House of X-Pectations: Spoiler Filled Reaction to House of X #2
Jonathan Hickman broke the nerdosphere last week. It was the 3rd straight week of huge reactions to his arrival to pen the X-Men universe, but this one was particularly big. His Marvel comics, House of X and Powers of X have been the subject of overwhelming praise, speculation, and an absurd level of analysis over the past few weeks.
In an ongoing series, Project-Nerd writers Chris Burns and Patrick White react with full spoilers of House of X #2, and speculate on what is to come in today’s Powers of X #2, below:
Again: FULL SPOILERS BELOW. Ye be warned!
CB: So, what did you think? My initial reaction: Holy @#*!
PW: I was shocked when I first read it, but Hickman’s story seems to check out. I especially like the first four panels, which left me confused but also made me crave more immediately, and luckily, the confusion dissipated quickly. We got many answers in this issue and that was appreciated.
CB: It does feel like we got satisfactory answers. Those answers created a lot more questions, but at least they were pretty concrete. This wasn’t a LOST smoke monster situation. As someone who wasn’t that familiar with Moira, this was a pretty mind blowing concept, but I wonder how people who know the character a little better feel?
PW: Honestly, from what I can gather, she tends to be an underwritten character. Considering that, I would guess that Hickman’s version of her was well received.
CB: Yeah, it certainly takes her from “supporting cast” to “main character.” I don’t know that she’s ever been that.
CB: I have a theory. Do we want to talk about this issue first, or dive right into theorizing?
PW: I’m good with theorizing.
CB: Ok. Moira’s power doesn’t seem like a plausible genetic mutation to me. A guy who can shoot laser beams from his eyes, a healing factor, mental powers, etc. all make sense as genetic mutations. Having your consciousness reincarnate by traveling through time/dimensions doesn’t. Also, previous continuity had established that Moira is definitively not a mutant.
I’m wondering if Hickman is setting something else up.
PW: That’s an interesting theory, but the narrator of her story says that she is a mutant.
CB: The narration bit is interesting, because it switches from straight narration to Moira narrating directly at the “camera” and back. This could be a case of an “unreliable narrator.” Moira believes she’s a mutant, but that doesn’t make it true.
PW: Yeah, that’s a good point. We definitely could have an “unreliable narrator.” I wonder if we will see these versions of reality collide.
Also, returning to her narration “at the camera,” do you think she’s talking to someone?
CB: I *think* those panels happen inside Charles Xavier’s mind. I think that’s what he sees in her head in PoX #1.
PW: Just because I want to see it, I’m going theorize that she’s talking to Mister Sinister.
CB: Could be, how do you think that ties into her Groundhog Day-ing life?
PW: I knew you would ask that. I’m not sure, but if I were to place it on the timeline, I’d say it happened in Life Ten in Year 27 because I think that the creation of the Muir Research Institute might tie this all together.
I was just doing some research on Muir Island and found a panel from the Dark Phoenix storyline that features Asteroid M, which is Magneto’s home. We speculated that Asteroid K is related to Krakoa, but maybe it’s actually named after someone with a K in her name, ya know, like Moira Kinross (MacTaggert)
CB: Interesting theory. I hadn’t considered the possibility that the “K” could stand for anything other than Krakoa.
So do you think Sinister is masterminding everything with Krakoa, etc. from that point? Or do you think they’re two separate things on a collision course?
PW: I think he might be the mastermind. Actually, the plot would be more intriguing if Moira is.
CB: I think I’m with you on that. I don’t think Xavier is Xavier, so it’s a pretty decent chance that he’s Sinister’s pod-person or clone or something to that effect.
Moira as the mastermind, using Sinister, Xavier, and everything else as her pawns? I’d like that a lot.
PW: Yes, that would be surprising while still matching the narrative created so far.
CB: The cool thing is, the list of crazy things that would match the narrative so far is endless. It’s a genuine mystery, that’s I’m actually interested in answering.
PW: Fair point. It literally could go anywhere, and I’d probably be into it
So here’s a question: Moira completely changes the trajectory of her “lives” after being threatened by Destiny. Do you think there’s anything more to that? “Change or I’m going to kill you” doesn’t seem like it would prompt the kind of commitment that she shows after that. Do you think we’re going to circle back around to that?
PW: I think that we’ll likely see Destiny again. Hickman and Larraz devoted five pages of their book to Destiny’s threat against Moira, so it’s likely important.
CB: I hope we do. We’re on Moira’s 10th life (Ah, that’s what Moira X means!). Destiny said she’d get an 11th if she makes the right choice. Do you think it’s possible things will reboot at the end of HoXPoX, and we’ll get another cycle of Moira?
One possibility this issue definitely creates is that everything we’re seeing in HoXPoX isn’t in this timeline.
PW: That’s an interesting idea that I think is certainly possible, but my hope is we see that 11th life in HoXPoX. I think it would be interesting if Hickman establishes a utopia of mutants and humans, Moira dies then she is reborn and dies before her mutant gene is active. Then Hickman is forcing us to face the reality of this utopia that will never be.
CB: That’d be pretty dark. But it would establish a status quo without a “mutant utopia” moving forward that would set the X-Men more firmly inside the bigger Marvel universe.
PW: Yeah, that would be pretty messed up. I don’t want that necessarily, but I want this to keep emotionally punching me in the gut with this series.
CB: One major thing about all those lives that I noticed is that there is no 6th life, either in the story, or the graphic chart at the end. I think that’ll be important.
PW: Wow, man. I feel so stupid right now. I clearly didn’t read this one as closely. Nice catch!
CB: I only noticed because of the blank space on the graphic. I had to go back and check the story.
PW: It’s so obvious to me now that you point it out. It’s hard to know how all of this fits together right now.
PW: Also, are Moira’s previous lives X-Men comic arcs we’ve seen before?
CB: Those other lives definitely drew on previous X-Men stuff. Particularly the 4th life, which is pretty much a straight retelling of the X-Men history up until Moira & Professor X’s deaths in what looks very Days of Futures past.
PW: Yeah, I need to dig deeper into the mythos to understand all of that.
CB: There’s so much about this series that makes you want to dig through older stuff! I have Morrison’s X-Men queued up for a re-read as soon as we’re done.
PW: That’s true. That said, I don’t think Moira and Xavier married in the traditional X-Men continuity.
CB: Good point. It’s similar, but different enough to know it’s not “our” reality.
PW: It actually matches best with Life Ten, which tells me that Life Ten is the traditional X-Men continuity.
CB: So, PoX #2. All the previews say is:
“As Xavier sows the seeds of the past, the X-Men’s future blossoms into trouble for all mutantdom.”
Not much there, what do you think is coming?
PW: The phrase “Xavier sows the seeds of the past” is an odd one, but it does bring alive visions of the Krakoa flowers and the pod people.
CB: I hadn’t even thought about that, but yeah, it definitely alludes to the Krakoa seeds. I hadn’t even made the connection between the metaphor of seeds and people literally growing on trees.
I’m hoping we get some follow up on all the survivors on Asteroid K. I want to know if that’s real Logan, Magneto, etc. or the “chimera” type products of the breeding pits.
PW: Yes, I definitely want to know that too, but I hope that Moira doesn’t take a back seat for too long. I need to know more about her timeline, the previous lives, and whether or not they have any influence over the future lives.
CB: Yeah, “I must have more Moira MacTaggert” is not a phrase I would have uttered a month ago.
PW: I think I’m going to re-read all of HoXPoX again because I need to be ready for tomorrow.
CB: I think I’ll definitely be re-reading the series a few times as it’s coming out. This thing really is something special, unlike anything I’ve ever read.
I’m usually not the “I have to solve this mystery” kinda guy!
PW: Me neither. As an English teacher, I tend to be the one pushing students from over analyzing literature, but this is too much fun.