It’s amazing how much of a difference can be made to a character with just a simple change to their past. I suppose it has a lot to do with what the change is. In the case of the classic X-Men character Moira MacTaggert, the change was genetic make-up.
Under Jonathan Hickman’s pen, Moira was retconned into being a mutant. Not a latent mutation, but having been one the whole time with the ridiculously impactful ability to reincarnate herself after death (temporal reincarnation).
Other than being responsible for the existence of the entire Marvel Universe as we know it, there’s still more to Moira than just reliving the same life over and over. Let’s analyze what exactly is going on with Mrs. MacTaggert
4. Genius-Level Intellect
As briefly described in House of X #2, Moira’s first run at life was fairly unspectacular in comparison to what followed. Like the rest of her lives, she met Professor X in Britain while he attended Oxford, but nothing came of the encounter. She didn’t attend university, but instead got married, had children and died at 74. That normal death is what changed her life forever. Moira woke up in her mother’s womb with full-knowledge of her first life.
During her second life she had quite the cheat code going being a baby with 74 years of life experience under her belt. This may have been the reason behind what became a towering intellect. From that point on, she’d attend and excel at Oxford University a total of six times, presumably completing her studies and becoming a professor before the age of 21.
After realizing what she was, Moira dedicated her third life to mastering the human genome. Eventually, she was able to not just simply identify the X-gene (the marker that creates mutants), but develop the means to deactivating it. Essentially, she created the mutant cure, although an acquaintance convinced her to not pursue that further in fear it could be used as a weapon.
3. Superhuman Memory & Cognitive Abilities
There’s absolutely no way a person could go through nine lives and be able to retain and recall everything they’ve experienced. Most of us can’t remember what we had for dinner last week. Moira may look like a fit middle-aged woman, but her mind is closer to 1300 years old. There’s a lot of details she needs to be able to remember to accomplish what she has, while still needing the ability to separate each life. To be frank, she should be quite insane by now.
Moira is able to compartmentalize more than a thousand years’ worth of extremely active living. This isn’t possible without the addition of some sort of super memory to go along with her temporal reincarnation. The normal human brain begins to break down as early as 30 years of age. We forget. It’s natural. But that’s only after 30 to 40 years of living. Moira’s done that about 8 times now, once with a life that lasted more than 1100 years. It doesn’t stop there either.
Compare Moira to a computer. A desktop can have access to all the memory banks in the world. If the system doesn’t have an adequate amount of processing power, it’d all go to waste. Retrieving information would take so long, it’d be useless. The system would slow to a crawl, or even crash altogether. Repeatedly. On top of possessing an impressive ability to store memory, Moira must also have increased cognitive abilities to be able to make use of all that information.
Once she’s had the experience, she quite possibly can always return to that state of mind to utilize an acquired skill, or quickly access a piece of information she’s obtained. That would amount to a form of super total recall. In other words, she’s never going to get ‘rusty’ or forgetful. She’s not perfect. With all this skill, she still failed to predict the threat and rise of the Homo Novissima.
2. Combat Veteran
As part of Moira’s seventh life, she abandoned her scholastic-based ambitions and substituted them with good old-fashioned military training. This might have been inspired by her less than friendly run-in with the Brotherhood of Mutants.
Moira has never been much of a combatant (as far as we knew), however, there’s a chance she may not have particularly enjoyed being made a victim by other people or machines. Either way, in her seventh life, after 5-years of BAF training, Moira went AWOL and began using her newfound deadly skills.
Her first order of business was to identify and locate several members of the Trask family. As the creators and developers of the Sentinels, the mutant-hunting robots, they were directly responsible for much of the heartache the mutant race would come to endure.
After dying at the hands of those monsters twice and then watching the world be dominated by post-humanity, the Homo Novissima, Moira decided to nip the problem in the bud. She wiped out the entire family.
During the seventeen years it took to relieve the planet of the Trasks, Moira carried out their death sentences using any number of methods including- handguns, sniper rifles, and hand-to-hand combat.
However, her seventh life wasn’t her only life of violence. She joined forces with Magneto and helped him reign over America for 8-years before he died during the War of M. But that would only be her first taste of war.
After she rebooted following a death during an attempted prison-break, she spent her next life seeking out the first mutant, Apocalypse. At the age of 18, Moira successfully awakened the titan.
After he killed both Xavier and Magneto, she and Apocalypse sought out his first horsemen, created the X-Men and began the Apocalypse War. During this 100+ year conflict, Moira is depicted fighting the human-machine forces on the frontlines, side by side with Apocalypse himself.
Another bonus Moira has gained from all this horror, fire, and destruction is becoming completely unabashed by death. She’s died and been murdered in so many different ways, by now, she’s lost natural fear of death. It’s less of an ultimate consequence and more of a tool or final step.
1. Master of Manipulation
From the day Moira realized what was happening to her she had to learn how to not draw attention to herself. As a child she had to pretend to be nothing but. Otherwise, she’d most likely become someone’s lab rat.
Coming into adulthood, she stopped letting the world come to her and began manipulating everything and everyone around her. At one point or another, she’s made the three most powerful men on Earth a means to an end. Moira used knowledge, promises of power, and even more romantic avenues to ensure their allegiance to her cause.
To prove this, all one has to realize is the fact she’s responsible for killing both Xavier and Magneto when they got in her way. In the present timeline, her 10th life, Moira wrote in her journal how she had to break Xavier and lead Magneto along to keep him in line. Though she admits that Xavier and Magneto went off-script to recruit Mister Sinister. The very fact that she’s been able to bend Xavier, one of the world’s most powerful telepaths, and indoctrinate Magneto, a man with an unbreakable will, is a testimony of her resolve.
Other than leading these men by the nose, she’s also managed to fool the entire world. First leading them to believe that she was a soft-spoken harmless little woman. She willingly entered into an abusive relationship just to ensure she’d produce offspring powerful enough to use in the future.
Still later, while feigning death, she played architect to the Krakoa nation. All things considered, Moira may very well be the most dangerous person on Marvel’s Earth.
What do you think about Moira, now? I’d say she’s one of the most dangerous characters on Marvel’s Earth. Let us know your thoughts below.