Warning: SPOILERS for House of X #2 & Powers of X
The relaunch of the X-Men has been giving fans one twist after another since House of X #1 set Mutantkind on a new path, and Powers of X #1 revealed Marvel’s entire future. But with Powers of X #2 the true bombshell of the series may have just been dropped… revealing who is truly in charge of re-shaping reality, and Charles Xavier’s only hope of saving his people. Needless to say, SPOILERS ahead.
Fair warning for seasoned X-Men fans who have been following the series thus far: House of X #2 is likely to be one of the more controversial issues of the story, due mainly to the changes Jonathan Hickman has made to existing characters. Well, existing character, since it’s Moira MacTaggert who is officially the key to the story thus far. There is still the new Mutant homeland Krakoa to consider, and the evidence that Charles Xavier and these X-Men aren’t real, or aren’t really the version of themselves that readers know. But for now, fans will need to be sitting down to prepare for the newest bombshell. Not just a change that creates what might be the most powerful Mutant of her kind, but the woman who has rewritten reality without anyone ever noticing. And from the sound of it, she may have just ONE shot left…
In her early years, Moira had to be careful not to let on what she really was. She had to hide what was going on in a mind that was older than the humans who made her. She knew the pride they had for their special girl would quickly turn into fear if she pulled back the curtain a little too far. But try as she might, it was impossible to completely conceal how different she was. Her teachers began to use words like “advanced” and “clever,” which led to other words like “brilliant” and “prodigy,” which eventually led to Moira being pushed in the direction of academia. A life of the mind.
Look, there’s no easy way to put this than to explain it as bluntly as above: Dr. Moira MacTaggert, famed genius, Xavier admirer, and Mutant ally… is now a Mutant herself. It’s this twist that makes up the bulk of House of X #2, so readers shouldn’t worry that they missed a key issue setting up this story. The reveal begins House of X #2, outlining the first time Moira died of old age, only to wake up back inside her mother’s womb–starting her life over again, but retaining all of her memories and knowledge.
Ahead of the series, Marvel teased Charles and a woman acting out what they called the most important scene in X-Men history. Now, it’s clear why. Not only has Hickman made ‘Moira X’ a Mutant, but given her a power and story more complicated and important than readers ever predicted.
She ran controlled experiments to prove that her memories were not a form of disorder or psychosis. She marked the existence of personal historical markers from her first life and discovered two things: if she simply performed her role in events as she did in her previous life–if she was a passive participant–then that event would proceed almost exactly as before. This proved her memories were real. But if she became an active participant, then she could change what happened. And the path of her life would diverge.
After introducing Moira’s mutation, Hickman’s now-expected text pages included in House of X #2 outline her first investigations into her ability to reincarnate. First, to verify that her mind was not giving her false memories of a life she had not actually ‘lived’ before being reborn. As the above excerpt explains, Moira tested the theory and concluded she could predict the future based on her memories… with unforeseen consequences. Instead of marrying again and mothering children–living a happy, full life–“familiarity bred contempt” for her husband, so she moves on to learn the truth of her power.
Instead of describing each of the lives that follow (readers should pick up the issue for themselves to see every one), we’ll sum up Moira’s journey across her ten lifetimes hitting the key points that caused her to change the path the next time ’round. And yes, Hickman is keeping Moira’s sixth life a secret. Why, we can’t even begin to wonder. But we do know that the lifetimes, or newly altered realities created by Moira, are described as follows:
- 1st Life: Moira lives, marries, has children, dies at age 74.
- 2nd Life: Realizes she’s a Mutant, dies flying to Charles.
- 3rd Life: Develops Mutant cure, killed by Mystique and Destiny.
- 4th Life: Finds Charles, helps found X-Men, killed by Sentinels.
- 5th Life: Finds Charles, radicalizes him, killed by Sentinels.
- 6th Life:
- 7th Life: Kills Trask family, A.I. Sentinels deemed inevitable.
- 8th Life: Finds Magneto, sparks war, is defeated, dies.
- 9th Life: Finds Apocalypse, conquers at his side… to unknown end.
- 10th Life: The House of X timeline begins.
Obviously the sixth, unseen lifetime is going to be important eventually, and the same goes for the mystery of just how her war at Apocalypse’s side ended up. It may not be a coincidence that after Apocalypse, a being capable of either amplifying her powers or showing her that aggression can’t solve the problem, Moira has decided to try something different… leading to the beginning of House of X.
After all the lives lost, after the end of all the wars, armed with the knowledge that all the old ways–and all the old ways of thinking–would never be enough to save her people, she decided to try something truly revolutionary… and in Moira’s tenth life, she and Charles Xavier would break all the rules.
Now readers can fully appreciate the scene glimpsed above, offered in Powers of X #1 without any explanation (and even relying on an explicit quote to let readers know this woman is Moira MacTaggert). Having seen the futures that lie ahead, and even referencing some of the Mutants currently fighting against the Sentinels 100 years in the future, Moira has come to Charles like usual. Only this time, she claims an intention to “break all the rules.” What rules, readers can’t yet know. What Charles may see in her mind that is somehow different than prior meetings, is similarly unclear.
Indeed, the sense of reality and alternate present/past/future is now so blurred, readers may have no choice but to wait until the next chapter of the story to have these questions answered… or be replaced by even more shocking mysteries and reveals. Either way, we’ll be counting the days. And may not even bother predicting what bombshells the next issue may drop.
House of X #2 is available at your local comic book shop, or direct from Marvel Comics. The story continues in Powers of X #2 when it is released on August 14th, 2019.
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