Jonathan Hickman's reinvention of the X-Men universe has been a mind-bending trip so far, to say the least. However, House of X #2 cranks the madness up a notch, with a major reveal that Moira Mactaggert is an omega-level mutant, whose reincarnation power has basically rebooted the Marvel Universe ten times over.
As you can imagine, "The Uncanny Life of Moira X" is a story of death, rebirth, and time theory that has sparked Marvel fans' collective intellect - which is probably why they no one expected House of X #2 to also feature the demise of an X-Men character that's more brutal than any death we've ever seen in the Marvel Universe!
WARNING - Major House of X #2 Spoilers Follow!
"The Uncanny Life of Moira X" chronicles highlights of the ten lifetimes that Moira has lived, Groundhog Day-style. It's in her third life that Moira decides to skip her fateful meeting with Charles Xavier, and pursue the goal of curing the mutant condition herself. As a brilliant geneticist, Moira succeeds, but her success only brings calamity instead of salvation. Irene Adler, aka the future-seeing mutant Destiny, senses what Moira is, and what she's done, and using her companion Mystique and the Freedom Force team, Destiny intervenes. In this case, that intervention comes in the form of slaughtering everyone in Moira's lab, and burning the facility and all its research to the ground.
In one of the best scenes of this event series, Destiny warns Moira that if she doesn't use her lives to advance the cause of mutantkind instead of trying to eradicate it, there will be steep consequences. Destiny make it clear that her power will always be there to counter Moira in any lifetime, and to make her point felt, Destiny gives Pyro a final order about what to do with captive Moira:
"Pyro? Burn Her. And slowly. So she doesn't forget how dying like this feels."
The scene doesn't spare us the sight of Moira, tied to a chair, being roasted alive by Pyro's flames, as Destiny stands in "watch" (she's blind, obviously, but you get the idea).
Needless to say, this scene stands out as one of the most brutal character deaths in all of Marvel Comics. Moira isn't the first person to die by fire (not even close) but the sadistic torture-style burning of this fiery death is pretty intense - especially in an otherwise heady sci-fi story.1comments
...Of course, the caveat is that Hickman immediately gets out of jail free, as Moira's horrific death is reset into the start of her fourth lifetime.
House of X 1& 2 and Powers of X #1 are all on sale now.