Publication Date: 14th Aug 2023
Written By: Monolith.
Image Work: Douglas Mangum.


Moira Kinross was born the heiress and chieftain of Clan Kinross, a minor lordship from the Scottish Highlands. Presumably in all her lives, Moira’s family holdings included extensive land on the mainland of Scotland, as well as Muir Island somewhere near the Cape of Wrath. At thirteen years old, Moira fell deathly ill for no explicable reason, only to fully recover a day later with no noticeable effects. At fifteen, she met her future husband, Kenneth Cowan. Although she attended Oxford University, Moira ultimately lived a quiet life as a schoolteacher at home with Kenneth. They had three children and, in time, eight grandchildren. And, eventually, after a long, satisfying, but ultimately rather benign life, Moira Cowan passed away at age 74 due to congenital heart failure.

Moira II was born confused, for her next memories were of the womb. Her illness as a child had been the only indicator that she was a mutant, as the nature of her powers only became evident after she died. Moira's consciousness, a full and perfect copy of her mind and memories, traveled back in time over 74 years to inhabit her fetal form before she was born. In doing so, the timeline of Moira's original life was seemingly annihilated, rewritten from the beginning to accommodate the new knowledge she had and the new choices she made.

Moira II was intelligent enough to hide the full scope of her knowledge, for fear of being seen as a freak. She was unable to hide it entirely, however, and was labeled a gifted prodigy from an early age. This time when she made it to Oxford, Moira studied psychology and biology to better understand her own nature. She performed controlled experiments to test the accuracy of her foreknowledge and confirm it was real, as well as the extent of her ability to change events she remembered. Her life with Kenneth was not to be this time, though. Unable to enjoy the same love story a second time, Moira could not recreate the magic of their first love.

Moira's education went further in this lifetime, and she became a biology professor. Eventually, she founded the Muir Research Institute as an extension of her private and professional studies. Her self-enlightenment finally came at age 44, when she was watching television. A man named Charles Xavier revealed himself as a mutant on a live broadcast, explaining the nature of the X-gene and benevolent mutation to a rapt audience. Moira remembered the man vaguely from Oxford and understood for the first time what her reincarnation must mean. She was determined to get on the first flight to the States and meet with Xavier… only for bitter fate to intercede as a freak accident caused her plane to crash, killing everyone on board.

Moira III was born enlightened, ready to pursue the secrets of her own body. She went to Oxford to study genetics and made contact with a much younger Charles Xavier when the time came. Knowing Xavier's secret, however, made him seem self-serving and egotistical to her eyes, and she quickly broke off their association. Moira came to see her mutation as a curse and recognized how other mutants might experience similar feelings. In her studies of the X-gene, Moira sought the means to suppress or even neutralize such mutations entirely. After winning the Nobel Prize and funding her work through the Muir Research Institute, Moira was successful in creating a cure for mutants. Moira's actions were a mixture of magnanimous and self-loathing, rationalizing her efforts to give mutants a choice in who and what they were.

Others thought differently. The Brotherhood of Evil Mutants learned of Moira's cure and attacked her laboratory, killing all her friends, employees and scientists. Their precognitive member Destiny only recognized Moira as a fellow mutant with intense focus once they met in person. She revealed Moira's abilities seemingly came with a natural camouflage that passively shielded her from detection as a mutant. Once she pierced the veil, though, Destiny was able to see forwards and backwards in time, thanks to Moira's past and future lives. The Brotherhood, then, was locked in a conundrum of how to stop Moira's cure. Leaving her alive left open the possibility of Moira starting her work again but killing her would reboot the timeline and force them to act again. And again. And again.

Instead, Destiny tried to impress upon Moira that she was wrong to seek an end to mutantkind. She appealed to her basic humanity, making it clear to Moira her cure would be used on mutants against their wishes, regardless of her good intentions. Destiny also made it clear that, even in her next life, Moira would not be safe from her. Destiny was older than Moira, and Destiny’s powers would manifest well before hers. Even in the next timeline, if Destiny's precognition sensed that Moira would inevitably start her cure research again, she would find her and kill her as a child. Destiny posited that Moira's mutant power was like all others and would not kick in until puberty, meaning that, if Moira was killed before she turned thirteen, she would die without reincarnating. Destiny gave Moira a final prophecy for good measure, telling her that she foresaw Moira's reincarnation cycle was ultimately finite – she would receive 10, maybe 11 lives before it all came to an end. Believing that they now understood each other, Destiny had Pyro burn Moira to death. Slowly. So she remembered the consequences of a life lived poorly.

Moira IV was born conflicted. She had trouble accepting the word of the woman who killed her, but did believe she had no choice but to change her ways lest Destiny find her again. When the time came to attend Oxford, Moira gave Charles Xavier a second chance. In this lifetime, she saw through the arrogance on Xavier's surface and recognized that he too had a genuine desire to make the world a better place, for humans and mutants. She stood by his side in the years to come as he formed his public team of mutants to help shape human opinion, his X-Men. Charles, Moira and the X-Men went through many trials, familiar and new, until they fell before mankind’s hatred and fear given form: the Sentinels. Bolivar Trask's mutant-hunting robots used adaptive artificial intelligence to anticipate and compensate for the variety of mutant powers, killing Moira's love and her family.

Moira V was born focused, believing she and Charles had not tried hard enough to preserve his dream of peaceful co-existence. Hoping to master the variables, Moira left home at thirteen years old to fly to America, meeting young Charles Xavier nearly a decade before they were intended to meet. For the first time in their lifetimes, Moira dropped her barriers and allowed the teenaged Charles to read her fully, seeing the scope of her experiences. Starting early, Charles and Moira did not found a school, but a nation. The isolated mutant homeland of Faraway was fortified and filled with powerful mutants and forewarned against the dangers of the Sentinels by Moira. And still they fell. Moira was knocked into a coma during a Sentinel attack, convalescing for years until a second strike led to genocide at Faraway. [House of X #2]

[Note: Because reports say Moira opened her mind to Xavier “for the first time” in her fifth life, it’s unclear if this means she kept her mutation or past lives a secret from him in her fourth life.]

Moira VI was born. That we know for sure. She lived longer than any Moira known to date, surviving over a thousand years thanks to blood transfusions she received from James Howlett. But it became a life in captivity by the 31st century, the last of mutantkind held in a Preserve by what mankind became. The Sentinels rose to oppose mutantkind, as they had in Moira's past lives. Fear over being surpassed by the next stage of human evolution always led the Trask family to build their murder machines, leading to a quantum leap in artificial intelligence with Nimrod. Nimrod was the foe mutantkind could never beat, a self-evolving adaptive nano-structure running an anti-mutant artificial intelligence designed to kill them, but in the end he wasn't even the real threat.

Mutantkind was the next stage of human evolution, as the saying goes. For decades, mutants embraced the idea as if it meant they were an inevitability, that mankind was a dying species that would be replaced by the new mutant race in time regardless of how violent their death throes. But mutants were only inevitable if evolution was inevitable, and man eventually proved that it was not. Controlled evolution, gene-splicing, nano-engineered implants... mankind learned how to evolve themselves, in real time, without waiting generations for new changes to enter the gene pool. Post-humanity, Homo novissima, was the true end state of human beings, who would leapfrog over the slowly percolating mutants and become the ultimate dominant lifeform on Earth.

Ironically, this revelation was brought to Moira and Logan by the Librarian, a Homo novissima himself. He had been monitoring them in the Preserve, learning the dead language of English and therefore was aware that Moira's reincarnation cycle seemingly annihilated each new timeline with her death, starting things over. And so, the Librarian had a dilemma. Post-humanity had chosen to ascend, a complicated process by which their consciousnesses would be mechanically duplicated, then assimilated into the higher race known as the Phalanx. Earth would be destroyed, but human beings would live on as a small part of a collective consciousness. And once the Phalanx rejoined their own patrons, the Dominion (a singularity of hyper-dense information existing in a connected network between black holes), post-humanity would continue onwards outside of conventional space-time.

The Librarian reasoned that if Moira died before the Phalanx containing post-humanity's collective minds rejoined the Dominion, the timeline would restart and ascension would fail. He had made arrangements to move Moira off-world before Earth was destroyed. So long as post-humanity was "uploaded" into the Dominion before she died, his knowledge of Moira's abilities would continue to exist outside of space-time, allowing the Dominion to stop her from interfering with mankind's destiny in future timelines or simply making it moot. The Librarian was conflicted over whether ascension truly WAS the best outcome for the human race, and so he met with Moira and Logan to enlighten them about what they had missed in the Preserve. Humans and Sentinels weren't fighting against the inevitability of Homo superior's reign – Homo superior would inevitably lose as a species to the rise of technology and the genetic engineering of Homo novissima. The Librarian hoped that Moira could come up with a different outcome for the human race, now that she understood the long-term stakes for mutantkind and everyone before and after them. Moira and Logan were indeed horrified by these revelations, and Logan killed Moira with her permission so she could go back and find a way to fix things. [Powers of X #6]

Moira VII was born driven by the burden of her foresight. She applied herself not to Oxford but to the military, joining the British Air Force to learn all she needed to know about killing. After building her skills, Moira went underground and began stalking the Trask family. Her goal was to prevent the rise of the Sentinels, and Nimrod after them, to allow Homo superior time to gain ascendancy before Homo novissima could crystallize. Moira wiped out the Trask bloodline, but ultimately came to realize artificial intelligence was a discovery, not an invention. If it weren't the Trasks, somebody else would be responsible for creating artificial intelligence, and starting the ticking clock on mutantkind's future. Ten years after Moira murdered the entire Trask bloodline, a variation on the Master Mold design still came online. Moira was killed by these parallel Sentinels while trying to destroy their facility.

Moira VIII was born angry, radicalized by her failure. Her time at Oxford led her to reject Charles Xavier and his ideas of peaceful co-existence entirely. Instead, she sought out the necessary evil of Magneto. With her future information and tales of the coming holocaust, Moira pushed Erik to even more extreme tactics than before. Under her guidance, Magneto conquered America and established the House of M. The heroes and followers of Xavier's dream would not lay down arms, however, and the War of M led to Magneto's death and Moira being imprisoned for war crimes. She eventually died during a prison break that went sour.

Moira IX was born determined, believing Magneto simply had not pushed hard enough. Abandoning all pretense of restraint, Moira sought out En Sabah Nur, the Apocalypse, and awakened him early from his Celestial slumber when she was only eighteen. Armed with her knowledge of future events, Moira became consort to Apocalypse, dubbed Mother Akkaba as she was enhanced by Apocalypse's technology. Over the next three years, they murdered Charles Xavier and Magneto to remove potential threats to their consolidation of the mutant race. Moira and Apocalypse somehow breached Arakko and rescued the First Horsemen, bringing back Apocalypse's greatest warriors in the pursuit of survival of the fittest. In the years that followed, they founded their own version of the X-Men, Apocalypse enslaved Mister Sinister to his yoke and, by the time Moira was 42, the Apocalypse War began for conquest of Earth. [House of X #2]

The “heroes” did not stand in the mutants’ way for long, as the Avengers were defeated three years into the War. The mutant race conquered Asia and established capital cities at Akkaba, Kyr and Tian. However, Sentinel development remained a threat to mutantkind. As Moira and Apocalypse were distracted by the Annihilation Wave coming to Earth, Nimrod came online. An anti-mutant, nano-Sentinel A.I., Nimrod was a quantum leap in technology, a paradigm shift which turned the tide of war back in the humans’ favor. Kyr and Tian were destroyed by Nimrods, while Moira and Apocalypse abandoned Akkaba and fled back to the mutant island of Krakoa as their stronghold.

In the years that followed, the Apocalypse War continued as mutants tried to find their footing against the machines. The enslaved scientist Sinister suggested a mutant breeding program, mirroring the Sentinels’ mutant-hunting Hound program, but in their favor. With consent from mutant leadership, Sinister created mutant breeding pits on Mars to fill their ranks. His first generation copies were followed by second and third generation Chimeras, gestalt genetic extrapolations of two or more X-genes in a single figure. For roughly twenty-five years, the Chimeras were mutantkind’s greatest weapon, pushing back against the Man-Machine Supremacy that now ruled Earth under the watchful gaze of Nimrod. Inevitably, though, Sinister overreached himself by creating fourth generation Omega-class Chimeras. These unstable super-mutants brought about the fall of Krakoa, the deaths of the First Horsemen, and the collapse of Mars itself into a micro-singularity. The fact that Sinister was immediately executed by the Supremacy upon his defection did nothing to bring back the 40% of the mutant population who died in these disasters. [Powers of X #1, 3, House of X #3]

The few thousand mutants who remained went into exile in Shi’ar space with their alien allies, while Moira, Apocalypse and his new Horsemen and a select few mutants re-established Krakoa as Asteroid K in Sol space. By this point, Moira was over one hundred years old, kept alive only by Apocalypse’s bio-technology enhancements. She and En Sabah Nur began to plan for her next life rather than trying to salvage the mutant race in the current timeline. Their research determined that, while emergent A.I. was an inevitability in any timeline, an anti-mutant Nimrod was not. Consequently, they planned to acquire the origin files of Nimrod in order to predict the super-Sentinel’s creation and prevent it from happening in Moira’s next life. After a failed assassination attempt on Apocalypse, Moira was injured and placed in stasis until such a time as they succeeded. In her absence, Apocalypse and the X-Men raided the archives of the Man-Mutant Supremacy and stole the Nimrod origin files. The data was uploaded into Celestial bio-tech and implanted in Moira for immediate storage and comprehension. With Moira prepped for her next life, it ironically fell to Logan (War of these Horsemen) to end her life again. [Powers of X #1-3]