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Marvel Database

Limbo, also known as Otherplace, is a magical dimension of demons which were historically ruled by Belasco. Limbo did not appear to be the Catholic Limbo (Realm Between) or Purgatory but was a sort of "pocket universe", whose physical and temporal scope was extremely limited compared to the universe that ordinary human beings inhabited.[5][6]

Limbo was the center of the Splinter Realms[7] (also known as the "Archipelago of Anguish and Redemption"),[8] and allegedly part of the Nexus of All Realities.[7]


Rulers of Otherplace[]

The complete timeline of Limbo is unknown, but it has had several reigning sorcerers during its history. These include:

  • Belasco: Commonly referred to as The Demon Belasco, he was primarily human in appearance, and may have been human once. Though wicked as any demon, Belasco lacked the savagery common to Limbo natives.[9][6]
  • Illyana Rasputin: Also known as Magik, Rasputin was abducted by Belasco as a child and was raised in Limbo. Belasco employed her as an apprentice and was eventually overthrown by her. In time her mutant power of teleportation emerged, allowing her to leave, although she remained Limbo's ruler in absentia.[9][10]
  • S'ym & N'astirh: Native demons of Limbo, this pair exhibited qualities far exceeding Limbo's average. S'ym was the most physically potent native of Limbo, while N'astirh was a powerful sorcerer. They were right-hand servants of Belasco and then Magik. They jointly seized power when Magik's hold weakened sufficiently due to her prolonged absence, then they tricked her into opening a permanent portal from Earth to Limbo. N'astirh was killed when their invasion was repelled, leaving S'ym the sole ruler, but without the Soulsword to strengthen his throne.[11][12]
  • Doctor Doom: Conquered Limbo during his attempt to claim its precious Promethium.[13]
  • Darkoth: Wrested the Soulsword from Doom and slew S'ym. Assumed rulership of Limbo and wardenship of Soulsword. His rulership ended following his confrontation with Bedlam,[14] the Soulsword later seen back in Kitty Pryde's possession.[15]
  • Margali Szardos: Usurped the Soulsword from Kitty and used it to kill those ahead of her on the 'Winding Way'. She then took over Limbo.[citation needed]
  • Amanda Sefton: Assumed control over Limbo from her mother and took on the identity of Magik. Lost control when Belasco returned.[citation needed]
  • Madelyne Pryor: Was granted dominion over Limbo by Illyana Rasputin.[citation needed] Briefly had her throne usurped by Chasm before reclaiming it.[16][17]
  • Ben Reilly: Became the ruler of Limbo and transformed into a demonic form after Hallows' Eve stole the Scythe of Sorrows from the Goblin Queen, who the gave it to Ben.[16] Ben's transformation was reversed when Madelyne took the scythe back and regained her throne.[17]

Techno-Organic infection of Limbo[]

Limbo was also briefly controlled by The Magus, an alien entity of vast technological power. To save her teammate Warlock, Magik stranded the Magus in Limbo, where she hoped her demon vassals would subdue him. Instead, he expanded to fill the entire dimension and radically transformed its ecology within a few days.[18] A sizable percentage of Limbo's demons were infected by the Magus with the Transmode Virus, a techno-organic pathogen that transmogrifies carbon-based organisms into living electronic machines. Although the details are unclear, it is assumed he killed a large number of them by draining them of life energy. He then escaped by unknown means, leaving roughly half the remaining demons shape-shifting, techno-organic beings like himself.[19][20]

While most living beings are immobilized by the techno-organic transformation, Limbo's demons are apparently immune to that effect.[19] The infection can be transmitted intentionally, but most chose not to pass it on, and the ratio of "natural" to transmuted demons remained relatively stable. For example, at the time of Magik's overthrow, S'ym was a techno-organic demon, whereas N'astirh was not.[21]

The domination of Limbo by the Magus was purely physical. Apart from the infections, Limbo remained unperturbed.[19] Control reverted to Magik when he vacated, then to Belasco when Magik was de-aged and N'astirh was killed during Inferno. He retained power until he was overthrown by Amanda Sefton, who had obtained Magik's Soulsword and was calling herself Magik.[citation needed]


Limbo's physical laws were primarily magical, though laws of the ordinary universe (such as electromagnetism and gravity) normally applied within its bounds.

To those within Limbo, it appeared roughly analogous to a planet, with a solid surface at one earth gravity and a sky devoid of stars.[5][6]

It has an ecology composed primarily of demons of various sizes, strengths, and intellects. It is said that its ether is much thinner than that of the normal universe, allowing for a greater spectrum of magical powers and effects. All demons within it are magical creatures that possess spell making abilities to a greater or lesser degree. The demons speak in the language of the Demonic Script.[22]

Although Otherplace has a linear history, the time within it is not rigid. Many points in its past and future are connected through naturally occurring temporal rifts, and its present is relative to the individual. Its history can be changed by travel through these rifts, but for some reason, this is rare.[23]

Limbo is traditionally ruled by a Supreme Sorcerer, either a demonic native or an entity from another universe, often Earth's. Limbo's appearance and physical laws are highly variable and determined by the power and personal taste of its ruler. It can take the form of an otherworldly paradise, or rocky, sulfurous perdition. The demons of Limbo traditionally display an attitude of slavish loyalty to its sovereign and act as his or her servants. They will even assume forms mandated by the sorcerer if he or she is sufficiently powerful. However, the longer Limbo's ruler spends away from the dimension, the weaker that individual's mystical thrall over it becomes, and the more autonomously the demons begin to act. Left to their own devices they will plot to betray and conquer whoever holds the highest position. They will also attempt to invade other realities if not held in check.[24]

Otherplace generally has a morally and spiritually corrupting influence over its denizens. If human, a resident of the realm will slowly metamorphose into a demonic entity. This change enhances the magical powers of the individual at the cost of their soul. Persons of great moral courage and wisdom can stave off the change for decades, but it is considered inevitable. The transformation usually progresses in stages initiated by the evil acts Limbo demands for survival. Magic in limbo is fundamentally neutral. It is the social and political climate that leads to this process.[citation needed]

The reality of Limbo is generated by a single deposit of a magical metal called Promethium. In Limbo, it takes the form of a giant animal heart, hidden in a cavern deep below its surface. Removal of the promethium to another dimension will cause Limbo to vanish. The heart of Limbo was once sought by the supervillain Doctor Doom as an inexhaustible energy source for his nation of Latveria.[13] Desmond Pitt had his skeleton infused with promethium by Doom, who mutated him into a cyborg demon called Darkoth.[25]

According to Sif and Meridius, Limbo is a dimension of darkness similar to the Abyss that spawned the symbiotes, and is thus capable of greatly empowering them.[26]


Alternate Reality Versions[]

Revised X-Men Cinematic Universe (Earth-TRN414)[]

In this reality, Illyana was taken as a sex slave and tormented by gangsters, whom she internalized as otherworldly beings she called the "Smiley Men". To escape the suffering, Illyana transported herself mentally to a dimension she called Limbo alongside her dragon toy Lockheed. In Limbo, Lockheed was turned into a real dragon and Illyana gained magical abilities, however due to her spending too much time in there, Limbo itself also became real.[27]


  • Limbo has sometimes been erroneously called Otherworld, which is the home dimension of the beings who empower and oversee the Captain Britain Corps.
  • By a writer's intentional discretion or mistaken confusion, Limbo on occasion is presented as a mashup, inheriting characteristics of multiple versions. Stuart Vandal, aka Loki, a contributor and editor of the Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe 2005: Alternate Universes replied in the official forums that "the Limbo he (Belasco) rules is not Immortus' Limbo, as established in the Deluxe Edition handbooks and Excalibur"
  • Most popularly, the Limbos were portrayed as one blended entity in Alex Ross' Earth X, which is non-canon.

See Also

Links and References