Jonathan Hickman's "Dawn of X" storyline has captured fans' attention like few Marvel Comics events ever have. Fans aren't just reading chapters of Dawn of X as fast as they can get their hands on them - they're analyzing and discussing the mysteries and clues of Hickman's mind-bending narrative with intrigue and enthusiasm.
The main story of Powers of X #1 details the backstory of the X-Men's future 100 years after House of X, in which most mutants have been driven out of Earth's solar system by the Man-Machine Supremacy, which is an alliance of humans and Sentinels fighting a war against mutants. Powers of X introduces us to the future X-Men, a team of ten surviving mutants who live on the remains of Krakoa, in space. The book also introduces a future 1,000 years down the line, after the Man-Machine-Mutant War is long over, and one mysterious blue mutant exists with a Nimrod drone, building an advanced civilization.
The subsequent chapter in the "Dawn of X" storyline (as detailed in House of X #2) revealed that Moira Mactaggert is a mutant whose powers allow her to relive her own lifetime multiple times. The big reveal is that the tenth lifetime is the Marvel Universe and X-Men saga we know, leading up to the current events of House of X. And therein lies the rub:
After both Powers of X #1 and House of X 1 & 2, many Marvel fans assumed that the Man-Machine-Mutant War was the future of Moira's tenth lifetime, after House of X, and that the Year 1,000 "Ascendancy" is also of Moira's 10th lifetime. However, one eagle-eyed Marvel fans has put together all the clues of the first 4 chapters of "Dawn of X" and come to a reveal that Hickman has been seemingly teasing the whole time: The Man-Machine-Mutant War and Ascension are all unfolding in Moira's 9th lifetime!
You can check out the Twitter thread below for the long breakdown, or scroll down for the quick version:
Potential giant #HoXPoX #HouseOfX #PowersOfX #XSpoilers #Spoilers— The Muppet Jared Takes Krakoa (@ISnowNothin) August 11, 2019
The future of Powers of X is about Moira’s 9th life, with Apocalypse.
The data page in Powers of X 1 on surving Mutants, the notation, while Moira X’s files, is referenced as [ML_09........(APOC_build)]. pic.twitter.com/J1hBLa17UK
In one of the dense sections of text near the end of Power of X #1, Hickman chronicles the backstory of the Man-Machine-Mutant War, in a section titled "Surviving Mutants". If you look closely at the catalogue reference for this "file," it is a code that we now know (after House of X #2) translates to "Moira X Files" ("Moria X" being her mutant name), as well as "ML_09 (APOC_build) or "Moira Life 9: Apocalypse Build). This is the major clue that everything in the Man-Machine-Mutant War is taking place in Moira's 9th lifetime, when she allies herself with Apocalypse and they form their own X-Men team to fight a war "without end" against humans and machines.
While her 6th life is definitely going to be significant, I think this future will be tied to the 9th.— The Muppet Jared Takes Krakoa (@ISnowNothin) August 11, 2019
Note, the references to Mutant leadership and Sinister's takeover in PoX don't ever mention Magneto or Xavier, who we know are dead in Nine's TL.#HoXPoX #XSpoilers #Spoilers pic.twitter.com/zJEXB83SNf
In Powers of X #1, when Moira begins her 10th life and recruits Xavier to her cause, her introductory conversation with Charles about the carnival they are at, makes references to the Future X-Men (Rasputin, Cardinal), and the Monolith base of Nimrod The Lesser, which later seemingly becomes the home base of The Ascension. This suggests that Moira indeed knows the full span of both the 100 year and 1,000 year future we're seeing unfold in Powers of X.
Her lifespan explains how Moira X knows about Rasputin IV, Nimrod’s Tower & Cardinal.— The Muppet Jared Takes Krakoa (@ISnowNothin) August 11, 2019
The two unidentified Mutants on Asteroid K could be the Old Man/Apocalypse & Moira IX.
If they know of her powers, it explains Cardinals’s “next life” comment too.#HoXPoX #XSpoilers #Spoilers pic.twitter.com/ShgE64yc3y
In Powers of X #1, the future X-Men (Cardinal and Rasputin) are facing certain death fighting the Man-Machine Supremacy. During the scene, Cardinal has an escape plan using a Krakoa portal - and also a pretty ominous farewell for his teammate, if the worse should happen:
"I'm planting the black see of Krakoa. I will wiat for you as long as I can before I close it on the other side... If you do not come, then I will see you both when the world is made again."
It was a pretty weird piece of dialogue at first read - until you later understand "Moira X's" powers and lifetimes. This scene indicates that the Future X-Men know of Moira's powers; taken with the Xavier/Moira meeting scene in in the beginning of Powers of X, it's pretty compelling evidence that the Man-Machine-Mutant War was all in the 9th life, while House of X is the 10th.
We also have it made clear on the timeline of Nine, Moira and Apocalypse founded the X-Men, began working with Sinister, and her lifetime extends off the page, far past the “present day.”#HoXPoX #XSpoilers #Spoilers pic.twitter.com/WhSFB6nE8c— The Muppet Jared Takes Krakoa (@ISnowNothin) August 11, 2019
The timelines in House of X #2 are being studied closely, and fans have noticed one big discrepency: we never actually see the end of Moira's 9th lifetime potted out on the chart - that timeline just extends far into the future, after the notation that the "Apocalypse War" begins. It's now being taken as trickery on Hickman's part, using Apocalypse and Moira's war to hide the future of the Man-Machine-Supremacy's retaliating war, and the Ascendancy - which are, in fact, all part of that timeline of Moira's 9th life.
In today's Powers of X #2 "the Old Man" is revealed to indeed be Apocalypse, as I suspected, and nothing contradicts the Life 09 theory.— The Muppet Jared Takes Krakoa (@ISnowNothin) August 14, 2019
I'm only become more and more convinced this is the right track.#PowersOfX #HouseOfX #HoXPoX #XSpoilers #Spoilers pic.twitter.com/7MbAOszG9N
With Powers of X #2 now revealing that Apocalypse is the leader of the Future X-Men, this fan theory has exploded into being a very real guess as to one of the bigger twists that Hickman has been building up to.
This could also explain why "Magneto" is so long-lived, and went green. He could be a first-generation Chimera with Polaris as a genetic donor. *shrugs* #HoXPoX #XSpoilers #Spoilers pic.twitter.com/57WzIJ2Uml— The Muppet Jared Takes Krakoa (@ISnowNothin) August 11, 2019
Magneto's appearance in the ranks of the Future X-Men has caused challenged to the theory that it's all in Moira's 9th life - after all, the timeline of the 9th life clearly states that Moira and Apocalypse kill both Xavier and Magneto before forming their own version of the X-Men. However, other details of that future, and Magneto's green coloring in the scene, may reveal another sleight-of-hand Hickman is pulling here:
Powers of X #1 has a whole text section about Mr. Sinister's breeding experiments on Mars, creating "Chimera" class mutants through genetic engineering. The second class of Chimera "produced mutants that had DNA composed of two separate X genes, resulting in a mutant with the 'mostly' predictable combined power set of the source mutants."
That hint indicates that this future team of X-Men comes from the Chimera generations that Sinister created - with older members of the team like Wolverine and Magneto being from the Generation 2 class of Chimera, which combined two mutants with similar powers. Ergo, the Magneto we see is not the original, but likely a Magneto/Polaris hybrid, hence the green color. That wouldn't disrupt the facts of Hickman's timeline chart, as original Magneto is indeed dead.
It’s only Xavier in the first two panels in the sequence. I think it might be intentional.— The Muppet Jared Takes Krakoa (@ISnowNothin) August 11, 2019
Signifies and hints "the last two aren't part of the same sequence." Because right here from the start, they're not.#HoXPoX #XSpoilers #Spoilers pic.twitter.com/Hlhycbuzgx
The first pages of Powers of X #1 featured this split panel of each era the X-Men saga (years 0, 10, 100, 1,000,) with Xavier depicted in the first two frames. That led fans to naturally read it as these were all different eras of the same timeline (or lifetime, in this case) - but it seems Hickman was fooling us from the start, showing what seems to at least two separate lives of Moira (9 and 10) on that one page.
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.