Limbo, also known as Otherplace, was a magical dimension of demons which were historically ruled by Belasco. Limbo did not appear to be the Catholic Limbo or Purgatory, but was a sort of "pocket universe", whose physical and temporal scope were extremely limited compared to the universe that ordinary human beings inhabited. To those within Limbo, it appeared roughly analogous to a planet, with a solid surface at one earth gravity and a sky devoid of stars. Limbo's physical laws were primarily magical, though laws of the ordinary universe (such as electromagnetism and gravity) normally applied within its bounds.
It has an ecology composed primarily of demons of various sizes, strengths, and intellects. It is said that its ether is much thinner than that of the normal universe, allowing for a greater spectrum of magical powers and effects. All demons within it are magical creatures that possess spell making abilities to a greater or lesser degree. The Demons speak in the language of the Demonic Script.
Although Otherplace has a linear history, time within it is not rigid. Many points in its past and future are connected through naturally occurring temporal rifts, and its present is relative to the individual. Its history can be changed by travel through these rifts, but for some reason this is rare.
Limbo is traditionally ruled by a Supreme Sorcerer, either a demonic native or an entity from another universe, often Earth's. Limbo's appearance and physical laws are highly variable, and determined by the power and personal taste of its ruler. It can take the form of an otherworldly paradise, or a rocky, sulfurous perdition. The demons of Limbo traditionally display an attitude of slavish loyalty to its sovereign, and act as his or her servants. They will even assume forms mandated by the sorcerer if he or she is sufficiently powerful. However, the longer Limbo's ruler spends away from the dimension, the weaker that individual's mystical thrall over it becomes, and the more autonomously the demons begin to act. Left to their own devices they will plot to betray and conquer whomever holds the highest position. They will also attempt to invade other realities if not held in check.
Otherplace generally has a morally and spiritually corrupting influence over its denizens. If human, a resident of the realm will slowly metamorphose into a demonic entity. This change enhances the magical powers of the individual at the cost of their soul. Persons of great moral courage and wisdom can stave off the change for decades, but it is considered inevitable. The transformation usually progresses in stages initiated by the evil acts Limbo demands for survival. Magic in limbo is fundamentally neutral. It is the social and political climate that leads to this process.
The reality of Limbo is generated by a single deposit of a magical metal called Promethium. In Limbo it takes the form of a giant animal heart, hidden in a cavern deep below its surface. Removal of the promethium to another dimension will cause Limbo to vanish. The heart of Limbo was once sought by the supervillain Doctor Doom as an inexhaustible energy source for his nation of Latveria.
Rulers of Otherplace
The complete timeline of Limbo is unknown, but it has had several reigning sorcerers during its history. These include:
- Belasco: Commonly referred to as The Demon Belasco, he was primarily human in appearance, and may have been human once. Though wicked as any demon, Belasco lacked the savagery common to Limbo natives.
- Illyana Rasputin: Also known as Magik, Rasputin was abducted by Belasco as a child and was raised in Limbo. Belasco employed her as an apprentice, and was eventually overthrown by her. In time her mutant power of teleportation emerged, allowing her to leave, although she remained Limbo's ruler in absentia.
- S'ym & N'astirh: Native demons of Limbo, this pair exhibited qualities far exceeding Limbo's average. S'ym was the most physically potent native of Limbo, while N'Astirh was a powerful sorcerer. They were right-hand servants of Belasco and then Magik. They jointly seized power when Magik's hold weakened sufficiently due to her prolonged absence, then they tricked her into opening a permanent portal from Earth to Limbo. N'Astirh was killed when their invasion was repelled, leaving S'ym the sole ruler, but without the Soulsword to strengthen his throne.
- Doctor Doom: Conquered Limbo during his attempt to claim its precious Promethium.
- Darkoth: Wrested the Soulsword from Doom and slew S'ym. Assumed rulership of Limbo and wardenship of Soulsword. End of his rulership is unknown, but Soulsword was next seen back in Kitty Pryde's possession.
- Margali Szardos: Usurped the Soulsword from Kitty and used it to kill those ahead of her on the 'Winding Way'. She then took over Limbo.
- Amanda Sefton: Assumed control over Limbo from her mother and took on the identity of Magik. Lost control when Belasco returned.
Techno-Organic infection of Limbo
Limbo was also briefly controlled by The Magus, an alien entity of vast technological power. To save her teammate Warlock, Magik stranded the Magus in Limbo, where she hoped her demon vassals would subdue him. Instead he expanded to fill the entire dimension and radically transformed its ecology within a few days. A sizable percentage of Limbo's demons were infected by the Magus with the Transmode Virus, a techno-organic pathogen that transmogrifies carbon-based organisms into living electronic machines. Although the details are unclear, it is assumed he killed a large number of them by draining them of life energy. He then escaped by unknown means, leaving roughly half the remaining demons shape-shifting, techno-organic beings like himself.
While most living beings are immobilized by the techno-organic transformation, Limbo's demons are apparently immune to that effect. The infection can be transmitted intentionally, but most chose not to pass it on, and the ratio of "natural" to transmuted demons remained relatively stable. For example, at the time of Magik's overthrow, S'ym was a techno-organic demon, whereas N'Astirh was not.
The domination of Limbo by the Magus was purely physical. Apart from the infections, Limbo remained unperturbed. Control reverted to Magik when he vacated, then to Belasco when Magik was de-aged and N'Astirh was killed during Inferno. He retained power until he was overthrown by Amanda Sefton, who had obtained Magik's Soulsword and was now calling herself Magik.
- Limbo is the center of the Splinter Realms and allegedly part of the Nexus of All Realities.
- Limbo has sometimes been erroneously called Otherworld; however, in the Marvel Universe, Otherworld is actually the home dimension of the beings who empower and oversee the Captain Britain Corps, and should not be confused with Other-Earth, homeworld of Kang the Conqueror.
- By a writer's intentional discretion or mistaken confusion, Limbo on occasion is presented as a mashup, inheriting characteristics of multiple versions. Stuart Vandal, aka Loki, a contributor and editor of the Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe 2005: Alternate Universes replied in the official forums that "the Limbo he (Belasco) rules is not Immortus' Limbo, as established in the Deluxe Edition handbooks and Excalibur"
- Most popularly, the Limbos were portrayed as one blended entity in Alex Ross's Earth X, but this has been declared officially non-canon.
- Appearances of Limbo (Otherplace)
- Minor Appearances of Limbo (Otherplace)
- Media Limbo (Otherplace) was Mentioned in
- Location Gallery: Limbo (Otherplace)
- Images related to Limbo (Otherplace)
- Marvel Staff members who were born in Limbo (Otherplace)