Out of the many weapons in existence throughout the Marvel Universe, the Soulsword ranks as one of the most powerful ever wielded in Marvel Comics
The Marvel Universe has seen a plethora of powerful weapons, though perhaps none so powerful as the Soulsword. Declaring the Soulsword Marvel’s most powerful weapon is a big statement when comparing it to other weapons of power including Thor’s Mjolnir, Hercules’ Golden Mace, and even King Arthur’s Excalibur. But while other weapons harness or channel magic and power, the Soulsword is made purely of those elements, and the blade has proven its swift effectiveness against many enemies and in service of many heroes.
The Soulsword is a weapon primarily wielded by Illyana Rasputina, aka Magik, after she herself created the blade while trapped in Limbo. Magik used her own soul to fashion the sword, hence the name, by separating herself from her astral form, reaching into her soul, and drawing from it the Soulsword. While the sword is efficient when used as a blade for any user, the Soulsword is much more effective in the hands of its creator. In its first appearance in The Uncanny X-Men #171 by Chris Claremont and Walter Simonson, the Soulsword appeared as a normal-looking blade, but it has only grown in splendor over the years. By the time of the X of Swords crossover event, fans will notice the sword has not only increased hugely in size but has also developed intricate designs upon the hilt and blade. As Magik has grown and conquered Limbo, the sword has become a major magical artifact, and one with many uses.
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Magik eventually became the leader of Limbo, enhancing her magical power to the point where the Soulsword was imbued with many abilities, such as the power to surround its wielder in armor and cut through magic. It’s capable of hitting intangible or supernatural enemies, and its mystical properties allow it to pass through many kinds of armor and protection, not just cutting through these defenses but disregarding them entirely. Depending on the will of its user, passing the Soulsword through a person could free them from possession, leave them entirely unharmed, or cleave them in two.
The Soulsword is a high-level magical object, but its pure offensive abilities were unclear for a long time – it could pass through objects like Wolverine’s Adamantium-coated bones and Captain America’s shield, but could it damage them? In Marvel Zombies: Resurrection #4 by Phillip K. Johnson, the Silver Surfer becomes infected with the zombie virus, turning evil. Thankfully, Franklin Richards takes hold of the Soulsword in the Marvel Zombies timeline after the demise of Magik at the hands of the undead.
When zombified Silver Surfer threatens the life of his sister, Valeria, Franklin attacks the former Herald of Galactus with the Soulsword and their fight is shockingly brief. Franklin not only used the sword to destroy the surfer’s board, but also made quick work of the cosmic being himself, slicing the Silver Surfer in two as easily as slicing a hot knife through butter. Even without Magik, the sword’s ideal user, the Soulsword’s power is made strikingly clear in the quick work the weapon made of a character imbued with the Power Cosmic, proving its incredible strength even when not at its highest potential.
While there is no single frame of reference for all of the different weapons throughout the Marvel Universe, the Soulsword is a clear contender for the top spot when taking into consideration its origin and its capabilities, especially in Magik‘s hands. Even Mjolnir isn’t powerful enough to fell the Surfer with a single blow, especially in the hands of a child, and that’s before the blade’s ability to shield its user and enhance their original magic talent is taken into consideration.
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