Jonathan Hickman's revolutionary new vision of the X-Men continues with House of X #2 this week. In just two chapters of the story so far, Hickman has rapidly re-invented the entire X-Men story, past, present, and future, and in this third chapter, he does no less than establish a bold a new way to potentially reboot the entire Marvel Universe!
WARNING - MAJOR SPOILERS for House of X #1, Powers of X #1, and House of X #2 will be discussed below!
Months before Hickman's X-Men event series began, we were teased with a scene between Moira MacTaggert and Professor X the first moment they met, which was proclaimed to be the most important moment in X-Men history. Well, House of X #2 makes good on that lofty boast, as Moira lets Charles Xavier into her mind to reveal an astounding secret: Moira Mactaggert is, and always has been, and Omega Level mutant.
Moira's power set allows her to experience a Groundhog Day-style resurrection process whenever she dies. After her lifetime is done, Moira reverts back to the start of her lifetime, with full knowledge and memory of the life she previously lived; because her power works in death, her X-gene is undetectable during her life, providing the ultimate camouflage. Most of House of X #2 deals with (as the title "The Uncanny Life of Moira X" implies) the various lifetimes that Moira has lived, and how the changes in her experiences and perspectives ultimately changed the fates of Charles Xavier, the X-Men, and all of mutantkind, as a result.
Hickman's House of X / Powers of X series will have to fully breakdown the extent of Moira Mactaggert's powers and their effect on the story of the X-Men universe we think we know. However, the larger discussion is how this new reveal of an Omega-level mutant power, which essentially acts like a form of time travel reset, affects the larger Marvel Comics universe.
House of X 1 & 2 have already laid out plot threads that point to Moira's various lifetimes affecting not only Xavier and the X-Men, but the entirety of the Marvel Universe, as well. In fact, one of the most intriguing parts of House of X #2 are the timelines in which Moira fought for mutant supremacy by allying herself with both Magneto and Apocalypse (respectively). Those timelines hint at that Moira and her cohorts went to war with the entire lineup of Marvel heroes. That alone suggests that this new reveal could be used for more than just this X-Men event series - it's a gateway to entirely new timelines of the Marvel Comics Universe, or a way to reset that entire universe through this new method of reboot.
...Or will it?
There's still a long way to go in Hickman's X-Men event series, and there's already hints that he could tie-off this radical method of hitting the reset button by the time House of X and Powers of X are done.
House of X #1 features a scene between Cyclops and the Fantastic Four over which hero team should take custody of an apprehended Sabertooth. The exchange ends tensely, with Cyclops throwing the shade that Franklin Richards (Reed and Sue's son) always has a home with the X-Men and mutants of the Krakoa nation if he wants one. Another chart included in that same issue defines what "Omega Level Mutants" are, with specific highlight of Franklin Richards' powers of "Reality Manipulation/[Universal". That little foreshadow could turn out to be all-important: Franklin Richards is potentially the one other mutant in the Marvel Universe who can undo whatever new reality Moira MacTaggert ultimately establishes. By the end of Hickman's story, Moira may not even be allowed to keep her power, if Franklin has any say in things.
Still, credit to Hickman for giving Marvel Comics its most interesting "free restart" trick, yet.
House of X #1 and #2, and Powers of X #1 are all now on sale.