The Sorceress first appeared in "The Midas Touch", first published in December, 1961. According to Barks, he intended to create her as another recurring antagonist for Scrooge, in addition to The Beagle Boys and Flintheart Glomgold. But in contrast to the Wicked Witch Queen of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, first released on December 21, 1937, and Witch Hazel of Trick or Treat, first released on October 10, 1952, she would not be in the image of the old hag usually associated with witches. He wanted to create a youthful and attractive Enchantress, so he took inspiration for her look from Italian actress Sophia Loren. He also wanted her to be seductive, amoral and somewhat threatening. In a later interview, Barks identified a similar figure from the comic strips of Charles Addams as another source of inspiration for Magica, namely Morticia Addams of The Addams Family. Maleficent, the malevolent fairy from Walt Disney's Sleeping Beauty, first released on January 29, 1959, has been suggested as a third source of inspiration. The later is considered one of the most visually impressive characters appearing in Disney's films, along with Chernabog of Fantasia.
According to the animated television show DuckTales, her brother is Poe De Spell, who was transformed into a raven and serves as her magical familiar. Sometimes Magica antagonizes Donald Duck and his nephews when they are not with Scrooge. She has also antagonized Gyro Gearloose, Gladstone Gander, Daisy Duck and her nieces, and Goofy on occasion.