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Belasco is a villain from the Marvel Comics universe. Belasco is a demonic ancient sorcerer who serves the Elder Gods. He is probably best known for his kidnapping of Illyana Rasputin.
Belasco's early history is told by the poet Dante. Belasco was a sorcerer in 13th century Florence, Italy. He used his knowledge of both alchemy and black arts to make contact with the Elder Gods. He forged a pact with them enabling them to cross the barrier to our dimension using an arrangement of bloodstones. In return, Belasco was given immortality and immense mystical powers. He also got a more demonic appearance, as he was meant to from a new race of Earth-dwelling demons.
For this goal, he kidnapped Beatrice dei Portinari, beloved of Dante, to give birth to the first of this new race. He took het to the atlantean isle of Pangea, where the Elder Gods directed him to Mt. Flavius, where they could be summoned. While on their way, Belasco raped Beatrice and she was nine months pregnant by the time they arrived. When they arrived on the island, they were closely pursued by Dante. Belasco took Beatrice into a network of underground passages that were meant to resemble Hell. Dante arrived just in time to witness Beatrice dying in childbirth and he attacked Belasco. During this fight, a pipe was accidentally struck and an unknown liquid escaped, placing Belasco in suspended animation. At some point on the island Belaco also lost the locket containing the bloodstones.
In recent years, the volcano mountain became active again, so Belasco was released. He located the locket with the bloodstones and found a new sacrifice, Shanna O'Hara. He placed her under his mental control and began the spell. He sought to make Shanna the mother of the demonic race he would father. Just as he was almost finished, Shanna's mate Ka-Zar appeared and hurled the locket into the volcano, sealing the Elder Gods away and seemingly destroying Belasco.
Belasco was not destroyed, instead he was trapped in Limbo, where he spent his years conquering it. Once he had conquered Limbo, he drew the young Illyana Rasputin to him and she was transported to Limbo. His intention was to make her his disciple and use her to open a gateway for the Elder Gods he served. The X-Men followed and managed to save Illyana, bringing her back to Earth. The X-Men themselves became trapped in Limbo. The years after that they battled Belasco with the entire team succumbing to either temptation, corruption or death. Belasco then lured an alternate dimensions Illyana to Limbo in a repeat of his earlier attempt. This time, the X-Men team escaped back to Earth and Illyana was trapped in Limbo. He managed to make Illyana his apprentice in the dark arts, transforming her into a demonic sorceress. However, after guidance from the remaining X-Men in Limbo, she rebelled against him, driving him from Limbo. Illyana now became Limbo's new master. She returned to her own world, joining the New Mutants as Magik.
Belasco eventually took control of Limbo once more and started war with several Marvel superheroes. He was eventually defeated by the X-Men with the assistance of a new Magik.
- Belasco was worshipped by a mutant, Reverend Samuel Smith, who is the leader of the fanatical religious cult known as the Church of the Saved.