Margali Szardos was born in Paris, France and tutored in magick by her mother, who was from a long line of ancestral witches. A precocious child, Margali grew into an ambitious young woman who applied herself to the Craft and possessed a natural affinity for magick. Her inquisitive nature led her to explore the world and and devout herself to mastering Nature's laws, often as a gypsy fortune-teller with a traveling European circus. She bore two children, declining to name the father for many years. Later in life, she admitted to having had a sexual relationship with the demonic mutant mystic Azazel, who was mentoring her further in the arts arcane. Whether she were aware that Azazel was involved in an on-going romantic relationship with the mutant shape-shifter Mystique has not been addressed. Azazel delivered the product of his relationship with Mystique, his son, to Margali to raise as her own.
Margali raised her two sons and daughter in the small Bavarian circus, where they learned such skills as acrobatics and swordsmanship, and Margali prepared her daughter Jimaine for her mystic manifest destiny as Mistress of the Winding Way. In time, the eldest, Margali's natural son Stefan, left the circus to make his own way in the world. The small circus was bought by a nouveau riche Texas millionaire who decided Margali's foster-son Kurt Wagner was better suited as a sideshow freak than a trapeze acrobat. Disgusted, Kurt abandoned the circus life for Winzeldorf, West Germany where his foster-brother Stefan lived. Kurt discovered that Stefan had been possessed by literal demons and murdered two children. Kurt tracked down Stefan and attempted to reason with him but Stefan resisted and in the ensuing fight Kurt accidentally fractured his brother's neck, thereby killing Margali's only son. When some villagers came upon Kurt, they noted his demon-like appearance and Stefan's lifeless body, they superstitiously assumed that Kurt was a demon that had killed both the young man and the two children and intended to stake him through the heart. Professor Charles Xavier telepathically intervened, saving Kurt's live from the angry mob and invited him to join his new team of X-Men in the United States.
Margali, however, learned only that Kurt had killed her son and, grief-stricken, harbored thoughts of revenge. Fortunately, Jimaine found him first and, utilizing her magick in a glamour spell, began dating Kurt as airline attendant Amanda Sefton, unrecognized by Kurt. Margali attacked Kurt, imprisoning him in an illusion that resembled Dante's Hell. But Amanda had grown close to Kurt and learned the full truth regarding her brother's accidental death. With Amanda's help, Kurt was able to convince Margali that he was innocent of wrongdoing. After Amanda had revealed her true identity and previous familial relationship with Kurt, the two continued seeing one another romantically, despite having been raised as siblings and as of yet unaware that they shared a genetic father. Margali kept the secret of their shared paternity but discouraged their on-going romantic involvement, which had the unintended effect of drawing them closer together.
Margali Szardos is a Marvel comic book character that first appeared in The Uncanny X-Men Annual #4 released in 1980. She was created by writer Chris Claremont and artist John Romita, Jr.
Major Story Arcs
Opposing the Sorcerer Supreme
Margali's magick was powerful enough to summon the mystical Eye of Agamotto amulet from the possession of Dr. Strange without his consent or ability to prevent it. Later, Margali acquired Illyana Rasputin's Soulsword in a coup and used it to kill all of the magi ahead of her on the Winding Way, reserving for herself a position of power. She also acquired a new, younger body and joined the London branch of the Hellfire Club as the enigmatic Red Queen. She plotted with the London Hellfire Club's Inner Circle and British operatives of Black Air to release a demon bound beneath Londontown, permitting the Hellfire Club to overthrow the British Parliament in the resulting chaos. The Red Queen's magic was essential to the plan, as was the alien-mutant hybrid Douglock who was captured and unraveled by Black Air, and used as a techno-organic interface with the demon's crypt. But when Margali tapped into the eldritch energies through Douglock's head, she was overwhelmed by the power and evil of the demon, and was incapacitated. The surviving members of the Inner Circle were handily defeated by Captain Britain and Excalibur.
Once Excalibur freed Douglock from the interface and bound the demon into his sealed crypt, Margali vanished. In her moment of weakness, she was captured by the demon-lord Belasco in Limbo, who coveted the Soulsword. Belasco tortured Margali for some time until Amanda apparently sacrificed all of their old circus buddies and, with Kurt, ventured to Limbo to battle Belasco. Once the evil sorceror was defeated, Margali revealed that, while physically trapped in Limbo, she had switched bodies with her daughter, allowing her the freedom to develop a power base by temporarily "killing" the circus folk, invoke Kurt's aid and ultimately rescue her daughter, while Amanda's consciousness was consigned to her mother's body and tortured by Belasco. The spirits of Margali, Amanda and the circus folk were all restored to their original bodies and Margali left Limbo and the stewardship of the Winding Way in her daughter's capable hands.
More recently, in conjunction with the spirits of the deceased Legion and Destiny, Margali had reformed the Defenders, and hoped to use her magick, along with the spirits' powers and awareness, to avert danger. Margali returned to her original form, complete with light blue skin and a ram's horned headdress. However, she soon assumed the appearance of a young blonde woman. Exactly how and why she made this change is unknown. Margali was captured by the Ruined, extra-dimensional entities bent on conquering Earth, and although she participated in the defeat of the Ruined, Margali was remanded to Le Citadel, a French witch-prison. It was then that the psychic vampire Selene made her bid to usurp power within the New York Hellfire Club. Margali was expatriated by the Fantastic Four whom she then transported to Limbo in order to train them in fighting magick. Margali was instrumental in binding the defeated Selene to the bowels of the Hellfire Club's Manhattan mansion, and joined the new hero Mechamage as part of the Shadow Hunters, a group formed to combat wayward witches and other practitioners of dark magick.
Powers and Abilities
Margali is the Guardian of the Winding Way of Power, an ancient mystical path of wisdom and enlightenment that practitioners of the Craft often tread. The Winding Way, of Winding Path, grants its gifts through a cyclic pattern of mystic power followed by periods of weakness; the greater the power actualized, the more significant the corresponding vulnerability. Margali, arguably a powerful sorceress, has experienced times of weakness, homelessness and hunger while involved in the Way.
Margali has at her disposal a variety of spell-casting capabilities and accroutements that include healing, as her family legacy; probability alteration, the nature of all magick; astral projection; generation of mystic wards or concussive bolts of eldritch energy; glamoury; Witches' Sight, or limited precognition and clairvoyance; levitation; interdimensional teleportation; transmogification; elemental manipulation; mind transmigration enabling her to exchange physical forms; and others. While her power is based in dark magick, Margali on the whole uses her powers with beneficial intent and is considered one of the most accomplished magick practitioners on Earth.
Height: 5' 2"
Weight: 115 lbs
Hair: Gray; formerly black, brown, red, and various shades of blonde