Moira McTaggart: A Recontextualized X-Men History (House of X #2 Review)
HOUSE OF X #2
Writer: Jonathan Hickman
Artist: Pepe Larraz
Colorist: Marte Gracia
Letterer: VC'S Clayton Cowles
As an X-Men newbie, I admit, I thought Moira McTaggart was a new character Hickman introduced into the world of the X-Men. It wasn't until Dylan (@thedylbot on Instagram) officially schooled me on a little bit of Moira history. Moira had always been a side character. She mostly just dealt with Charles Xavier. She was never stated to be a mutant, until now. Which brings us to HOUSE OF X issue 2.
It centers entirely on Moira (the lady we were first introduced to in issue one). We discover that she is, in fact, a mutant and that she has always been one. Her mutant power is reincarnation. Hickman, in all his brilliant glory, uses Moira to deliver some of the best "big picture" writing I have read in a while. He completely recontextualizes the history of the X-Men with her involvement and it is VERY cool.
Hickman writes her brilliantly turning a character who was once on the sidelines to one who has been helping to pull the strings. For long-time X-Men fans who know the rich history of the mutants, it will be icing on the cake to read everything from the OG X-Men days to the Age of Apocalypse days. Hickman, very mathematically, makes all these different timelines of Moria's life easy to follow by labeling each 1-10. Moira's ten lives are prominent X-Events. That leads us to life ten… life X.
Given all the information that Moira has gathered from her past 9 lives. When she opens her mind to Charles and shows him all the outcomes between Mutants and Humans, she changes the course of history. Thus, it instigates the events we saw unfold in issue one. It's absolutely bonkers how well throughout this storytelling is. Hickman is precise, analytical, and scientific in his approach to HOUSE OF X. He is forcing us to critically thinking about the bigger picture in EVERY regard… from mutant history to the natural behavior of humans to outsiders to timelines to change. It's amazing.
The art and coloring done are very nice on the eyes. Pepe's art feels ominous. Everyone looks beautiful but it feels like there is something underneath the smiles we see in characters. It's creepy and I love it because it fits the tone of Jonathan's writing so well. Marte's coloring schemes are matched per page. It makes sense. It's methodical. Its purpose is clear. Pages filled with hope are colored with nice greens and yellows. Pages filled with sorrow and despair are colored with reds, oranges, and blacks.
Everything in HOUSE OF X #2 feels like pieces of a giant puzzle. Hickman is giving us handfuls of them at a time. Tempting us to make them fit together. They do. But we don't have the rest of the pieces yet but we know that when we do, it'll be grand.