Warning: This article contains spoilers for Powers of X #2, by Jonathan Hickman, R.B. Silva, Adriano di Benedetto, Marte Gracia, VC's Clayton Cowles and Tom Muller, on sale now.
Over the course of the first few X-Men movies, Charles Xavier and Magneto seemed to play a never-ending game of chess. Even after the Master of Magnetism was incarcerated for his various villainous activities, their endless chess games served as a proxy for their decades-long friendship and rivalry.
In the comic book Marvel Universe, Professor X and Magneto have an even longer, more complex relationship that's seen them go from best friends to bitter enemies and uneasy allies. Since House of X started, both mutants have found themselves working together again, as Xavier has established an aggressive mutant nation to save mutants from an inevitable dark future.
However, Powers of X #2 suggests that Magneto and Xavier were quietly working together long before their most recent alliance.
As recent revelations from House of X have shown, Moira X, formerly the X-Men's longtime ally Moira MacTaggert, is secretly a mutant with reincarnation abilities who retained memories from all of her past lives. After seeing mutantkind fall numerous times, she showed all of her memories to a young Xavier before he formed the X-Men.
In retrospect, this knowledge quietly guided every decision Xavier made, from who to recruit for the X-Men to how to portray himself publicly.
In Powers of X #2, Moira and Xavier travel to the Bermuda Triangle's Island M, one of Magneto's first secret lairs. At some point early in the X-Men's history, Xavier showed Moira's memories to Magneto.
As scenes from "The Trial of Magneto" and his apparent death at the hands of Sentinels flashed before him, Magneto was brought to his knees after witnessing the numerous failures of his life. After this, Magneto seemingly forms a previously-unseen alliance with Xavier and Moira to help mutantkind thrive.
By positioning this secret alliance so early in X-Men history, it reframes decades of life-and-death battles between the X-Men and Magneto's forces as something more in-line to one of their cinematic chess games. Depending on how long Xavier and Magneto were aligned, his entire career as a villain almost seems to become something akin to play-acting, meant to hone the X-Men and Magneto's Brotherhood into soldiers.
If he and Xavier were already working towards the same goal, their secret alliance also offers an additional explanation about the villain's habitual willingness to join or side with the X-Men over the years.
Despite all of that, the timeline of Moira X's lives in House of X #2 seems to indicate that there was eventually a schism between Magneto and Xavier/Moira. Initially, that seems to suggest that Xavier and Magneto's history followed its established path. However, it's unclear if their alliance really did break apart or if that was just another piece of play-acting, staged to set certain events in motion.
Regardless of the status of his relationship to Xavier, Magneto's knowledge of Moira's lives may have affected his plans over the years. Magneto tried to establish an extraterrestrial base for mutants with Asteroid M and Avalon, and he also tried to establish a mutant nation in Genosha. While those efforts ultimately failed, both of those ideas are apparently key parts of Xavier's plans in House of X.
While it's not clear if the schism between Magneto and Xavier/Moira will be further explored, House of X and Powers of X have already made seismic alternations to X-Men history that could take years of stories to unravel. However, for the moment, it looks like these two mutant leaders were friendlier far longer than anyone realized.