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S'YM

Real Name: S'ym

Identity/Class: Extradimensional techno-organic demon (Otherplace)

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

Affiliations: N'astirh;
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

Enemies: Aleytys Forrester, Belasco, Binary (Carol Danvers), Cable (Nathan Dayspring Summers), Darkoth (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);
formerly N'astirh

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, 1982)

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)

History:

(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 fellow mutants.

(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 mattered.

(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 again later.

(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 limbo.

(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.

(Wolverine: Weapon X Files#1) - Belasco was aware that Cable's unique qualities as both the Goblin Queen's son and host to the techno-virus made him toxic to S'ym. As expected, the demon crumbled to dust as soon as Cable's projectile struck him.

(Cable II#14) - Belasco then reappeared, mysteriously claiming the combination of both Cable and the stick was just what was needed to deal with the situation. He then restored the Nexus of all Realities to normal and closed the portal to limbo that S'ym had tried to open.

(X-Men Unlimited I#19 (fb) - BTS) - Under unrevealed circumstances, S'ym returned to limbo as Belasco's main servant and enforcer.

(X-Men Unlimited I#19) - S'ym was on hand to attack Nightcrawler and Margali Szardos when they entered limbo to rescue Amanda Sefton from Belasco. S'ym was able to see through Margali's magical disguise (she had made herself to look like her daughter to ensure Kurt's cooperation). However, the more experienced mage was easily able to repel the demon numerous times.

(Magik II#3 (fb) - BTS) - S'ym was contacted by the all-powerful Archenemy, who promised him control over limbo in return for his aide. S'ym assumed the form of the two-headed Duke Bleys and became one of Magik (Amanda Sefton)'s most trusted advisors. He subtly guided her into uniting all the splinter realms of the netherworld, in preparation for his master to more easily take all of them at once.

(Magik II#3) - Magik's paramour Nightcrawler, in limbo to offer his counsel, discovered Bleys' conceit. S'ym revealed himself just as his master launched his planned attack on limbo.

(Magik II#4) - With no time to waste on S'ym, the demon was sent away by Magik with a simple spell. She then rushed to summon the likes of Mephisto, Dormammu and Umar to help defend the netherworld against S'ym's master.

(New X-Men II#38 (fb) - BTS) - In the absence of Magik (Amanda Sefton), Belasco returned to limbo and took over as ruler. S'ym once again offered his services as enforcer.

(New X-Men II#38 - BTS) - Aware of Magik (Illyana Rasputin)'s rebirth (as a result of the brief House of M reality), Belasco was eager to get his hands on her. Using his magics, he began to look for people who had recently been in contact with her. Locating some of Xavier's new students, he abducted them to limbo where they were immediately imprisoned.

(New X-Men II#38) - S'ym flanked Belasco as he interrogated the captured mutant teens, including Prodigy (David Alleyne). He stood by and did nothing when Belasco ripped Alleyne's heart out.

(New X-Men II#39) - Watching one of their own get killed, forced the X-Students to break free from their bonds. S'ym offered to kill them all, but Belasco held him back so he could deal with them himself should the need arise. They watched how Elixir saved Prodigy's life by giving him a new heart. X-23 then attacked Belasco, but was rather easily reduced to a pile of bones. This gave Belasco the opportunity to repeat his initial query: "where is Illyana Rasputin?". At the same time, S'ym made sure the other, still imprisoned students like Mercury didn't get out.

(New X-Men II#41) - After trying to beat the truth regarding Magik's whereabouts out of the New X-Men, Belasco was attacked by Illyana and the other free New X-Men. After fighting off the limbo-empowered attacks of Mercury and Rockslide, Belasco allowed S'ym and the others to join the fight on his behalf. After a fierce and ferocious fight, Illyana Rasputin reclaimed her control over limbo, sending the New X-Men home and taking charge. In the aftermath, S'ym wondered what was next for "the boss": she simply told him she'd be reclaiming her soul.

(X-Infernus#1) - S'ym eagerly joined Magik and her demonic troops in scouring limbo looking for her missing Soulsword and bloodstone amulet, both essential artifacts in restoring her soul. However, no one in the splinter realm seemed to possess them (they were owned by Belasco's daughter Witchfire (Ananym) who decided to deal with Magik herself).

(X-Infernus#2) - With Illyana away from limbo, S'ym was surprised by Ananym's arrival. Belasco's daughter quickly used her powerful magics to defeat and mortally wound the powerful demon. She had him chained up in Belasco's former throneroom as a monument to her power. As soon as Illyana returned, she saw S'ym who tried to warn her, but was unable to prevent Ananym from surprising her.

(X-Infernus#3) - S'ym was unable to intervene when Ananym used her magics to attain dominance over Illyana using the bloodstone choker. He was also not able to lend a hand when the X-Men arrived to fight Belasco's brood.

(X-Infernus#4 - BTS) - His injuries prevented S'ym from participating in the X-Men and Illyana's final battle against Ananym which saw Magik restored as limbo's ruler, though she opted to return to the Xavier Institute where her brother Piotr was residing.

(X-Men: Hellbound#2 (fb) - BTS) - S'ym partnered with N'astirh to wrest control of limbo from Illyana Rasputin. When she lost control of her magics during an unrelated fight that saw her stranded in limbo, they hatched a plan.

(X-Men: Hellbound#1) - When a team of X-Men, including Gambit, Pixie, Northstar, Dazzler and Cannonball, entered limbo to find Illyana, S'ym and N'astirh were notified of their arrival. S'ym ordered his troops to take the X-Men down.

(X-Men: Hellbound#2) - While their demon forces kept the other X-Men busy, S'ym and N'astirh were chasing Pixie. They figured the mutant girl could help them find Illyana, since she could still sense the sorceress' presence after Rasputin stole part of her soul to create a bloodstone. They caught up with Pixie and her fellow X-Man Loa, with S'ym easily knocking Pixie to the ground. He started to tease the already insecure girl by telling her he'd encountered older versions of her, the one more dark and evil than the next because of the missing part of her soul. S'ym was knocked out by Loa who used her powers to disrupt his form. That didn't prevent N'astirh from getting to Pixie and tempting her to work with them.

(X-Men: Hellbound#3 - BTS) - Gambit, still affected by Apocalypse's treatments that turned him into the Horseman of Death, was eventually corrupted by limbo's evil influences. Convinced limbo was the ultimate representation of the survival of the fittest, he set himself up as the realm's new leader. Quickly gathering demonic followers, as well as mind- controlling two of his fellow X-Men, he eventually went up against S'ym and beat the superstrong demon with relative ease.

(X-Men: Hellbound#3) - Gambit took S'ym's unconscious form and threw it at N'astirh as a sign of his power. S'ym didn't wake up during the subsequent fight that saw N'astirh defeated, Magik restored and Gambit returned to normal.

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.

CLARIFICATIONS:
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)


Appearances:
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)


Last updated: 10/20/15

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