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Marvel’s Women Always Decide the Fate of the X-Men’s Limbo

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Mary Jane and Black Cat’s adventure in Limbo highlights how the fate of the hellscape is always decided by women from Earth.


Mary Jane and Black Cat’s sojourn into Limbo has revealed a surprising fact about one of Marvel’s most brutal dimensions. In Mary Jane and Black Cat #2 (by Jed McKay, Vincenzo Carratu, Brian Reber, and VC’s Ariana Maher) after being sent to Limbo thanks to the events of Dark Web, the Demon Belasco, recruited both women to claim his soul sword from the tower it was locked away in. They would be one of many teams trying to retrieve the sword, but they were the ones Belasco was putting his money on.


When asked why he revealed it was because they were “Earth girls” and women from Earth always decide Limbo’s fate. It may sound like he’s condescending to them, but he’s actually speaking the truth. Ever since Limbo was introduced, women from Earth have always been the ones to conquer or rule it. Sure, there has been the odd man here or there, but their reigns were always temporary at best and almost always led way to another woman claiming the throne. Belasco has learned from this and is now sending two Earth women into the tower on his behalf, hoping to use Limbo’s rules of destiny to his advantage.

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The X-Men’s Limbo Has Always Been Ruled By Women

belasco-earth-girls-limbo

When Limbo was first introduced to Marvel fans in Uncanny X-Men #160 (by Chris Claremont and Brent Anderson) it was initially ruled by Belasco, who had been its sole ruler for some time. However, that all changed when he took the young Illyana Rasputin, AKA Magik of the X-Men, on as his apprentice. Or more accurately, kidnapped her as a child and forced her to be his apprentice. Illyana’s magical prowess would grow until she finally deposed Belasco and became Limbo’s ruler, being strong enough to maintain the title even in absentia.

After that there came a succession of others, the first three being men who were ironically overthrown by one another. The demons S’ym and N’astirh, followed by Doctor Doom, then Darkoth, all ruled after Illyana. But their times of leadership were short and only enabled because Illyana was not there to stop them. After that, three other women seized control of Limbo: Margali Szardos, Amanda Sefton, and most recently, Madelyn Pryor, who was given control over Limbo by Illyana. Ultimately, Limbo falls back into the hands of women no matter the circumstances.

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The Demon Belasco Wants to Use Marvel’s Women to His Advantage

Earth Women Decide Limbo's Fate

As a result, Belasco, who has spent the intervening years on the sidelines, decided to use the unwritten rules of Limbo to help reclaim his power. Recruiting Mary Jane and Black Cat wasn’t a decision based on their abilities or even their cruelty, it was simply because they were women from Earth. History has dictated that Limbo’s fate is always decided by women, so rather than go for it himself, Belasco entrusted his destiny to them.

It does raise the question of why though. Limbo is such a strange place in comparison to what humans are used to it. Perhaps it is a combination of the nature of Limbo’s leadership and its first female ruler. Traditionally, Limbo is ruled by their equivalent of a sorcerer supreme, who can then alter its appearance and even physical laws in accordance with their desires. Illyana is a powerful sorceress, perhaps subconsciously she changed Limbo’s destiny so that only women could successfully rule the hellscape. Or it might simply be that every other male ruler was violent and despotic without the true qualities of a leader. Either way, Belasco learned from his past and time will tell if he can use Limbo’s own laws to suit his needs.

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