Publication Date: 14th Mar 2024
Written By: Blanchett.
Image Work: Blanchett.


Glynis and Ilya Zarkov were a married couple who ran a very successful magic act out of the so-called “magic mansion,” a night club they owed in Manhattan. [Vision and the Scarlet Witch (2nd series) #4] In truth, the two were no mere illusionists; they had actual superpowers. Glynis had control over the molecules of her body and Ilya had the ability to manipulate matter.

The Vision and the Scarlet Witch had recently moved to their quiet neighborhood of Leonia, New Jersey. Such a relocation by such well known superhumans was not without controversy. The Zarkovs overheard a discussion by some of the locals in which they planned to burn down the new arrivals’ house. Feeling this was plain wrong and that such a group, if not stopped in its inception, could turn against them too, they opted to intervene. Using a combination of their powers, they secretly frightened the mob away from Vision and Scarlet Witch's home. Vision, not knowing who they were at this point, perceived them as a threat and attacked. The Zarkovs managed to subdue Vision and explained they were trying to help him and his wife. Ilya and Glynis confessed that they too had powers that they had to hide and had moved to Leonia for a quiet and normal life. Vision, seeing kindred spirits in the Zarkovs, welcomed them into his life.

[Note: The origins of the Zarkovs are unknown. Ilya and Zarkov are both Russian names. Glynis is Welsh. It seems likely that they were both from families who at one point immigrated from Russia/Wales and they were both Americans. In the 1980s in American comics, characters from “foreign” backgrounds were often written with accents, whereas the Zarkovs had none]

The two couples became fast friends and, when Halloween arrived, the Zarkovs invited Vision and Wanda to visit their club on this special occasion. [Vision and the Scarlet Witch (2nd series) #5] Vision accepted but, as Wanda was pregnant at the time, she opted to stay home. Although the Zarkovs were disappointed by Wanda's absence, they were more so relieved that the Vision had not held against them the fact that they had not opted to become superheroes. While the Zarkovs used their powers to accomplish their illusions, Vision suddenly sensed that Wanda was in distress. A moment later, Agatha Harkness interrupted the show, telling Vision his wife had been kidnapped. Wishing to assist their friends, the Zarkovs scrambled to end the show, offering their clientele refunds. Despite their earlier claim that they were not heroes, they accompanied Vision back to his home to investigate Wanda's disappearance. The spirit of Agatha had told Vision that the key to finding Wanda was the Druid Tome, but Vision told the Zarkovs the book had been burned. Ilya claimed that if Vision could find a fragment, he could restore it using his matter manipulation powers. With some degree of difficulty, Ilya proved he was as good as his word and reformed this destroyed magic book by drawing every remaining scrap still in Leonia together. Vision activated the book using a solar beam and, in the realm that Wanda was trapped, Agatha Harkness arranged her release.





As a result of their earlier aid and likely proximity, the Zarkovs quickly became part of the Vision and Scarlet Witch's inner circle. They were even invited for Thanksgiving. Even for colorful characters like the Zarkovs, the meal was quite intimidating, with members of the Avengers, the King of Atlantis, the Inhuman Royal Family and even a newly reformed Magneto showing up to try Wanda's cooking. Magneto was certainly persona non grata at the event but the ever-polite Zarkovs did make an attempt at small-talk. [Vision and the Scarlet Witch (2nd series) #6]

The Zarkovs had an annual show for Mardi Gras in New Orleans. For company, they invited Wanda and Vision to join them. The decision was quite a bizarre one and possibly indicates the thrill-seeking natures of the Zarkovs. To subsidize their rather lavish lifestyles, the Zarkovs were, as they put it, “high society thieves.” During their show, Glynis would “disappear” from a tank of water, while Ilya would continue his performance and serve as a distraction. Glynis then used her powers to shape-shift out of the entanglement and steal from the rooms of their more opulent audience members. In this instance, they were stealing the “eye of Rajpur” from a Countess D'arcy. Luckily for the Zarkovs, the Vision and Scarlet Witch missed their show entirely, as they were stuck tangling with the Enchantress so no suspicions were raised. To sell the jewelry they traveled to Hong Kong to meet their fence. Apparently, an amazing acquisition, they made a tidy profit and splurged on some fashions for Glynis. [Vision and Scarlet Witch (2nd series) #9]

[Note: In retrospect it is interesting that they managed to steal such a pricey piece of jewelry in New Orleans, given the presence of the Thieves Guild. Possibly, they flew under their radar or were members or at least affiliates to some degree.]

On their return to Leonia, they bumped into Vision and a journalist named Peter Parker. Parker was doing a story on the Vision and Scarlet Witch. He was an apparent fan of the Zarkovs as well and had been to their magic show many times. He asked to take some snaps for Now Magazine. The couple were on a visible high after their successful theft and Glynis had no problem provocatively posing in her new clothes for the photos. Privately, after the two men left, Ilya thought to himself that he had to ensure that he kept concealing their “side business” from Vision, as he simply liked him too much. [Vision and Scarlet Witch (2nd series) #11] Wanda's due date got closer and closer and the Zarkovs remained at her side. Ilya confessed that he and Glynis had ruled out children earlier in their relationship due to their erratic professions. Vision and Wanda felt it was doable, even with all of their unorthodox lifestyles, but failed to convince the Zarkovs. A few days later, Wanda came home with twins and the Zarkovs were present, along with Magneto, Wonder Man, his mother and a young witch named Holly La Donna. All those present were smitten with the new arrivals and Ilya thought that he needed to have Glynis steal a silver service so they could melt it down into baby cups. [Vision and Scarlet Witch (2nd series) #12]

[Note: This concluded the Vision and Scarlet Witch maxi series. In a thought bubble, Wonderman, a movie star in his own right, saw star power in the Zarkovs and was contemplating bringing them to Hollywood with him, though this never happened for unrevealed reasons. Impressively, they actually did manage to keep their criminal activities from their friends and countless other super-heroes.]

The Zarkov's next known appearance was exceedingly darker and more tragic. [Witches #2] One night, Glamor was reading the tarot in their home and the cards kept telling her she was due to suffer a grim fate. Her predication proved correct, as she was stuck from behind by a demon named Hellphyr. The beast was targeting magical users and growing in strength with each attack. Somehow, Glynis survived and was found by Ilya. She was taken to a hospital but was comatose. Dr. Strange, who was investigating the monster attack with his team of Witches (Jennifer Kale, Satana and Topaz), visited them. Ilya wanted to help find the creature but Strange warned him against it, explicitly telling him that, if he intervened in any way, he would die. Not one to take orders, Ilya disregarded the sorcerer supreme and summoned the monster using his own mystical powers. Quickly overwhelmed, he died in a very brutal fashion, with Hellphyr snapping his neck. It was never revealed if Glynis awoke or found out the fate of her husband.

[Note: Given the specificity of their earlier power displays, it seemed to be that the Zarkovs were intended to be two mutants, merely pretending to be magicians to avoid detection. The later reveal that they were really were mystics was incongruent with their earlier appearances and powers. Possibly, they were both; mutants who later developed a genuine interest in mysticism after meeting the Scarlet Witch. This would fit, as one of the antagonists in the Witches series, Lilith, refered to them, rather in a derogatory fashion, as “amateurs.”]