As the House of X and Powers of X stories continue, the X-Men’s exciting and uncertain future increasingly intrigues fans. House of X #2 presented the stunning revelation that longtime X-Men human-ally Moira MacTaggert is a mutant. Moira has championed the mutant cause since appearing in 1975’s Uncanny X-Men #96.
Moira’s mutation is unique and powerful: She can self-reincarnate. This ability has allowed her to experience nine lives, each with an important moment that’s turned her tenth life into the key that will revolutionize the X-Men comics forever. Here are the most important moments in each of Moira’s ten lives.
10 Life One: Emergence Of Moira's Mutant Ability
Arguably, the most important moment in Moira’s first life was when she turned 13 and her mutant ability manifested. It is common knowledge that mutations don’t appear until puberty, unless a traumatic event triggers them earlier. For Moira, who gained the passive power of reincarnation, there were no signs indicating that she had become a mutant other than a strong, temporary fever, which could’ve been anything. The nature of Moira’s ability means she can only use it when she dies. That said, in each life, she must survive to age 13 again so her ability can re-manifest.
9 Life Two: Moira Realizes She Is A Mutant
In her first life, Moira never learned she was a mutant. Rather, she lived a long life and died naturally. It was in her second life that she began to understand what she was. Born with the memories of her first life, Moira took a different path this time.
First, she verified that she wasn’t suffering from psychosis or a disorder. Then the key moment in her second life occurred when Charles Xavier came out as a mutant on television and Moira realized she was one, too. She went to meet Xavier, but died in a plane crash.
8 Life Three: Moira Meets Destiny
In her third life, Moira made a point of finding Xavier earlier, when they were both at Oxford University. Moira was quickly turned off by Xavier’s apparent god complex and she soon came to see mutation as a disease. She set herself on the path to successfully creating a mutant cure by age 36. That’s when this life’s defining moment happened: Moira met Destiny. Able to see the future and Moira’s ability, Destiny decides to stop her and the cure. With the Brotherhood, she wipes out the lab and Moira. Before Moira dies, Destiny tells her she sees her living 10, perhaps 11 lives at most. She also warns that if she pursues a cure in future lives, she will find her.
7 Life Four: Sentinels Kill Moira, Proving Destiny Right
Before Destiny had Moira killed, she also shared with her the knowledge that the humans would always try to destroy mutants. This motivated Moira during her fourth life to reconsider the positive nature of mutants and Xavier himself.
She meets Charles and they form the X-Men, seeking to provide the world with the “something more” she thought it might need one day. She, Xavier, and the X-Men fight for the mutant cause for years, but, at age 55, Moira is killed by Sentinels. The actualization of Destiny’s vision forever changed Moira’s approach in lives to come.
6 Life Five: Radicalizing Charles Xavier
Entering her fifth life having lived through Destiny’s vision of an endless war on mutants, Moira chose aggression towards humanity. She intentionally met Xavier ten years earlier than in previous lives and, this time, she let him read her mind. In the most important moment of this life, Moira's memories radicalized Charles and the two formed the mutant nation Faraway. Filled with man’s evolutionary betters, it was a precursor to Krakoa. It seemed mutants were finally safe from humanity. Yet, despite Moira and Charles’ best efforts, Trask’s Sentinels found them and Moira later died in the ensuing genocide.
5 Life Six: An Unknown Timeline
Moira’s sixth life has been completely stricken from the timeline and narrative provided in House of X #2. Since she is reborn a seventh time, there’s no doubt she existed and died a sixth time.
Whoever had been narrating Moira’s past (most likely Xavier since her read her mind, but perhaps also someone from the future, like the librarian) has chosen to omit it for reasons only writer Jonathan Hickman knows (and is keeping secret). To that end, the most important moment in Moira’s sixth life must, for now, be her birth, which created yet another timeline.
4 Life Seven: Moira Becomes Radicalized
Whatever transpired in Moira’s sixth life almost certainly involved Sentinels again. She dedicated her entire seventh life to ending the bloodline of their creators, the Trasks. Over several years, Moira picked off one-by-one anyone who was part of Sentinel creator Bolivar Trask’s bloodline. But when she thought she had successfully eliminated the potential for Sentinel creation, the most important moment of this life arrived: She discovered Sentinels were still being created. Moira lost all hope when she understood that, like fire, AI is discovered, not created; AI is inevitable. This realization radicalized her as Sentinels killed her again.
3 Life Eight: Seeking Out Magneto
Moira’s eighth life sees her completely abandon previous efforts to foster a safe future for mutants by separating them from the threat of human and trying to stop the creation of anti-mutant machines. This new, radicalized Moira doesn't turn to Xavier this time.
Rather, in the most important moment in her eighth life, she turns to a necessary evil: Magneto. Presenting Magneto with tales of her past lives and his future failures, Moira convinced him to join her. Together they conquered America, establishing House of M. She later died trying to escape prison during War of M.
2 Life Nine: Waking Apocalypse
The life defining decision Moira made to turn to Magneto, though eventually a failure, did validate her radical approach to beating humanity through force. Magneto was simply not enough. To that end, Moira defined her ninth life in the moment she woke Apocalypse. Together, they destroy their two strongest opponents, Xavier and Magneto. They then gather their horsemen and launch the Apocalypse War. Interestingly, there is no information given on Moira’s success or fate in this life, but she is reborn in a tenth life, so she died at the very least.
1 Life Ten: Sharing Her Past Lives With Xavier
Moira’s tenth life occurs in the current Marvel Universe. Assuming that Destiny was right and she only has this life and maybe one other, Moira makes the most important choice of her life and mutant history: she prompts Xavier to read her mind. When Xavier sees the outcomes of the previous timelines, the foundation of the X-Men’s history is forever changed. The events going forward in this tenth life are ones fans know from the comics, but the new knowledge gained about the characters has changed everyone’s understanding of them. It has also led to Marvel’s ultimate mutant shakeup.