Magik #3 (1984, February)
So I’ve pretty much finished reading Success. I’ll talk about it tomorrow. For today, by Claremont and Frenz, “Soulquest.”
Illyana’s been training under Belasco, and shows her progress. She takes a cute little rat-like creature, and turns it into a demon. It attacks her, and she swats it away, where Cat catches and eats it. She’s scared of Cat. Belasco chastizes her for not putting more forethought into the spell she cast. He sends her to her room. She runs, scared of Cat, and shuts the door. Because that’ll help. Cat corners her on the bed, then says Illyana’s name. Which freaks out Illyana again, and she frightens Cat off with a quick spell.
Illyana then decides to try something. She creates a silver pentagram, then tries to create an acorn, the way Storm did. She fails, and is hurt. An astral image of Storm comes to see her. Illyana wants the two of them to team up and destroy Belasco, but Storm refuses. She has her own plan.
Illyana’s annoyed, and is trying to think of a way to move around the citadel. A stepping disc appears, and Illyana manages to move it around. She hears Belasco outside, and the circle teleports her – with her bed – into some tunnels. The New Mutants drive up and see her, then disappear. We’ll see this scene from their side in a couple months. Then Illyana teleports to the library, and prepares to grab Belasco’s grimoire. But Storm’s astral self appears again, and a gust of wind knocks Illyana into another circle.
This time, she finds herself on a gallery, overlooking a battle between Storm and Belasco. But it’s a younger Storm, at the height of her power. Storm’s costume looks ugly. She’s rocking a Mohawk, though, and that’s always cool. Belasco begs for mercy, but Storm kills him, then turns into a demon like him. Then Belasco shows up again, revealing that what Storm killed was her last shred of innocence. By refusing to be merciful, she condemned herself. Illyana teleports again. S’ym grabs her, but she manages to knock him into yet another circle. There’s a lot of them in this issue.
Inside, Storm is fighting Belasco again. But this time, Storm’s old and weak, and no real match. Cat attacks her from behind. Illyana forces Cat back with a torch, but then gets smacked into a wall. Illyana jumps onto Cat’s back, and snaps her neck. Storm’s dying, but tells Illyana to be glad. Belasco tells Storm that she’s not going to join her friends; instead, after the third Bloodstone is conjured, Storm’s soul is going to be sacrificed to his dark gods.
This issue continues to get darker. Illyana’s being corrupted by her time with Belasco, we see Storm’s corruption, Cat dies, and Storm is dying. So, yeah, it’s dark. I would’ve liked it if the art better reflected it. The art is too conventional for the style. It never commits the way it should. Bill Sienkewicz or Klaus Janson would’ve been much better choices for artists. The colouring also should’ve used more shadows. The art is good, don’t get me wrong, it’s just not the right style for the story.
The writing’s good. Maybe a bit formal, at times, which diminishes some of the emotional impact. But there are some moments where it winds up working perfectly, particularly the scene where Illyana kills Cat. Next issue closes this out.
Song of the day: The Vampire Waltz by Hannah Fury.