- Magica De Spell
Magica De Spell
Magica and her brother/pet Poe, as seen in DuckTales.
First appearance "The Midas Touch", 1961 Created by Carl Barks Voiced by June Foray
Magica De Spell is a fictional character of the Scrooge McDuck universe, a sorceress created by Carl Barks. She constantly steals or attempts to steal Scrooge McDuck's Number One Dime, which she believes will play a vital role in magically obtaining the same fabulous wealth of its owner.
The Sorceress first appeared in "The Midas Touch", first published in December, 1961. According to Barks, he intended to create her as another recurring antagonist for Scrooge, in addition to The Beagle Boys and Flintheart Glomgold. But in contrast to Witch Hazel from Trick or Treat, first released on October 10, 1952, or Mad Madam Mim she would not be in the image of the old hag usually associated with witches. He wanted to create a youthful and attractive enchantress, so he took inspiration for her look from Italian actresses Gina Lollobrigida and Sophia Loren. He also wanted her to be seductive, amoral, and somewhat threatening. In a later interview, Barks identified a similar figure from the comic strips of Charles Addams as another source of inspiration for Magica, namely Morticia Addams of The Addams Family.
All in all, Barks drew nine stories with Magica: The Midas Touch in 1961; Ten-Cent Valentine, The Unsafe Safe, and Raven Mad in 1962; Oddball Odyssey, For Old Dime's Sake, and Isle of Golden Geese in 1963; The Many Faces of Magica de Spell and Rug Riders in the Sky in 1964. In the latter, Barks tried to increase the usability of the character by having plots turn on other magic artifacts, here a flying carpet, not always having to repeat the joke about Scrooge's first coin.
According to Barks and his successors, Magica lives on the slopes of Mount Vesuvius, next to Naples, Italy. Her primary motivation is to steal Uncle Scrooge's Number One Dime and melt it in the fires of the volcano to turn it into a powerful magical amulet, capable of granting the Midas Touch.
She sometimes teams up with The Beagle Boys, her sometimes housemate Mad Madam Mim or her crush the Phantom Blot. She also has a raven named Ratface in the comics. (In the DuckTales TV series, Ratface has been replaced with a raven named Mr. Poe, who is said to be Magica's bewitched brother.) Other characters closer to Magica include her grandmother, Granny De Spell, who, although claiming be one of the most powerful of witches, has been no more successful in obtaining the Number One Dime. There is also Witch Child and Warlock, the daughter and son, respectively, of the Wicked Witch of the West, who Magica sometimes is taked to look after. Witch and Warlock are mischievous little magically-endowed children who are sometimes playmates and/or thorns in the side of Huey, Dewey and Louie. Magica even has an apprentice, Samson Hex, a bungling no-hoper. There's also Rosalio, a dim-witted goose, who claims to be her fiancé. He is supported in this by Granny DeSpell, but always rejected by Magica. Magica has an odd relationship with Scrooge, sometimes even manifesting itself in mutual attraction. in fact, in the Ducktales episode 'Till Nephews do we part" she and Poe can be seen attending (And being invited guests to) Scrooge's wedding.
Magica was also a semi-regular on the animated television show DuckTales, where she was voiced by June Foray (using a similar Eastern European accent to that of Natasha Fatale from Rocky & Bullwinkle). Magica appears mostly in first season episodes of the show. Her only appearance in the second season is in the episode "The Unbreakable Bin". Although she appears as one of the series' major villains, she is frequently a source of comic relief: In Magica's final scene in the series for example, she attempts to send Scrooge's "tin man back to OZ", but is herself sent elsewhere in a whirlwind when a Quackenyeeken Yeeker bird yeeks in fear, causing her jar of magic dust to break open and carry her away. Scrooge exclaims, "One thing about Magica--she always knew how to make an exit." On more than one occasion her plan to obtain Scrooge's dime backfires so spectacularly that she is forced to work with Scrooge to prevent greater disaster. According to the show, her brother is Poe De Spell, who was transformed into a raven and serves as her magical familiar — this is a reference to Edgar Allan Poe's poem "The Raven".[original research?] Poe replaces Ratface from the comics. A similar reference had already been established in the German versions of Magica comics, where her raven is called "Nimmermehr" ("Nevermore"), referring to the most recognizable keyword from Poe's poem.
She had a proper role in the Darkwing Duck comic published by Boom! Studios, teaming up with Negaduck (who she had saved from the Crimebots from "The Duck Knight Returns") in the story "Crisis on Infinite Darkwings". By combining their powers and knowledge, they intended to unleash an army of brainwashed, alternate universe Darkwing Ducks on St Canard, as it would be of benefit to both their agendas - her hope is to force Darkwing's ally Launchpad McQuack to lead her to Scrooge's Number One Dime. Magica and Negaduck had contempt for each other, which they kept hidden behind a 'friendly' facade; early on, Negaduck sarcastically refers to his desire for a city and hers for "...one dime" as being "similar ambitions".
Darkwing's girlfriend Morgana McCawber, herself a witch, would assist the hero and battle Magica in magical combat. She swiftly drained Morgana's magic using a source absorber, doubling her power, but lost it thanks to the intervention of an alternate Darkwing. This ended her control over the alternate reality Darkwings and ended Negaduck's plan, and after the arrival of the monstrous demon Paddywhack, Magica fled the city.
She returned for the final arc of the series, a crossover with the Ducktales comic also published by Boom!, teamed up with the Phantom Blot and a variety of villains from both Duckburg and St. Canard.
Magica appears as the second secret playable character in the 2008 trivia video game Disney TH!NK Fast.
Powers and abilities
Magica De Spell is a very powerful witch and has a number of magical powers, such as:
The abilities to teleport herself over far distances, flight, the power to conjure and transmute matter on a sub-molecular level, and the ability to turn herself into any animal that she wants. However, while she's often regarded as an experienced witch, her actual capability to wield magic varies from writer to writer. Carl Barks' incarnation is quitenlly powerful, with only her naivety being her proeminenty weakness. Don Rosa's incarnation of Magica De Spell is, however, far more limited as she usually only use magic through magical objects. In The Quest for Kalevala, Magica acknowledges that she can't use magic without an wands, thus showing how barely powered is that incarnation. Magica believes, or pretends to believe, to have the ancient sorceress Circe as her spiritual guide.
Unlike other people who think the Number One Dime to be a lucky charm, Magica doesn't believe it to be the source of Scrooge's wealth, but Scrooge's wealth to be the source of the dime's powers, as she only tries to steal it because it's the first coin ever earned by the richest duck (or man) on Earth. It can be noticed when she steals the dime but gives it back when she realized she somehow caused the dime to lose such status. Examples of such stories are Of Ducks and Dimes and Destinies, when she travels in time to steal the dime in the very same day Scrooge earns it and gives it back after realizing that by preventing Scrooge from owning the dime, she would turn it into a coin that never belonged to him, or A Little Something Special, when she teams up with Flintheart Glomgold and the Beagle Boys in a plan made by Blackheart Beagle. She gives the dime back after realizing Scrooge wouldn't be the richest man on Earth after the Beagle Boys steal his money. In Carl Barks's "Ten-Cent Valentine", it's revealed she believes the dime must stay in one piece until she finally melts it or the spell won't work. Huey, Dewey and Louie trick Magica into thinking it was destroyed by a meat grinder.
Magica believes, or pretends to believe, that she is the disciple of the ancient sorceress Circe.
A lot of Magica's relatives appear in Italian stories.
- Granny De Spell, Magica's grandmother
- Rosolio, Magica's cousin
- Minima De Spell, her niece
- Matilda, Magica's teenager cousin
- Adelia, Magica's fairy cousin
Poe De Spell
Poe De Spell, better known as either Poe or Mr. Poe, voiced alternately by Terrence McGovern and Frank Welker, is the brother and familiar of Magica De Spell, who was somehow transformed into a non-anthropomorphic raven. How exactly he got this way was never explained in the series. Although Magica has various transformation spells at her disposal, she is unable to turn Poe back into an anthropomorphic duck. In the episode Send in the Clones, Magica explained that she needed the power of Scrooge McDuck's Number One Dime to restore Poe to his normal self.
Because Poe used to be an anthropomorphic duck, he is capable of speech and can interact with the other characters. In addition to having his name be a reference to the Edgar Allan Poe poem "The Raven", Poe often ends his stanzas with the word "nevermore".
Poe's role in the Scrooge McDuck universe is actually fairly limited, as he never made any appearances outside of DuckTales. On top of that, Poe only appeared in some of the episodes featuring Magica, and rarely did anything to advance the plot. Poe's most notable role was in the episode Magica's Shadow War, in which a trapped Magica sent him out to find help in one scene.
Poe is not to be confused with Ratface, Magica's pet raven, who appears in the Uncle Scrooge comic books.
- ^ Blum, Geoffrey."The Meaning of Magica", Uncle Scrooge Adventures in Color, no.39, February 3, 1998
- Magica De Spell at the INDUCKS
- The Meaning of Magica
- Don Rosa's views on Magica De Spell
- Magica's profile in the Disney HooZoo
- Virtual journey in Magica De Spell's house
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