Not many years ago, Illyana Rasputin was nothing more than a sad memory. Our ‘Little Snowflake’, Colossus’ beautiful little sister, had died in a heart-wrenching issue, one of the many victims of the Legacy Virus.
Then, in 2007’s New X-Men #37, things changed. In this tremendous issue, the precognitive Blindfold told a tale, and reminded everyone of Illyana Rasputin’s history. I’ll let Blindfold serve as our guide:
This is one of the little-realised consequences of the ‘House of M‘; events were set in motion that twisted reality upside-down, and Belasco saw his chance to rule Limbo once more. He unseated Amanda Sefton from Limbo, and – believing that the young X-Men knew where Illyana was – he kidnapped them. So began the superb plotline ‘Quest for Magik’! (Boy, I still miss that New X-Men series – I loved those characters!)
That was when we met the Darkchilde.
Hatching a plan that required a Soul Dagger (courtesy of Pixie), this fragment of Illyana – crafted by dark magic – waged war against Belasco. She wound up ruler of Limbo, but still desperately sought her missing soul, the Soulsword forged all those years ago by Belasco. And so Illyana’s story continued in the X-Infernus miniseries in 2008, with Darkchilde learning that the Soulsword had been hidden away inside of Nightcrawler. When Darkchilde got her hands on the Soulsword, she was transformed!
Still missing a lot of her soul, Illyana returned to the X-Men, and played a key role in the ongoing New Mutants plotlines. Ultimately, she launched a terrifying plan to recover her soul, one that risked destruction for the entire world.
Understandably, Cyclops didn’t trust her; he kept her prisoner, but used her as a resource. During the Fear Itself plotline, Illyana was sent to bargain with Cyttorak to hold back the Juggernaut; Colossus would become a host for Cyttorak’s power. It was eventually revealed that Illyana could have freed him all along, but wanted him to truly know that she was a monster.
During AvX, Illyana became one of the hosts of the Phoenix Force. It was eventually revealed that, due to her bond with Limbo, this had caused chaos; Dormammu had taken on a position of power. Illyana was left with only one option; she drew the entire realm of Limbo within her, the power of an entire reality contained within her human frame!
What does tomorrow have in store for Magik? In ‘Battle of the Atom‘, the future Jean Grey mocked that she would commit suicide, and that her mind would be forever unstable; but we also saw hints that she and her brother were reconciled somehow. And who knows what other timelines are viable?