Part 3 of Hickman’s epic X-Men story continues on with House of X #2. Let’s skip the preamble and dig right into the story!
This issue picks up with the life story of the woman who met with Charles Xavier in issue 1 of Powers of X: Moira MacTaggert. This was hinted at in that issue but here we find out that, yes, this is Moira. Here we see her life story.
She’s born to a rural town in Scotland, grows up, gets married, has kids and grand kids, and dies at the age of 74, having led a peaceful and quaint life. And then she wakes up in-utero, literally born again but WITH the knowledge of her past life. So while she has to relive her childhood, she was still as intelligent as she was an adult. Oh, and she’s a mutant…
With this new lease on life Moira becomes interested in science, goes to Oxford, and proves to herself that she is in some sort of second life. So with that information she decides to diverge from her original life and make different choices.
Life Cycle #2
Moira breaks up with her then-boyfriend and then finds Charles Xavier on TV when he comes out publicly as a mutant. She took his words to heart regarding mutantkind and jumped on a plane to meet the man himself. Unfortunately, the plane crashes and she dies.
Life Cycle #3
Things are a bit similar. She still goes to Oxford and meets Charles Xavier, but this time she sits down and listens to him when they meet there. In doing so, she realized some things:
1. She definitely IS a mutant.
2. Kitty Pride was right, Professor X is a Jerk!
The combination of Charles’ ego and his arrogance made Moira realize that mutation is a disease that people suffer from so she creates a cure to eliminate the mutant gene. After creating it she attracts the attention of the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants (the second iteration with Mystique leading), who proceed to kill all her colleagues, burn down her lab, and tie her up. Mystique and Destiny interrogate her as they know that Moira’s mutant power is resurrection so just killing her may not stop her creating a mutant cure in her next life. Destiny gives her a talking to, basically saying two things:
1. If she makes another cure in another life, they’ll always find her and kill her.
2. While she can resurrect herself, she does have finite lives (10, maybe 11) so she better use them wisely.
Everybody got that? Good. Pyro burns her to death slowly leading to …
Life Cycle #4
In this life, Moira hits the books a little harder and looks at the issue from outside her own perspective. She also gave Charles a second chance and saw a man with a dream behind all the ego. From then on she was right behind Professor X from “the gifted years” (formation of the original X-Men) to “the time of hate and fear” (the Giant-sized/all-new all-different team) to “the lost decade” (the AvX/Phoenix five era) to … well, the end, as a bunch of sentinels wipe all the X-Men out.
Life Cycle #5
Moira goes to meet Charles again, this time having him read her mind to see what had happened in her past lives. This radicalizes him, leading him to build a high-tech super city as a haven for mutants where the humans couldn’t hunt them down. Though eventually the humans found them and sent sentinels to destroy them.
Life Cycle #7 (What happened in her 6th?)
Moira decides to take a more violent route and kill every member of the Trask family, which should stop the sentinel program. Keyword being “should” as she stumbles upon another Sentinel factory made by someone else then dies a seventh time and with her all hope of stopping the program.
Life Cycle #8
Moira ignores Charles entirely and goes straight to Magneto and tells him of the horrors mutant kind will face, leading an enraged Erik Lenshirr to attack Washington D.C. and subsequently being defeated by the Marvel Heroes of the 1970’s.
Life Cycle #9
Can’t possibly do worse than Magneto, right? Wrong, because in this life she joins up with Apocalypse because why the ever-loving, blue-eyed f$#k not!?
This all leads us to Moira’s tenth and final attempt, bringing us back to Powers of X #1 and her conversation with a Charles...
Wow, what a cliffhanger! Wow, what an issue!
Everything within and about this issue was fantastic! After throwing of the audience into the future in Powers of X #1, I’m glad we got to go back to the past and explain a little bit of what exactly happened to Charles. I say a little bit because while we don’t actually see how Charles changed into this Maker-looking guy we can probably connect the dots between Moira showing Charles all her past lives and Charles making the new mutant nation of Krakoa based on that information.
Speaking of which, I think the new, retconned powers of Moira MacTaggert are a cool and bold choice. It’s like Groundhog Day meets Source Code and the fact that she resurrects over the multiverse and has basically covered all ground regarding the best way to go about mutant kind’s survival means that this last life should give us some interesting choices on how Moira and Charles go about things.
One question: where is Moira now? Hopefully this will be addressed before the end of the series but overall, a really great story. Hickman continues to do an awesome job on his X-Men re-haul, both creating something new and paying respects and acknowledging what came before in the Merry Mutants long, sordid and confusing history. Pepe Larraz also continues to rock it on art! This issue is fantastic, can’t wait to see what happens next!
Verdict: 8.5/10 Moira MacTaggert’s life cycles