"I have restored her, Piotr Nikolaevitch... to the life and future that are rightfully hers!"
When we last left the alternate X-men series X-men Forever, a creepy Russian demon worshipper known as Cossack kidnapped Colossus' young sister Illyana and freed the demonic elements that were locked deep within her soul. Now she was Black Magik, heir to Belasco's throne in Limbo.
And while those dark influences might have controlled Illyana's mind, she still longed for a connection with her past life... And she'd found it in her former best friend Kitty Pryde. But before we get to that, Cossack called in his lupine henchmen to deal with the X-men.
Kitty was ordered to keep little 'Ro safe, but as she took the tiny Storm away from the battle she also ran into Black Magik who was ready to make her move.
"As soon as Cossack and I are finished with Shadowcat... It'll be your turn."
So, just what was Illyana planning to do to Kitty, you ask? Well... Magik had revealed she wanted Kitty as her companion for a long time, and now she finally had the means to do so.
So, just what cán she become? The opening page of X-men Forever # 14 holds the tantalizing answer...
"You chose the name Shadowcat as the true expression of your soul, Kitty. But now behold that soul made flesh: You are not a mere "shadow", my heart... You are my FIRE-CAT!"
While that is a pretty speech and Kitty's new fiery, feline form is a wonder to behold... the transformation isn't quite complete. Not until she sheds blood, that is... But with all those X-men ready to oppose her, that only seems a matter of time. Especially when Illyana offers a little more moral support, swaying the rather confused Kitty to their side even further.
"Embrace who you are, stop being afraid of what you can become."
Ignoring the rather obvious lesbian undertones of this scene, Illyana does make a valid point. In the past few issues, Kitty has lost pretty much everyone she shared a special or even an emotional connection with. Storm betrayed the team, killing Kitty's father figure and mentor Wolverine... Add to that Colossus shacking up with the Black Widow... who's left for Kitty? The answer might surprise you...
"I fought Ogun, I fought the Shadow King, I'll fight Cossack... and I'll win!"
Gosh, such a pretty little rhyme. Wolverine's presence served as a reminder to who she really was and forced Kitty to fight back, eventually succeeding in breaking the spell Illyana and Cossack put her under. But that didn't keep the ol' purple haired russkie to try the same with 'Ro...
"It will take but a moment to catalyze the darkness in the child's soul..."
Yeah, fraid not Cossack... There's far more to little Ro than meets the eye, as we'll cover in a future entry. She's able to withstand his transformation attempt, leaving him powerless in the process.
With the werewolf sidekicks dealt with as well, Illyana's defeat seemed imminent, especially because the other members of Russia's sanctioned superhero team the Winter Guard had arrived to help out Colossus and the Black Widow... But Black Magik wasn't quite ready to give in.
"You taught me well, X-men. Next time, you'll find out how well."
Unfortunately, the X-men Forever series was cancelled well before Black Magik could make good on her threat... but hey, how can you even top trying to mind control two X-men and killing your own brother in a first appearance?