Real Name: S'ym
Identity/Class: Extradimensional techno-organic
Occupation: Unrevealed; former servant of Belasco, ruler of limbo (Otherplace), servant of Magik, second-in-command of Belasco
Group Membership: None, though he commands the
respect of many limbo demons
formerly the Archenemy, "Baba Yaga", Belasco, Bogeyman, Crotus, Goblin Queen (Madelyne Pryor), Magik (Illyana Rasputin), Magik (Amanda Sefton), Magus, N'astirh, Nightcrawler of Earth-8280, an unidentified Right soldier
Forrester, Belasco, Binary (Carol Danvers), Cable (Nathan Dayspring
(Desmond Pitt), Empath (Emmanuel de la Rocha), Enchantress (Amora), Cameron Hodge, Stevie
Hunter, Magik (Amanda Sefton), Magneto (Max Eisenhardt), Lilandra Neramani, New Mutants (Cannonball/Sam
Guthrie, Karma/Xi'an Coy Manh, Magma/Amara Aquilla, Danielle Moonstar,
Sunspot/Roberto Da Costa, Wolfsbane/Rahne Sinclair), New X-Men (Anole/Victor Borkowski, Blindfold/Ruth Aldine,
Dust/Sooraya Kadir, Elixir/Josh Foley, Gentle/Nezhno Abidemi,
Loa/Alani Ryan, Match/Ben Hamill, Mercury/Cessily Kincaid, Pixie/Megan
Gwynn, Onyxx/Sydney Green, Prodigy/David Alleyne, Rockslide/Santo Vaccaro, Wolf Cub/Nicolas Gleason, X-23/Laura Kinney), Maire
O'Connell, the Right, Margali Szardos, Witchfire (Ananym), Wiz Kid, X-Men (Colossus/Piotr Rasputin, Dazzler/Alison Blaire, Gambit/Remy LeBeau, Nightcrawler/Kurt
Wagner, Northstar/Jean Paul Beaubier, Storm/Ororo Munroe,
Wolverine/James "Logan" Howlett), X-Men of Earth-8280 (Ariel/Kitty Pryde, Colossus/Piotr Rasputin, Nightcrawler/Kurt Wagner, Professor X/Charles Xaviero,
Storm/Ororo Munroe, Wolverine/James "Logan" Howlett);
Known Relatives: None
Aliases: Duke Bleys, "beast", "big guy", "that dumb
demon" (nicknames used by Illyana Rasputin)
Base of Operations: Otherplace (limbo)
First Appearance: Uncanny X-Men I#160 (August,
Powers/Abilities: S'ym possesses superhuman strength, far greater than most of the other demons inhabiting limbo (at least class 100, possibly higher). S'ym apparently has sufficient strength to break Adamantium. He has enhanced durability, agility and stamina. S'ym is vulnerable to certain kinds of magic, especially the Soulsword. S'ym appears to be extremely long-lived, still active and vital despite being at least half a millennium old (though Otherplace's unique temporal qualities might explain his longevity). Formerly, S'ym existed as a techno-organic being, which allowed him to repair and reform himself, even from a single molecule. He could infect others with the techno-organic virus, controlling their actions and even draining and feeding off their life energy. In his techno-organic state, he was invulnerable to all forms of magic. He tends to follow the ruler of Otherplace, serving that person out of fear and respect. Ambitious and devious, S'ym can act as a cunning and power hungry strategist. S'ym structurally refers to himself in the third person and likes to react smug and sarcastic. He enjoys smoking cigars and, on occasion, has been seen using a broken off adamantium claw as a toothpick.
Height: 7'5" (variable as a techno-organic)
Weight: 1500 lbs. (variable as a techno-organic)
Eyes: Red (variable as a techno-organic)
Hair: Grey (variable as a techno-organic)
(Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe Update '89#7 (fb) - BTS) - S'ym is a demon who originally inhabited the dimension known as limbo or Otherplace. When it was ruled by the demonic sorcerer Belasco, he served as the mage's principal demonic servant and enforcer for an unknown period of time.
(Marvel Super-Heroes III#1/6 (fb) - BTS) - S'ym encountered Maire O'Connell, who was serving as Belasco's first, immortal disciple.
(Uncanny X-Men I#160 (fb) - BTS) - When the X-Men of Earth-8280 got stuck in limbo, Belasco let S'ym and his demons have their way with them. They chased and tormented the X-Men for decades (relatively speaking).
(New Mutants I#71 (fb) ) - Over the years, S'ym would
repeatedly punish Earth-8280's Illyana for mostly imagined
transgressions on her part, hurting the girl but never to the point of
actually killing her which was well within his capabilities. During one
of those demonstrations, S'ym was attacked by N'astirh, a demon eager to
prove his own power. They tore each other apart, but both survived
to tell the tale.
(Uncanny X-Men I#160 (fb) - BTS) - S'ym continued to
terrorize the X-Men. In the end, S'ym was personally responsible for
killing Colossus, leaving his steel corpse to decay near Belasco's
throneroom. Though he wanted to kill Wolverine, that pleasure was denied
him. The feral mutant's dead body was left to rot next to Belasco's
throne until only his Adamantium skeleton remained.
(Magik I#2 (fb) ) - S'ym was pleasantly surprised when the 14-year-old Illyana Rasputin, on the run from Belasco with Earth-8280's Cat (Kitty Pryde), accidentally entered a teleportation circle that brought her to him. He formally introduced himself, proudly showing the stunned girl the rotting corpse of her alternate reality brother. Before he could grab and punish her for running away, Cat arrived and distracted the demon long enough (by slashing his tail) to get Illyana to safety by diving into another circle. Sometime later, S'ym watched how his master Belasco manipulated Cat and Illyana back to his throneroom, easily using his magics to enthrall Cat and force Illyana to form the first bloodstone necessary to free the Elder Gods.
(Magik I#3 (fb) - BTS) - S'ym would watch over Illyana as she began her studies into dark magics under Belasco's tutelage.
(Magik I#3 (fb) - BTS) - Once, when she was disobedient, he punished the girl so severely it made her decide she would never again allow herself to be hurt like that.
(Magik I#3 (fb) ) - Belasco sent S'ym to collect Illyana, who had used her newfound control of limbo's teleport circles to explore the past of the timeless realm. He was waiting for her when she appeared back in the present on the battlements of Belasco's citadel. He was ready to teach her another lesson, but this time the young sorceress fought back, dazing the demon with a flare spell that caused him to trip over his own feet. She then summoned a teleport circle that carried S'ym to a faraway place.
(Magik I#4 (fb) ) - S'ym returned in time to assist his master Belasco when he was faced by a battle ready Illyana Rasputin, emboldened by the death of her mentor, Earth-8280's Storm. The demon was no match for Rasputin's soulsword, going down after one blow from the mystical weapon. He remained unconscious even as Illyana usurped control of limbo from Belasco.
(Uncanny X-Men I#160) - S'ym was summoned by Belasco when
members of Earth-616's X-Men followed Illyana Rasputin into limbo. S'ym
was ordered to take care of them, with the demon casually snapping off
one of the Adamantium claws on Wolverine's corpse to use as a toothpick.
He went forth to confront Earth-616's Wolverine, catching up with him
just as he came across the corpse of Earth-8280's Colossus. He easily
defeated him, but before S'ym could strike a killing blow, the mutant
was teleported away by one of limbo's seemingly random teleport circles.
He was then faced by Colossus, who he wounded with the stray Adamantium
claw. He would have killed them both, if not for the intervention of Earth-8280's Storm
who used her magics to force the teleport circles to
return Wolverine to save Colossus. Together, they forced S'ym into one
of the circles that took him to a corner of limbo. He returned in time
to head up Belasco's demon forces when the X-Men tried to escape with
Illyana. However, even S'ym's strength couldn't break through the
protective magical shield cast by the elderly Storm of Earth-8280 who
was covering for them.
(Uncanny X-Men I#171 - BTS) - Subconsciously still traumatized by her time in limbo, the now teenage Illyana Rasputin accidentally reprogrammed the Danger Room during an X-Men training exercise so it displayed Belasco in his throneroom, flanked by Nightcrawler and S'ym. Before the simulations could act, Kitty Pryde shut down the Danger Room.
(New Mutants I#14 - BTS) - Acting on seemingly imagined
orders from Belasco (see comments),
S'ym began a search for Illyana with the intent of returning her to
limbo. He tracked her to Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters but
decided to wait for the right moment to grab her.
(New Mutants I#14) - When Illyana and the New Mutants were out to Salem Center with their dance teacher Stevie Hunter, S'ym entered the school and confronted Professor X. His mind blasts didn't affect the demon, who knocked the telepath out with a single blow. S'ym waited around for Illyana to return. As luck would have it, Illyana was the first to enter the school and was stunned to find S'ym waiting for her. Confronted with her old tormentor, she instinctively summoned the New Mutants using limbo's teleport circles to transport the team, as well as Stevie Hunter and her car directly inside the mansion. S'ym had no trouble fighting off Sunspot, Wolfsbane and Cannonball, but proved unable to withstand Danielle Moonstar's mental powers. She summoned and manifested S'ym's worst fear: Belasco and the Darkchild. Serving one would mean the wrath of the other. Terrified, the demon dropped Illyana and staggered off. Stevie Hunter quickly got Illyana to safety while Magma created a volcano that buried S'ym in molten lava. That only briefly stopped him, after breaking free he started to chase Stevie and the barely conscious Illyana. Hunter was trying to get the girl to the underground transit tunnel leading to the hangar. S'ym grabbed on to the elevator, forcing Stevie and Illyana to jump. The fall injured Hunter, causing her bad knee to give out, even as he approached. Fortunately, Stevie had bought Illyana sufficient time to recover. She used her magics to fight back, summoning her Soulsword to prove to S'ym she was now the true leader of limbo. In return for his life, the demon offered to serve her as he once did Belasco, whose return he imagined was unlikely. Satisfied, Illyana teleported S'ym back to limbo, while also using her magic to make sure Stevie didn't remember a thing about their exchange.
(New Mutants I#17) - S'ym caught up with Magik and
Danielle Moonstar when Illyana used her light circles to get them to
limbo in order to escape the White Queen (Emma Frost) and her Hellions.
S'ym made sure the exhausted Illyana was well taken care of, treating
her like a queen of the realm and even making sure no harm befell Dani
who realized the lesser demons' biggest fear was indeed S'ym. The demon
made sure Illyana and Dani had a change of clothes, though it was hardly
an appropriate one. He watched over Illyana during her recuperation,
though she soon grew tired of his borish behavior and used a light
circle to send him away.
(New Mutants I#29) - S'ym was essential in extracting
information from one of the Arena's henchmen, responsible for kidnapping
New Mutants members Sunspot and Magma. Illyana brought the man to limbo
and allowed the terrifying demon to intimidate him until he told them
all they needed to know. Illyana then left S'ym in charge of the man's
well being while she and Sam returned to Earth to try and rescue their
(New Mutants I#32) - After an unsuccessful attempt at fighting their former teammate Karma (secretly possessed by the Shadow King), Illyana managed to escape to limbo with Dani Moonstar in tow. She summoned S'ym and a few other bruiser type demons to her side, ready to return to Karma's villa and rescue their teammates. However, by the time they returned (due in part to the unstable timeshifting between Earth and limbo), they arrived hours later. By then, Karma had mind-controlled the New Mutants to wreck the villa, murdering the guards and the initial wave of demons Illyana had called up to fight. S'ym and the others returned to limbo as soon as Illyana and Dani realized this was all part of Karma's plan to pin the massacre on them.
(New Mutants I#33) - As part of her plan to defeat the
vastly powerful Karma, Illyana took her techno-organic teammate Warlock
to limbo where she entrusted him to S'ym's care. The demon showed the
impressionable youth the decaying corpse of Earth-8280's Colossus which
caused him to freak out.
(New Mutants I#33 - BTS) - Warlock, fueled by panic, knocked out S'ym and went looking for Magik. When he found her in limbo, she was just lamenting the fact she had sacrificed Ororo to Karma's control as part of her desperate plan. Misinterpreting the situation, Warlock deemed her a traitor and declared Illyana was as evil as Karma and would share her fate.
(New Mutants I#34) - S'ym remained unconscious while Magik
was forced to deal with and ultimately calm down Warlock, but not before
he infected and absorbed several minor limbo demons through his
transmode virus. Illyana couldn't help but be ticked off at S'ym for
upsetting her teammate like that.
(New Mutants Special Edition#1) - Illyana called on S'ym when she brought the helpless Enchantress (Amora) to limbo as payback for being tortured by Amora in Asgard for an extended period of time before the New Mutants freed her. She ordered S'ym not to harm her physically, but allowed him free reign beyond that.
(New Mutants I#43) - Shocked to learn the Hellion Empath (Emmanuel de la Rocha) had used his powers to torment their friends Tom Corsi and Sharon Friedlander, the New Mutants hatched a plot to pay the emotion twisting mutant back. Illyana teleported the unsuspecting Empath to limbo one night, using S'ym's imposing presence to genuinely scare him before sending him off to the next phase of his punishment.
(New Mutants I#47 - BTS) - When an exhausted, injured Illyana used her teleportation powers to save the New Mutants from the techno-organic menace known as the Magus, they wound up in limbo. Sensing his mistress' presence and injuries, S'ym sent demons to fetch her so they could perform a restoration ritual.
(New Mutants I#47) - As the ritual was getting underway,
S'ym spotted Magik's fellow New Mutant Sunspot skulking about, getting
ready to disrupt the "church service". He prevented him from
interfering, explaining to the confused lad that the demons were
actually reviving and restoring their leader to full health by stabbing
her with her own sword. Illyana commended S'ym and his men, telling them
she was proud of their work.
(Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe Update '89#7 (fb) - BTS) - Sensing his quarry's escape to limbo, the Magus somehow made his way to the demonic realm. There, he encountered S'ym and offered the ambitious demon the power he desired to seize control of limbo (albeit on the Magus' behalf). S'ym agreed and was transformed into a techno-organic being, comprised of living circuitry. S'ym, infecting demons left and right, organized a rebellion against Magik's rule (see comments).
(New Mutants I#50) - As soon as Magik returned to limbo, she was attacked by S'ym and his recently transformed techno-organic demon forces. This led to a devastating fight between him and Illyana, who found that S'ym was now able to withstand the effects of her Soulsword. S'ym's techno-organic infected troops touched her, forcing Illyana to use her Soulsword on herself. The sword purged the infection, but covered parts of her body with an eldritch armor. Desperate, Illyana used the Soulsword to channel all of her magical powers which proved sufficient to rid limbo of S'ym's influence as long as the sword remained there. After a while, Magik was forced to return to limbo with Professor X, Binary and Lilandra to retrieve her sword as part of the ongoing fight against Magus. S'ym immediately attacked, but was held back by Binary. Illyana eventually cut the demon in half, though his techno-organic nature made it impossible for her to truly defeat him. Aware they were urgently needed elsewhere, Magik left limbo with the others. This allowed S'ym to continue his takeover of the demonic realm.
(New Mutants I#52) - Magik returned to limbo to continue her fight against S'ym and his ever-growing, corrupting influence. Through a supreme effort, she thought she had defeated S'ym, changing limbo back to a peaceful, green and pleasant land. However, S'ym hid around, posing as a flower until she left. Some time later, aware S'ym had recovered, Illyana returned to Otherplace with her mentor Magneto (Max Eisenhardt). Using his magnetic control, he easily imprisoned S'ym and offered to annihilate the techno-organic demon. Even though she was tempted, Magik refused and told him to let S'ym go: limbo was her responsibility and she would find a better way to beat S'ym.
(Marvel Super Heroes III#1/6) - S'ym was informed Magik had
returned to limbo (along with the
immortal Maire O'Connell who wanted Magik's help in becoming human
again). The two were holed up in Belasco's tower, searching
through his library of magical tomes to find the right spell. S'ym and
his forces eventually broke through the protective wards the two had set
up, just as Illyana had begun the ritual. S'ym and Maire recognized each
other from centuries earlier, with the demon complimenting Belasco's
former disciple on her good memory. In the end, S'ym lethally wounded
Maire by throwing a spear at her. This infuriated Magik who blasted the
demon out of the tower.
(New Mutants I#61 - BTS) - Now more in control of limbo than ever, S'ym used the opportunity to alter the dimension so it reflected his demonic personality more and more.
(New Mutants I#61) - Maddened with grief after the
Ani-Mator shot her teammate Cypher (Doug Ramsey), Illyana Rasputin
teleported the Ani-Mator and one of his allies from the anti-mutant
group the Right to limbo. She appeared near S'ym, briefly noting how he
had turned limbo into a true hell, before handing the terrified Right
soldier to S'ym and his demons to feast on.
(New Mutants I#61 - BTS) - S'ym's forces transformed the Right soldier into a techno-organic entity like themselves.
(New Mutants I#65) - Furious when she watched the mutant inventor Forge seemingly sacrifice her brother Piotr and the other X-Men on live television, Illyana was determined to kill him. She teleported the New Mutants to limbo to collect her Soulsword, the one thing keeping S'ym in check. The New Mutants were stunned to see how hellish the realm had become since their last visit and begged Illyana to leave the sword in place to prevent even worse things from happening. She ignored their pleas and left with the sword, which was S'ym's cue to summon his forces and increase his influence. S'ym was amused by the irony of Illyana wanting to kill Forge for opening a small portal to another realm while he was planning to use the Darkchilde to open an even bigger one.
(X-Terminators#1 - BTS) - Illyana eventually returned the Soulsword to limbo.
(X-Terminators#1) - As part of his plan to open a portal from limbo to Earth, S'ym secured the aid of the powerful demon N'astirh and his N'asteris. He ordered N'astirh and his forces to go to Earth to steal 13 babies as part of a dread, sacrificial ritual he was planning to perform. Though N'astirh was more than a match for S'ym and was even protected from his techno-organic touch through his magic, he decided to cooperate figuring S'ym's scheme would serve his own plans.
(Power Pack I#40 - BTS) - Acting on S'ym's orders to get
13 infants with mutagenetic potential, N'astirh acquired the services of
the mutant-hating vigilante Bogeyman. Though he kidnapped two children,
he was stopped by Power Pack and the New Mutants. Disgusted by the
Bogeyman's actions, Magik condemned him to limbo, where he was infected
and altered by the demons there.
(Uncanny X-Men I#231 - BTS) - S'ym continued to capitalize on his growing influence over limbo. Now aided by the transformed Right soldier, he ordered the construction of a techno-organic mountain next to the peak Illyana kept her Soulsword on. As soon as S'ym's mountain would become taller than hers, his rule over the realm would be complete. S'ym also noticed that Illyana's wild sorcery was starting to put too great a strain on the "walls" between limbo and Earth, allowing minor demons to slip through the cracks. One of them was "Baba Yaga", who took over Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters.
(Uncanny X-Men I#231) - Illyana escaped Baba Yaga and returned to limbo where she found S'ym's mountain was about to rival her own. This led the Darkchilde to resort to desperate measures, which was just what S'ym had predicted and hoped for. Illyana planned to cast a necromantic spell to "resurrect" Colossus who was still presumed dead at the time. S'ym figured this would condemn her soul, making his takeover of limbo an inevitability. Instead, before the spell was completed, Colossus arrived in limbo courtesy of Gateway. This didn't fase S'ym at all, who mocked Illyana and Peter, easily withstanding her magical blasts now that his power was almost equal to hers. Colossus jumped him, causing both fighters to fall off the tower. He immediately attacked S'ym and seemingly beat him to bits. Illyana then sent Colossus (who she still thought was a necromantic shade) to free the New Mutants from "Baba Yaga". As soon as she'd left limbo, the Right soldier figured he was now in charge and got ready to assert control. However, S'ym reformed, slamming his underling to bits while taking pleasure in the fact limbo would soon be his despite the temporary setback of Illyana not condemning her soul by raising the dead.
(Uncanny X-Men I#234) - Hoping to turn the hurt,
emotionally vulnerable Madelyne Pryor to his side, S'ym contacted the
troubled X-Men ally's dreams through the dimension known as dreamtime.
Presenting himself as a mysterious, kind stranger he subtly dared her to
expand her horizons and recognize her true nature and heart's desire. He
offered her a chance to shape her own destiny instead of "playing the
perpetual victim", eventually tricking her into admitting she wanted to
actively lash out at Scott for hurting and abandoning her. This was all
S'ym needed to bound her to him, tasting of Maddie's blood and starting
her eventual transformation into the Goblin Queen. As she lay
unconscious, S'ym gleefully explained to her dreams weren't safe havens
where one could harmlessly indulge fantasies. Instead, they were
actually different shapes, orders and tastes of reality where choices
(New Mutants I#67) - Illyana continued to use limbo as a
waypoint while teleporting the New Mutants around. On one occasion, S'ym
watched as the team changed into their costumes to come to Cannonball's
aid. They commented on how limbo started to look worse and worse, a fact
Illyana attributed to her own personal darkness. As ruler of limbo, the
place reflects who she is. From a distance, S'ym cackled and mocked her
over this observation, offering to take over if she felt no longer up
for it. In response, Magik blasted the techno-organic's ever present
cigar before teleporting the newly dressed team back to Earth.
(Uncanny X-Men I#236 - BTS) - S'ym informed N'astirh of
his recent "acquisition" of Madelyne Pryor, requesting he sought her out
to discuss ways of reuniting her with her son, Nathan Summers. N'astirh
first attempted to reach Pryor by contacting her through the mysterious
techno-complex she was maintaining underneath the X-Men's base in the
Australian outback. When he found she wasn't home, he decided to try
(New Mutants I#70) - Trying to escape the alien Spydr and his forces, Illyana teleported the New Mutants and their new ally Gossamyr to limbo. There, they were shocked to find S'ym and his techno-organic horde waiting for them. The villain immediately ordered his troops to attack.
(New Mutants I#71) - Unable to escape limbo (thanks to N'astirh's magics), the New Mutants were forced to fight S'ym and his forces. The demon engaged Illyana, mocking her for helping cause the corruption of limbo with her own, rapidly darkening soul. Magik tried to tear him to pieces once again, but S'ym recovered within seconds, taking the fight to her and assuring the intimidated sorceress nothing could destroy him. Because Illyana had become corrupt, S'ym was even able to take the Soulsword from her. Not wasting any time, he tried to decapitate Magik with her own blade. However, her eldritch armor generated spikes that saved her but that didn't prevent S'ym from ordering his demons to kill the New Mutants instead. In a last ditch attempt, Magik summoned a stepping disc that took the team to Belasco's old throne room. At the same time, S'ym was contacted by N'astirh on Earth. Annoyed that his perceived henchmen had been spying on him, S'ym showed off the Soulsword as proof of his rule over limbo. N'astirh then reminded him Illyana had still managed to escape and that only his magic had prevented her from returning to Earth. He then told S'ym where he could find his quarries. S'ym attacked them, but Illyana once again teleported herself and the others away.
(New Mutants I#71 - BTS) - N'astirh used his magics to redirect Illyana and the New Mutants to his corner of limbo. The demonic magician quickly captured Illyana's teammates and then explained his motives. He revealed he'd been the one who fought S'ym years earlier after Belasco's enforcer had given Illyana (actually Earth-8280's version) a beating. N'astirh told the Darkchilde he loved her and offered her a deal: her friends would be spared if she was willing to embrace her true, dark heritage and reclaim the Soulsword from S'ym before he could use its power for himself. Illyana agreed.
(New Mutants I#71) - S'ym was no match for the desperate
Magik, who easily retrieved her Soulsword but was overwhelmed by all the
evil it harbored. She was transformed into the fully demonic Darkchilde,
even as S'ym lay in seeming defeat. Illyana immediately used her powers
to summon a stepping disc to Earth for herself and the New Mutants.
However, because of her new, dark nature and N'astirh's manipulations
that simple portal turned into a gigantic gateway over New York's Times
Square, spewing out dozens of limbo dwellers. A gloating N'astirh told
Illyana how he'd tricked her into delivering Earth to the demons of
(Uncanny X-Men I#241 - BTS) - S'ym sent his demons and the Right troops out to New York to cause chaos. The Right, following their anti-mutant tendencies, attacked the X-Men who were in the city fighting the Marauders. Colossus, recognizing the Right from his brief stay in limbo, grabbed one of the soldiers and forced him to tell what S'ym and N'astirh were planning.
(Avengers I#300 - BTS) - N'astirh continued to secretly monitor the movements of his allies S'ym and the Goblin Queen. He was pleased to find they were acting their parts, assuring his fellow demons that both the Queen and S'ym would soon be sidetracked. He described S'ym as "barely worth a candle, when the drama is finished he shall be an eternal prisoner of limbo", while they would rule Earth.
(Power Pack I#42) - S'ym joined his demons on Earth.
(New Mutants I#72) - S'ym interfered in N'astirh's plans for the Darkchilde, leading in a confrontation between them in Times Square where N'astirh's magics, a spell sorting computer module and the pentagram of the 13 powerful infants held the connection between Earth and limbo intact. S'ym wanted Magik for his own, which caused a massive fight between him and N'astirh.
(X-Terminators#4) - N'astirh's magics had little effect
on S'ym, but the demon used his control over the X-Terminators member
Taki to use the spell computer to cast powerful spells against S'ym.
Taki actually turned the spells against both S'ym and N'astirh, causing
massive explosions that buried both under rubble. In the end, S'ym
figured the best way to deal with N'astirh was by infecting him with the
transmode virus. However, this was exactly what the demon wanted,
triumphantly embracing his new techno-organic form whose unique
abilities he immediately used to control the spell computer by himself.
(New Mutants I#72) - The explosions set off by Taki disrupted the massive pentagram over Times Square, the portal to limbo closed much to the demons' chagrin who were concerned they were now trapped on Earth.
(X-Terminators#4) - S'ym approached the worried demons, assuring them that if they followed him, they'd no longer want for limbo... not when Earth could be their new domain.
(New Mutants I#72) - After beating back the newly transformed N'astirh, which forced her to use the Soulsword to completely cover her body with eldritch armor, Illyana was left sobbing and alone. From a distance, a grinning S'ym watched the scene.
(New Mutants I#73) - In the heart of the Inferno tainted New York, S'ym attacked Illyana to take the Soulsword from her. He was also ready to destroy her for trying to reject her Darkchild heritage. He continued mocking her new form and easily survived her most ferocious attacks thanks to the techno-virus. While they fought, his servants came across Illyana's brother Colossus and somehow managed to overcome and kidnap the superstrong X-Man. They delivered him to S'ym who used his presence to torment Illyana and Piotr, reminiscing about the time Piotr had fought S'ym in limbo when Illyana actually thought he was one of her dark conjurings. So overcome by the disgust of her new form, Illyana travelled to limbo (along with the New Mutants), where she eventually managed to reverse N'astirh's magics that had caused the demons to invade the Earthly plane. All the while, S'ym had been fighting with Colossus but when Illyana cast the reversal spell that removed all of limbo's denizens from Earth the smug techno-demon also vanished.
(Excalibur I#38 - BTS) - Darkoth the Death-Demon, whose
body was comprised of the limbo mineral promethium, managed to reform
himself in Otherplace. Some time later, Darkoth's old enemy Doctor
Doom invaded Otherplace to harness promethium, with the Avengers and
Excalibur in pursuit.
(Excalibur I#39) - Doom managed to gain control of the Soulsword (still left there by Magik to ensure S'ym could not become limbo's ruler). Doom planned to stab the heart of Otherplace with the sword, which would result in all the demons turning into the precious mineral. Darkoth, the one demon able to resist Doom's mind- control, fought Doom to a standstill even though the heart of limbo was still destroyed. Doom was forced to retreat to Earth, but S'ym then appeared to snatch the newly freed Soulsword. This led to a fight between him and Darkoth, which ended with S'ym getting absorbed by Darkoth. As he was consumed, S'ym swore he couldn't be destroyed and would remain festering inside him, planning his inevitable return.
(Cable II#14 (fb) ) - S'ym was planning a new Inferno
event by linking limbo to Earth once more. In order to achieve this, he
increased the Nexus of all Realities near Citrusville. When Belasco
learned of his former servant's plan, he decided to recruit the son of
the Goblin Queen (Cable) to stop S'ym. Belasco enlisted the help of
D'Spayre as well. The eager minor demon begged for a chance to take on
Cable, especially when he learned the mutant was accompanied by his
former victim Lee Forrester.
(Cable II#13 - BTS) - D'Spayre manipulated Lee and Cable as they continued their way through the Florida marshlands, hounding and herding them along using freak weather events. Lee and Cable proved capable of facing and resisting D'Spayre's trickery, even beating him back, only to give way to Belasco, who finally chose to get involved personally.(Cable II#14) - While Belasco was using his magics to force Cable and Lee to cooperate, S'ym showed up to fight Belasco. Easily ignoring the demon lord's magic bolts because they weren't in limbo and he wasn't his pet, S'ym casually tossed his old master aside once he learned Cable was the Goblin Queen's son. S'ym shifted his attention to Cable and Lee. He started to needle Cable with barbed remarks about his mother, calling her an empty vessel and doubting his heritage. Lee attacked him out of frustration, only to be slapped out of the way. This bought Cable enough time to telekinetically launch a pointy wooden spike at the demon.
Comments: Created by Chris Claremont (writer),
Brent Eric Anderson (pencils), Bob Wiacek (inks).
Your name is S'ym, you're able to snap off Adamantium claws and use 'em as toothpicks and yet you've been little more than a bit player since late 1989. Such a shame, he can be truly scary and horrifying given the right story.
S'ym shows up in New
Mutants I#14, ready to capture Illyana though apparently
unaware she was in charge of limbo at the time. Maybe Belasco secretly
ordered or infuenced his old enforcer to take out Magik in an attempt to
regain control of his realm, but it seems more logical S'ym was acting
out of a misplaced sense of duty.
S'ym's sudden transformation into a techno-organic servant of the Magus was confusing to say the least. Their actual encounter was never shown on panel, forcing the '89 Update handbook writers to retroactively insert it. It's also not been explained how he lost his techno-organic nature, it's not like there's a cure. Maybe getting absorbed by Darkoth, whose promethium-enhanced physique was unique, caused S'ym to lose the transmode virus. It's also not been established how he was able to shift into the form of Duke Bleys, shapeshifting or illusion casting isn't one of his powers. Then again, he also seems able to change the horn on his head into curly hair in between appearances. Man, that limbo sure is a mysterious place...
Co-creator Chris Claremont has stated in several interviews that S'ym was originally intended as an homage to Dave Sim and his creation, the warrior aardvark Cerberus.
S'ym received profiles in The
Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe Update '89#7, Official
Handbook of the Marvel Universe A-Z HC#11 , Marvel Encyclopedia: X-Men and
Wolverine: Weapon X Files#1.
Profile by Norvo.
S'ym should not be confused with
images: (without ads)
Wolverine Weapon X Files#1, p43, pan1 (main image)
Uncanny X-Men I#160, p7, pans5,6,7 (snapping adamantium)
New Mutants I#14, p19, pans2&3 (decides to serve Illyana)
New Mutants Special Edition I#1 p63, pans5&6 (and the Enchantress)
New Mutants I#65, p8, pan8 (plotting his big move)
Uncanny X-Men I#231, p8, pan1,2 (growing his limbo powerbase) Uncanny X-Men I#234, p9, pans6,7,8 (recruiting Madelyne Pryor)
New Mutants I#71, p5, pans3&4 (regenerates)
X-Terminators#4, p11, pan1 (fighting N'astirh)
New Mutants I#73, p3, pans1,2,3 (recovering from Magik's attack)
Excalibur I#39, p18, pan2 (eaten by Darkoth)
Cable II#14, p13, pan3 (versus Belasco)
Magik II#3, p28, pans1,2,3 (revealed)
New X-Men II#41, p24, pan2 (serving Illyana again)
X-Infernus#2, p12, pan1 (wounded by Ananym)
Uncanny X-Men I#160 (August, 1982) - Chris Claremont (writer), Brent Eric Anderson (pencils), Bob Wiacek (inks), Louise Jones (editor)
Uncanny X-Men I#171 (July, 1983) - Chris Claremont (writer), Walter Simonson (pencils), Bob Wiacek (inks), Louise Jones (editor)
Magik I#2 (January, 1984) - Chris Claremont (writer), John Buscema (pencils), Tom Palmer (inks), Louise Jones (editor)
Magik I#3 (February, 1984) - Chris Claremont (writer), Ron Frenz (pencils), Tom Palmer (inks), Louise Jones (editor)
Magik I#4 (March, 1984) - Chris Claremont (writer), Sal Buscema (pencils), Tom Palmer (inks), Louise Jones (editor)
New Mutants I#14 (April, 1984) - Chris Claremont (writer), Sal Buscema (pencils), Tom Mandrake (inks), Louise Jones (editor)
New Mutants I#17 (July, 1984) - Chris Claremont (writer), Sal Buscema (pencils), Tom Mandrake (inks), Ann Nocenti (editor)
New Mutants I#29 (July, 1985) - Chris Claremont (writer), Bill Sienkiewicz (pencils & inks), Ann Nocenti (editor)
New Mutants I#32 (October, 1985) - Chris Claremont (writer), Steve Leialoha (pencils & inks), Ann Nocenti (editor)
New Mutants I#33 (November, 1985) - Chris Claremont (writer), Steve Leialoha (pencils & inks), Ann Nocenti (editor)
New Mutants I#34 (December, 1985) - Chris Claremont (writer), Steve Leialoha (pencils & inks), Ann Nocenti (editor)
New Mutants Special Edition#1 (December, 1985) - Chris Claremont (writer), Art Adams (pencils), Terry Austin (inks), Ann Nocenti (editor)
New Mutants I#43 (September, 1986) - Chris Claremont (writer), Steve Purcell (pencils), Whilce Portacio (inks), Ann Nocenti (editor)
New Mutants I#47 (January, 1987) - Chris Claremont (writer), Jackson Guice (pencils), Kyle Baker (inks), Ann Nocenti (editor)
New Mutants I#50 (April, 1987) - Chris Claremont (writer), Jackson Guice (pencils), John Beatty (inks), Ann Nocenti (editor)
New Mutants I#52 (June, 1987) - Chris Claremont (writer), Rick Leonardi (pencils), Dan Green (inks), Ann Nocenti (editor)
New Mutants I#61 (March, 1988) - Louise Simonson (writer), Bret Blevins (pencils), Terry Austin (inks), Ann Nocenti (editor)
New Mutants I#65 (July, 1988) - Louise Simonson (writer), Bret Blevins (pencils), Terry Austin (inks), Ann Nocenti (editor)
X-Terminators#1 (October, 1988) - Louise Simonson (writer), Jon Bogdanove (pencils), Al Williamson & Al Milgrom (inks), Bob Harras (editor)
Power Pack I#40 (October, 1988) - Louise Simonson (writer), Sal Velluto (pencils), Gerry Talaoc (inks), Carl Potts (editor)
Uncanny X-Men I#231 (July, 1988) - Chris Claremont (writer), Rick Leonardi (pencils), Dan Green (inks), Ann Nocenti (editor)
New Mutants I#67 (September, 1988) - Louise Simonson (writer), Bret Blevins (pencils), Ken Bruzenak (inks), Bob Harras (editor)
Uncanny X-Men I#234 (Late September, 1988) - Chris Claremont (writer), Marc Silvestri (pencils), Josef Rubinstein (inks), Bob Harras (editor)
Uncanny X-Men I#236 (Late October, 1988) - Chris Claremont (writer), Marc Silvestri (pencils), Dan Green (inks), Bob Harrras (editor)
New Mutants I#70 (December, 1988) - Louise Simonson (writer), Terry Shoemaker (pencils), Al Milgrom (inks), Bob Harras (editor)
Power Pack I#42 (December, 1988) - Jon Bogdanove (writer & pencils), Don Hudson (inks), Carl Potts (editor)
New Mutants I#71 (January, 1989) - Louise Simonson (writer), Bret Blevins (pencils), Al Williamson (inks), Bob Harras (editor)
X-Terminators#4 (January, 1989) - Louise Simonson (writer), Jon Bogdanove (pencils), Al Milgrom (inks), Bob Harras (editor)
Uncanny X-Men I#241 (February, 1989) - Chris Claremont (writer), Marc Silvestri (pencils), Dan Green (inks), Bob Harras (editor)
Avengers I#300 (February, 1989) - Walter Simonson (writer), John Buscema (pencils), Tom Palmer (inks), Mark Gruenwald (editor)
New Mutants I#72 (February, 1989) - Louise Simonson (writer), Bret Blevins (pencils), Al Williamson (inks), Bob Harras (editor)
New Mutants I#73 (March, 1989) - Louise Simonson (writer), Bret Blevins (pencils), Al Williamson & Mike Manley (inks), Bob Harras (editor)
Marvel Super-Heroes III#1 (May, 1990) - Sue Flaxman (writer), Rodney Ramos (pencils), Pat Redding (inks), Mark Gruenwald (editor)
Excalibur I#38 (June 1991) - Scott Lobdell (writer), Mark Badger (pencils), Spike Vancata (inks), Terry Kavanagh (editor)
Excalibur I#39 (July 1991) - Scott Lobdell (writer), Mark Badger & Eliopoulos (pencils), Spike Vancata (inks), Terry Kavanagh (editor)
Cable II#13 (July, 1994) - Glenn Herdling (writer), Steve Skroce (pencils), Will Conrad, Keith Champagne (inkers), Lisa Patrick, Bob Harras (editors)
Cable II#14 (August, 1994) - Glenn Herdling (writer), Steve Skroce (pencils), Mike Sellers (inks), Lisa Patrick, Bob Harras (editors)
X-Men Unlimited I#19 (June, 1998) - Ben Raab (writer), Jim Calafiore (pencils), Mark McKenna (inks), Frank Pittarese (editor)
Magik II#3 (February, 2001) - Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning (writers), Liam McCormack-Sharp (pencils & inks), Mike Marts (editor)
Magik II#4 (March, 2001) - Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning (writers), Liam McCormack-Sharp (pencils & inks), Mike Marts (editor)
New X-Men II#38 (July, 2007) - Craig Kyle & Chris Yost (writers), Skottie Young (pencils), Sean Parsons & Jay Leisten (inks), Nick Lowe (editor)
New X-Men II#39 (August, 2007) - Craig Kyle & Chris Yost (writers), Skottie Young (pencils & inks), Nick Lowe (editor)
New X-Men II#41 (October, 2007) - Craig Kyle & Chris Yost (writers), Skottie Young (pencils & inks), Nick Lowe (editor)
X-Infernus#1 (February, 2009) - C.B. Cebulski (writer), Giuseppe Camuncoli (pencils), Jesse Delperdang (inks), Nick Lowe (editor)
X-Infernus#2 (March, 2009) - C.B. Cebulski (writer), Giuseppe Camuncoli (pencils), Jesse Delperdang & Craig Geung (inks), Nick Lowe (editor)
X-Infernus#3 (April, 2009) - C.B. Cebulski (writer), Giuseppe Camuncoli (pencils), Jesse Delperdang (inks), Nick Lowe (editor)
X-Infernus#4 (May, 2009) - C.B. Cebulski (writer), Giuseppe Camuncoli (pencils), Jesse Delperdang (inks), Nick Lowe (editor)
X-Men: Hellbound#1 (July, 2010) - Chris Yost (writer), Harvey Tolibao (pencils), Sandu Florea (inks), Daniel Ketchum (editor)
X-Men: Hellbound#2 (August, 2010) - Chris Yost (writer), Harvey Tolibao & Tom Raney (pencils), Sandu Florea & Scott Hanna (inks), Daniel Ketchum (editor)
X-Men: Hellbound#3 (September, 2010) - Chris Yost (writer), Harvey Tolibao & Tom Raney (pencils), Sandu Florea & Scott Hanna (inks), Daniel Ketchum (editor)
First Posted: 10/30/2015
Last Updated: 10/30/2015
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
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