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The Best of Magik Comics, Our Illyana Rasputin Recommended Reading Order (X-Men)!

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While it’s obvious to think about Scarlet Witch or Clea and Stephen Strange when talking about magic users in the Marvel Universe, it would be a great mistake to disregard Magik, also known as Illyana Rasputina.

Created by Len Wein and Dave Cockrum, Illyana made her first appearance in the comic book Giant-Size X-Men #1 (May 1975), like many other X-Men characters such as Nightcrawler, Storm, Thunderbird, and her brother Colossus! For a long time, she was only known as Colossus’ little sister until Chris Claremont and Sal Buscema sent her to the magical realm of Limbo. In her time there, Illyana aged seven years,  developed her teleportation abilities and became a sorceress later known as Magik.

Since her debut, Illyana has been abused by demons during her formative years, de-aged, exploited by her government, killed by a Virus, resurrected, turned on the Dark Side and more! With those many traumatic experiences, Magik became one of the most fascinating and ambiguous X-Men and well deserving of her own reading order! 

So today, let’s explore Magik’s history with her best comics to understand her character and motivations, learn more about her place among the X-Men, her relationship with her brother, Shadowcat and more!

Your Magik Comics Reading Guide

This reading order is focused on Magik, an X-Men character! As always, check out our Complete X-Men Comics Reading Guide For more X-Stories!

Introducing Illyana, From Her Early Life to New Mutants (1975-1997)

While Illyana made her first appearance in Giant-Size X-Men #1 (May 1975), her first name was not revealed until The Uncanny X-Men #145 (May 1981). She also was mostly a background character for almost ten years.

As the young sister of Colossus, she can be seen in some panels in issues such as Uncanny X-Men #148, Uncanny X-Men #153-154 or #158. Things took a turn for Magik in issue #160, so we invite you to start your Magik reading there!

Uncanny X-Men #160

Belasco and his demon hordes were looking to use Illyana for their nefarious purposes. Ilyanna is taken to limbo in which she ages seven years, becomes a sorceress, and develops the mutant ability to create “teleportation discs.” Despite those massive changes, it will take a year for Chris Claremont to explore those events, in the Magik: Illyana and Storm miniseries, an essential reading for all Magik fans out there!

Following the conclusion of this series, Illyana joined the New Mutants. Though she is added to the team roster around issue #14, she has cameo appearances before and it’s worth reading from the start! The New Mutants by Chris Claremont and Louise Simonson are part of some of the Best X-Men titles of this time! And Marvel has collected everything you need to read about Magik in their omnibus!

  • New Mutants Omnibus, Volume 1
    Collects The New Mutants #1–34, Annual #1; Marvel Graphic Novel #4; Marvel Team-Up Annual #6; Marvel Team-Up #100 (A story), #149; Uncanny X-Men #160, #167, #180, #189, #192; Magik #1-4.
  • New Mutants Omnibus, Volume 2
    Collects The New Mutants #35–54, Annual #2-3; New Mutants Special Edition #1; X-Men Annual #9-10; Power Pack #20, #33; Fallen Angels #1-8; Firestar #1-4; New Mutants: War Children #1; Material from Web of Spider Man Annual #2
  • New Mutants Omnibus, Volume 3
    Collecting New Mutants (1983) #55-85 And Annual #4, Spellbound (1988) #4, Power Pack (1984) #40, Uncanny X-Men (1981) #231 And X-Terminators (1988) #1-4 – Plus Material From Marvel Comics Presents (1988) #22, Marvel Fanfare (1982) #55, Marvel Super-Heroes (1990) #1 And X-Men: Odd Men Out One-Shot.

You actually need to stop your reading of New Mutants after issue #70 as the X-Men: Inferno crossover event starts here! This is an important event for Magik as it introduces her archenemy N’astirh!

After this story, Illyana’s story came to an end in The New Mutants #77 (July 1989) and the character fell back to becoming a background character on a few occasions during a few years. She is reintroduced with The Soul Skinner Saga for her short arc before being killed in the Virus Legacy arc in 1993!

  • X-Men Epic Collection: Legacies
    Uncanny X-Men #297-300, Annual #17; X-Men (vol. 2) #17-23; X-Men Unlimited #1; Stryfe’s Strike File.
    You need to check out Uncanny X-Men #299-300 and X-Men (1991) #17-20 for Magik
  • X-Men Epic Collection: Fatal Attractions
    Collects Uncanny X-Men #301-306; X-Men (vol. 2) #24-25; X-Men Unlimited #2; Wolverine #75; Gambit #1-4; X-Men: Survival Guide to the Mansion.
    Issues #301-304 for Magik

A few years later, A three-issue limited series from writer Ben Raab features the classic New Mutants traveling into the future and meeting the present version of the team! This story is collected with Excalibur because of Rahne’s presence who was part of the Excalibur team at the time.

Magik on the cover of Exiles #26

Interlude! Amanda Sefton as Magik and other Alt-Reality Magik

Amanda Sefton became the ruler of Limbo while Illyana was dead, and she changed her moniker to Magik in homage to her. During that period, she even had her own miniseries.

There have also been other versions of Illyana/Magik during her years of absence, such as:

The Return of Magik (2007-2011)

Illyana is brought back to life by the demon Belasco in her Darkchylde form during Craig Kyle and Christopher Yost’s run on New X-Men and she then starts a quest to recover her soul in C. B. Cebulski’s X-Infernus limited series that set the stage for her time in the new volume of New Mutants from Zeb Wells.

Uncanny Magik (2011-2019)

The Schism Era – The X-Men and Magik find themselves tangled in the Fear Itself event, but you don’t need to read the main story for Magik. The tie-ins, on the other hand, are required reading, as they set up Magik’s involvement in Kieron Gillen’s Uncanny X-Men (2012) and start an arc exploring her dynamic with her brother that is concluded in AVX: Consequences.

Marvel Now! – Following Avengers vs. X-Men, Magik began exploring her magical abilities and taking on her role as a teacher to the next generation of mutants and mystics at first as part of Cyclop’s team of outlaw X-Men during Brian Michael Bendis’s run on Uncanny X-Men.

All New All-different! Mutants are again faced with possible extinction due to Terrigen Mist. Facing this new threat, Storm, Iceman and Magik established an X-Haven in the Limbo dimension and new adventures abound in Jeff Lemire’s Extraordinary X-Men. While not a memorable run, it does have some Magik development, and her character’s arc is among the best this run has to offer.

For a short time, Magik found herself leading a new Mutants team along with Wolfsbane, Rictor, Strong Guy, Prodigy and Boom-Boom, From Writer Matthew Rosenberg.

Rosenberg continued to employ Magik as she was, once again, part of Uncanny X-Men in a less than celebratory run and a transitional period before the launch of the Krakoa era. It made this whole part maybe the most easily skippable – for creative and narrative reasons.

Before concluding this period, you can check out the one-shot What If? Magik became the Sorcerer Supreme who explored what would have happened if Illyana had run far away from the X-Men following her return from Limbo and was then taken by Stephen Strange.

Magik in the Krakoa Era (2019-2024)

Krakoa, the new mutant nation and a new era for the X-Men was launched by Jonathan Hickman with House of X/Powers of X! During this period, Magik – like other characters – popped up in different places while not doing a lot. She started by being named a Great Captain – one of the island’s chief military leaders –  and could be mostly found in New Mutants and played a major role in X of Swords. She also had a guest starring role in Strange Academy as a teacher and appeared in an arc of Savage Avengers.

This era is concluded with Fall of the House of X / Rise of the Powers of X.

Magik in X-Men: From the Ashes (2024-)

The story continues! A New X-Men era has started. More Coming Soon…

Did we forget an important issue? Did we make a mistake? Let us know in the comments!

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