An Italian sorceress and constant enemy of Scrooge McDuck. A shape-shifter and hypnotist. Has a talent for archaeology and decoding of ancient texts. User of various other weapons both magical and archaeological.
Magica was created by Carl Barks, and he based her appearance on Morticia Addams of the Addams Family.
Magica De Spell is an Italian sorceress from Naples. She first encountered Scrooge McDuck in the story "The Midas Touch" (December, 1961). She had spent years collecting coins touched by the richest people in the world. The coins could then be used to perform a spell that could give the sorceress "the Midas Touch"; an ability to earn wealth. When she found Scrooge, the Richest Duck in the World, had kept the first coin he ever earned as a charm, she decided it had probably stored more energy than any other coin. She decided to acquire it by any means possible.
In her initial appearance she demonstrated few recognizable powers. The first was an ability to alter her appearance, changing the color and shape of her hair and clothes at will. The second was a few magical bombs that left her opponents temporarily blind and immobilized. There were hints about having supernatural sensing and hearing, able to locate opponents and recognize voices from a distance. Otherwise she relied on her good looks to persuade people. According to her creator Carl Barks:"Magica de Spell was, I hope, a more interesting witch than the ugly hags and fat bags who have been standard models for centuries. Her good looks gave her an extra element of power." The story also introduced her ruthlessness as a kidnapper and fiery temper. On the other side also introduced were her aversion to garlic and onions, remedies that disorient her and can incapacitate her.
In "Ten-Cent Valentine" (March, 1962), a new ability is introduced. She posts letters with her scent which can allure her (male) opponents and influence their behavior to unreasonable levels.
In "The Unsafe Safe (June, 1962), she acts as a technology user, employing a stun--ray weapon attached to her wrists.She also demonstrates some deduction skills and good reasoning throughout the story.
"In "Raven Mad" (October, 1962), she demonstrates an ability to hypnotize others, in this case a raven she uses to steal from a distance. Her animal control seems limited however.
In "Oddball Odyssey" (January, 1963), Magica discovers relics from the habitat of an ancient witch, Circe of Odyssey fame. She claims Circe to be her ancestor and adds new weapons to her arsenal. Most notably in this story Circe's wand which allows her to transform Scrooge and his nephews into various animals. The Ducks manage to break the wand by the end but later stories (by other writers) have depicted her retaining the ability.
In "For Old Dime's Sake" (July, 1963) Magica has decoded some old texts left from Circe which lead her to magical weapons stored in an abandoned temple of Zeus. She uses a magic wand to summon "nature's most destructive forces: lightning, cyclones, comets, and meteors". Her shape shifting has improved and she is now is able to assume the appearance of other people, including males with greater height and mass than her regular form. She also intimidates others to a greater extent. She even "scares the leaves off a potted plant by hissing at it".
In "Isle of Golden Geese" (October, 1963), her animal control has increased. She now has a raven familiar, Ratface, which acts as her spy and confidant. She has created new potions which allows her to control various animals. Demonstrated are Potion 6 which allows her to control the "creatures of the deep" (sea animals) and Potion 7 which allows her control over the "creatures of the air" (birds and presumably other flying animals). She also reveals a new ability to throw lightning bolts through her hands.
In "The Many Faces of Magica de Spell" (March, 1964) Magica decodes another of Circe's ancient texts. She appears to have mastered the secrets of archaeology by now. Rediscovering a magical formula in liquid form. Any face sprayed with it would involuntary change to mirror any other face it encounters. Proves effective against Scrooge as loosing his identity scares him more than loosing the dime. However when her potion is used on her, Magica realizes she had not studied on a cure. Unknown to her, the Ducks had already found out you could wash away the potion with water and soap (not water alone). Ratface appears much more useful in the above story. He communicates with other birds and instructs them to seek information for him throughout the globe. Through their network Ratface is able to locate Scrooge even when the latter is hidden in a remote location away from human civilization. Magica thus has eyes and ears everywhere.
In "Rug Riders in the Sky" (July, 1967), her last major appearance by Barks, she deciphers ancient Persian texts in search of new magical weapons, in particular a flying carpet. Her shape-shifting has again increased. She is able to assume avian form and takes the shape and powers of a Roc, the enormous bird of prey from Eastern mythology. She proves unable to control the flying carpet. Subsequent stories have added various other abilities over the years. Including using crystal ball to spy at enemies from a distance and flying by using an enchanted broom.