Let's Talk About Powers Of X #2- SPOILERS
Hi, I'm David Harth, and we're going to talk about Powers Of X #2 today. First, go and read my review (which is here). I'll wait.
Okay, so I want to get a little more in-depth on the issue than I got in the review. So, you know, SPOILERS. You've been warned. Although, honestly, there really isn't much to spoil here. This isn't like House Of X #2 (here's my review of that and here's the spoilers article for it), where's the big reveal of good old Moira X. However, I want to talk about what happens between her, Charles, and Magneto. I'm going to talk about it in-depth. Be ready for lots of speculation. Really this is more of a speculation article than anything else.
So, in the beginning of the book, at X-Men Year One (I kept calling it Year Zero in my review; forgive me, but seeing as even House Of X #2 had typos and mistakes, I feel like I'm okay) Moira and Charles go and visit Magneto to let him in on Moira's secret- her mutant power is basically reincarnation, and she's experienced so many different outcomes that she's a repository of information. Xavier shows Magneto Moira's memories, and it's a flooring experience. The three of them come to an understanding, one that sort of shatters everything we've known about X-Men history.
See, the one thing Moira has never tried in all of her lives is bringing all mutants together. She's teamed with just Xavier or just Magneto. Even Apocalypse. She's never tried to actually unite mutantkind under one banner. This is what the three of them decide. However, we know that Magneto and Xavier are rather quickly at each other's throats even before the X-Men form. So, what happened?
Now, more than likely, we'll get the answer to that question. However, the fun is in the speculation and theorizing. So, I'm going to do those things.
So, first theory o' mine- Magneto, Xavier, and Moira have always been working together, even when Magneto was a villain. The weird thing about Magneto is his back and forth allegiance to Xavier and the X-Men. Magneto is a mutant supremacist, first and foremost. For that to waver could very well mean that he's always secretly been on Xavier's side. So, why has he been trying to kill the X-Men all these years?
He's been making them stronger.
Hear me out here. Magneto is easily one of the most powerful beings… well, anywhere, really. Not just on Earth. Control of magnetism is the type of power that is a world ender in the wrong hands. So, what better way to train mutants to fight for their survival than throwing them against him? When it comes right down to it, Magneto, as powerful as he is, doesn't have many X-Men kills under his belt. Xorn killed Jean Grey in Magneto's guise so that one doesn't count. He ripped the adamantium from Wolverine's bones, but if anyone could survive that sort of thing, it's Wolverine. Seriously, Magneto could kill most of the X-Men without trying. So, why didn't he?
He's Xavier's secret training buddy.
Now, sure, you can bring up that Xavier is all about protecting both humanity and mutantkind and Magneto has killed lots of people, but let's be real about Xavier- he's a shady dude, always has been. Add to that the fact that he's seen mutantkind fail so many times in Moira's memories that I think he'd be okay with some people dying as long as the X-Men were strong enough to survive and protect the majority of both mutants and humanity. And that's where Magneto comes in.
Second theory o' mine- there's a falling out at some point. Charles, Moira, and Magneto agree to unite and work together, but Magneto can't put his past behind him. He knows what humans are capable of, having survived the Holocaust. He also knows that Xavier would never team up with Moira if her plan involved mutants taking dominance away from the humans rather than just eventually becoming the dominant species. So, he splinters the alliance and becomes the evil master of magnetism we all know and love.
As far as it goes, I think this one is a bit too easy for Hickman. Sure, a lesser writer would do it this way, but I don't really think Hickman will go this direction. However, it's a theory, and it's mine. Well, my second one.
Third theory o' mine- Moira and Magneto are working together under Xavier's nose. Sure, Moira opened her mind to Charles, showed him her memories, all that jazz. That doesn't mean that sometimes over her past lifetimes, she didn't learn to shield her thoughts. She knows Xavier, very well. Sure, he's shady, but he's also trusting and opening up to him is a great way to establish trust with him. So, he believes that she wants what he wants.
However, she's seen humanity destroy mutants in all her lives. She knows the stakes and maybe, just maybe, she thinks that Magneto's way is better. That humanity can't be trusted, that coexistence isn't possible. So, her and Magneto have been playing Xavier all of this time. More her than Magneto, since Magneto has been very antagonistic with Xavier and his students. He's the loud one, deflecting attention from Moira, who's working in the background to undermine Xavier's dream and establish mutants as a power that can survive whatever humanity throws at them. This one even fits into my first theory, but Magneto is testing the X-Men for his and Moira's plans, not Xavier's.
I don't really have a fourth theory at this point (plus, I just really things in threes); however, those are where my mind is going. If I'm perfectly frank, after the first issue, I wasn't as hyped for Powers Of X as I was for House Of X (which is why there is no spoiler article for Powers Of X #1). We've all seen lots of post-apocalyptic X-Men futures and while this one is written by Jonathan Hickman, a mark of quality, it just didn't grab me very much. I could admire the artistry of it, but I wasn't hyped. This issue has me hyped. Whatever went on between Moira, Charles, and Xavier in the past will play into the present, and that will play into the two futures we see. I also really like the way Hickman presents mutants and machines as enemies, but I got into that in the review. It's a fascinating bit of storytelling and plays into X-Men history rather wonderfully. At least I think so, anyway.
Now, other things happen in this issue (the X-Men getting ready to attack the Orchis Master Mold in the present, Apocalypse revealed as the X-Men's leader in Year 100, and the coming of the Phalanx in the Year 1000) and I could probably talk about these things ad nauseam, but for my money, they aren't the most intriguing part of this book. What changes between Xavier, Magneto, and Moira, if anything, is what really gets me. As much as the revelation of what Moira is changed X-Men history, how this plays out will shine a light on X-Men history, expanding it in a great new way.
Unless of course, this whole life of Moira isn't the 616 we've been following all these years. I mean, there has to be a reason her sixth life is entirely blank to us? Maybe that's the 616 we've been in all these years.
However, that's speculation for another time. Join me next week for a little talk about Powers Of X #3.