Marvel Just Changed Everything We Know About the X-Men's Biggest Rivalry

Powers of X #2 continues Marvel's re-invention of the X-Men Universe, under the guidance of acclaimed writer Jonathan Hickman. Every single chapter of Hickman's story has been a series of major (mind-bending) revelations, and Power of X #2 didn't disappoint in that regard, as the issue does no less than totally redfine the nature of the X-Men's core rivalry!

WARNING - MAJOR SPOILERS for Powers of X #2 Follow!

The previous chapter of Hickman's story (as featured in House of X #2) revealed that Moira Mactaggert has secretly always been an omega-level mutant. Moira's one-of-kind power is to restart her own lifetime at the moment of her death, with the caveat that she begins each new lifetime with full knowledge of the previous one(s) she has lived. In that sense, Hickman introduces the notion that the Marvel Universe has been repeatedly rebooted via each new lifetime Moira has lived, and all the different decisions she made along the way, which resulted in vastly different outcomes for both mutantkind and the world. This new "House of X" era is revealed to be Moira's tenth (and possibly final) lifetime - one in which she takes drastic action to secure mutantkind's future.

The first step in Moira's "drastic action" plan involved her telepathically revealing the truth of her powers and lifetimes of experience to Charles Xavier, during the first meeting in the days before the X-Men were created. In Power of X #2, we get to see the next step in Moira's plan, as she and Xavier visit Magneto, and reveal to him, too, the truth about Moira's powers and the futures she's seen. The idea is that only through a totally unified mutant front can mutants not just survive into the future, but thrive and take their place as rightful inheritors of the world. Magneto ultimately acquiesces to the request for unity, with one major caveat:

"I won't acquiesce to sympathy or doubt, Charles. I won't give an inch. I will check you at every moment of weakness. And if you falter, know that I will not."

Powers of X 2 Xavier Magneto Rivalry partnership Retcon
(Photo Credit: Marvel Comics)

This scene does a major retcon of the Charles Xavier / Magneto rivalry, which has defined the X-Men saga since the beginning. Charles and Erik have been depicted as old friends who fell out and became rival ideas of mutant freedom (like Martin Luther King and Malcom X); however, Hickman has revealed that the two rivals have actually always been united, working together to enact Moira's plan, throughout every moment of the X-Men saga, thusfar. The rivalry has just been an illusion, meant to hide a deeper mission that has yet to be revealed in full.

Now, like everything in Powers of X and/or House of X, this revelation inspires a whole new set of questions. Details of the scene between Moira/Charles, Magneto are key, as is the auxilery information that Hickman provides through charts and synopses. First, the scene is set in the "X0" timeline, which occurs in the days leading up to Xavier forming the first X-Men team - and yet, Charles is already in a wheelchair when he and Moira meet Magneto, whereas he was walking when Moira first revealed her powers to him. Furthermore, the timeline of Moira's lives that Hickman included in House of X #2 reveals that there were 26 years between the moment that Moira revealed herself to Xavier and then they recruited Magneto, which is a long span of time that has yet to be filled in with details.

The more ominous detail in Hickman's timelines is the fact that Xavier, Moira, and Magneto all go through a "schism" that breaks them apart four years after this pact is made - and that Moira fakes her own death and possibly heads into the cosmos, all while Xavier and Magneto build the modern-day House of X.

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Hickman's ambition never seems to lessen, as he's at once redefining the X-Men's past and spelling out their future(s), all at once.

Powers of X 1 & 2, and House of X 1 & 2 are all now on sale, with new issues of each book released in alternating weeks.

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