Who the Clix? is a series of articles featuring information on comic book characters that have been made into figures for the popular tabletop game Heroclix. These articles are meant to help Heroclix players learn more about the characters behind their favorite pieces.
We all used to think that she was just a human scientist that Professor X had feelings for…though that Legacy Virus thing makes more sense now…: Moira MacTaggert
Appearances in Heroclix: X-Men: Rise and Fall, House of X, X-Men Xavier’s School, X-Men Days of Future Past, Fantastic Forces
First Appearance: The Uncanny X-Men #96 (Dec. 1975)
Team Affiliations: Excalibur, X-Men
Powers: Mutant with limited reality warping reincarnation powers; perfect memory and invisibility of her true nature to mutants and mutant detection devices and methods; Possesses great intelligence and expertise in the field of genetics and mutation
Created by: Chris Claremont and Dave Cockrum
Moira Kinross is a mutant with the strange powers of reincarnation. She lives through her life, dying and then being reborn with all the memories of her previous life. This was a very shocking event for the woman born as a baby, with all the memories of a 74 year old in her head.
But let’s not get ahead of ourselves.
Moira Kinross is born to the powerful Scots nobleman Lord Kinross. When she turns 13, she has a very strong but very temporary fever, the only sign that her mutant ability has manifested. She leads a simple life and meets Charles Xavier in passing before going on to marry Kenneth Cowan. Together they have three children: twin boys Callum and Dean and a girl named Abigail. Kenneth dies when Moira is 68 and she dies from congestive heart failure six years later at he age of 74.
Moira’s second life begins far more shocking than her first. Once she has developed functions, in the uterus, she has perfect recollection of her first life. Having the mind and memories of an elderly person, Moira is able to pass as gifted at a very young age. She goes through intensive testing on herself to make sure she isn’t suffering from a mental disorder or experiencing some kind of break from reality. Then, she leans into her life. She avoids Kenneth, seeing no reason to repeat a life already lived, and enrolls at Oxford at 16, becomes a biology professor at 20, founds the Muir Research Institute at 31 and realizes she is a mutant at 44. Watching Professor Xavier reveal his own mutant heritage on television, her two lives suddenly make sense. She immediately books a flight to America to meet with Charles, only for the plane to crash and kill her.
Moira endeavors to find Charles earlier in life and makes sure to meet him while they’re both at Oxford. Xavier leaves Moira with a bad first impression, however, as she finds him arrogant and possessing a thinly veiled god complex. Feeling Xavier can’t help her, or anyone, Moira dedicates her life to finding a cure for mutation. While she does not intend to cure anyone against their will, she hopes to help mutants that feel their abilities are a burden. She founds the Muir Research Insitute and is able to identify the X-gene at 36, soon finding a would be cure.
This invokes the wrath of the Brotherhood of Mutants, led by Destiny. Destiny’s powers allow her to see Moira and her intentions. Destiny gives Moira a speech about working against her own kind and warns her to stop it, instead helping mutants survive the “inevitable” robot apocalypse. She telles Moira that the choices she makes in her 10th life will decide if she lives an 11th and that if she were to die before she reaches age 13, she would no longer be reborn. Destiny then has Pyro burn Moira alive, so that she will always remember the pain that comes from betraying mutantkind.
Spurned to take a more positive approach to mutants, Moira reconsiders Xavier. The pair fall in love and marry before founding the Xavier School for Gifted Children together. She founds the X-Men along Xavier and fights for mutant rights for years before being killed by Sentinels at age 55.
With Desinty’s warning and her own death at the hands of Sentinels in her mind, Moira decides that escape may be best. She runs away from home at 13 and finds Xavier years before they ever have before. She opens her mind to him and shows him what his dream will lead to. This radicalizes the intellectual pacifist and they form the mutant nation of Faraway instead of a school. This seems to work until the Sentinels arrive, injuring Moira in an attack at the age of 43. She lives for another year before dying in a mutant genocide.
Moira comes to a completely different solution in this next life. She no longer views the threat to mutants as being humans or Sentinels. Instead, she concludes, it is time. With enough time, mutants will supplant humans naturally. However, once the “threat” of mutants is known, humans use technology to stop the great machine of evolution. These cyborg beings are able to rise as the dominant life form and keep the remaining humans in preserves to remove them from the breeding populace. Wolverine and Moira are kept together in one such preserve because the beings are aware of Moira’s power. And intend to keep the timeline going forever by keeping her alive. The Librarian reveals all of this to Moira before informing her that they intend to become one with the Phalanx, which will in turn bring them into the secret Dominion system which rules over all of time and space. Once there, these post-humans will have control over time and space and have little to fear from Moira or any other mutants. Enraged, Wolverine kills the Librarian. Moira begs him to kill her as well, before anyone else can arrive and stop him. He apologizes and does it.
Moira takes a new path in her next life. She dedicates her life to eradicating the Trask bloodline, thereby hoping to prevent Sentinels from ever being created. With every possible Trask murdered, Moira hoped to be able to rest safe in the knowledge that mutants are saved. Instead, she finds that Sentinels are still being built. She believes in this moment that mutants are destined to die because Artificial Intelligence is discovered, not invented, by humans. This sobering belief radicalizes her just as she is murdered by Sentinels.
Resolute in the knowledge that peace is not the path forward, Moira seeks out Magneto. She is able to rally him to her cause with her stories of her past lives and his future failures. Together they conquer America, form the House of M and attempt to take over the world. The combined might of Earth’s heroes are too much for them and Magneto is killed. Moira herself is placed in prison and later dies during a failed prison escape.
Despite their ultimate loss, Moira becomes more convinced that violence is the solution. Determined to save mutantkind through any means necessary, she wakes Apocalypse early and allies with him. They kill Xavier and Magneto, rescue the original Horseman and launch a war that kills almost all of Earth’s heroes. They even go on to form their own X-Men, all of which prompts a reaction from humanity in the form of the Man-Machine Supremacy which results in Nimrod. 100 years later, the war continues while most mutants have left the solar system. In desperation, Apocalypse’s remaining soldiers launch an assault for the origin of Nimrod. They are able to obtain this information at great cost and Wolverine returns to a stasis pod with it. Inside is Moira, who receives the information via techno-organic upload. Logan then kills her so that she can use this information in the next life.
Moira becomes one of the world’s leading authorities on genetic mutation, wins a Nobel Prize and again becomes a close confidante of Xavier. When they first meet, Moira opens her mind to him and endeavors to try and work together with both he and Magneto to protect mutantkind’s future. Moira believes that these machinations have done damage to both Charles and Magneto. She believes learning of her past lives fractured Charles’ mind, which is part of what created Onslaught. She believes that Magneto, who was also brought in earlier than usual, become obsessed with creating a sanctuary for mutants. Hence Asteroid M, Genosha, etc.
Worried that her last life is going to be another failure, she tries to find mates for herself and Xavier that will result in reality warping powers so they can engage the mutant resurrection protocol. This is ultimately why she marries Joseph MacTaggert and gives birth to Proteus. She stilll helps Xavier form his school and develop Cerebro, though she fears that Xavier is too dependent on her record of past lives and is not dedicated enough to forging a new future.
While she works towards her own ends, she continues to protect mutants. She takes in Xavier’s son, Legion, as well as rescuing young Rahne Sinclair. She is the first person in this time that Cable meets when he travels back in time and they form a strong bond. She even looks after Magneto when he is temporarily de-aged to an infant.
She grows close with Banshee and he is the one that convinces her not to clone Proteus, though she keeps his genetic data for the future. She is also instrumental in cloning Xavier and giving him a new body after the Brood attacks. It is possibly after this time that Moira redoubled her true efforts.
Working with Xavier, they were able to create a Shi’ar golem that looked exactly like Moira. They created a mental duplicate of Moira and placed it in this golem. From that day forward, Moira would continue to work in the shadows while the golem acts, for all intents and purposes, as Moira MacTaggert.
It is likely this Moira golem that forms a new team of X-Men on Muir Island and becomes possessed by the Shadow King. This ultimately leads to the Muir Island team battling the returning X-Men as well as X-Factor before Xavier is able to free them all from the Shadow King’s influence.
Moira is taken prisoner on Asteroid M, as Magneto believes that she had brain washed him into behaving differently when he returned to adult hood. However, after performing the same procedure on some of the X-Men, Moira explains that mutants naturally resist it due to the unique chemistry of their powers. After returning to Earth, Moira attempts to cut all ties with the X-Men, feeling that she is not strong enough to help them.
Moira travels to Genosha and is among the first geneticists to see the effects of the Legacy Virus first hand. After witnessing Illyana Rasputin succumb to the Virus, Moira returns to Muir Island and spends all her time researching a cure. Soon after, Excalibur helps Moira repel an attack from Mister Sinister and set up base on Muir Island. Moira acts as support staff while she continues to research a cure for the Legacy Virus.
Moira is revealed as the only “human” infected with the Legacy Virus, though no one is ever sure how. She lives with the disease for a time and remains helpful to Excalibur, convincing them to stay behind when Onslaught reveals himself. Mystique eventually attacks Moira and tries to have her engineer the Legacy Virus to only affect humans. This ultimately leads to Moira finding a cure for the disease but not before Mystique and Sabretooth lay waste to Muir Island and mortally wound Moira. The X-Men attempt to save her but they are too late. Moira is able to transfer the knowledge of the cure to Xavier before dying.
This Moira seems to appear in the afterlife to aid Dr. Strange. How that could be is…unsure.
During Vulcan’s return to life, Banshee discovers that Moira had formed a secret secondary team of X-Men on Muir Island. And that this team had been the first rescue team sent to Krakoa, only for them to be left behind when the “all new” team arrived.
When the Chaos God resurrects fallen heroes, Moira seems to be among them. However, there is evidence this was actually the ghost of Destiny in disguise.
After Xavier’s death at the hands of Cyclops and subsequent resurrection, he seems to have a new dedication to the salvation of mutants. He no longer feels bound by pure pacifism and reaches out to both the real Moira and Magneto. Together, the trio found the island nation of Krakoa and manipulate events to have it recognized as a nation by the UN and other world powers. They all believe that through this, mutants can become the dominant species on Earth and prevent the rise of Nimrod. Once Krakoa is established, Moira disappears to a special “No-Place” that only Xavier and Magneto know of. There she continues her work and studies the journals of Destiny, hoping to find a way for mutantkind to survive. She is adamant on one rule for Krakoa: no precognitive mutants can be resurrected, especially Destiny.
However, after months of being denied her requests and numerous resurrections, Mystique finds a way to have her wife resurrected. Something seems amiss, and Moira may have a hand in it, as Destiny’s powers do not seem to be working correctly.