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S'ym possesses great superhuman strength. He is stronger than Colossus and easily snapped off one of Wolverine's claws. This strength level makes him nearly invulnerable. Illyana Rasputin's Soulsword was one of the few weapons that could kill him, before having been infected by the techno-organic virus. S'ym, now a techno-organic being himself, can repair himself and reform from a single molecule, should he be destroyed. Also due to his techno-organic state, S'ym can also infect other objects and feed off its life energies, and/or turn them into techno-organic beings as well. During the Inferno storyline Illyana tried killing S'ym with her Soulsword but it proved ineffective against his new circuitry body.
S'ym was a minion of Belasco when Belasco was ruler of the demonic dimension called Limbo. The X-Men were transported to Limbo via several teleportation discs. While there S'ym battled the X-Men, who were also trying to rescue their missing friend, the 7-year-old Illyana Rasputin, the younger sister of the X-Man Colossus. S'ym killed an alternate version of Illyana's brother Colossus.
Belasco took Illyana as his student, and she spent seven years in Limbo, until one day she defeated him, becoming Limbo's new ruler, and S'ym's master, before returning to the X-Men. Because the passage of time is infinitessimal compared to that of our dimension, she returned to the X-Men just after the moment when she had fell into Limbo originally, albeit as a 14-year-old girl.
S'ym made several attempts at challenging Illyana's newfound status as Limbo's ruler. At each turn Illyana defeated S'ym, leaving S'ym to agree to serve Illyana whenever she visited Limbo. Finding a potential way to finally defeat Illyana, S'ym allied himself with the extraterrestrial Magus (who infected S'ym with a techno-organic virus). That attempt and a subsequent rebellion failed. S'ym then enlisted the aid of the demon N'astirh, aiding him in unleashing a demon invasion of New York City during the "Inferno" storyline. S'ym was defeated when Illyana sent most of the Inferno invaders back to Limbo.
S'ym remained in Limbo, while plotting a new invasion of Earth. He planned on using the Nexus of All Realities to invade Earth, but was stopped by his former master Belasco, who manipulated the mutant Cable to fight and stop S'ym.
When S'ym reappeared he served Belasco again, who had retaken control over Limbo. He was defeated by Nightcrawler, whose girlfriend, Amanda Sefton, took over Limbo. S'ym allied himself with the Archenemy, a powerful magical entity. S'ym disguised himself as Duke Bleys and became one of Sefton's most trusted advisors. As Bleys, S'ym tricked Sefton into allying herself with many other demon lords and merging their various realms and dimensions into a single bastion against the Archenemy. S'ym then revealed his true identity and revealed that the single, united realm was a much easier target for the Archenemy than the countless dimensions he was fighting before. Sefton and her army managed to slay the Archenemy and undid the merging of realms.
S'ym is a "tip-of-the-hat" to Cerebus the Aardvark and his creator, Dave Sim. S'ym always referred to himself in the third person (e.g. "S'ym thinks this is a bad idea"), a trait shared by Cerebus. S'ym also has the same purple-grey coloration of Cerebus, and looks vaguely like Cerebus, only taller, more muscular, and with a horn. And, of course, "S'ym" is pronounced identically to "Sim".
First Appearance: Uncanny X-Men (1963) #160
Duke Bleys (Marvel)
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View a chronological listing of this character's appearances
Breaking Into Comics the Marvel Way! (2010)
#14 Excalibur (1988)
- 'Son of the Goblin Queen'
#39 Inferno (2015)
- 'Heart of the Matter'
#3 Magik (Illyana and Storm Limited Series) (1983)
- 'The Fall of Hades'#4
- 'Bound for Destruction'
#2 Marvel Zombies: The Book of Angels, Demons & Various Monstrosities (2007)
- 'Cold Iron Hot Blood'#3
New Mutants Special Edition (1985)
#1 New Mutants: Truth or Death (1997)
- 'Home Is Where The Heart Is'
New X-Men (2004)
#37 Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A to Z (2008)
- 'Quest for Magik: Prelude'#38
- 'Quest for Magik: Part 1'#39
- 'Quest for Magik: Part 2'#41
- 'Quest for Magik: Part 4'
The Avengers (1963)
The New Mutants (1983)
#14 The Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe (1989)
- 'Do You Believe In -- Magik?'#17
- 'Meanwhile, Back at the Mansion...'#32
- 'To the Ends of the Earth'#33
- 'Against All Odds'#34
- 'With a Little Bit of Luck!'#39
- 'Pawns of the White Queen'#43
- 'Getting Even'#47
- 'My Heart for the Highlands'#50
- 'Father's Day!'#52
- 'Grounded Forever'#61
- 'Our Way!'#65
- 'Self-fulfilling Prophesy'#71
- 'Demon Reign (newsstand edition)'#73
- 'The Gift'
Uncanny X-Men (1963)
What If...? (1989)
#6 Wolverine: Weapon X Files (2009)
- 'What If...The X-Men Had Lost Inferno?'
#1 X-Men Unlimited (1993)
- 'X-Infernus, Chapter One: Soul Survivors'#2
- 'X-Infernus, Chapter Two: The Mortal Coil'
X-Men: Hellbound (2010)
- 'Invasion of the Baby-Snatchers'#3
- 'Guess, who's coming to dinner'#4
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