Margali Szardos

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Margali Szardos
Margali. Art by Darick Robertson
Publication information
PublisherMarvel Comics
First appearanceUncanny X-Men Annual #4 (January 1980)
Created byChris Claremont (writer)
John Romita Jr. (artist)
In-story information
Alter egoMargali Szardos
Team affiliationsHellfire Club
Shadow Hunters
Notable aliasesMargali of the Winding Way, Red Queen, Fata Morgana
flaming sword
extendable claws
mystic energy blasts

Margali Szardos, also known as Margali of the Winding Way, Red Queen or Fata Morgana, is a fictional character appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. She first appeared in Uncanny X-Men Annual #4, and was created by writer Chris Claremont and artist John Romita Jr. based on sketches by John Byrne.[1]

Margali is Nightcrawler's adopted mother. She is also the biological mother of Amanda Sefton, formerly known as Daytripper and the second Magik.

Fictional character biography[edit]

Margali Szardos in her first panel ever, as she faces the X-Men and Dr. Strange in X-Men Annual #4, (1980). Art by John Romita Jr. & Bob McLeod.

Margali Szardos' past is as much of an enigma as she is. She was supposedly born in Paris, France and taught magic by her mother, but she has yet to reveal her true origins. Margali's particular discipline of magic is called 'The Winding Way.' [2]

Once having been married, Szardos has two children: Stefan and Jimaine (AKA Amanda Sefton). She supposedly had an affair with the demonic mutant Azazel who, at the time, had also seduced Mystique who was then posing as the wife of Baron Christian Wagner. The Baron, who was infertile, suspected his wife of infidelity and, when the pain of childbirth caused Mystique to shift back to her natural form and deliver a devilish-looking child, the locals rose up against mother and son. Mystique fled, throwing the child over a waterfall where he was later found and adopted by Margali. Whether she knew the child's origins or not, she raised the boy as her own.[3]

Working at Der Jahrmarkt as a fortune-teller to cover her tracks, Margali discovered that the Demon Belasco was sowing seeds of destruction into the Earth. She tricked her daughter into staying with her in Der Jahrmarkt by killing Sabu, Jimaine and Kurt's trapeze mentor. A day after Sabu's death, Kurt left Der Jahrmarkt to start a new life with the X-Men. Jimaine followed him to America and changed her name to Amanda Sefton, taking a job as a flight attendant. She and Kurt have since had an on-again, off-again relationship.

Years later Margali learned that Kurt had killed Stefan. Too deep in grief to question why, Margali exiled Nightcrawler's soul to a dimension resembling Dante's Inferno. With help from Jimaine and Doctor Strange, Kurt was exonerated.[4]

During Margali's time of weakness on The Winding Way, she was captured by the demon D'Spayre. After being rescued by Jimaine and Nightcrawler, Margali began her quest to take possession of a magical weapon called the Soulsword. Margali tricked her daughter once again by giving her a warning about a sorcerer called Gravemoss who was trying to kill all above him on The Winding Way. Amanda travelled to Muir Island and found that Gravemoss had possessed Kurt. After defeating Gravemoss, Amanda gave her mother the Soulsword and Margali used it to kill all the other sorcerers stationed above her. Amanda then joined Excalibur under the codename Daytripper.

Hoping to release a demon under London, Margali joined the U.K. branch of the Hellfire Club as the Red Queen and kidnapped the mutant hybrid Douglock. Her efforts were foiled by Excalibur and Margali disappeared only to be captured by Belasco. With her last bit of magic she swapped souls with her daughter. Margali's soul, now in Amanda's body, took Nightcrawler to Limbo where they were able to rescue her body and defeat Belasco. After the battle, Nightcrawler returned to the X-Men and Margali left Amanda to rule Limbo. Amanda then took the name Magik for herself.

Margali becomes the Red Queen

Margali has reappeared recently to find Nightmare torturing her daughter. Nightmare was under control of a demon called Hive who was looking for the Soulsword. Nightcrawler was able to defeat Hive with the help of Margali, Jimaine and Nightmare. During the battle Margali revealed that Nightcrawler possessed the Soulsword. Nightcrawler currently keeps the Soulsword inside his body.

Because of Margali's indiscriminate use of magic, she and Amanda parted ways on tense terms.[5] Following Nightcrawler's resurrection[6] and his reunion with Amanda, Margali began to lust for the secrets of the afterlife. For this purpose, she engineered an attack by a quasi-robotic villain of her own creation called Trimega, pushing Nightcrawler into granting her sanctuary at the Jean Grey School for Higher Learning.[7] Once there, she attacked Storm and Beast, who had participated in Nightcrawler's recovery, converting their bodies into pictures of their memories. Stealing those memories relating to their experiences in the afterlife, she opened a portal into the Beyond. Intent on closing it from the other side, Nightcrawler and Amanda attempted to pass the gate, but Nightcrawler's voluntary exile from Heaven barred him from entry, stranding Amanda alone in the Void.[8]

Powers and abilities[edit]

Margali is an accomplished sorceress, equal of almost any sorcerer on Earth, occupying "The Winding Way's" highest position. The Winding Way grants mystic power, but that power ebbs and flows unpredictably, affecting the strength of Margali's magic. Margali can cast spells and transform herself. As the Red Queen she manifested her magic as a flaming sword, could extend her nails into long talons, and fire blasts of red arcane energy. Upon her first meeting of Doctor Strange she summoned his Eye of Agamotto away from him against his will, a feat which made him consider that her powers could rival or dwarf his own.

In other media[edit]

Margali appears in the X-Men: Evolution episode "The Toad, the Witch and the Wardrobe". Along with her daughter, Amanda, her history and background from the comics is not represented, and is instead portrayed as a normal Gypsy woman. The only feature to remain from her comic background is her name, as said by her husband. She is voiced by Teryl Rothery.


  1. ^
  2. ^ Uncanny X-Men Annual #4
  3. ^ Excalibur #83
  4. ^ Excalibur #99
  5. ^ Nightcrawler (2014) #2-#4.
  6. ^ Amazing X-Men (vol.2) #1-5.
  7. ^ Nightcrawler (2014) #1-#2.
  8. ^ Nightcrawler (2014) #4.