The X-Men can do a lot of things, but for one member, spelling might not be their strongest suit, especially when the fate of Krakoa is at stake.
Warning! Spoilers ahead for X-Force #14
When it comes to the X-Men, there are more members that are willing to fight the good fight than any other team in Marvel Comics history. Whether it’s safely solving problems with their various mutant abilities or causing a bit of ruckus taking down the newest supervillain threat, there’s no shortage of help to go around, especially where their deadliest killer, the mystic badass known as Magik, is concerned.
Having been part of the X-Men franchise since her debut in 1975, Magik, aka Illyana Nikolievna Rasputin, has been a powerhouse sorceress and adept teleporter from the start, which has made her an invaluable asset to Charles Xavier’s mission of ultimate peace and unity. The younger sister of X-Men mainstay Colossus, this Russian born warrior has become a fan favorite over the years and just recently made her big-screen debut in the X-Men franchise spinoff The New Mutants.
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And while Magik is one of the strongest mutants in the X-Men’s ranks, racking up kill after kill while also saving just as many souls from the slaughter, there might be one area that she completely falls flat in. No, this isn’t about her physical strength or her effectiveness as an X-Man, this has to do with something else entirely: spelling. In X-Force #14 from Benjamin Percy, Gerry Duggan, and Joshua Cassara, Magik struggles to spell… well, magic.
Being such an integral part of the X-Men mythos, Magik has been given a big part to play in the current X-book crossover event X of Swords. In it, the heroes of the mutant haven Krakoa have been summoned to battle the evil minions of Krakoa’s sister island Arakko in a tournament that will decide the fate of both, as well as the lives of the gladiators being forced to fight.
Losing by a wide margin from the start, Krakoa’s champions – consisting of Wolverine, Storm, Apocalypse, Cable, and more – have their work cut out for them in a range of contests that not only test their strength, but their mental and moral limits as well. For Magik, the most embarrassing yet ultimately concerning loss she has suffered came during a simple test that saw her needing to solve a riddle that by all intents and purposes should have been easy to answer. Figuring the solution to be the word “magic” Illyana was asked to spell out the word before she could be declared the victor. But unexpectedly, Illyana confidently gives her answer, spelling “M-A-G-I-K” with a “K” instead of a “C”, immediately losing the round for her team and instantly becoming confused as to how this could have happened.
So does this mean that Magik has accidentally been fighting the forces of evil with a name that she doesn’t even know how to spell? In this case, it seems likely, so while she might be Russian-born and English might not be her only language, her hilarious and slightly concerning answer as to how to spell the codename that she’s been rolling with for decades can’t be ignored. That being said, and as the final issues of X of Swords roll out, one can only hope that a spelling bee isn’t in the cards anytime soon.
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