SPOILERS! We’ll be talking about what happens in House of X #2 and other important back issues
House of X #2 was identified by Hickman in the back matter of this series as one of the key issues, and it certainly delivered. The twist presented in this book (that Moira MacTaggart was always a mutant with the power to reincarnate and start her life over) raises a number of questions about Moira’s behavior throughout her X-Men publication history. Below is a list of important issues that relate to just that, with a special focus on her relationship with Mystique and Destiny, given their confrontation in this past issue.
First Appearances of Moira MacTaggert
Moira MacTaggert first appeared in Uncanny X-Men #96 under the pretense of being Xavier’s housekeeper. She strikes up a longstanding romance with Banshee. We later learn of her secret Mutant Research Facility on Muir Island, and her true colors in being a geneticists in Uncanny X-Men #104.
Her past with Xavier is more clearly defined in the flashback issue Uncanny X-Men #117. This issue also features the Shadow King (who will also be important in Moira’s story later).
Proteus / Mutant X
The Proteus saga (Uncanny X-Men #125-128) really amps up Moira’s backstory, as we learn much more about her hidden past. In this run of issues, we learn she is second only to Xavier in expertise on mutant genetics.
In this case we learn the fact that Mutant X, also known as Proteus, is her son.
Mutant X was first mentioned in Uncanny X-Men #104. We learn of her previous marriage to an abusive husband, which further explains why she left Xavier in Uncanny X-Men #117.
Moira and Mystique and Destiny
Moira became front and centre in the the X-Men comics during their exile in Australia when the world thought they were dead. Moira picked up the charged with her own group of X-Men. These events began to slowly reveal her turn to evil (this was eventually revealed to be the Shadow King). Moira’s X-Men team get their debut in Uncanny X-Men #254.
Also in Uncanny X-Men #254, Destiny, a mutant precog, foresees a death (of either hers or Mystique’s).
In Unanny X-Men #255, a siege on Muir Island ends with Legion, Xavier’s Omega-level mutant son with multiple personalities and a patient of Moira’s, kills Destiny.
These events are further explored in X-Factor #108, where Mystique tries to assassinate Legion for killing Destiny.
Legion later learns through a vision that her death was fate in X-Factor #109.
Muir Island Saga
Moira’s turn to evil comes to a head in the Muir Island Saga (Uncanny X-Men 278-280 and X-Factor #69-70), as Xavier and his students wrestle control of Muir Island and its residents away from the Shadow King’s control. While these events don’t directly relate to House of X#2, this is an important part of Moira’s backstory and might come up in future issues.
Moira and Magneto
Moira’s relation with Magneto is another important aspect of her backstory. In the previously mentioned Uncanny X-Men #104, we learn that Magneto, when reverted into infancy, was placed in the care of Moira at her Muir Island facility.
In X-Men #1-3, a now-reverted-to-adult Magneto kidnaps Moira. We learn that Magneto, as an infant, was experimented on by Moira to see if he could grow up without becoming evil.
The Death of Moira MacTaggert
Moira then turns her attention towards the Legacy Virus, and deadly virus that targets Mutants. Moira becomes the first human infect by the virus in Excalibur #80 and further explored in #81.
Mystique releases a new version of the Legacy Virus that is reversed to only infect non-mutants. Only Moira has the cure, which prompts Mystique’s attempted assassination of her in Uncanny X-Men #388. She succumbs to her injuries X-Men #108 following a dramatic telepathic conversation with Xavier.
Those are the essential issues of Moira MacTaggert, and reading up on these events will help deepen your understanding of House of X #2!