Moira MacTaggert

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Moira MacTaggert
Mactaggert 1.jpg
Art by Ken Lashley.
Publication information
Publisher Marvel Comics
First appearance Uncanny X-Men #96 (December 1975)
Created by Chris Claremont
Dave Cockrum
In-story information
Alter ego Dr. Moira Kinross MacTaggert
Team affiliations Muir Island X-Men
Excalibur
X-Men
Abilities Possesses great intelligence and experience in the field of genetics and mutation.

Dr. Moira Kinross MacTaggert (sometimes spelled MacTaggart, McTaggart, or McTaggert) is a fictional character appearing in X-Men stories in the Marvel Comics universe. She works as a geneticist and is an expert in mutant affairs. Olivia Williams played a minor role of Dr. Moira MacTaggert in X-Men: The Last Stand. Rose Byrne played the character in 2011's superhero film X-Men: First Class; Dr. Moira MacTaggert was a CIA agent rather than a geneticist in this film.

Publication history[edit]

Moira MacTaggert was created by Chris Claremont and Dave Cockrum, and first appeared in Uncanny X-Men #96 (December 1975).

Moira MacTaggert received an entry in the Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe Update '89 #4.

Originally, Grant Morrison wanted to use Moira on his run on New X-Men as the team scientist,[citation needed] but she was killed prior to the start of the series. Instead, he used Beast (Henry "Hank" McCoy).

Moira was one of the feature characters in the 2011 two-issue limited series Chaos War: X-Men.

Fictional character biography[edit]

Early years[edit]

Born Moira Kinross to Scottish parents, Moira MacTaggert was one of the world's leading authorities on genetic mutation, earning her a Nobel Prize for her work. She was the longest running human associate of the X-Men and was Professor Charles Xavier's colleague, confidante, and also once his fiancée, having met and fallen in love with him while they were postgraduates at Oxford University.[1] She ended their engagement for unknown reasons and returned to Scotland. She was married to her old flame, the late politician Joseph MacTaggert which caused delays with her former engagement to Xavier. Joe proved to be an abusive husband; Moira separated from him after he beat her into a week long coma and, as it is implied, raped her, leaving her pregnant. She kept her son's existence a secret, and when Joe refused her a divorce she allowed people to believe she was widowed.

She eventually created a Mutant Research Center on Muir Island, off the coast of Scotland. Moira was forced to contain and imprison her son Kevin, later called Proteus, when he developed reality warping abilities and severe psychosis. One of Moira's goals was to understand human/mutant genetics, in order to cure her son.

First appearance from Uncanny X-Men #96.
Art by Dave Cockrum.

Moira's connection to the X-Men began long before the team formed. The silent partner in the founding of Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters and co-creator of Cerebro, Moira assisted Xavier in helping the young Jean Grey recover after the traumatic triggering of her mutant abilities.

Moira was a kind woman who took to helping humans and mutants alike. She rescued a young Rahne Sinclair (Wolfsbane) from an angry mob, and adopted the girl. She even attempted to treat Xavier's son, a mutant known as Legion who suffered from multiple personality disorder. When Cable arrived from the future, it was Moira who taught him English and introduced him to Xavier. When Magneto was reduced to infancy, he was entrusted to Moira's care on Muir Island, where she altered his genetic code in an attempt to keep him from reverting to villainy.

Involvement with the X-Men[edit]

Moira appeared at Xavier's call to act as "housekeeper" for the team while they were on missions (a position that required her to demonstrate her proficiency with an M16 rifle against a demon within hours of her arrival). Though each of the X-Men formed some sort of relationship with the "Widow" MacTaggert, Moira and Sean Cassidy (Banshee) hit it off immediately, forming an on-and-off relationship that would last for the remainder of her life. Proteus's escape and eventual destruction at the hands of Colossus and the X-Men left Moira in a position of ethical compromise again: though Banshee stopped her from cloning her son, she saved his genetic structure on disk to allow herself the future option of bringing him back.[2][3]

After finding out that her foster daughter, Rahne, was a mutant, Moira was the catalyst for change. She talked a discouraged Xavier into opening his school to the next generation of New Mutants, with Rahne becoming an initial member. She was also an integral part of the support for the X-Men and the New Mutants, providing medical aid including cloning Xavier after the Brood attacks, transferring his mind into a new body and restoring his ability to walk after a Brood embryo nearly killed him.

Muir Islanders (Muir Island X-Men) on the cover of Uncanny X-Men #254. Art by Marc Silvestri.

With the apparent death of the X-Men, Moira and Banshee formed an alternate team based from Muir, and carried on as the leader of the team without him when his duties with the X-Men called him away.[4] Her behavior became unpredictable, her temper impressive, and her decisions harsh and unforgiving as she displayed behavior that made all who knew her suspicious. On Muir, she began to pit her charges against each other in an arena in merciless battles, supposedly allowing her the opportunity to study mutants in action.

Moira and her islanders were involved in the return of Proteus due to the influence of Advanced Idea Mechanics. This was a four-part story in 1991, that ran through that year's annuals for the New Warriors, X-Force, New Mutants and X-Factor. The Shadow King, the corrupting entity behind the island, allowed the Islanders to act heroically in defense of innocent lives.

Eventually, the entire population of Muir Island was identified as being possessed by and mentally corrupted by Shadow King, pitting the Islanders against the combined forces of the X-Men and X-Factor before Xavier freed them from his control.[5]

Moira confronted by Magneto in X-Men #2. Art by Jim Lee.

Moira's alteration of Magneto did not go unnoticed indefinitely. Enraged when he discovered Moira had tampered with his free will, Magneto took Moira captive and forced her to perform the procedure on half of the X-Men, turning them against their teammates.[6] While Moira's alterations worked, it was revealed that, due to mutants' powers requiring their body chemistry to operate in a specific manner, use of a mutant's powers would cause them to automatically resist the 'programming' and reverse the effects of the procedure, so anything Magneto had done was of his own free will. While hostage on Asteroid M, Moira witnessed Fabian Cortez draining Magneto of his powers and manipulating him into placing him as his right hand. Though Cortez fled, it was an observation that would eventually put Moira back in the hands of the Acolytes. Back on Earth, Moira was unable to accept her betrayal of her surrogate family and her own infallibility, and fled the X-Mansion, with Banshee in pursuit.[7]

Excalibur and the Legacy Virus[edit]

When a mysterious virus began attacking the genetically engineered mutate population of Genosha, Moira volunteered her services as a geneticist and was forced to watch as the former slaves were decimated by disease. Returning to the X-Mansion, Moira found Illyana Rasputin suffering from the same illness, later identified as the Legacy Virus. Moving back to Muir Island after the girl’s death, Moira became the key figure in working for a cure to the disease (during this time, she also worked on curing Wolfsbane's artificial bond with Havok).

The European superhero team Excalibur took up residence on Muir Island after assisting Moira.[8] She had been attacked by agents of Mister Sinister who was seeking the genetic information on her son. Moira became an official member of the group, acting as their medic, team mother, and morale officer. An information leak revealed her to be the only human infected by the Legacy Virus—a bizarre turn of events possibly caused by her long exposure to the infected on Genosha, her autopsy of Illyana, or some susceptibility because she gave birth to a mutant.[9] Despite these events, she maintained a strong outlook on life, helping to maintain discipline, reduce tension, and increase the team's effectiveness throughout Europe. She convinced the team to stay behind when Onslaught emerged, telling them they might be needed if other heroes fell.[10]

Conferring with the X-Men's Beast did not result in appreciable progress. Locking herself in quarantine in a final attempt to cure the virus without endangering any of her teammates, Moira found her attempts foiled by her foster daughter, Wolfsbane, and Douglock. Wolfsbane originally leapt through the closing doors of the laboratory as the quarantine took effect. She soon found herself a willing assistant to her foster mother's work. Douglock later caused much unintentional damage, his judgement clouded by personal feelings for Wolfsbane.[8][11][12] Moira takes time off from her research to attend the bachelorette party and the wedding for her friends Meggan and Brian Braddock.[13]

Final moments in X-Men (vol. 2) #108.
Art by Leinil Francis Yu

Moira did eventually find a cure for the disease, when the terrorist Mystique manipulated her research to force the virus to target only humans. Mystique, partly assisted by Sabretooth, then destroyed Muir Island, de-powered Wolfsbane, and brutally injured Moira.[14][15] Bishop, Wolverine, and Rogue attempted to save Moira's life. Despite Rogue's powers temporarily granting her medical knowledge, she was unable to do so. She clung to lifelong enough to mentally transfer the information to Xavier in one final embrace between the former lovers. She died in the X-Men's jet, far above the Atlantic Ocean, and was later buried in Scotland.[16]

A psychic representation of Moira was seen as an active portion of Xavier's consciousness as he worked on rebuilding Genosha.[17] Her ghost has also been seen in the rubble of Muir Island, directing Banshee to a hidden room full of video files.

Moira is next seen in the afterlife, in which she, Mockingbird, Gwen Stacy, and Dead Girl assist Doctor Strange in battling a being known as the Pitiful One.[18]

X-Men: Deadly Genesis[edit]

After the events of M-Day and upon the reawakening of Vulcan, significant portions of Moira's history with Xavier and the Original X-Men are called into light. During the early years of Xavier's Academy, Moira founded and ran a secondary facility not far from the Xavier School, in which she had her own students; youths whom she took out of bad situations and adopted as her wards, training them in their abilities without the highly militant regimen of Charles' X-Men.

When Krakoa captured the original X-Men, it was Moira's students whom Charles went to first—not the second team of Wolverine, Storm, Banshee, Colossus, Nightcrawler, Thunderbird and Sunfire as it was originally believed—putting them through the psionic equivalent of boot camp and allowing them to believe they were being trained over months as X-Men. Charles took them from Moira's care immediately.

Moira's students—Vulcan (Gabriel Summers, the lost brother of X-Men Cyclops and Havok), Petra, Darwin, and Sway—were apparently all killed, and Xavier suppressed even the memory of them from his own students, to keep them from going back to save them. Only Moira's project tapes, one made directly after the event before Xavier could suppress the memories, and an abandoned research center remain as clues.[19]

Chaos War[edit]

During the "Chaos War" storyline, Moira MacTaggert returns from the dead alongside the fallen X-Men members after what happened to the death realms.[20] After escaping from Carrion Crow, the group discovers that Moira has been possessed by Destiny's ghost.[21]

Other versions[edit]

Age of Apocalypse[edit]

In the 1995-1996 "Age of Apocalypse" storyline, Moira is the wife of Bolivar Trask, and head of the London based Human High Council. As resistance to Apocalypse's reign, Moira and her husband designed the Sentinels and armed the human resistance with an impressive weapons array. Their main focus was a plan to destroy Apocalypse's forces in their North American positions, even though this would mean the deaths of many innocent civilians that had not yet escaped the country. The tyrant however, backfires by activating his Sea Walls, slaughtering the Council and those within the Sea Walls reach.

Age of X[edit]

In the Age of X reality, the multiple personality mutant called Legion establishes a new one that took the form of Moira. This personality takes on a maternal role for the others. After defeating Xavier and creating the Age of X timeline where David is happy and seen as a hero, she set herself as his mother. Eventually his depiction was revealed and Legion absorb her. Later she offers to make a better world for David, but he declines her offer. During the Lost Legion story Moira's powers were the main target of another personality of Legion and at the end she was seen inside David's mind cursing Xavier.

Cross-Time Caper[edit]

Reichminister of Genetics Moira MacTaggert, who hails from a reality in which Earth is dominated by Nazis,[22] is featured in Excalibur #10 and 11 when she is brought into Earth-616 by the actions of a confused Widget. Making the trip with her is her personal bodyguard, a Nazi Callisto and Moira's personal train, powered by an alternate Lockheed. It was also hinted that this Moira was behind the Super Team Lightning Force (a Nazi version of Excalibur). Moira's violent actions ultimately result in Excalibur team being sent on a long and arduous cross-dimensional trip.

House of M[edit]

In the House of M reality, Moira MacTaggert was declared a criminal for attempting to cure her son Kevin of the mutant gene and his psychosis. King Magneto's mutant supremacy saw this as an act against mutantkind, and Sentinels were dispatched to destroy Muir Island and capture Moira. Though Moira escaped, Kevin was also freed, sending him on a gruesome killing spree that was attributed to Moira as failed experiments, as she chases him across the globe. When the reality-hopping Exiles caught Proteus's attention, Moira emerged from hiding to warn them about her son, who was intrigued by their presence and desired to ruin the realities they attempted to fix. When he attacks the team, Moira shot him, exposing him to the metal that was his deadly allergy and only weakness, forcing him to find a new body. Unsurprisingly, he chose to possess his mother, and rather than allow her son to possess her and use her against them, Moira commits suicide.[23]

New Exiles[edit]

On the world of the Sons of Iron and Daughters of the Dragon, the New Exiles face a squad of alternate 'core X-Men' who are loyal to Lilandra. These X-Men include an alternate version of Moira MacTaggert who is not married on this world or is going by her maiden name, Kinross. Moira's codename is Hypernova and her powers are energy blasts. It is not known whether she is a mutant on this world or has gained powers through another method.[24]

Ultimate Marvel[edit]

In the Ultimate Marvel continuity, Moira MacTaggert is the ex-wife of Charles Xavier, and their son David MacTaggert is Proteus. This version of Moira needs two crutches in order to move around. Moira runs a school/hospital for sick mutants, and assists in the Xavier Institute from behind the scenes. She does this even though Charles left her to join Magneto's dream of a mutant society, abandoning her to raise their mentally ill child on her own. When Proteus escapes and begins body-hopping, Moira calls in the X-Men for assistance. After murdering hundreds, Proteus is seemingly crushed to death under a car.[25]

Later, the X-Men learn that Moira has been funding her hospital by producing and selling "Banshee", a lethal and addictive Mutant Growth Hormone[26] which amplifies mutant powers, made from the genetic material of Wolverine. When Wolverine attempts to destroy her Banshee supply, Moira attacks him with the previously unknown mutant ability to emit a deafening sonic cry. Wolverine quickly defeats Moira and leaves her to die in the exploding hospital, but she is later shown to have somehow survived when Quicksilver finds her emerging from the smoldering ruins. Her ensuing conversation with him implies that she is now in league with Quicksilver.

In other media[edit]

Television[edit]

  • Moira appears in these episodes of X-Men, voiced by Lally Cadeau. She first appeared in the episode "The Cure", where supposedly knew a doctor with a cure for mutants. The next episodes were "The Phoenix Saga", were she was worried about Professor Xavier's control over his mind. In the "Dark Phoenix Saga" she was working to help Jean Grey be freed from the Phoenix. Then, the next appearance was in "Proteus", in which she reveled to Xavier that Proteus was her son. Here she seems to fill the function of Gabrielle Haller, an old lover of Charles and mother of his son, the powerful but disturbed psychic boy David. Her next appearance was "The Phalanx Covenant, Part 2", when she was infected by Phalanx. Her last appearance was in "Graduation Day", when she and Beast debated on how to contact Lilandra Neramani to help Professor X.
  • In Marvel Anime: X-Men, the character Yui Sasaki (voiced by Yoshiko Sakakibara in the Japanese version and by Gwendoline Yeo in the English) is introduced as that version's Moira, as she slightly bares resemblance to her. Like Moira, Yui is a geneticist and has a relationship with Professor X when she still owns the Sasaki Institute in Japan. But unknown to Charles, he has a son with her name Takeo Sasaki.

Films[edit]

  • Rose Byrne plays Moira in X-Men: First Class, where she is a CIA agent working to uncover the mysterious Hellfire Club. This version is depicted as an American instead of being Scottish. During her investigation she manages to infiltrate a meeting by stripping down to her underwear to blend in with the strippers, in which she discovers mutants intimidating a military officer. After the incident, she seeks help from recently graduated professor Charles Xavier, due to his affinity for research in the subject of genetic mutation, only to learn that he and his foster sister, Raven, are mutants themselves, with Xavier demonstrating his mind-reading while Raven reveals her shape-shifting. She later becomes the liaison to the team, and assists the newly formed X-Men in preventing Sebastian Shaw from starting a nuclear holocaust between Russia and the United States. At the climax, she is indirectly responsible for Xavier's paralysis, as she fires the bullet which Magneto accidentally deflects into Xavier's spine. In his rage, Magneto almost kills Moira by strangling her with her dog tags until Xavier makes him realize he caused his friend's injury. At the film's end, Xavier erases her memory of the events with Shaw and Magneto while kissing her, in order to keep the school for mutants that he has opened during the crisis a secret.
  • Moira is played by Olivia Williams in brief appearances in the feature film X-Men: The Last Stand. She appears on a video talking about the ethics of using mutant powers, such as transferring the mind of a dying man into the body of a patient with no higher brain function. She is later seen seated next to Beast at the memorial service for Xavier. After the film's ending credits, she appears again attending to the brain-dead patient, who suddenly speaks to her in Xavier's voice.

Video games[edit]

  • Moira MacTaggert appears in X-Men Legends, voiced by Michelle Arthur. She is shown on Muir Island when the X-Men are fighting Juggernaut to keep him from getting to Forge.
  • Moira MacTaggert is mentioned in the game Marvel: Ultimate Alliance. She is referenced to be keeping the Ultimate Nullifier on Muir Island for safekeeping.

Novels and adaptations[edit]

  • An alternate final scene with Moira is featured in the novelized version of the X-Men: The Last Stand movie, where she appears to Magneto in the park as he plays chess (presumably offering to reverse the "cure").
  • Earth-616 Moira is featured in The Legacy Quest Trilogy, a series of novels written by Steve Lyons. She is guilted into working under |Sebastian Shaw, alongside her former assist Rory Campbell. Their purpose is to finally cure the Legacy Virus once and for all.
  • Moira is a prominent character in X-Men: Search and Rescue, by Greg Cox. Muir Isle is attacked for its scientific resources.[27]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Uncanny X-Men #117
  2. ^ Uncanny X-Men #128
  3. ^ Classic X-Men #36, "Outside-In."
  4. ^ Uncanny X-Men #254
  5. ^ Uncanny X-Men #280
  6. ^ X-Men (vol. 2) #2
  7. ^ X-Men (vol. 2) #6
  8. ^ a b Excalibur #71
  9. ^ Excalibur #80
  10. ^ Excalibur #101
  11. ^ Excalibur #115
  12. ^ Excalibur #120
  13. ^ Excalibur #124-125 (September–October 1998)
  14. ^ Uncanny X-Men #388
  15. ^ Bishop: The Last X-Man #16
  16. ^ X-Men (vol. 2) #108
  17. ^ Excalibur (vol. 3) #1
  18. ^ X-Statix Presents: Dead Girl (#1-5, Marvel, 2006, ISBN 0-7851-2031-9)
  19. ^ X-Men: Deadly Genesis #1-6
  20. ^ Chaos War: X-Men #1
  21. ^ Chaos War: X-Men #2
  22. ^ Excalibur #6 (1989)
  23. ^ Exiles #70-71
  24. ^ New Exiles #15 (2008)
  25. ^ Ultimate X-Men #15-19 (2002)
  26. ^ Ult X v1 94
  27. ^ Gamma Quest Vol. 2 Amazon Link

External links[edit]