Magica De Spell is a major villain from the Scrooge McDuck comics. She was created by Carl Barks and first appeared in Barks' 1961 comic The Midas Touch. In this story, it's revealed that Magica wants to obtain Scrooge's Number One Dime, in order to be able to make an amulet that will give her the Midas Touch. In the 1987-90 TV-series DuckTales, Magica tells that she also needs the amulet to restore her brother Poe to his normal form. Magica occasionally antagonizes Donald Duck, his nephews and other Donald Duck characters.
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 granting the user to turn anything into gold.
She sometimes teams up with the Beagle Boys or her good friend and sometimes housemate Madam Mim. She also has a raven named Ratface in the comics. 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. Magica even has an apprentice, the a bungling no-hoper Samson Hex. There's also Rosalio, a dim-witted goose, who claims to be her fiancé. He is supported in this by Magica's relatives, but is always rejected by Magica. Magica has an odd relationship with Scrooge, sometimes even manifesting itself in mutual attraction.
Powers and abilities
Magica is a very powerful witch and has a number of magical powers, such as the ability to teleport herself over far distances, the power to conjure and transmute matter on a sub-molecular level, and the ability to turn herself in to any animal that she wants. She is is also fond of using "foof bombs", a trait she has had since her first debut in the comics, and she uses hypnotic versions of them to trick the Phantom Blot in the Darkwing Duck/DuckTales crossover arc, Dangerous Currency.
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 on Earth, and has been touched frequently by him.
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 back in time and ends up in Glasgow to steal the dime. She finds Burt the ditchdigger, the man who originally paid Scrooge the dime for shining his boots, and offers to buy the dime from Burt for ten pence. Burt, realizing American money is unspendable in his native Scotland, easily agrees to Magica's trade (he is also unaware of her sinister nature as she is in disguise), but suddenly comes to the conclusion that if Burt pays Scrooge's shoeshine bill of five pence, one of those shilling would become his #1 coin instead of the dime. Another realization about the dime was A Little Something Special, when she teams up with Flintheart Glomgold and the Beagle Boys in a plan made by Grandpa 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.
Magica was a recurring antagonist in the TV show DuckTales, where she was voiced by June Foray (using an Eastern European accent similar to that of Natasha Fatale from Rocky & Bullwinkle).
She appeared mostly in the first season of the series, with her only appearance in the second season being in the episode The Unbreakable Bin.
Although she appears as one of the show's 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 sent elsewhere herself 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 plans to obtain Scrooge's Number One Dime backfire so spectacularly that she is forced to work together with Scrooge to prevent greater disaster.
According to the show, her brother, Poe De Spell, was transformed into a raven and serves as her magical familiar — this is an obvious reference to Edgar Allan Poe's poem The Raven. 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 famous poem.
Darkwing Duck comics
In the Darkwing Duck comics published by Boom! Studios, she is a recurring villain. In Crisis on Infinite Darkwings, she breaks Negaduck out of jail after his failed attempt to attack Drake Mallard (whom he figured out was Darkwing Duck) a year earlier. She sends various Darkwing Ducks from alternate universes to the normal St. Canard. Magica plans to force Launchpad to lead her to Scrooge's dime. She later has a sorceress duel with Morgana McCawber. Magica flees from the battle after the sudden arrival of Paddywhack.
However, at the end of Campaign Carnage, it is revealed that she didn't leave St. Canard. She, along with the Phantom Blot, are shown to be the real masterminds behind the new villains as Suff-rage was just a pawn.
Magica is one of the three main villains of the Dangerous Currency arc, along with the Phantom Blot and Negaduck. At some point prior to the arc, Magica had earlier kidnapped Fenton Crackshell (the original Gizmoduck) and plans to use the Gizmosuit for her own purposes. Magica then uses the slime (actually particles of Negaduck that were created from the Tron-Splitter hitting him at the end of "Infinite Darkwings) to take control of St. Canard, and forms her own group called "The League of Eve-ill", consisting of Ammonia Pine, Camille Chameleon and Cinnamon Teal. (Warren Spector had actually planned to use the League of Eve-ill for a different story arc within the DuckTales comic, but the comic's impending cancellation led to that arc being shelved and the idea being incorporated into the crossover.) After Darkwing, Scrooge, Launchpad, Gyro, Gizmoduck, Webby, Gosalyn and Fenton's mother have fled to Gyro's lab, Magica and the Phantom Blot follow them with the slime in order to steal Scrooge's dime (as she doesn't consider a real victory without it). Magica orders the Fearsome Four to attack Darkwing while she went to see an "old friend". Magica then uses the slime to take control of Scrooge's Money Bin. After Negaduck returned, she, along with the League of Eve-ill, the Phantom Blot, the Beagle Boys and the rest of the gang get trapped in a prison-like body of Negaduck. It is also revealed that Magica had used a smoke bomb with the slime in it to make the Phantom Blot do what she said. When Donald manages to tell all of Duckburg to release their "inner Donald", Magica convinces the Phantom Blot to team up with her and Negaduck. Along with the Beagle Boys, Magica teleports to the Money Bin and has another battle with Morgana (who was taken hostage by Negaduck after she disappeared at the end of "F.O.W.L. Disposition"). When Darkwing tricks Negaduck into activating a spell Morgana secretly placed on him, Magica and the other villains end up getting sucked into the wasteland along with Negaduck. Because "Dangerous Currency" was never approved by Disney and has been retconned by the comic's continuation by Joe Books, Magica's role in the arc is now considered non-canon. However, the Phantom Blot is still shown teaming up with her at the end of the revised edition of "Campaign Carnage" found in Darkwing Duck: The Definitively Dangerous Edition; this implies that Magica and the Blot will still play a prominent role in the comic's continuation under Joe Books.
Magica's first appearance in a video game was as the boss of the Transylvania level in the DuckTales NES game. She was next featured as the main villain in The Lucky Dime Caper starring Donald Duck and later appeared as a boss in Donald Duck: Goin' Quackers!.
Magica serves as an assistant in Mickey's Racing Adventure (along with Ludwig Von Drake, but in another part of the game), casting spells to help the racer (rather being Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Daisy or Goofy) in races to get advantages over Pete's cronies. There are various spells to choose from that cost certain Disney Dollars. This is the only time that Magica is depicted as a protagonist.
Her most recent video game appearance is in DuckTales Remastered, the remake of the first video game she appeared in. In the game, her role was expanded to being the main antagonist, alongside Glomgold, when they manipulate Scrooge into acquiring the five treasures for her, so that Magica can summon Count Dracula Duck.
Throughout the years, many of Magica's relatives have been introduced, including:
- Poe De Spell, Magica's brother.
- Nanny Caraldina (Nonna Calandrina), Magica's grandmother or (in multiple translations) aunt.
- Granny De Spell, Magica's elderly grandmother.
- Rosolio, Magica's ex-boyfriend.
- Minima, Magica's niece.
- Matilda, Magica's teenager cousin.
- Adelia, Magica's fairy cousin.
- Tragica De Spell, Magica's great-grandmother.