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Capes On the Couch - Where Comics Get Counseling

Dec 7, 2022

  • Intro
    • Reminder of charity event on 12/18

  • Background (4:02)
    • Moira MacTaggert created by Chris Claremont & Dave Cockrum in Uncanny X-Men #96 (Dec. 1975)
    • Moira Kinross had been dating Joseph MacTaggert prior to meeting Charles Xavier, but left Joseph to become engaged to Charles
    • Joseph managed to convince Charles to serve in the military in order to be “worthy” of Moira, and while he was gone, he worked his way back to her and forced her to break off the engagement
    • After they were married, Joseph became abusive, and when Moira ran away, he tracked her down, beat her and raped her, leaving her in a coma for a week - the child would later become Proteus
    • Studied genetics and founded a mutant research center on Muir Island, and reconnected with Charles, pushing him to form his school
    • Moira ran a school of her own, training mutants who were outcasts - it was this group of students (including Cyclops’ brother Vulcan) that Charles first sent in to rescue his captured team, but the children were all seemingly killed, and Charles wiped everyone’s mind out of shame
    • Showed up at Xavier’s school claiming to be a “housekeeper” to help Charles keep an eye on the school, and she fell in love with Banshee
    • Kept Proteus confined at Muir Island to protect the world, but he escaped, and she was forced to reveal the truth to the team and Joseph, who was unaware he had a son for 20 years
    • Also helped David Haller cope with his unstable powers before bringing in Charles and helping him with his son
    • Contracted the Legacy Virus, and seemingly died in an attack on Muir Island by Mystique and the Brotherhood
    • House of X/Powers of X revealed a massive retcon - Moira had been a mutant all along, with the power of reincarnation and the ability to recall everything from her previous life - she used this information to attempt to alter history several times, both siding with and trying to fight against mutants
    • An encounter with Mystique and Destiny in her 3rd life reveals that she will only get 10 or 11 lives
    • She is responsible for bringing together Charles and Magneto, along with Apocalypse and several other mutants, to create the nation-state Krakoa as a haven for mutants, although she is operating behind the scenes - her previous death was retconned as that of a Shi’ar golem
    • She, Charles, and Magneto establish resurrection protocols for all mutants on Krakoa, but Moira specifically wants to prevent Destiny or any other precognitive mutants from being resurrected, lest they discover her or her plans - when Mystique manages to have Destiny resurrected anyway, Moira has Emma Frost brought into the fold, only for Emma to reveal Moira’s existence to everyone - Destiny & Mystique shoot Moira with Forge’s mutant removal gun, turning her back into a baseline human, and exiling her from Krakoa
    • Before she dies, she transfers her mind to an Omega Sentinel
    • Was one of the protagonists of AXE Judgment Day, where she sells out Krakoa and mutants to the Eternals as revenge for kicking her out

  • Issues - Theme is Groundhog Day Gone Wrong (13:28)
    • Mad scientist archetype - experimenting on your own kind
    • Manipulating the future (20:30)
    • Imprisonment of your own son - later revealing his birth was purely for scientific purposes, but that wasn’t canon at the time (28:02)

  • Break (36:39)

  • Treatment (38:49)
    • In-universe - 
    • Out of universe - (43:34)

  • Skit (50:42)
    • DOC: Hello Dr. MacTaggert, I’m Dr. Issues.
    • MOIRA: Going for the formal helps with the disassociation, I see.
    • DOC: *pause* So, do you prefer Moira, or
    • MOIRA: Don’t be dense, Doc. It’s beneath you.
    • DOC: I was trying to be witty, but I guess I failed…or you didn’t catch it because you’re too engrossed in analyzing me.
    • MOIRA: It’s a habit. Not a bad one, really. When you’ve done this as many times as I have, you have to find ways to amuse yourself.
    • DOC: Done what, exactly?
    • MOIRA: All of this. The analysis, the prodding, the experimentation, incarceration, exploitation… *realizes there’s a pattern here* isolation, incineration… 
    • DOC: Well-
    • MOIRA: Objectification… deviation… 
    • DOC: Doctor MacTaggert-
    • MOIRA: Oh, discrimination, can’t forget that one… 
    • DOC: Can we please move on?
    • MOIRA: *inspired* Infantilization
    • DOC: You’ve made your point.
    • MOIRA: I wanted to see how long I could keep it up.
    • DOC: Oh believe me, I would listen to you all day if I didn’t have other things to do, because it’s clear that I don’t have a role in your world otherwise. Not my circus, not my monkeys…and NO, that’s not a shot at any group of people, if you’re going to try and exploit that comment.
    • MOIRA: Oh, no one has a role in my world. Or at least no one has a role they’re willing to play properly. That’s been the trouble over these lives, if they’d just listen to me we could’ve had such an easy go of things. But no matter how many times I try, I cannot get people to listen. So don’t take it personally doctor, there isn’t a being on this planet - human or mutant - that is on my level.
    • DOC: Of course not. You created your own level. Who wants to get on it? Well, that’s a different story. You’re not matching the incentives of others, so they’re disinterested…antagonistic, even. Projective identification.
    • MOIRA: Oh don’t come at me with that nonsense. I’ve tried to match incentives. I’ve done the work in ways you can’t even imagine. I’ve gone through torturous lifetimes that would make your soul weep. The end is always the same - death and pain for everyone. So I’m trying a new tactic, and I’m going to prevent the pain from even starting. But no, I have to deal with zealots like Erik who fight for the purity of it all, or hopeless optimists like Charles who believe in a harmony that will never exist, or warmongers like Apocalypse who revel in the pain. I created my own level because no one else actually wants to keep people from suffering. I came close… I had a utopia… and they hated me for it. So now I’m done cooperating, I’m done pretending to be nice Moira. I’ll give them the world they don’t know they want, and they can thank me later. Or not. Either way, they’re getting it.
    • DOC: Fatalism. Next?
    • MOIRA: Oversimplification. Next?
    • DOC: It’s not my fault if you collapse all of your trauma into a term that any undergraduate could look up in seconds. I think your collective experience yields more wisdom than that. But you already know that, don’t you?
    • MOIRA: There are no words in English, Krakoan, or any other form of communication on this planet that could define what I have gone through. 
    • DOC: Then stop using those languages. You get to make your own definitions. You’re too smart to get yourself bogged down in existentialism. I get that. But you’ve cut too much meat off of the bone. That’s a flavorless existence.
    • MOIRA: Mixed metaphors,*tsk tsk tsk* you ought to be ashamed of yourself.
    • DOC: Deflection. Good one.
    • MOIRA: And what is your role in all of this? You play along with the “heroes”, deluding yourself into believing you’re “helping” make things better, all in service of some greater good that does. Not. Exist. And all the while the world hurtles towards its inevitable extinction. You are… you are so out of your element it defies explanation. 
    • DOC: Ad hominem attack. Nice. Almost threw in nihilism but not quite.
    • MOIRA: Oh, now look who’s
    • DOC: *interrupting* condescension, albeit juvenile. 
    • MOIRA: That’s not really-
    • DOC: *clearly not listening* But where are the emotional overtones? Where’s rage? No, too intellectual for that…Bombast. That’s the word.
    • MOIRA: Are you daft?
    • DOC: No no no, we already covered that. Ah, I wish I had one of my professors here, we’d keep going longer, but you’re not helping
    • MOIRA: This is outrageous. Stop it!
    • DOC: *snaps finger* premeditated victimization! That’s it! That’s the new term you’ve created for yourself. You live your life solely for the purpose of your own martyrdom, like a bastardized phoenix!
    • MOIRA: How dare you compare me to that… thing… I am not some wanton destroyer bent on chaos. I was bringing life and order and peace to an entire planet, I was ending millennia of conflict. I am a scalpel, and you think me a Neanderthalic club. This further proves how inadequate your conception of my plans and the world is. Even for someone who’s lived a multitude of lives, I have wasted so much time speaking with you.
    • DOC: Your choice, right? And to clarify my stance in your metaphor, I DO think you know how to hold a scalpel. I’m not accustomed to someone so willingly holding the belly of the blade in their palm and complain that the world doesn’t appreciate the bloodshed.
    • MOIRA: As any woman will tell you, birth requires bloodshed. I’m not shying away from it. It’s simply an objective assessment of the situation.
    • DOC: Oh, I agree it’s objectification alright. I know that’s not what you said, but I had to give my objective assessment of your objective assessment, you see.
    • MOIRA: Hmm. I am no longer entertained by this game. We’re done here.
    • DOC: Sorry you consider this a game. After all, I thought you make the rules.
    • MOIRA: I do. And one of the keys to prestidigitation is sleight of hand. *not to Doc* Orchis, that should have been enough time. You can take me out now. *pause* What do you mean you couldn’t hack the system?
    • DOC: Who are you-
    • MOIRA: I don’t care if Mystique couldn’t get in, she didn’t have your… our resources. Ugh. This entire mission is a failure. I will have your hide when I return.
    • DOC: What-
    • MOIRA: I will see you again, Doctor. In this lifetime. *teleportation sound*

  • Ending (56:50)
    • Recommended reading: Krakoan Age of X-Men, starting with HoX/PoX
    • Next episodes: Gladiator, Raven, Aquaman
    • Plugs for social



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