X-Men Theory: How [SPOILER] Is Controlling The X-Men

Moira MacTaggert

Moira MacTaggert could secretly be using her genetic expertise to brainwash the X-Men. There's something very wrong with the X-Men right now; the mutant race have abandoned Xavier's Dream, with even Charles Xavier admitting the dream is dead. They've established a mutant nation on the living island of Krakoa, and are pursuing a far more aggressive and isolationist vision than ever before.

It all appears to have been masterminded by Moira MacTaggert, who's been retconned as a secret mutant with the power of reincarnation. Every time Moira dies, the timeline resets to the moment of her birth, but she retains the knowledge of her past lives. Moira is determined to ensure the mutant race has a future, and she's corrupted Charles Xavier to her cause. But how could she have manipulated the rest of the X-Men?

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Powers of X #6 offers a subtle hint. It includes a number of Moira MacTaggert's journal entries, including one that appears to refer to the 1991 X-Men relaunch.

"We have lost Magneto.

I had hoped -- given the opportunity -- to help make him a better man. Instead all we have made is an enemy.

I am just as bad as they are. If not worse."

Moira's last sentence is clearly referring to Charles Xavier and Magneto. And the events appear to refer to one of Moira's most important stories, which ran in the first three issues of Marvel's X-Men relaunch in 1991.

X-Men 3 Cover

The legendary X-Men writer Chris Claremont revealed that Moira had secretly conducted genetic experiments upon Magneto in an attempt to limit his aggressive behavior. There had been a time when Magneto had been regressed in age to an infant, and he'd been briefly in Moira's care. Moira had created a revolutionary new procedure that allowed her to manipulate both a person's mind and genetic structure with ease. Magneto had subsequently been restored to his normal age, and needless to say he wasn't happy when he learned what Moira had done. He forced Moira to conduct the same experiment on several of the X-Men, and it turned into an all-out battle between the Blue and Gold Teams. Fortunately, Moira's process proved to be temporary, because every time a mutant used their powers it reset the programming.

Hickman's continuity nods all seem quite important - another journal entry explains why Xavier has a reality-manipulating son - so this is unlikely to be a coincidence. It confirms that Moira MacTaggert has past form twisting mutants to her own will, rewriting their genetics and even thought patterns. It's not hard to envision a scenario where she's spent years working on this technology, and has perfected it; if that's the case, the minute a mutant sets foot on Krakoa, their intentions are rewritten. That would neatly explain why even the likes of Apocalypse appear to ditch their previous philosophies as soon as they arrive on Krakoa. But if this theory is correct, it doesn't necessarily mean that Moira's process is stable - particularly with mutants who have permanent physical mutations. The Krakoan dream could yet go badly wrong.

Powers of X #6 is on sale now from Marvel Comics.

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