There are many things that DC and Marvel have in common. Where they differ is their willingness to wipe the slate clean and start over again. I’m talking about hard resets where timelines and multiple versions of characters are consolidated into a single continuity.
While DC has done this on multiple occasions, twice in the last decade, Marvel has been more reluctant to pull the trigger. However, with what we know about the X-Men’s Moira MacTaggert, is Marvel keeping her 11th life in their back pocket for a possible universe reboot?
During Jonathan Hickman’s Time Runs Out it appeared that Marvel was all set to perform their first company reset. The entire Marvel multi-verse was collapsing in upon itself. In the end, even though Marvel did destroy their continuity and rebuilt it during Secret Wars, all they achieved was closing the curtain on the Ultimate Universe, sans a handful of characters they brought over (Miles Morales, Jimmy Hudson, and The Thinker).
In 2018, the X-Men, after suffering years of meandering, confusing plots involving time travel and alternate dimensions, began to clean house to prepare for their franchise soft-reset. Within a single 5-part mini-series the original five X-Men, Cable, and Blood Storm (Storm from an alternate reality) were all either killed off or sent back to their place in time. The end of that story also restored Cyclops to life. Alongside the revivals of Jean and Wolverine, at least the X-Men were being rebooted.
And it needed it. At one point there were 2 to 3 versions of each character running around the X-Men franchise. They needed a fresh start, and that came at the hands of Jonathan Hickman with this House of X and Powers of X summer event. When Marvel wants to reboot something in a big way, Hickman seems to be their go-to architect. But what if he’s not ending it there?
The retcons he built into Moira MacTaggert’s character- namely the mutant ability of temporal reincarnation (what I call it), for now, just effect the X-Men portion of the Marvel Universe. However, that doesn’t have to be the case forever.
Matter of fact, the changes Moira made to her past lives don’t affect the main universe’s past at all. Through his ingenious methods of storytelling, the 616 is the way it is because of Moira’s actions. The only alteration he’s made were to her, Xavier and Magneto.
In House of X #2, we learned how Moira’s powers worked. That she was the only person that knew what was happening to her. That is until she met the mutant terrorist, Destiny. During that life, Moira had developed the means to deactivate the X-gene. This caught the attention of Destiny and the Brotherhood. Before they brutally murdered Moira and sent her on to her next life, Destiny informed her that she only had 10 or 11 lives. The main Marvel Universe, as we know it, is Moira’s 10th life.
What does that mean? Well, it could mean that if Destiny is correct, then Moira has one more shot at changing the world. While most of the lives Moira has experienced have mostly been the same, there are at least 5 that turned out vastly different than the others.
If this current X-Men story or Marvel era is building up to something catastrophically bad, the powers that be may use Moira’s “get out of jail free card” to reset the whole Chabang. House of X/ Powers of X ended with Moira realizing that “they always win.” Even a thousand years into the future, that was the result of her efforts. The obliteration of not just mutant-kind, but all of humanity. There’s no guarantee that the same doesn’t come of the current timeline and forces Moira’s hand.
Why would this happen? Why bother with resetting the whole imprint? If you hadn’t noticed, the Marvel Universe isn’t much more digestible than it was before Secret Wars. For a long while now, Marvel execs have been obsessed with the idea of converting movie fans into comic fans. While I don’t personally think that will happen, I’ve got no idea where Kevin Feige’s head is at. Yes. Kevin Feige, the new Chief Creative Officer that now controls the comics as well as the movies and TV (including streaming).
It’s not a reach to think that at some point Feige may want his two (or three) toy chests to be more compatible. Using a character like Moira, a high-profile X-Men character, to be the reason behind such a huge change might be just what Feige’s looking for when he finally begins to introduce mutants into the MCU.
Think about it, they announce the X-Men movie and at the same time, or not long after, they could also reset the Marvel Comic Universe using an X-Men character to drive up interest and synergy. Especially if they choose to embrace the X-Men in the same fashion they did the Avengers.
What could be the result of all this? A new Marvel Comics continuity that’s more aligned with what movie fans would see on the big screen, Disney+, and television.
Also, much like DC did with Wildstorm, Marvel could finally begin to fold in characters from the Malibu Comics imprint they own. With the coming Eternals movie having both Black Knight and Sersi, two characters that visited that universe, that’s definitely a possibility, now.
This isn’t something we’d see soon. The X-Men are still years away from an MCU appearance and the comic book franchise is just getting into their new status quo. But 3 or 4 years from now? It could be right on time.