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Real Name: Unrevealed

Identity/Class: Extradimensional (Class III) demon

Occupation: Posing as Baba Yaga, the witchgoddess of European folklore

Group Membership: None

Affiliations: Azazello, Behemoth, Koroviev, S'ym, unidentified ogres

Enemies: Colossus (Piotr Rasputin), Magik (Illyana Rasputin), New Mutants (Cannonball/Sam Guthrie, Mirage/Danielle "Dani" Moonstar, Sunspot/Roberto Da Costa, Warlock, Wolfsbane/Rahne Sinclair)

Known Relatives: None

Aliases: "Grandmama" (nickname used by Illyana Rasputin)

Base of Operations: Professor Xavier's School For Gifted Youngsters;
formerly (Otherplace (limbo)

First Appearance: Uncanny X-Men I#231 (July, 1988)

Powers/Abilities: Starting out as a mildy telepathic shapeshifting Otherplace demon, the creature that became Baba Yaga possessed a certain measure of superstrength (at least around class 50), allowing her to resist Colossus' might. She could also cast powerful magic wards that prevented Magik from using any spells. As a creature born of sorcery and demons, she was particularly vulnerable to iron. Baba was an experienced cook, who preferred to feast on human flesh, properly fattened and seasoned.

Height: 5'2" (by approximation)
Weight: 140 lbs. (by approximation)
Eyes: Blue
Hair: Grey

Baba Yaga's home


(Uncanny X-Men I#231 (fb) - BTS) - Unbeknownst to Magik (Illyana Rasputin), her position as lord of Otherplace (limbo) put an ever increasing strain on the dimensional walls that seperate Otherplace and Earth. Due to the continued pressure of Magik's wild sorcery, small cracks began to appear, allowing demons to slip through, including the one that would become Baba Yaga. This was noticed and allowed by Baba's boss S'ym, who saw her escape as a perfect distraction for Illyana, who he was actively trying to replace as Otherplace's ruler.

   The demon secretly read Illyana's mind and learned of the existence of Baba Yaga, a character Illyana remembered from the fairytales of her childhood. The demon based its earthly form on the likeness of Baba and summoned underlings she made to look like visual approximations of Koroviev, Azazello and Behemoth, all characters from the classic Russian novel The Master And Margarita that Illyana was studying for a school assignment. She also changed two others into lumbering ogres she used to quietly invade Professor Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters. While Magik was upstairs studying, Baba ordered the ogres to kidnap the New Mutants. She had them trussed up and hung from the ceiling, while feeding tubes were inserted down their throats to fatten them up.

   Before Baba sent Koroviev, Behemoth and Azazello to collect Illyana, Baba cast a spell that slowly replaced the school with her own domicile from Otherplace. Once the transferal was completed, Baba would have established a permanent foothold on Earth. To make sure everything progressed smoothly, she also placed several mystic wards that prevented anyone but her from using any form of magic.

   Illyana was succesfully surprised by the three literary figures and brought before Yaga, who planned to add her to the menu as well. But while her magics were disabled, Magik's mutant teleportation powers still worked. Illyana escaped to Otherplace where she figured the best way to deal with Baba Yaga was to resurrect her dead brother Colossus.

(Uncanny X-Men I#231 - BTS) - Colossus (Piotr Rasputin) was severly depressed by the fact he could no longer see his family since the X-Men had decided it would be in everyone's best interest to allow the world to believe they had died. Somehow sensing the current crisis and Piotr's mood, the Aboriginal Gateway sought out Colossus and teleported him to Otherplace.

   Piotr arrived moments before Illyana could cast the resurrection spell aimed at restoring him to life. Surprised he showed before the spell was complete, Illyana was relieved to see him nonetheless. Teleporting what she still believed was the animated corpse of her brother to just outside the school, she explained what had happened and ordered him to rescue the New Mutants before the transferal was complete.

(Uncanny X-Men I#231) - Counting on the element of surprise, Illyana used a light circle to drop off Colossus a few hundred feet above Baba's abode. He crashed straight through to the kitchen where he found the New Mutants all ripe for the slaughter. Baba ordered her ogres to deal with the intruder, promising them they'd get to crack his bones as an appetizer while she absconded with all the New Mutants on her back, ready to start the cooking.

   After knocking out the ogres, Colossus chased her but the mystical properties of her home made it hard for him to follow her. When he located Yaga, she was about to slice Rahne Sinclair's throat. Colossus was forced to change back into his human form in order to fit through the narrow passageway into the room. Upon seeing all his exposed, well muscled flesh Baba got all excited, dropped Rahne and focussed all her attention on Piotr, calling him "the perfect centerpiece for Baba Yaga's table". No match for the demon witch in his human form, Peter was about to be overcome by Baba when she jumped him. However, remembering that iron is lethal to magical creatures, he shifted to Colossus form and instantly killed the crone. With her gone, all her magics disappeared as well.

Comments: Created by Chris Claremont (writer), Rick Leonardi (pencils), Dan Green (inks)

Fairytales are known for their often gruesome, hardly child-friendly content and this one is no exception. Just how Chris Claremont managed to slip cannibalism and force-feeding naked teens trussed up like prize turkeys from the ceiling past the Comics Code Authority is a feat worthy of storybooks as well. Also: this comic introduced me to the writings of Bulgakov...well worth checking out, even if you're not that big a fan of stoic, dark Russian writings.

Profile by Norvo.

Baba Yaga imposter should not be confused with

Azazello, Behemoth & Koroviev

Three of Baba Yaga's servants were changed into Azazello, Behemoth and Koroviev, characters from the classic Russian novel The Master And Margarita that Illyana was preparing a term paper on. In the book by author Mikhail Bulgakov, the characters were all part of a dark magician's entourage. Azazello was described as a menacing, fanged assassin who was demonic in both appearance and behavior. The bespectacled Koroviev was once part of an angelic choir, while Behemoth was a gigantic anthropomorphized cat with soft spot for hard liquor, guns and chess. The trio served Baba Yaga, sneaking up and capturing Illyana Rasputin. They did not engage Colossus or play a part in Baba Yaga's final conflict against the X-Man. Their final fate remains to be seen, though its more than likely they vanished following their mistress Baba's defeat.

--Uncanny X-Men I#231

Baba's ogres

When the Limbo demon that became Baba Yaga assumed her fairytale form, she also summoned two underlings she changed into giant, superpowered ogres. What they lacked in intelligence, they more than made up for in brawn. The duo was able to take out the New Mutants without noticeable effort. Cannibalistic like Baba, they couldn't wait to feast on the cooked flesh of the mutants, even as Yaga promised them they could snack on the bones of Colossus in preparation for the main course.

-- Uncanny X-Men I#231

images: (without ads)
Uncanny X-Men I#231, p11, pan 2 (main image)
Uncanny X-Men I#231, p11, pan1 (mansion)
Uncanny X-Men I#231, p24, pan6 (dies)
Uncanny X-Men I#231, p10, pan3 (Illyana with Azazello, Behemoth & Koroviev)
Uncanny X-Men I#231, p12, pan1-2 (Colossus vs. Ogres)

Uncanny X-Men I#231 (July, 1988) - Chris Claremont (writer), Rick Leonardi (pencils), Dan Green (inks), Ann Nocenti (editor)

Last updated: 01/02/13

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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