Today’s issue of Powers of X ends with a death. It’s a death delivered by a surprising character and with a surprising purpose. SPOILERS for Powers of X #3 by Jonathan Hickman, RB Silva, and Marte Gracia follow.
Previous issues of Powers of X revealed that 100 years after the formation of the X-Men the Man-Machine Ascendancy will tale control of Earth. The alliance is led by Nimrod the Lesser. The Man-Machine Ascendancy turns what remains of humanity into a cult-like religion where humans reject their humanity and bond their children to machine technology as a kind of baptism.
Most mutants fled Earth and sought refuge in Shi’ar space. A handful remained near Earth, living on Asteroid K. In Powers of X #3, Apocalypse leads his Horsemen and the others on a suicide mission. The mission is successful, but the team does not survive. Apocalypse falls battling Nimrod while Rasputin exposes Xorn’s singularity, doing untold damage on Earth. But Wolverine escapes with the knowledge the team stole from Nimrod’s computers. As Apocalypse ordered, Wolverine revives Moira from the stasis where he had her stored, gives her the information, and then kills her.
Why kill Moira after reviving her? Apocalypse and his crew are playing the long game. The information they retrieved from Nimrod’s computers is the date the Nimrod first came online. They were willing to sacrifice everything to retrieve that information. That’s because they’ve accepted that there’s no hope for their people on Earth in this timeline.
That’s where Moira comes in. House of X #2 established that Moira MacTaggert is a mutant who is reborn when she dies. She retains all knowledge of her past lives, which changes the way events play out in each new cycle of rebirth. Powers of X #3 reveals that the Man-Machine Ascendancy exists in Moira’s ninth life.
Apocalypse tells Wolverine to kill Moira so that she can awaken in a new life, a new timeline, with the knowledge of when Nimrod will come online. It doesn't help to destroy the Man-Machine Ascendancy as they know it. Apocalypse accepts that his timeline is not salvageable. But the knowledge does give Moira the knowledge needed to prevent Nimrod from coming online in her next life.
Moira takes the knowledge of Nimrod into her tenth life, the life where House of X is taking place. Knowing when Nimrod comes online may be what spurs her to take bolder action than she has in her past lives. She allows Professor X, upon their first meeting, to read her mind and learn about all her past lives. Now, with Orchis close to bringing Nimrod online, it seems the time has come for Moira’s plan to come to fruition.
What do you think of Powers of X #3? Let us know in the comments. Powers of X #3 is on sale now.