasputin. The X-Men are supporting characters in this comic series. 

In this series, she is determined to find her soul and reclaim it even if that means conquering Earth. While New X-Men #38 and #41 set up Illyana's return to Marvel continuity, this series definitely sees the return of Illyana Rasputin by issue #4.

So Illyana goes on a rampage in order to reclaim her soul and find her Soulsword. Belasco is dead by this time, but Witchfire takes over his role, and as his daughter, becomes the adversary to Illyana in this series.

Unfortunately, at the end of this limited 4 issue series, Illyana does not recover her soul and Pixie ends up losing more of hers.  In the end, she teleports them back to the X-Men compound and tries to teleport back but is convinced to stay.

Magik does find her Soulsword, but Witchfire escapes with the Bloodstones that contain Illyana's soul. Regular cover to X-Infernus #1 has an estimated print run of 48,410. There is a 1:20 Incentive Retailer cover by J. Scott Campbell. That may put the variant cover around 2,400 or 2,500.

Welcome back to Earth, Magik! Both covers are pretty cool but I do like the regular Darkchylde one better.

Here are the covers and variant covers to issue #2-4. X-Infernus #1 has the cover date of February, 2009.

Rejoins New Mutants

Illyana as Magik fully rejoins the X-Men world in this issue and rejoins the New Mutants again. Her old team mates of Cannonball, Karma, Sunspot, and Magma also rejoin the team as the X-Men's New Mutant squad though the team members aren't so new anymore.

Magik or Illyana Rasputin would once again be a recurring member of the New Mutants in this series, but she would leave around issue #29 and join the X-Men's Extinction team.

There are two regular covers to this issue. I think this is the 1B but not sure. Conflicting info when it comes to that but this is the Alex Ross cover. I'm also not sure if this was a split or a 50/50 split with the Adam Kubert cover shown above.

Marvel's site does say that the Alex Ross cover is a 50/50. Anyway, the print run estimate is roughly around 55,734. Not sure if that's just for the Kubert cover or the total of both the Kubert and Ross covers. Gonna have to ask about that.

There is a 1:25 variant by Bob McLeod. This variant could be around 2,200 or 2,300. When it comes to the other limited variant by Benjamin, I have no idea just how limited it is.

McLeod 1:25 variant | Wizard World Philly Dynamic Forces variant

There is the Wizard World Philly partial sketch cover that's limited to around 1,600 roughly, and the Dynamic Forces Alex Ross cover limited to only 699. Ay, caramba!

July, 2009 is the cover date to New Mutants #1 volume 3.

1st appearance of Extinction Team
Magik joins Extinction Team

After the events of Schism written by Paul Jenkins, the X-Men split into two different factions. The team led by Wolverine leaves Utopia and some of the team stay with Cyclops.

I believe this comic series is still affected by the aftermath of House of M where 99.9% of the mutant population is gone due to Scarlet Witch. The Extinction Team was a crisis prevention team that was formed to defeat any threat posed to man or mutants.

The members are the heavy hitters of those who sided with Cyclops on the philosophical differences he and Wolverine had. Magik joins the team in this issue.

Regular cover is estimated roughly at 109,911. There's a 1:25 limited retailer incentive cover by Frank Cho that might be around 4,000 to 4,300 estimated copies, and a 1:15 cover by Dale Keown that might be roughly around 7,000 copies.

1:15 Dale Keown variant | 1:25 Frank Cho variant
January, 2012 is the cover date for Uncanny X-Men #1 volume 2.

1st appearance of Phoenix Five
Magik becomes Phoenix

Things get even more hairy for the character of Magik and the X-Men. Looks like the Phoenix Force splits it's powers among five mutants.

The lucky mutants are Cyclops, Magik, Colossus, Emma Frost, and Namor. Each of the five Phoenix Five would reshape the world into a more peaceful place, but they would also be corrupted as well.

Namor would invade Wakanda. Emma Frost would kill someone who murdered a mutant long ago. In the end, the sole avatar of the Phoenix would only to go to one member.

Don't want to give away too much in case someone out there is actually interested in reading the comic event. The Phoenix Five isn't a group that lasts long, and therefore Magik isn't part of the group or a Phoenix avatar for long either.

Quite a lot of variants for this one, and the regular cover had a pretty big print run with roughly 186,555. There is the 1:200 sketch variant of the 1:100 retailer incentive cover which would put the 1:200 around 900 or 1,000. The 1:100 would be around 1,800 to 2,000, and both covers are by Roger Stegman.

1:25 Keown variant | partial sketch covers | Stegman 1:100 & 1:200 sketch variant

There's also a 1:25 cover by Dale Keown and the estimated print run is around 7,000 to 7,500. There are even partial sketch variants of this cover, but have no idea what the print run is remotely around for those.

August, 2012 is the cover date for Avengers vs. X-Men #5.

Illyana absorbs Limbo

Part of the Marvel Now deal, Dormammu takes on Magik and brings her and the X-Men team back to Limbo. In this issue, she ends up absorbing all of Limbo, making demons and it's magical creatures disappear. She holds the entirety of Limbo within herself, and by the end of the issue she seeks Doctor Strange's help to learn more about magic and help better control her Darkchilde persona. Strange agrees to her request.

This story is continued from issue #6 in which Dormammu informs that Illyana destroys Limbo bit by bit every time she uses her magical powers. Regular cover has an estimated print run of about 73,719.

Limited 1:20 variant cover by Ronnie Del Carmen. Estimated print run for this retailer incentive might be around 3,600.

Uncanny X-Men #7 volume 3 has the cover date of August, 2013.

When it comes to the most recent stuff and all the reboots of the Marvel Universe, I get headaches trying to remotely even understand what's going on. Marvel Now, All-New All-Different Marvel, and then bringing back Marvel Now after another huge Marvel event?

It gets a bit much, and just one of the other various reasons I have little to no interest in reading the new stuff. In terms of the character of Magik, she appears as a recurring character in most X-titles including All New X-Men, Uncanny X-Men volume 3, and Extraordinary X-Men.

In terms of the character of Amanda Sefton, she first debuts in X-Men #98 from the 1st series. She joins Exalibuer and first appeared as Daytripper in Excalibur #75 volume 1, and she did have her first four issue limited series as the character of Magik back in 2000-2001. 

X-Men #98 1st Amanda Sefton | Excalibur #1 1st Daytripper | Magik 1 2000 series

Alright, I'm gonna stop here with Part 3. This has taken me an amazing amount of time to complete. Hope you enjoyed and see ya back here for more comic mayhem. Good luck hunting or dumping!

Illyana Rasputin Magik Key Comics Part 2

Part 2 to this Illyana Rasputin key comics as well as Magik key comics series. There are two characters that do take up the name.

Once again, this was requested and for fans of the character. Even if you're not really a fan of the character, I will talk about Newsstand and Direct Market comics in this Part 2 as well, so if you're interested in Newsstands, you might want to read it anyway.

You can click this Part 1 link if you missed it. Other than that, here's Part 2 to the series.

1st appearance of N'Astirh

Another demon from Limbo, N'Astirh makes his 1st appearance in this comic and would be a recurring character and foe of Illyana as well as the X-Men sometimes. TOther than his exploits combating the X-Men and Illyana, N'Astirh was also responsible for the creation of the Demogoblin when he sent a demon to possess the Hobgoblin.

In the world of Magik, he is one of the demons who is tries to become ruler of Limbo or at least tries to hinder Illyana in some way. He was once the underling of Belasco and was passed up as a potential apprentice and ruler of Limbo.

When Belasco was exiled from Limbo by Illyana in the Magik comic series, N'Astirh steals his masters book of spells and flees Limbo. He would return as a master of sorcery himself.

Not a huge or major villain for the X-Men, but this character is definitely more tied to Illyana and the whole Limbo thing. After all, Illyana has been ruler of Otherplace since she exiled Belasco. September, 1988 is the cover date for X-Factor #32.

2nd full appearance as Darkchilde?

In Secret Wars II, we get a one panel look at Illyanna Rasputin as Darkchilde, the dark and demonic persona that Belasco corrupted her soul with. The Beyonder or a humanoid manifestation draws forth this demonic essence as it's clearly stated in the actual comic.

This is the scene in Secret Wars II #1 and clearly a cameo.

From Secret Wars II #1 cover date July, 1985.

After she fully turns into Darkchilde, Illyana escapes to Limbo and teleports the New Mutants there as well. This issue continues the story after that event in Secret Wars II #1, and she shows up in 10 panels on two pages which should be good enough for a first full appearance.

Here's the full page panel of Illyana as Darkchild from this very issue.

In her madness, the New Mutants try to battle her or find a way to stop her from destroying the place as well as them. Only until Kitty gets a hold of her Soulsword and hits her with it does the madness stop since the Soulsword does disrupt magic and magical beings.

Of course, the whole Darkchild thing would be a recurring theme and important to the character. Illyana would still continue to struggle in suppressing this corrupt part of her soul. 

She would once again become the Darkchild in New Mutants #71 in which she looks very different and more demonic in that issue than in this one.

From New Mutants #71 - Illyana as Darkchilde

There are Newsstands and Direct market versions of this comic as well. By 1986, Marvel distribution was roughly about half and half, meaning 50% Newsstand and 50% Direct Market.

With things being roughly half and half in the market during that time, which is the regular cover and which is the variant? Is it Direct Market or Newsstand?

Just an interesting question to bring up concerning Newsstands when it comes to this market's fascination with labeling most everything "variants" nowadays. I already see some labeling Newsstands from this era as variants on good ole eBay. 

They are getting more recognized, especially for Copper Age comics which still mainly holds the old perception of over-printing that still holds some sway in the minds of those who lived through the 90s comic crash. This perception may change when it comes to Newsstand copies in the 80s, especially later 80s.

What is clear about this issue is that there is a Canadian 75 cent price variant for this comic.

Kinda strange since the Direct Market covers also had the Canadian and UK pence prices on them. However, in later 80s comics, they would do away with the Canadian price variants and just combine it with the regular U.S. Newsstands for some or most copies.

However, there would be Newsstand Canadian copies that would run to 95 cents and even a $1.00 for some titles later on. Not too sure about New Mutants though. 

If the sources are correct, they may have stopped the Canadian price variants with issue #42 for the New Mutants comic series. New Mutants #30 has the cover date of August, 1985.

Sacrifices magic
Leaves team

So in New Mutants #71 through #73, Illyana finally manifests into the Darkchilde again. Limbo's demons are sent forth to Earth by N'astirh when Illyana opens a huge teleportation disc that connects Limbo to Earth.

Embracing her Darkchilde persona, Illyana and the New Mutants fight the horde of demons and Illyana decides that the only way to end the demonic invasion is to go back to Limbo and assume rule. She is talked out of it by Rahne Sinclair or Wolfsbane, and Illyana instead gives up her magic by creating another massive stepping disc and banishing all of Limbo's demons back where they came from.

She also throws her Soulsword in the disc to seal it shut. Somehow, Illyana reverts back to the age before she ever went to limbo and is a child once again. Because there was a mystical bond between Illyana and the Kitty Pryde of Limbo, the Soulsword would eventually be passed to Kitty Pryde of Earth in the Excalibur comics.

Illyana would again become just a background character since she is but a kid again. After New Mutants #77, she stopped appearing regularly in the titled series.

It's depicted after the events of Illyana giving up her magic and becoming a child again that she no longer speaks or understands English. So, she becomes a cute little kid again, and will appear infrequently here and there in a few X-titles.

By X-Men #17 (1991) series or volume 2, she is seen living with her parents back in Russia. This is a 1989 comic, but by 1990, the Direct Market distribution had become dominant at roughly 85% of the market.

Newsstands were then 15% of the market. 1989 might be the same or close to 15%. This is clearly the time where Newsstands have become the variants of Direct Market since Direct Market is the norm and publishers geared copies more towards that market.

Also by during the time, the price boxes were relatively the same. No more diamonds or "M" shaped white boxes on a black background. 

Canadian prices were put on the Newsstand copies a long with the U.S. prices. Direct Market copies did include all three -  the UK pence price and Canadian price a long with the U.S. price.

New Mutants #73 has the cover date of March, 1989.

1st appearance of Witchfire
1st appearance of 2nd Gamma Flight team 
1st Silver, Auric, & Nemesis 

The character of Witchfire first showed up alongside the 2nd incarnation of the Gamma Flight team. Her real name is Ananym, and she is the daughter of the demon Belasco.

The character would become a foe to Magik in the X-Infernus comic series. The character would try to regain control of Limbo and destroy Magik.

I am not sure what is up with this issue. It seems like this is the Direct Market version. I have no not seen any covers without the UPC, so not sure if there is a Newsstand for this comic.

Witchfire is a former superhero turned super-villain and her first appearance in Alpha Flight #76 has the cover date of November, 1989.

Death of Nikolia Rasptuin
Death Alexandra Rasputin

By this time, Illyana has gone back to live with her parents in Russia. Colossus and some of the team visit his family there.

As governments usually do, the Russian government learns that Illyana is powerful and want to use her as a weapon. In kidnapping her, they kill Colossus and Illyana's parents.

So a Colossus and Illyana key issue. Don't think the parents come back, but Colossus and Illyana sure would in comics. There are both Direct and Newsstand editions for this comic.

April, 1993 is the cover date for X-Men #18 volume 2.

Died from Legacy Virus

The Legacy Virus first appeared in X-Force #18 and in issues Uncanny X-Men #300 we learn that Illyana has contracted the virus. This issue here sees the death of Ilyanna, and she is still a little girl.

Since Jubilee is a newb and doesn't know of Illyana's past, she is confused as to why Kitty Pryde and Illyana are so close even though one is so much older. So Jean Grey explains Illyana's past and how Kitty and Illyana were roommates at Xavier's School for the Gifted when she came back from Limbo.

Even though, this issue shows the character dying, we all know about comic deaths. Illyana would appear in flashbacks throughout much of the 90s.
She would, of course, be brought back in later comics, but this is one of the more heartfelt stories of the era. In terms of Newsstands, they are variants of the Direct Market version by this time.

Some Direct Editions have a UPC code that states what it is and some still have the UPC box with an image. Unlike the X-Men #18 example before this one, this Direct version has it stated on the UPC box while the Newsstand doesn't say anything in the UPC code box. This book came out in 1993 and by 1990 the Newsstand market was roughly 15% and then 10% of the market by 1995. To be safe, I'd stick with 15%, but that is still a lower print run.

I am not saying these are more rare when it comes to Newsstands. This is during the 90s speculation boom and it is an Uncanny X-Men comic, which were highly popular during the time. I will say that they are lower in print. Higher grades might be low in numbers out there.

There is also the Pressman variant which has an estimate quantity of around 1,000 copies only. They either came with the 1990 X-Men board game or you had to send in a mail away voucher. 

I am not sure which for this issue. I've displayed all three covers just in case and so you can see the differences yourself, and remember that you can click on the images to see a larger version of them.

Pressman is pretty easy to recognize. August, 1993 is the cover date for Uncanny X-Men #303.

Alright, we've learned a little more about Illyanna as Magik and a bit more about Newsstands if you didn't know much about them before. Once again, the percentages are rough data and provided by Chuck Rozanski of Mile High Comics.

He's been in the game for quite a long, long time. Also Jim Shooter has talked about the subject on his own personal website and has endorsed Chuck as being quite knowledgeable on the subject. 

In terms of my own research on Newsstands and Direct Market during the 80s, I am still working on it and that is becoming quite a project.

The whole Magik and Limbo thing is not easy thing to crack if you don't know much about the character like yours truly. Many of these aren't exactly the most cared about comics or key issues currently, but some do bring a shift to the character's over-all arc.

The comics where she is resurrected get a bit confusing as well, but that will be saved for Part 3. Just click the link below to continue. See ya then and enjoy the weekend.

Illyana Rasputin Magik Key Comics Part 1

I know I haven't published anything in awhile, but believe me, it wasn't like I wasn't doing anything. So this key issue series was requested, and I've been quite backlogged on the requests.

I am going to talk a bit about Newsstands and Direct Markets in this series since the era for this character is pretty much during the time. It will not be a full look, and I am working on that as well.

Purely for fans of the character who are interested in the evolution of the character, and although I thought this one would be a quickie, it turns out that I once again went over-board to provide as much info as I can.

Alright, here we go with some Magik and sorcery X-Men style.

1st appearance of new X-Men team
1st appearance of Illyana Rasputin
1st Colossus, Storm, & Nightcrawler
1st Thunderbird & 2nd full Wolverine

Colossus' sister Illyana first appeared along with her brother in this issue when Xavier goes around the world and recruits new mutants to join the X-Men. She is the youngest of three siblings and is a mutant who can travel through time and interstellar distances through what's called "stepping discs".

Basically, her mutant power is a teleporter, and her early appearances in comics are of her as a little girl. Here is her introduction into the the world of comics and the X-Men.

She really doesn't appear all that much in this issue, and only appears on 2 pages and in 6 panels. According to other comic examples like Gambit in Uncanny X-Men Annual #14 who appears on five pages and is identifiable in 5 panels, I think this 1st should be considered a minor 1st appearance as well. However, in her next appearances, Illyana doesn't show up enough in the comics to warrant a 1st full appearance until Uncanny X-Men #160.

So, tough call and hard to pinpoint what industry will consider her 2nd appearance. This comic is obviously sought-out more for the 1st appearance of the new X-Men team in comics as well as the 1st Storm, Colossus, and Nightcrawler. 

To be honest, I'm not even sure if the 2nd full Wolverine appearance has really made any impact on the desirability of this book. Giant-Size X-Men #1 has the cover date of May, 1975.

1st time Illyana is named

When it comes to Illyana's appearances it's tricky. She does show up briefly here and there in issues after Giant-Size X-Men but is not seen much at all.

This is the 2nd time the character is seen in comics a single panel, and it's over 6 years after her 1st in GSX #1. She is not physically in the story, however. Her face pops up in kind of a reminiscent scene as shown in the image below.

Miss Locke further identifies her as Colossus' sister to clue in us readers. Only panel she really shows up in, but her first name is finally revealed in this issue.

The story plot beginning with this issue runs to issue #148, and after the events, Illyanna stays in the U.S. with the X-Men for safety reasons obviously since she was easily kidnapped by enemies of the mutant team.

So, this issue does set up the character to be more a part of the X-Men world, and her character will evolve as a result.

This is an early 80s comic that came out in 1981 during the early stages of the Direct Market, so there are also Newsstand copies and Direct copies for this issue. Newsstand copies during the early 80s are not rare, but there is a higher chance that they are less abundant in 9.6 and 9.8 grades. At least, that's the on-going theory.

At least from this time and before the later 80s when Direct Market distribution dominated the comic market, I think it's ridiculous to call Newsstand copies "variants" of Direct Market copies. It's actually the other way around during the early to mid 80s. 

Other than that, this really isn't a huge key over-all or in the grande scheme of the X-Men or Marvel Comics, but for the character, it is of importance. If you're not into the whole cameo, brief, full or physically in the actual story appearance-type thing, then this is the 2nd time we see the character in comics.

May, 1981 is the cover date for Uncanny X-Men #145.

1st appearance of Belasco

When it comes to the origin and mythos of Illyana, Belasco is a very important character. After all, he is the one who kidnaps the youngin' and tries to make her his apprentice.

Not in this comic, but in pretty soon. He is a demon and ruler of Limbo.

He would face the X-Men here and there, but he is known for turning the character into Magik and the Darkchild or Darkchilde, so this 1st appearance goes on here.

Direct Market version has no UPC box. Not even sure if this issue has a Newsstand version or not or at least could not find any examples. 

Belasco's 2nd appearance would be in the next issue of this series. Ka-Zar the Savage #11 has the cover date of February, 1982.

1st appearance of Limbo?
1st appearance of Sym
Illyana's 1st time in Limbo
3rd appearance Belasco
1st appearance as Magik? 

As mentioned before, Illyana does show up in comics prior to this one but they are very brief. Most of the time she shows up in less than 6 panels and on less than 3 pages.

In Uncanny X-Men #148, she shows up in 5 panels on a single page, and in Uncanny X-Men #153 she shows up in 4 panels on 2 pages. Issue #154 she only shows up in 2 panels on one page, and in issue #158, she only appears in 3 panels on 2 pages.

For the character of Illyana, this is an important issue that would eventually set up the character as Magik. This is the 1st time she travels to Limbo, and as most fans know, it is in this Limbo where she trains as a sorcerer, though not shown in this issue. Her training as a sorcerer in Limbo would be revealed in another comic title and series around a year later after this comic.

This Limbo is confusing. At the time this comic book came out, this Limbo had no reference or distinction with the Immortus' Limbo in the Doctor Strange mythos. Belasco is the ruler of this Limbo in the X-Men comics, and the two have been categorized as different in the Deluxe Edition handbooks and Excalibur comics, so I believe this is the 1st appearance of the Limbo that Illyana Rasputin is connected to.

However, in much later comics, Dormammu pulls the entire X-Men team into Limbo planning to kill them in front of Magik. After defeating Dormammu, Magik does seek the help of Doctor Strange to learn more about magic, so there might be a connection when it comes to Limbo. Not sure about this being the 1st appearance of Limbo.

At the end of this issue, Illyana comes back from Limbo older. Illyana shows up in 12 panels on 7 pages, more than enough to consider her more than just a background character.

The underling of Belasco known as Sym also makes his first appearance in this issue. Sym is a demon of Limbo and is a frequent foe of Illyana Rasputin. Uncanny X-Men #160 has the cover date of August, 1982.

1st appearance of the Soulsword
Rogue joins team

Alright, Rogue joining the X-Men really doesn't have much to do with Illyana's character, but the Soulsword does. Most growing up during the Copper Age and reading the New Mutants know that the Soulsword was an identifiable weapon that Magik used quite often.

This sword is a physical manifestation of Magik's....well, magic powers. It can break spells, harm magical creatures and objects and can augment one's magical powers if they wield it. In this first appearance it is shown that it can harm Kitty Pryde when she is phasing.

Illyana created the sword during her time in Limbo, and even though the sword first appears here in this issue, it's origin would be revealed and explained in the Magik limited comic book series.

So a significant key issue for two mutant characters in the world of the X-Men. There is a Direct Market cover as well as a 75 cent Canadian Price Variant. Well, at least, that's what they're being referred to nowadays.

During the time, Canada had a smaller population than the United States. Actually, there was a huge disparity. The U.S. had over 200 million in 1986 compared to Canada's 26 million and then some.

This would mean that the comic market was much smaller in Canada, and common sense would dictate that these Canadian Price Variants were printed and shipped to Canada in much smaller numbers. The word out there is that it was less than 10% of the total North American comic market at least for Marvel Comics.

I'm not trying to pimp them, but just giving you some info on the subject so you can come to your own conclusions. If you wanna read more about it, there's a pretty good site you can check out by clicking this link.

CGC and CBCS both recognize these Canadian Editions, but they are price variants since comics before the 80s were priced the same for U.S. and Canadian buyers. Uncanny X-Men #171 has the cover date of July, 1983.

1st self-titled comic series
Origin of Magik
1st full Illyana as Darkchild (#4)

Once again, setting up the character to eventually become Magik, this limited series is the first self-titled comic book for the character of Illyana and explains her 7 years in the realm of Limbo. While Uncanny X-Men #160 depicted her going to Limbo, it never really detailed what happened while she was there.

The short and thick of it is that Belasco and the Limbo version of Storm trained her in magic. Belasco corrupted a part of Illyana's soul to create the bloodstones in order to free himself from Limbo.

I figured that since the title has her superhero code name and it is the origin of how she essentially becomes Magik, the series would be the 1st appearance of her as Magik. Not the case apparently and the character's 1st appearance as Magik is considered to still be in the New Mutants comic series.

So this limited series reveals what happened to Illyana in Limbo and how she learns magic and how her soul is corrupted and in danger of turning into the Darkchilde. I think the concept of the character in Limbo as a TV series would actually be kinda cool, but then one would have to switch out the Limbo version of Storm and Kitty Pryde.

There are Newsstands for all four issues, and the price box for the Direct Editions are different. They contain the letter M in a black box instead of the Diamond. 

Canadian and UK pence prices were on the Direct Market copes but not on the U.S. Newsstands for this issue. That would later change and both U.S. and Canadian prices would appear on Newsstand copies later.

However, there is a 75 cent Canadian Price variant Newsstand edition. Those just have the 75 cent price on them. 

I am going to talk more about Magik #4. As mentioned before, I am definitely no expert on the character of Magik or her as Darkchild.

I was wrong about it before and after reading Kevin's arguments about why this is her first full Darkchild appearance, I am convinced Magik #4 is it. Nothing sophisticated about it really which is a sigh of relief because Illyana Rasputin as Magik isn't so cut and dry when it comes to her as Magik.

First, she has the horns and a tail and clearly shown on the cover. The name of the comic's story is actually called Darkchild, and she does transform partly. I only say partly because her later appearances as Darkchild had goat legs of sort.

I don't know if that aspect of her form is significant or means a fuller transformation or what. Maybe someone else does. Here's how it goes down in Magik #4.

We see a sort of mystical implication in the above panels here. Something like this did occur in Magik #1 and that also showed Belasco corrupting a part of her soul and turning it into the 1st bloodstone.

There are three panels that show a Darkchild-like appearance in Magik #1. Not sure if it's enough to be considered a straight first or not. Anyway, then we actually see her turning into Darkchild while battling Belasco.

There's her first turning into Darkchild, and it's explained that she is kind of absorbing his demonic essence.

She even refers to herself as Darkchild. This issue also does see the origin of the Soulsword as well. 

Anyway, Magik #1 has the cover date of December, 1983 but the entire series is the origin of how she becomes Magik.

1st appearance as Magik?
Joins New Mutants

I do find it strange that sources are saying this is the first appearance of Illyana Rasputin as Magik when the character actually had a self-titled comic series named "Magik" that came out before this issue. After reading this issue, I'm not even entirely sure what really designates this character as a 1st appearance as Magik.

I didn't really see her being referred to or called by that name by anyone, but whatever. Although Illyana is seen in New Mutants #1, this comic is noted as when she joins the team as the character of Magik by quite a few sources.

Since I'm not entirely sure or really an expert on the character to pull a reasonable rebuttal out of my ass, I won't question it too much.

From this issue on, she is a regular character of the New Mutants and joins the team in their adventures. Then again, the story of this issue is called "Do you believe in...Magik?"

But then again, the limited series that came before this comic was titled "Magik". She is referred to as the name in issue #21. Within that issue and near the end, they have a section that has character profiles for some of the team, and her bio-like page is one that introduces her as Magik.

To be honest, I would actually consider the character's first as Magik in Uncanny X-Men #160 when she comes back from Limbo aged. A few reasons for this.

As most know, the character would de-age in later comics and not know of magic or whatever happened to her in Limbo during the late 80s and early 90s. Essentially, she would revert back to a child, so if her character as Magik is connected to her time in Limbo or coming back from Limbo as a teen, her first appearance as Magik should be the issue that sees this

Once again, not an expert or remotely one on this character so not even gonna try to figure it out. 75 cent Canadian price variants for this issue do exist as well.

April, 1984 is the cover date of New Mutants #14.

1st full appearance of Eldritch Armor

So the more Illyana summons her Soulsword, an eldritch armor would begin to cover her body, starting with her left arm and shoulder as seen in this very issue. This armor would eventually cover more and more of the character's body in further issues.

New Mutants #19 did first see this magical armor, but in this issue we fully see it and it is revealed as armor. The previous issue shows bits and pieces of it and quite briefly. The whole armor motif would eventually give the character a definite distinct look and start to show a lot more in later issues whenever she summons her Soulsword.

October, 1984 is the cover date for New Mutants #20, and there are Direct Market copies and Canadian Price variants for this one. Most likely 75 cent Canadian price variants.

Surprisingly, there will be a Part 2 to this series. While Magik's origin was told in the entire Magik series, the origin of the Soulsword was in issue #4. 

Alright, quick outro, and Part 2 is already ready. See ya there!