Published August 21, 2019

Uncovering the Secret History of the X-Men in 'Powers of X' #3

Spoiler alert! See how today's new issue impacts the past, present, and future of mutantkind...

Warning! This article contains spoilers about today's POWERS OF X #3, so read on at your own risk, True Believers!

One of the reasons that Jonathan Hickman’s HOUSE OF X and POWERS OF X has us hooked is that he knows the value of a good surprise. Each issue has its own revelation that adds additional context to the unfolding story.

This is the secret history of the X-Men that even the team never knew. Because how can anyone remember events that never happened?

Moira X can. That is her mutant power, after all. To live through each lifetime, and maintain all of her memories when she is born again in the past. POWERS OF X #3 by Hickman and artist R.B. Silva takes us through the end of Moira’s ninth life by revealing the X-Men Year 100 flash-forwards are part of that timeline. It’s not the future of the Marvel Universe as we know it...but it used to be.


Moira’s ninth life was the one where she sided with Apocalypse, because neither Professor X nor Magneto were enough to save her people. This is why Wolverine can call Apocalypse “boss.” In this lifetime, the X-Men were founded by Apocalypse and Moira, rather than Charles Xavier or Magneto.

This issue also sheds some light on the Chimeras, including Rasputin and Cardinal. While Rasputin clearly seems to combine the powers of Magik and Colossus, POWERS OF X #3’s ancillary material suggests that the rest of her genetic makeup comes from Kitty Pryde, X-23, Quintin Quire, and Gunther Bain AKA Unus the Untouchable. As for Cardinal, his DNA includes genetic material from Nightcrawler, Jean Grey, and “Freeman.”

It’s also worth noting that the Magneto-like character wasn’t Magneto at all. Instead, he was a second generation Chimera known as North whose genetic donors were Emma Frost and Lorna Dane, Magneto’s daughter.  

The bulk of the issue depicts a mission to discover the exact date that Nimrod went online. This may explain why the Nimrod of the primary timeline had such a different personality than the one in Moria IX’s lifetime. The Nimrod in this world barely tolerates humans, and gleefully exterminates mutants. He may very well be the deadliest threat to the X-Men, because not even the immortal Apocalypse can defeat Nimrod head-to-head.

In POWERS OF X #2, Apocalypse told his X-Men that he would have sacrificed all of them to discover when Nimrod went online. But he was also willing to sacrifice himself to make sure that Wolverine escaped with the intel and delivered it safely to Mother Akkaba—that’s Moria, in case there was any confusion. To prolong her life, Apocalypse apparently had Moria in stasis until he could deliver the information to her so she could use it in her next life. Moments after Moira digests the info, Wolverine “sends her on her way.”

This tells us that Moira’s life is what holds her various timelines in place. Once she’s gone back to the beginning, it’s essentially a reset. This also suggests that Moira may still be alive in the X-Men Year 1,000 flash-forwards, but that has yet to be confirmed. If she wasn’t still around, that timeline might have changed as well...

Hickman closed out the issue with another outline of Moira’s various lives. Conspicuous by its absence was Moira’s sixth life. That life was also left out of the timelines listed in HOUSE OF X #2. What secrets are so important that Moira’s entire sixth life is still a mystery to us? We know that her fifth life ended when the Sentinels wiped out Xavier and his mutant sanctuary. Moira then spent her seventh life trying to eradicate the Trask bloodline to prevent the Sentinels from ever existing. But what happened in between?

Perhaps the answers still lie ahead in HOUSE OF X and POWERS OF X.

Read POWERS OF X #3 at your local comic shop today!


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