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by Darick Robertson
|First appearance||Uncanny X-Men #98 (Apr 1976)|
|Created by||Chris Claremont
|Alter ego||Jimaine Szardos|
|Team affiliations||Muir Island X-Men
|Notable aliases||Amanda Sefton, Magik|
Formerly wielded the Soulsword
Amanda Sefton (real name Jimaine Szardos) (also known as Daytripper and the second Magik) is a fictional character, a witch in the Marvel Universe. She is the foster sister and former lover of Kurt Wagner, Nightcrawler of the X-Men.
|This section requires expansion. (November 2008)|
Amanda Sefton first appeared in Uncanny X-Men #98 (April 1976), created by Chris Claremont and Dave Cockrum. She has appeared occasionally in X-Men titles, probably most often in Uncanny X-Men and Excalibur.
As Magik, Amanda had her own eponymous, four-issue mini-series in 2000–2001 from writers Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning, with artist Liam Sharp. The series focused on her taking over Limbo (also known as Otherplace). The series also featured her foster brother/lover, Nightcrawler.
Fictional character biography
Jimaine and her mother Margali are witches. When Nightcrawler joined the X-Men, Jimaine followed him, assumed the identity of Amanda Sefton, took a job as a flight attendant, and became Nightcrawler's girlfriend.[volume & issue needed] When Margali attacked the X-Men, believing Nightcrawler to have been responsible for the death of Stefan Szardos, her son and Jimaine's brother, "Amanda" revealed herself as Jimaine, convinced her mother to let Kurt live and resumed her on-and-off relationship with him. Their relationship broke apart when Kurt suffered a severe case of self-doubt following an encounter with the Beyonder upon the latter's arrival on Earth.[volume & issue needed]
Much later, in need of her magical abilities, Nightcrawler called his former girlfriend Amanda Sefton to aid Excalibur. For dramatic reasons she chose to adopt the codename Daytripper, kind of playing on Kurt’s codename, and presented herself in a new costume. Once familiarized with the problem at hand, Amanda did the best she could to help Meggan and Rachel locate the lost Captain Britain in the timestream, but as they made contact they only achieved to exchange Brian for Rachel, who in his place entered the timestream to emerge in some farfetched future.
Following this incident Kurt and Amanda traveled to Germany, where their mother Margali had been taken captive by D’Spayre. As Kurt wondered how such a powerful sorceress could be held captive against her will, Daytripper explained that the Winding Way is not only a mystic discipline, but also it functions like a journey with ups and downs. Currently Margali was at a low point and powerless or else D’Spayre could never have defeated her. The pair rescued their mother and Amanda returned with Kurt to Excalibur.
Back on Muir Island, Amanda was the only one who recognized that the team’s scientist Rory Campbell was the man destined to become the future mutant hunter Ahab, but she promised him to keep her knowledge secret and offered to be there for him whenever the need would arise.
After Excalibur had been attacked by opposing sorcerers trying to acquire the Soul Sword of the deceased Illyana Rasputin, Amanda convinced Shadowcat to give her Magik’s Soul Sword for safe-keeping. Amanda thought it best to hand the sword over to her mother, however, only too late did Amanda realize that she was tricked by her own mother, who wanted the Soulsword to kill all those ahead of her on the Winding Path.
Even though she had never been more powerful it wasn’t enough for Margali and so in disguise she joined the London Hellfire Club as their Red Queen, proceeding their plan to destroy London and take over Britain. Shortly after helping to defeat her mother and the Hellfire Club, Amanda left Excalibur without even telling Nightcrawler.
In actual fact, it was not Amanda who made that decision, but Margali who had taken over her body. Upon her defeat among the Hellfire Club, Margali had been captured by Belasco, and been tortured in his realm, from where she secretly switched minds with her daughter so that she could recuperate and win back her freedom and her position on the Winding Way. Eventually Margali, using Amanda’s body, made her way back to Limbo, where mother and daughter switched back and defeated Belasco with Nightcrawler’s help. Margali apologized for exposing her daughter to such danger, but then quickly left. Only after she was gone, Amanda realized that with both her and Belasco gone, there was no one left besides her capable enough to take over as Limbo’s new ruler. To leave the dimension unguarded seemed too dangerous, given that several demons could have used its stepping disks to invade earth.
It was during this time that Amanda was forced to thwart Belasco and the N'Garai’s takeover of Limbo, and Earth, where she was forced to conceal her identity from her closest friends, until the end of the battle where those who had not already worked out that she was not Illyana, learned of Amanda's new role. Following that, Amanda rallied together the rulers of all other various dimensions of Hell to unite them in a common goal: The preservation of Hell.[volume & issue needed]
Amanda has also mastered the ability to magically control the stepping disks of Limbo, just like Belasco did before her, and practiced to wield the Soulsword. During one of Nightcrawler's trips to Limbo, Amanda secretly hid the powerful Soulsword in Kurt’s body, thinking it was safe there since his soul was the purest that she could find. There was a shift in the cosmic balance, powerful forces at work, and one thing they were after was the Soulsword, and indeed not much later, Amanda was attacked and overpowered by Nightmare. She was rescued by the timely arrival of her mother Margali, and together, mother and daughter found out that Nightmare had been manipulated into attacking them by someone else. Amanda and Margali immediately sought out Nightcrawler to warn him, but upon their arrival the demon Hive revealed himself and took over the body of Nightcrawler’s teammate, Wolverine.[volume & issue needed]
Gradually, the demon’s essence was disrupted by the Soulsword, though not before he revealed that there is a major war coming, one that has been brewing for a millennium, and that the entire Szardos family factor very importantly into it.[volume & issue needed]
Driven out of Limbo
Amanda resurfaced in New X-Men when she plunged out of a dimensional portal in a blast of flaming energy and landed in a small German village. She pleaded, "Help me...someone please...He's back." Amanda was driven out of Limbo after being overwhelmed by an invasion led by Belasco and no longer possessed the Soulsword.
She assisted New X-Men Hellion and Surge as well as O*N*E Sentinel operative (and former mutant) Lex in finding students that were kidnapped by Belasco. The students were saved due to Illyana Rasputin usurping control of Limbo. Once the heroes were teleported back to Xavier's school though, Amanda found Limbo to be sealed off.
While Pixie has stated that she has been approached by both Amanda and Doctor Strange about furthering her magical tutelage when she comes of age, Amanda's current whereabouts remain unknown, but she was recently mentioned by Cyclops in the aftermath of Second Coming when he was writing her a letter of condolence over the death of Nightcrawler.
Trapped in Heaven
Amanda as apparently resumed her job as a flight attendant, and later when Nightcrawler is resurrected, he goes to her apartment in Manhattan. Their reunion is short-lived as a strange being in armor bursts through the window and after knocking Nightcrawler aside attempts to capture Amanda. Before he can though, Nightcrawler teleports himself and Amanda, followed by a half dozen Bamfs, into the apartment complex swimming pool. Amanda wants to go with him, but Nightcrawler points out that she was the target and he is not going to let her get taken. Nightcrawler engages the attacker, who calls himself Trimega, and they battle for some time, with the assistance of the Bamfs. Eventually, Nightcrawler buries Trimega in the ceiling which collapses on him. Amanda, wearing her first Daytripper costume, teleports into her apartment. They discuss Trimega, but Amanda has no idea why he attacked her, as her skills are magical and he was a technological being. Searching through the rubble, they discover Trimega has vanished. Amanda fears that her mother might be in danger, and wants to go find her. Nightcrawler recalls his time growing up in Der Jahrmarkt the circus, alongside his sister Amanda and under the watchful eye of their mother, Margali. Nightcrawler and Amanda Sefton, accompanied by several Bamfs, arrive in Winzeldorf in search of Margali. Nightcrawler finds it strange to be back in the place where his career as an X-Man began, and sends his Bamfs in search of Margali while he and Amanda take a break. Nightcrawler remembers Amanda’s debut at the circus, and how the trapeze broke, so he teleported to save her. Although uncertain of how he did it, the audience loved it. Today, they discuss Nightcrawler’s death, and he wonders, given his return, if it was so that he and Amanda could be together again. Their moment is interrupted by the return of the Bamfs, who haven’t found Margali or their enemy, Trimega, but have located the circus. Amanda mentions an argument between herand Margali, but is unable to elaborate, as they are attacked immediately upon their arrival at the circus - by their old friends, Gummi, Haus and Feuer, circus performers. Amanda is taken out of the battle when Gummi wraps her body around Amanda, preventing her from casting any spells. The Bamfs try and help Amanda, while Nightcrawler goes between fighting Haus and Feuer. Eventually, Nightcrawler is able to end the battle and convince his old friends that he is indeed the real Nightcrawler. The performers welcome Nightcrawler and Amanda home, before Amanda tells Margali to show herself, and the green-skinned woman appears. Amanda is cold towards Margali, who claims that she does not know anything about Trimega - but, as if on cue, Trimega appears and boasts that he has come for Amanda - and anyone who tries to stop him shall die! In Winzeldorf, Trimega has located Nightcrawler and Amanda Sefton at the circus. He attacks them, along with the circus performers and Margali Szardos. Nightcrawler battles Trimega, until the robot creature switches into three. The circus performers are forced to defend themselves against the attackers, but the three Trimegas overpower them, and are about to take out Nightcrawler and Amanda, when Margali comes to their rescue and transports the Trimegas away. Nightcrawler decides that they must get assistance from the X-Men. The circus performers decide to remain in Winzeldorf, and before Amanda teleports Nightcrawler, Margali a host of Bamfs and herself to Westchester, they say their farewells. Arriving at the Jean Grey School, though, several X-Men, including a hostile Storm, are on hand to greet Nightcrawler, Amanda and Margali. Tensions mount between Nightcrawler and Storm. Nightcrawler goes to the Danger Room to reflect, and Wolverine joins him, giving Nightcrawler a much needed pep talk, as he seems very concerned about his return to the land of the living. Rachel Grey attempts to probe Amanda’s mind and Amanda easily takes Rachel and Frenzy out with a magical blast. Storm and Beast are interviewing Margali to ascertain what she knows about the Trimegas. Margali is as cryptic as ever, before casting a spell which surrounds Beast and Storm with paper. Storm tries to blast Margali with a bolt of lightning, but it only sets her free from her restraints. The papers trap Storm and Beast, and pull memories from their minds, which Margali believes she can use to her advantage. She then escapes. Wolverine, Nightcrawler and Cecilia Reyes rush through the school when an alarm sounds. Amanda keeps to the shadows, while students start to gather at the windows, and on the school lawn, an entire army of Trimegas has arrived, and opens fire. The Jean Grey School is under attack from an army of Trimegas who want Nightcrawler and Amanda Sefton. While the students seek refuge, several of the X-Men engage the strange robots, while Nightcrawler and Wolverine go to find Amanda Sefton and Margali Szardos. When they come across the room where Margali was being interrogated by Storm and Beast, however, they find no one - except their friends’ costumes and pieces of paper with their memories. Amanda enters the room and explains that Margali clearly wanted information, and used this means to extract it from Storm and Beast. Nightcrawler hopes that the process can be reversed and Amanda promises to set it right. Amanda starts to cast a spell, restoring Storm and the Beast - but realizes something is wrong - pieces of the Beast’s memories are missing - he doesn’t know Nightcrawler is alive. Wolverine deduces that Margali might want to follow the road to where the X-Men rescued Nightcrawler from. Amanda is furious with her mother, and Nightcrawler is worried about the chaos she might unleash. After kissing Amanda and telling her to restore their friends, Nightcrawler and Wolverine leave to deal with Margali. Racing through the mansion they encounter more Trimegas, so Wolverine holds them off, enabling Nightcrawler to find Margali. And find her he does, as she is outside, a portal to the afterlife has been opened, and Margali intends to claim it as her own. Nightcrawler is forced to battle her personal guard, and Amanda soon arrives, begging Margali to embrace the better side of her nature, but Amanda is knocked over by the Trimega. Nightcrawler decapitates the Trimega and throws its head at Margali, knocking her out, but leaving the portal open. Amanda thinks she can close it, but not from this side. They prepare to cross over together, but as Amanda enters the afterlife, Nightcrawler is blocked from going back to it. Amanda reminds him that he left Heaven, and that has consequences. Crying, Amanda tells Nightcrawler to be a hero and find his way back to her somehow, and as Amanda closes the portal to the afterlife, she remains trapped on the other side. The Trimegas all vanish, and the X-Men race to find Nightcrawler, who may have saved the world, but he has lost his heart.
Powers and Abilities
Amanda is a sorceress following the path of the Winding Way. Her power does change in its levels, it waxes and wanes over time, allowing her to summon such powers as teleportation, illusions casting, shape changing, mystical force bolts, hypnotism, and the manipulation of other complex mystical forces.
When she became the Sorceress Supreme of Limbo, Amanda began wielding the powerful Soulsword and while she couldn't access the full power of the sword, she could still create and control teleportation energies in the form of "stepping discs", to absorb souls of others either permanently or to simply store and transfer, to place and store the sword in absolute nothingness and to retrieve it from whence it came with ease, and like Illyana Rasputin, the more Amanda used the Soulsword, the more mystical Eldritch armor appeared on her body in addition to demonic features such as horns and hooves. The armor deflects or limits attacks, both physical and magical. However on Earth, Amanda's abilities are limited to a different capacity. She as since lost these abilities when Limbo was sealed to her and resumed her normal display of powers.
In the "Days of Future Past" timeline, Amanda and Nightcrawler have a daughter Blue who inherited her father's appearance and similar teleporting powers. Amanda and Nightcrawler, along with that timeline's version of Illyana Rasputin, were gunned down by a government strikeforce deployed to destroy the Xavier Institute after Senator Robert Kelly was assassinated.
Amanda Sefton appears in the 1995 X-Men episode "Nightcrawler" in her Jimaine Szardos guise. She appears in flashback as Nightcrawler describes his time as a circus performer and has no lines.
In X-Men: Evolution, Amanda Sefton appears as Nightcrawler's love interest, but she does not have most of the background of her comic counterpart. Her mother's name remains Margali, but the Seftons appear to be a normal family. She is portrayed as an American teenager of African/Romany decent who accepts Kurt completely despite his mutation. She was voiced by Moneca Stori. In her first episode, "Shadow Dance", Amanda asks Kurt to be her date for a school dance and tells him that she did have a crush on him for months but was too shy to tell him, and that her feelings remained even after she once accidentally saw him turning off his image inducer. They start dating seriously, and after a time ("The Toad, the Witch and the Wardrobe") Amanda attempts to introduce Kurt - as his true self - to her parents. The intention is ruined by Toad, who steals Kurt's image inducer, demolishing the Sefton home and blowing Kurt's cover before Amanda can properly prepare her parents. Even though Amanda's parents are understandably upset, Amanda shrugs off any discomforts which they might bring into her relationship with Kurt, and continues to date him.
Sefton is a supporting character in the novel 'Soul Killer' by author Richard Lee Byers. She is possessed by Belasco as part of a plan to bring the Elder Gods to Earth.
- Uncanny X-Men Annual #4 (1980)
- Uncanny X-Men #20
- "Excalibur Vol.1" 75 (1994)
- Excalibur #76 (april 1994)
- Excalibur #77 (May 1994)
- Excalibur #80
- Excalibur Annual #2 (1994)
- Excalibur #83
- Excalibur #84
- Excalibur #85
- Excalibur #100
- Excalibur #108
- X-Men Unlimited #19
- New X-Men vol. 2 #37
- New X-Men vol. 2 #41
- X-Men: Second Coming #2
- Nightcrawler v4 #01
- Nightcrawler v4 #02
- Nightcrawler v4 #03
- Nightcrawler v4 #04
- Uncanny X-Men #188
- Amanda Sefton at the Comic Book DB
- Amanda Sefton at the Marvel Universe
- Amanda Sefton at UncannyXmen.net
- Amanda Sefton at the Marvel Database Project