House of X: Are SPOILER Really Dead?

We are now officially more than halfway through Marvel "Dawn of X" event, the bold reinvention of the X-Men mythos by writer Jonathan Hickman. The latest chapter of the story unfolded in House of X #4, a harrowing thriller that saw the X-Men embark on a do-or-die mission to save the future of mutantkind. resurrected

WARNING: Major House of X #4 SPOILERS follow!

The X-Men's mission involved a select strike force of team members infiltrating the orbital base of Orcis, an anti-mutant organization comprised of human science and espionage agents from S.H.I.E.L.D., A.I.M., S.W.O.R.D., HYDRA, and everything in between. Orcis' master scheme is to combat the threat of a re-emerging mutant population by creating the Mother Mold, a manufacturing facility run by a Sentinel A.I., tasked with creating the Master Molds that will produce humanity's Sentinel army.

Thanks to intelligence gained by Moira Mactaggert (or "Moira X") during her numerous lifetimes of reincarnation, the X-Men know that Mother Mold eventually gives rise to Nimrod, the ultimate mutant-hunting Sentinel that becomes mutantkind's greatest threat, in numerous future timelines. In that sense, the point of the Ochis mission is simple: destroy Mother Mold at all costs. The X-Men (seemingly) succeed in their mission, but the cost is indeed high: The entire X-Men strike force is wiped out, with Wolverine, Nightcrawler, Cyclops, Marvel Girl, Archangel, Husk, and M all suffering horrific deaths.

However, the question is: are all of these major (and fan-favorite) X-Men characters truly dead?

House of X #4 ends with Charles Xavier back on Krakoa, "seeing" his students get wiped out. Xavier makes the declaration that he will tolerate such loss and tragedy "No More" - a cliffhanger that we can't wait to see resolved in Dawn of X's final arc. However, before we get to that destination, it's important to look back over all the evidence that the "Dawn of X" books (House of X / Powers of X) have laid out, which might suggest that these dead X-Men aren't so dead after all.

The Pod People

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(Photo: Marvel Comics)

As "Dawn of X" has unfolded and revealed more and more head-trippy turns, it's important to routinely go back to where it all started. House of X #1's first scene may very well be one of its most crucial, as the story opens with Charles Xavier in a "garden" of sorts, in which there are egg-like pods scattered about. Two figures (who are clearly hinted to be Cyclops and Jean Grey) emerge from two of pods like naked newborns, and they (along with several other new pod-people) are welcomed by Xavier with the iconic phrase, "To me, my X-Men."

Suffice to say that this opening scene to House of X was confusing as all hell when first coming into the story - but suddenly it's beginning to make a whole lot more sense. Additional backstory laid out in Powers of X reveals that in Moira's infamous 9th lifetime fighting alongside Apocalypse in the Man-Machine-Mutant War, Mr. Sinister bred several generations of mutants in breeding pits on Mars. While Moira's 9th Life may have ended, Sinister's mutant-breeding experiments may have taken on a different form in her 10th life.

Between Sinister's breeding experiments, Moira's reincarnation power, and lessons learned from Nimrod's catalogue of mutants in Moira's 9th Life Future, Hickman has sprinkled more than a few breadcrumbs that could lead to the idea that the House of X is built on Xavier and Magneto's endless army of X-Men. Those pod-people X-Men could live, fight, die, and be reborn with greater adaptation and knowledge - just like Moira has, or just like the evolving Sentinel robots the mutants are battling against. Hickman does like a circular symmetry to his narrative themes, and the pod X-Men (or "Tenth Men") would certainly add to that.

The 11th Life

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Moira X has been the major catalyst for the story of "Dawn of X" - but aside from the chapter in House of X #2 that's wholly dedicated to her, Moira has been conspicuously absent from the actual "House of X" in the story.

The timeline of Moira X's ten lives reveals that Moira, Xavier, and Magneto had a "schism" split two years before the Krakoa habitat was built. The timeline states that Moira faked her death using a Shi'ar Golem - a reference to her seeming death in X-Men #108 back in 2001, during an attack on Muir Island by Mystique and Sabertooth. Moira has subsequently been missing from all of the events following the creation of Krakoa and the House of X, which could be a major clue.

Powers of X has introduced a timeline where a character named The Librarian exists in a future 1,000 years after House of X. This "Librarian" has used A.I. to basically qualify Earth as a technology-advanced enough world to join the Phalanx collective, an "ancension" whose higher purpose has yet to be revealed.

Working theory is that the Librairan is most likely Moira, at some point after she has evolved into a new form and lived for many lifetimes. If that's the case, then House of X #4 may indeed detail the last story of the X-Men ever told - until a new day begins. In the story of Moira's any lifetimes, a key scene revealed that future-telling mutant Destiny acts as a check and balance to Moira's reincarnation power. It's Destiny who reveals to Moia that she only has about ten lives to live, although Destiny promises that Moira could earn an 11th life if she used her time to help save mutantkind, rather than "cure" or destroy it.

So, while the X-Men of the current Marvel Universe timeline may now be dead, "Dawn of X" could end with Moira getting rewarded with that 11th life - which would give those dead X-Men a new lease on life.

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Do you thik the X-Men are really dead? How do you think they might be brought back to life? Let us know in the comments!

House of X 1 - 4 and Powers of X 1 - 3 are all now on sale.