Warning: This article contains spoilers for Age of X-Man: Prisoner X #1, by Vita Ayala, German Peralta, Mike Spicer and Joe Sabino, and Uncanny X-Men #13, by Matthew Rosenberg, Salvador Larroca, Guru-eFX and Joe Caramagna, on sale now.
At any given moment, there are usually a few X-Men teams bouncing around the Marvel Universe. While the lines between the various groups can get blurry sometimes, the X-Men are currently split into two distinctly different groups, each one facing dramatically different sets of circumstances.
After losing a massive battle against the all-powerful Nate Grey, most of the X-Men have apparently been sent to the Age of X-Man, an alternate timeline that's built around that mutant's twisted idea of a mutant utopia.
Meanwhile, the recently-ressurected Cyclops and Wolverine have formed a new team comprised of the only X-Men left in a Marvel Universe that hates and fears mutants more than ever before. One of those X-Men is Danielle Moonstar, the former empathic mutant leader of the New Mutants who's currently dealing with the Transmode Virus, an alien infection that's turning her into a techno-organic being in Uncanny X-Men.
In Age of X-Man: Prisoner X #1, Moonstar, makes an unexpected debut in the Age of X-Man, marking the only time so far that a character has been seen simultaneously in that timeline and Marvel's main universe.
After Bishop is incarcerated for violating the Age of X-Man's laws forbidding romantic entanglements, Moonstar helps the former X-Man adjust to life behind bars. Once she fills him in on the mutant prison's power structure, Moonstar tells Bishop that feels like she doesn't belong there and still has fleeting memories of her life in the Marvel Universe.
While Bishop still remembers glimpses of his dystopian home timeline and his tenure with the X-Men, Moonstar flashes back to her time as Mirage in the New Mutants and her off-and-on role as an Asgardian Valkyrie. Considering those memories, it would seem the Age of X-Man's Moonstar is the real version of the character.
However, the other Moonstar in Uncanny X-Men appears to be just as real. Which leads to the question of, just what the hell is going on?
In Matthew Rosenberg and Adam Gorham's 2018 miniseries New Mutants: Dead Souls, Moonstar was infected with the Transmode Virus after touching the remains of Warlock, her fellow former New Mutant and mechanical alien friend. After Moonstar turned several other X-Men into techno-organic beings too, she and the rest of her mutant team were captured and used to power a new batch of mutant-hunting Sentinels.
Even though Moonstar has only played a supporting role since Cyclops and Wolverine rescued her, her simultaneous presence in the Marvel Universe and the Age of X-Man still raises several questions.
From everything that's been teased about the Age of X-Man, it seems Nate Grey created that world and somehow brought the numerous mutants he defeated into it. In that world's timeline, Cyclops, Wolverine and other characters who weren't part of that battle are apparently dead and have only been discussed in the past tense. Since Moonstar wasn't part of that final battle, it's not clear why she's still alive in the Age of X-Man, or what other characters, if any, may be in a similar position.
Regardless of how Moonstar got into the Age of X-Man, her presence in that world makes a lot of sense considering her history with Nate Grey.
Starting in 2012, Moonstar and Nate dated for a few years, primarily in Dan Abnett, Andy Lanning and David Lopez's run on New Mutants. While it's not clear when or how that relationship ended, it seems like it didn't end well, since Nate tried to take over the world, created a new world and incarcerated her in a prison with other mutants who were in forbidden relationships.
Even if Moonstar's role in the Age of X-Man makes a degree of sense, it's still not clear how she can co-exist there and in the Marvel Universe at once. If she's just a figment of Nate's imagination in the Age of X-Man, how or what would she have detailed memories of events he wasn't around for?
As covers to upcoming issues of Prisoner X reveal, Moonstar will apparently continue to appear in the Age of X-Man. Meanwhile, as the War of the Realms consumes the Marvel Universe over the next few months, Moonstar seems set to take on a much more prominent role in the main Marvel Universe's X-Men team as an Asgardian Valkyrie.
While her memories would be enough to make her a key player in the Age of X-Man, Moonstar's seems well-positioned to be a major player in both of the X-Men's worlds in the very near future. And her increasing prominence in both would indicate that when the Age of X-Man inevitable disintegrates, she'll play a major part in its downfall.
Moonstar's Marvel Universe adventures will continue in Uncanny X-Men #14, by Matthew Rosenberg and Salvador Larroca, on sale March 20, and her Age of X-Man adventures will continue in Age of X-Man: Prisoner X #2, by Vita Ayala and German Peralta, on sale April 3.