Usually in superhero comics statements like the headline above are nothing more than hyperbole. Either the revelation is minor and doesn’t change much, or it’s a major change that is forgotten or ignored after the writer revealing it leaves the story. House of X #2 genuinely changes the X-Men forever, and I can’t wait to see what this means for the future.
Jonathan Hickman, Pepe Larraz, Marte Gracia, Clayton Cowles, and Tom Muller chronicle the secret history of one of the X-Men in this issue.
Everything you thought you knew about Moira MacTaggert is wrong. Not the brainy human ally and scientist we thought she was, Moira is actually a mutant with the ability to restart her life every time she dies. How does that change her life, and virtually everything about the X-Men? We’ll see.
Hickman has created a comic so breathless and thrilling I genuinely can think of only one thing to compare it to- The Anatomy Lesson (aka the game changing Swamp Thing issue written by Alan Moore than changed that character forever). Here he takes one of the most crucial and beloved supporting characters in X-Men history and turns her into perhaps the most important character to the franchise and in-universe lore of the X-Men. The consequences of the revelations in these pages are exciting to consider as is the possibilities of untold stories he hints at.
However, it’s not just an exciting retcon, this is a brilliant character piece about Moira X (the best reframing of the letter X in franchise history). We see at least glimpses of nine of the ten lives she’s lived so far (with an extremely intriguing void left in place of one of them), but we also learn so much more than we probably ever have about Moira the person. In the course of these pages we see her grow, evolve and change, and it’s absolutely engrossing.
Larraz and Gracia continue to show why they were the right team to be handpicked for this story. Larraz has to shift from talking heads, to symbolic imagery, to thrilling action, sometimes within a page, and does so skillfully. He’s also able to show us her growth in simple tweaks like how Moira carries herself, the looks on her face, and her fashion changes.
Gracia makes simple shifts for each incarnation of her life as well, using different palettes and changing light sources and such to convey the changes in Moira. The two especially do wonders in the second incarnation, as Moira is confronted by the Brotherhood of Mutants, in a tense series of panels that’s just a conversation between Destiny and Moira, as they’re surrounded by flames.
This might be my favorite issue of X-Men ever, and it’s a huge shift for the line as a whole. It’s a must read for any superhero fan.
House of X #2 is available now from Marvel Comics.