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Appearing in 1st story

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Synopsis for 1st story

  • Synopsis not yet written

Solicit Synopsis

• Dormammu’s machinations have pulled all of the UNCANNY X-MEN into the hellish dimension LIMBO! • Can Magik match the evil demon’s lord’s sorcery? Is she even on the X-Men’s side anymore?

Notes

  • Illyana begins training with Stephen Strange, but in his past. This issue explains why she did not previously train with Earth's Sorcerer Supreme.
    • Although Illyana lived for seven years in Limbo as Belasco's unwilling pupil—eventually becoming powerful enough to defeat him[1]—in Earth's dimension her magic is much less powerful.
    • Charles Xavier trained Illyana as a member of his New Mutants after she escaped to Earth as a teenager,[2] but not of magic as he knew little of the subject.[3] Strange declined to teach young Illyana after they met in Uncanny X-Men #191, telling Xavier that she needed to be with her loved ones.
      • Strange anticipated Xavier's request before he can finish his sentence; their conversation implied that they previously discussed Illyana. Xavier presumably contacted Strange once the young sorceress became his student, and possibly discussed her during meetings of the Illuminati.
      • The Xavier-Strange conversation also implied that Strange expected Xavier to ask him to teach Illyana. As Strange tells her in this issue, training others to use magic is among the Sorcerer Supreme's duties. Having him abruptly turn down a pupil is atypical, but not if he is already teaching the pupil.
    • Having to beg Strange for training humiliates Illyana. Contrary to Strange's statement after Xavier's request that he has little to teach her, she is mostly self-taught as a sorceress and, as she now admits to Strange, has never fully understood her powers; she does not know even some basic concepts of Earth magic.[4] Illyana has been so successful for so long as an X-Man, however, that she apparently did not think that she needed Strange's help. Getting herself enslaved and her team almost killed by Dormammu has changed her mind, years after she could have first asked for Strange's help.
      • Illyana has apparently not previously approached Strange, because she would have mentioned doing so in her plea for training.
    • Illyana has teleported to the past because during Avengers vs. X-Men, Strange was among the Avengers who fought Illyana and the rest of the Phoenix Five. After causing immense global destruction and much pain to their opponents, after their defeat the Phoenix Five became global fugitives.
      • To when in the past Illyana teleported is unclear. It must be after her brother Peter joined the X-Men in Giant-Size X-Men #1, and before Uncanny X-Men #191. Strange does not recognize Illyana's name despite knowing the X-Men well, so assuming that Xavier would contact Strange immediately after her return from Limbo, it is likely before Uncanny X-Men #160. Strange says that he cannot imagine joining the Avengers, so it may be before he leaves the Defenders—the informal team of solo heroes like himself–in Defenders #125.
      • It is possible that Strange told the truth to Xavier; he had little to teach Illyana, because by then he had already taught future Illyana all he could.
    • Conclusion: By the time Illyana met Strange for the first time, he was already teaching her future self. He thus refused Xavier's request to teach her in their present. Illyana believed that she did not need Strange's help, until the disastrous encounter with Dormammu.
    • What If? Magik #1 depicts an alternate reality in which young Illyana becomes Strange's disciple.

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