Meet Moira MacTaggert, Krakoa’s Secret Mutant Traitor
Who is Moira MacTaggert? Read on to discover the story of this secret mutant and her ten lives, which ultimately led to the creation of Krakoa.
If knowledge is power, then Moira MacTaggert is one of the most dangerous people in the Marvel Universe. For years, Moira appeared to be a brilliant human scientist and one of the X-Men’s closest allies. However, that changed with HOUSE OF X (2019) and POWERS OF X (2019) by Jonathan Hickman, Pepe Larraz, R.B. Silva, and Marte Gracia. That epic event revealed Moira’s secret history as a mutant who had lived through multiple timelines where mutants were exterminated, which inspired her to build the mutant nation Krakoa with knowledge of those failed futures. However, Moira ultimately betrayed Krakoa, and she has since used her knowledge to burn mutantkind down.
Now, we’re taking a closer look at Moira and her journey from X-Men ally to existential threat against all mutantkind. With Moira stepping into SINS OF SINISTER, we’ll also look at the role she plays in a universe controlled by Mister Sinister’s corrupted X-Men in IMMORAL X-MEN (2023) #3 by Kieron Gillen, Alessandro Vitti, Rain Beredo, and VC's Clayton Cowles.
MOIRA AND THE X-MEN
Moira MacTaggert debuted in UNCANNY X-MEN (1963) #96 by Chris Claremont and Dave Cockrum, where she briefly posed as the X-Mansion’s new housekeeper before revealing herself to be a scientist, close confidant, and former lover of Charles Xavier. Although she spent much of her time at her isolated Scottish research lab on Muir Island, Moira developed a romantic relationship with the X-Men’s Banshee, which continued on-and-off for several years. Moira also had a son—Kevin, AKA Proteus—who had immense reality-warping powers that compelled him to possess the bodies of others. After a fierce battle with the X-Men, he was seemingly killed in UNCANNY X-MEN (1963) #126-127 by Claremont and John Byrne.
Shortly before encouraging Xavier to assemble the New Mutants, MacTaggert took in a young Wolfsbane and tried to help the ultra-powerful Legion control his numerous abilities. When the Reavers attacked Muir Island, she brought the Muir Island X-Men together to defend her home and its occupants. She also joined Excalibur, a British team of X-Men that was briefly based on the island.
When a mutant plague called the Legacy Virus threatened all of mutantkind, Moira focused her research on finding a cure. She also contracted the Legacy Virus herself and appeared to be the only human infected with the disease. After an attack by Mystique, Moira seemingly died and gave her research to Xavier during her final moments in X-MEN (1991) #108 by Claremont, Leinil Francis Yu, and Brett Booth. Her research would ultimately go on to play a crucial role in the development of a cure for the Legacy Virus.
After Moira’s death, X-MEN: DEADLY GENESIS (2005) by Ed Brubaker and Trevor Hairsine revealed that she allowed Xavier to turn several young mutants in her care into a doomed X-Men team that perished on a mission to save the original X-Men. While that revelation about Moira’s secret life was shocking at the time, it was merely a harbinger of several more far-reaching revelations to come.
MOIRA’S ROAD TO KRAKOA
Just as the mutant nation Krakoa announced its existence to the world, Moira MacTaggert’s true nature was revealed throughout HOUSE OF X (2019) and POWERS OF X (2019). That story explained that Moira was really a mutant with reincarnation powers, which allowed her to be reborn with the full memories of her previous lives. In these new timelines, Moira tried to manipulate history through her actions.
In her third life, Moira developed a power-neutralizing mutant cure. She was ultimately killed by the prophetic mutant Destiny and the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants, who warned Moira about working against mutants in her later lives. During this deadly encounter, Moira also learned her powers would only allow her to be reincarnated and live through 10 or 11 lives.
In her subsequent lives, Moira tried to save mutantkind by teaming up with leaders like Xavier, Magneto, and Apocalypse, but all of those timelines ultimately saw mutants eradicated by advanced Sentinels or highly evolved post-humans. Even in the life where she assassinated every member of the Sentinel-creating Trask family, Moira saw mutants hunted to extinction by Sentinels, which made her lose faith in the long-term viability of mutantkind. So, in her ninth life, Moira identified the creation and activation of the mutant-hunting Nimrod Sentinel as the tipping point for mutantkind’s survival.
In her tenth life, Moira quietly worked with Xavier and Magneto for many years to facilitate the establishment of Krakoa in the modern Marvel Universe. Feeling that she had become too prominent in the X-Men’s world, Moira replaced herself with a Shi’ar golem to fake her death and receded into the shadows to pursue her plans. Once Krakoa had been fully established, Moira remained in the shadows and continued to advise Xavier and Magneto. She also insisted that precognitive mutants like Destiny could not be resurrected on Krakoa in order to keep the doomed future of mutantkind a secret.
Despite Moira’s efforts, Mystique organized the resurrection of Destiny, her long-dead wife, and nominated her for a leadership role on Krakoa’s Quiet Council in INFERNO (2021) #1 by Jonathan Hickman and Valerio Schiti. In response to that development, Moira decided it was time to bring another Quiet Council leader, Emma Frost, into their circle by revealing Moira’s involvement in the founding of Krakoa. However, that plan backfired spectacularly. The conspiracy enraged Emma Frost, who revealed Moira’s secrets to Destiny and Mystique. After Destiny and Mystique kidnapped Moira and cut off her arm, they used Moira’s severed limb to lure Xavier and Magneto into a lethal battle with Nimrod and the Omega Sentinel.
With a power-removing gun that Forge developed years earlier, Mystique and Destiny took away Moira’s mutant abilities, which turned her human and removed her ability to reset the timeline in INFERNO (2021) #4 by Hickman, Schiti, and Stefano Caselli. With that, Moira told the couple her true aim: to depower all of the world’s current and future mutants to spare them from future wars with humans and machines.
Just as Mystique was about to kill Moira, Cypher intervened with the support of Warlock, Bei the Blood Moon, and the island Krakoa itself. As he argued, Mystique and Destiny could not kill Moira since she was human, which would break one of Krakoa’s foundational laws. After Destiny’s visions suggested that killing Moira would separate her and Mystique, Moira was allowed to live and escape.
MOIRA VS. KRAKOA
After leaving Krakoa, Moira went on the run from Mystique, who was still trying to kill her in X DEATHS OF WOLVERINE (2022) #1 by Benjamin Percy and Federico Vicentini. At the same time, Moira was also targeted by Omega Wolverine, a Phalanx-infected Logan from a future where Moira teamed up with the Omega Sentinel and the Phalanx to destroy Krakoa. As the time-traveling Logan went on the attack, Moira turned to Arnab Chakladar, an ambitious inventor and entrepreneur, for help uploading her consciousness into a cyborg body in X DEATHS OF WOLVERINE (2022) #3 by Percy and Vicentini.
After luring her old beau Banshee into a trap and killing him, Moira snuck back onto Krakoa in a misguided attempt to repower herself with Forge’s power-removing gun. However, she was fatally wounded by Omega Wolverine in the process. Although the human Moira died on Krakoa, she uploaded her intelligence into her cybernetic body and rose from her grave in X DEATHS OF WOLVERINE (2022) #5 by Percy and Vicentini.
Now fully dedicated to eradicating mutantkind, Moira found like-minded allies in Feilong and Doctor Stasis at Orchis. Moira also electronically possessed Mary Jane Watson and attended the second Hellfire Gala in X-MEN: HELLFIRE GALA (2022) #1 by Gerry Duggan, Russell Dauterman, Kris Anka, C.F. Villa, and Matteo Lolli. While on Krakoa, Moira confronted Proteus, who had evolved into a beloved part of the mutant community, and unsuccessfully tried to goad him into attacking Krakoa. However, Spider-Man, Wolverine, and Greycrow ultimately stopped her and saved Mary Jane. Moira went on to play a significant role in turning the Eternals against mutants in A.X.E.: JUDGMENT DAY (2022), although she ended up helping the X-Men and their allies take down the Progenitor, an artificial Celestial.
Although Moira lost her mutant powers, Mister Sinister created several clones of her that still had her abilities, and he used them to reset the timeline numerous times in order to accomplish his goals. With his so-called Moira Engine, Sinister successfully corrupted Xavier and Krakoa’s other leaders, who then took over the world and viciously conquered much of the universe in the SINS OF SINISTER timeline.
After spending a millennium hiding in the ruins of a dead Earth, Moira reemerged in IMMORAL X-MEN (2023) #3 by Kieron Gillen, Alessandro Vitti, Rain Beredo, and VC’s Clayton Cowles, and she’s ready to help Sinister reset the timeline one last time.
Don't miss Moira's latest schemes in IMMORAL X-MEN #3, on sale now!
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