Capes on the Couch Transcripts Issue 162 – Moira MacTaggert Transcript

Issue 162 – Moira MacTaggert Transcript

Anthony: Hello and welcome to Capes on the Couch Where Get Counseling. I’m Anthony Sytko.

Doc Issues: and I’m dr. Issues.

Anthony: This is Issue 162 and our president level Patron Janine has requested we cover Moira McTaggart, who has been completely revamped as a character over the past couple of years. Thanks to Jonathan Hickman and the hospo story in the X-Men books.

And I’m just gonna say it, I read them all. I read hospo and, and a good amount of the mutant books as part of research for this. And I will tell you right now, folks, I wish I had read this before. We did Mystique because there was a lot of stuff involving Mystique and Destiny and Mutants, Andra coa that have happened since the, the whole dawn of X. Story that we did not reference in the Mystique episode. So sorry.

Doc Issues: Hey, we can’t get everything.

Anthony: Yeah, we, we do our level best. But in any case I will say this, after reading Hox and Pops, I am way more interested in the mutant books as a collective than I have been for a very long time. I just think this completely shifted the status quo and it sets up a whole slew of very fascinating stories that I am definitely intrigued.

So I am gonna go back on Marvel Unlimited and read a lot of these mutant books, you know, with all the free time that I soak, literally have in my life. Speaking of free time, by the way, just want to send out another reminder. The charity event that I’m doing for Extra Life is coming up in about a week and a half.

As of the release of this episode, it will be on December 18th. I will be riding a stationary bike for charity. The more money you donate, the longer I have to ride every dollar adds 0.05 miles. The goal is a thousand dollars and 50 miles, but if I raise more than that, then I ride longer. Any donation of $25 or more bumps the resistance level on the bike up by one, so that will be live streamed on Twitch, starting at around 10:00 AM on the 18th and is a Sunday.

I will be playing games. I’m not entirely certain what games I’ll be doing, but you know, I may throw in some other donation incentives during the livestream. But in any case please go ahead and feel free to donate. We’ll have links in the show notes and on our social media and a Discord, Twitter, Facebook, et cetera.

So that you can go ahead and donate to help the children’s specialized hospital with multiple locations across north and central New Jersey. They help out thousands of kids every year, and it is a fantastic charity that I am very honored to be involved with and fundraising for as I have been for well over a decade.

So get that in and turn my legs into Jello, please. So with all that being said, now let’s get started now on the background.

Moira McTaggart, created by Chris Claremont and Dave Cochran in uncanny X-Men number 96, December of 1975. So, as I’m explaining Moira’s background, and as I was writing Moira’s background, it occurred to me that everything. That she had been through prior to the Hickman reboot is sort of seen in a new light since the character’s been completely revamped.

So you have to understand that she had existed as a character for, you know, 40 plus years, thereabouts. And then Hickman re revamped everything and completely changed everything. So now everything that I’m about to tell you seemed through new lens, but I won’t get to that until the appropriate time in the sort of publication history.

In any event, Moira Ken Ross is her maiden name. She had been dating Joseph McTaggart prior to meeting Charles Xavier. She left Joseph to become engaged to Charles. Now Joseph being the fine upstanding man that he was, he managed to convince Charles to serve in the military in order to be worthy of Moira.

And while he was gone, he worked slash weasel his way back to her and forced her to break off the engagement after they were married. I’m gonna give you a trigger warning here for sexual abuse and violence. After they were married, Joseph became abusive, and when Moira attempted to run away, he tracked her down, beat her, and sexually assaulted her, leaving her in a coma for a week.

She also became pregnant as a result of this assault, and the child would later become Proteus, and we’ll get to that in just a bit. So she studied genetics and founded a mutant research center on Mu Island off the coast of Scotland, and reconnected with Charles and pushed him to form his own school.

So 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. Which is the story behind Giant X-Men, number one, and the whole introduction of Colossus and Storm and Wolverine and the, the second team of mutants that they were supposedly sent in to rescue the original five.

This was later than found out or essentially a re con couple years later that the team that we know of as the giant size X-men, number one, was actually the second team. Moira’s team was sent in first, but the children were all killed. And then Charles wiped everybody’s mind out of shame because that’s who Charles Xavier is.

I’ve made a terrible mistake. No, I didn’t. I’m gonna make you forget about it.

So she 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. Because if there’s one thing, this world doesn’t have enough of, it’s Scottish Irish relationships. So I wonder if, if Bane is a, a unionist or, you know, is, is he Catholic?

Is he Protestant? Oh, I forget

me. Heavens

man. Really, I’m just trying to have fun with this. So she kept Proteus, her son, her son, she kept him confined at me island to protect the world. But he escaped and she was forced to reveal the truth to the team and to Joseph, who was unaware that he had a son for about 20 years.

She also helped David Haler, Xavier’s son cope with his unstable powers before bringing in Charles and help the two of them reconnect. So then Moira contracts the legacy virus. Dies in an attack on your island that was led by mystique and the brotherhood of Evil mutants. But then a couple of years ago, Jonathan Hickman, as we said, house of X powers of 10, reveals a massive red con Moira, who to this point had been believed to be a baseline human, had been a mutant all along.

Her ability is the power of reincarnation and the ability to recall everything from her previous life, from the moment of conception. So every time she dies, she gets sent back to the womb, but retains everything that she learned in her previous life and that begins to compound itself. So she uses this information to attempt to alter history several times, both siding with and trying to fight against mut.

An encounter with mystique and destiny in her third life reveals that she will only get 10, maybe 11 lives.

Doc Issues: Yeah. So I’m gonna jump in on this one only because I know we talked about already trigger warnings and things like that. I’m not, I’m not doing this for the gore of it because it’s explained with that particular event.

Moira gets killed very slowly and painfully, like really

Anthony: bad, and she gets burned alive and burned to deaths.

Doc Issues: And the reason is because they intentionally want her to have the memory of that.

Anthony: Thanks. Yes. It is literally and figuratively seared into her brain so that she will never, ever forget of. She will never, ever.

What will happen to her if she ever tries to side against mutants again, because Destiny is a preco. So she can foresee the future. And she goes, I know what you’re going to do and if I foresee that you are going to side against us, we will come find you and we will kill you. So Moira is responsible for bringing together Charles and Magni along with Apocalypse and several other mutants to create the nation state, correct.

COA as a haven for mutants, although she is operating behind the scenes. So they rec on her previous death through the legacy virus as that of a shear goum that had been created to fake it. And then she’s kind of. Hidden away. So sheet Charles and Magni established resurrection protocols for all the mutants on CRE coa.

But Moira specifically wants to prevent destiny or any other precognitive mutants from being resurrected less. They discover her or her plans when mystique manages to have destiny resurrected. Anyway, Moira has Emma Frost bought into the fold only for Emma to reveal Moira’s existence to everyone, destiny and mystique.

Then shoot Moira with a mutant removal gun created by Forge, which turns her back into a baseline human, and they exile her from crack coa before she dies. She transfers her mind into the body of an Omega Sentinel. And she is one of the protagonists of the recently completed Axc Judgment Day event where she basically sells Outre Co and mutants to the Eternals as revenge for kicking her out of Thera Co in Paradise that she had essentially created, or that she felt that she was entitled to.

And had helped establish major change to the character over the past four to five years versus everything that had been established in the prior 40. It is a complete sea change. Even in the beginning of the HPO stuff she has written as very much on the side of the mutants and wanting to establish this utopia.

But then the cracks start to form the paranoia sets in, and by the time mystique and destiny show up on the quiet council, it’s all gone to hell in a hand basket and it just gets downhill real fast from there for her and thusly for everyone else. And that really kickstarts her. Her heel turn essentially that sort of solidifies it.

She was a heel behind the scenes, I should say. She was playing face, but that was just an instantaneous heel turn. And as I was reading this, I went, oh, oh, that’s actually brilliant. Yeah, absolutely. That,

Doc Issues: that was, that, that was powerful. Especially since, I’ll be totally honest, Anthony made sure that I had the opportunity to read this and told me to read this.

And I’m glad I did because I was on a completely different bend about the character and I, I had to just change everything on the fly. I mean, by on the fly, I still mean I had days to prepare. But yeah, without that, I’m still thinking the very classic old school Moira, and, and don’t get me wrong, that’s interesting, but woo, it was just

Anthony: different.

Yeah, it absolutely adds so many layers and shades to the character that did not exist before. And again, to your point, doc, not that she was ever one note, but she was a certain character of a certain type in a certain way, and then she got completely rewritten. And now it forces you to go back and examine so many things.

And even within the spo there are journals that reference events that happened. And we’ll get into that a little bit when we get into the issues, but it adds a different view on these events that are still cannon. But now you go, huh, why did this go the way that it did? Now that. That wasn’t how I read it the first time, but now knowing this other information, it completely changes things.

So we might as well just jump right to it. Then let’s get into the issues. So the theme is Groundhog Day Gone Wrong. That’s essentially her life. It’s Groundhog Day over the course of, in some cases centuries in, in one, one or two particular cases, centuries. They walk you through the, the 10 lives of, of Mo McTaggart because the version of the Marvel universe that we’re in now, and at least the the current established haw Pox series is her 10th life that she has spent 10 lifetimes trying to work with Charles, trying to work against Charles, so on and so forth.

There’s so much to it, and Hickman loves his graphics, and there’s this lovely timeframe of each life and where they deviate. And where they where they’re similar and where they deviate. So Janine had some questions and things that she wanted us to discuss for Moira. So the first one she wanted to discuss was the mad scientist archetype.

She says, this is not something you see often with women. It’s usually done with men to be fair. But this one takes an especially heinous turn because she is experimenting on her own kind. And again, we don’t know this if you’re just reading everything prior to dawn of X, but certainly even during dawn X and since then, it really colors a lot of the things that happened previously.

And within the Dawn X story, she is absolutely experimenting on mutants in various ways. All for an end goal that she claims is altruistic but is most assuredly not.

Doc Issues: Yeah. Somehow, I don’t think most of what we learned about would pass institutional review boards for research. You think , clinically there is a lot of regulation regardless of how people think about that in general, in so many other parts of our lives, there’s a reason why we are very careful with what we do with one another.

Consent is a thing at all walks of life, and if you aren’t able to provide consent, then you will have someone that does it for you. And if you don’t have someone that you know or established ahead of time, that does it for you. Then even society at large and almost every major. Organization or nation that I’m aware of will find some way to make it.

So that’s how critical we know this is. So while I, I’m not exactly sure there is truly an analog in the real world in the sense that it’s thankfully uncommon that you get one person that says, I want to run things a certain way so that we know more about people, et cetera, et cetera. There have been plenty of times in history where we, we, we’ve, we’ve done messed up that I’m, I’m cleaning that up.

But what this all points to though is a huge amount of insecurity. The idea that not only are we flawed, but we’re so flawed to the point that we are not acceptable to ourselves. And therefore, anything that we do to change can only be for the better because if we don’t change, we are just going to keep getting worse and worse and worse.

And that’s kind of catastrophizing things, but that’s part of the idea of, if we’re gonna call it mad scientists. I mean, I don’t know if that applies as much when we’re talking about people that are looking to have, I, I’ll put the, positive spin on it, they wanna have certain pharmaceutical availability for different treatments that might be a little earlier than what some agencies would like.

If you have a rare form of cancer and someone says there’s a very slight chance that this will help you, but there’s also a chance that the side effects are dangerous. Most of the time we’re very cautious with giving that, but the person themselves receiving it may just say, well, hell with that. I’ll do whatever I can.

I mean, there’s nothing else for me anyway. So we have to respect that. The problem that Moira comes across is it’s not subtle. It’s not even a matter of another person’s choice. It’s the idea that her goal is so pure and so right, that any challenge to it is in theory and affront to science. And it allows for her to justify anything that she does with the idea that I’m using a platform that we know has advanced humanity

Ironic that I’m saying that that has allowed for more progress than any other technique that we’ve known. You know, the scientific method is something that we have been using for centuries because it works and that’s great, but that doesn’t make it infallible. That doesn’t make it perfect, and it doesn’t give us carte blanche to continue to do what we want, when we want, how we want, regardless of the consequences to the individuals involved, the families that are also affiliated, and the long stream, sorry, the downstream consequences of whatever the original intent was to begin with.

As I’ve said in previous episodes, humans are highly reactive in the short term and terrible planners in the long term, even the smartest and wisest of us. And when you add the idea in and of itself to say, well, let’s just see what happens, then you, you’re gonna end up with way more emotional turmoil if you’re not careful.

Anthony: Yeah, there have been many, many people over the course of human history who feel that they have this grand vision for how things are all going to work out, and that if only we would all just follow their lead. We would be living a happy, blissful lifestyle. And I’m happy to report that every single one of those people is dead or has not achieved their goals.

And if there’s one thing I can say about humanity, it’s that we ain’t gonna tolerate anybody like that for very long. Having said that, there are those among us who will still follow them as long as they feel that they can be on. Right side of the person making those claims. That as long as I’m good, as long as they don’t come after me, yeah, sure you can do what you want.

And of course that’s how you end up with atrocities. But I digress. So the second issue is manipulating the future. And this is not one we’ve often covered, if at all in our 160 plus episodes. Cause there are so few characters we’ve dealt with that have the ability to see or impact the future and or have the longevity to do that.

But this is very much a situation of unintended consequences. Because that’s just the nature of how space time works. Everything impacts everything else, and there is no guarantee that just because you foresee an event happening, that it’s going to happen exactly the way that you want it to. And how do you factor that into your plans?


Doc Issues: and I’m gonna get a little nerdy with this mixing another topic that I like because it’s come up recently and it’s, oh boy, I have to be careful. This is not meant to be political in any way, but so behavioral economics, it is something that is, is relatively recent within the past few decades. But it points to the idea that rather than humans being totally rational and always doing exactly what is the best thing for them as individuals, which is what economic says, we don’t, we have emotions, we have impulses, we have other incentives that make us do things that may on the surface appear irrational.

But once you get down to the details of it, they make sense. The reason I’m bringing this up is because what we often do is we think ahead of time that what we’re doing now is the right thing and will continue to be the right thing if the same situation comes up again and on the surface, that kind of sorta makes sense the problem.

We’re not making decisions in a vacuum and we’re not making decisions on a perfectly wrote timeline where all factors are always the same at every point in existence. What does this mean? This means that if you have, let’s say, you know one person that you work with and every morning they come in, you know their routine, they have their coffee, they know they have their 10:00 AM meeting.

You know that that ticks them off. And so in order to cheer them up, you make the same wise crack comment and you see them laugh a little bit and you know that you brighten their day. Let’s just say one day they come in, they do their exact routine, the exact same way. You make that comment and instead they give you the stink eye and it’s like, well, what’s their problem?

And then, You start racking your brain over everything that’s just happened, then you think, oh my goodness, I, I really offended them. They’re mad at me. They’re gonna report me to the boss. You’re going down this rabbit hole of everything that you did. Meanwhile, what you don’t know is that that person got into a car accident earlier that morning and they were just grumpy about it because that’s what was on their mind.

And you happen to have an interaction with them. They don’t even know what you said or did, even if it was the same thing you always did, and they haven’t internalized it at all. It has nothing to do with you. You know, it’s, it’s the fact that we create narratives for ourselves. We tell ourselves the stories as to what’s important and what’s not, and then we make assumptions that everybody else is automatically going along with it.

There. And I’m, I’m saying this to some people that may not have heard this, this way. There is. Truth to that there is no reality that says that everybody is going along with exactly how you view reality at the exact same time. There is no guarantee of that. And so the expectation that that’s why people are acting the way they are, because you of your input or what you did, while you may very well have an influence, you don’t have as much power as you think you do usually.

So that’s something that for some people is actually freeing because some people feel like they do have an overwhelming responsibility with every decision they make, be it big or small. Now, let’s take the other side. There are some people that may not recognize the impact that their behaviors are having on those around them that end up in this cascade that lead to results that you didn’t expect.

And usually those end up in like. You know, romcom movies or things with people doing random things and just saying like, oh wow, if that hadn’t happened in the first place, then I guess they would’ve never met. Okay. That’s the lighthearted side. Of course, there’s always the other side that, and, and once again, some people may need to hear this.

Yes. How you do interact with people is important and yes, recognizing and taking the time to acknowledge that just because you had a bad moment, that doesn’t mean you have to spread that bad moment to other people because yes, you do have some level of influence. It may not be as large as you think, but it still is there.

And the point I’m making with that is not necessarily saying that the fact that you got ticked off at one random stranger in line at a store had. Direct impact on that one person. Maybe it didn’t, but maybe that person’s reaction when they got home and then talked to their family or didn’t talk to their family because they felt frustrated, then impacts the children that they were supposed to be playing with, that they didn’t.

And now the children are wondering what’s wrong, and then they start internalizing the idea that when something’s wrong in the house, it’s my fault. And then they start developing anxiety over the course of several days because they never got it resolved because nobody decided to talk about it because other things were happening at the same time.

This is all a very complex interaction, and I’m not pretending to say that any one professional or person is meant to solve it or unravel it. That’s, that’s not really what I’m getting at. What I’m saying is the mindfulness and idea that you can have some small impacts over the course of your lifetime.

With each interaction you have is way more vital than sometimes the big things that we think about that are so impactful. Now, is that directly addressing the issue of manipulating the future? Maybe not intentionally because, no, I don’t think for the most part, I, I know we plan, we, we always plan. But the old saying is, you know, if you want the universe to laugh at you make a plan.

It’s the idea that yes, there are things in life that matter. It’s just that sometimes we focus so much on the big things when in reality it’s an accumulation of the small things that actually do.

Anthony: And that’s why we do our part here on this show by not really planning a whole lot

because in the end it’s not gonna make much of a difference. Anyway. ,

Doc Issues: well wait, wait. Okay. So there’s a great call. It’s, it’s by You know, president Eisenhower, a plan is useless. Planning is indispensable. So it’s the process, not the actual final thing, quote

Anthony: unquote. Yep. Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the mouth.


Doc Issues: Tyson, eh? Mm-hmm. .

Anthony: I had to be tongue in cheek there, just because based on everything that we were discussing and based on what our listeners know of this show, you get that idea. So the third issue, and this is not one that Janine had suggested, this is one that I came up with. She imprisoned her own son.

Now, this was bad enough when it happened. The Hickman revamp reveals that. Entire impregnation of the child was purely for scientific purposes. She describes in one of her diary entries that she and Charles need to both have babies to basically propagate these, these new types of mutants that will help her in this eventual end game scheme that she has.

And of course, Xavier ends up having David Haler and Moira has, Proteus. Both of these children have extensive mutant abilities and are also also wildly unstable. Seems to be a recurring pattern, but the notion that even before all of. She still imprisoned him for 20 years on Mu Island, just so she could keep tabs on him so that he wouldn’t break out, so that he wouldn’t break havoc.

She kept his very existence a secret from his father before her full heel turn. This was still a really, really bad decision on Moiras Park.

Doc Issues: So I think this goes towards the idea of institutionalization. This is painful. So we all know that there is a wide range of what’s considered normal or normative.

Heaven forbid you have a child that doesn’t quite fit that mold, what you decide to do as parents. And anyone that’s listened to this show knows that we’re not prescriptive. We don’t just automatically say, okay, do this, this, this, and this and that. That’s how you have great kids, or whatever. That, that’s, that’s not what we do.

Having said that, there’s some guardrails to this. If you have a child that has, let’s bring it to the real world, has significant disabilities, significant limitations, be it physically, mentally some emotional disturbances, whatever it is, I’m going to take the high road and I’m going to say that parents usually try to act in the best interests of their child for the sake of safety and protection and all of that, but there can be the possibility of going too far.

Not allowing a child a form of expression, the development of language. And what I mean by that, I’m not just talking written word. I’m actually talking about their, their actions, their understanding of your response to what they’re doing, the development of a connection so that they don’t think the world is something that’s completely alien and foreign.

And, and they don’t even get the chance to understand what else is happening. Even if they have limited understanding of it, fine, maximize it. Otherwise, what you’re setting up is a whole problem when I hate to sound so, so, so morbid about it, but the idea that parents are not going to be there indefinitely.

Children become adults whether you want them to or not, and. If they have certain needs that are going to be a concern as they get older, then yes, you need to have a system in place on how to address those needs. But you do not shun them until the very last moment. And then when things break down, find the closest emergency service or the police and say, here, deal with it.

And I’m not saying that to be pejorative. I’m saying that from experience. We have cases like this come to our hospital because it’s clear that nothing else has worked. But unfortunately, as we start peeling back the layers, we realize nothing had really been done in the first place. Thankfully, that’s uncommon.

I’ll say that. But it, it does happen. And, and more was technique, if you can call it that is, is certainly. Fitting in that line. And it’s painful because not just the events themselves, let’s call it what it is, the abuse, the neglect, all of that. It’s that we can’t recreate those opportunities.

Obviously, we’re going to meet the person where they are now, but that’s, that’s a lot of, that’s a lot of time cost. That’s a lot of time lost. And it’s not fair. It’s not just but like I said, those are the extremes and thankfully, while I’ll admit there’s probably a hidden side to it that happens more often than we would like.

I also know that as time goes on, as we learn more, as people have spoken up, more than, than I think we’re on the right track now to make this much lighter. I’m gonna end on a different note. And no, this isn’t directly related to the topic itself. I just think it’s a really funny thing. So when it comes to the idea of parenting and how things can go and how sometimes you think you’re a great parent and you’re doing things the right way, or if you think you’re not a great parent and you don’t know what to do, either way, you’re, you could have fun with this, look up a YouTube clip.

I hope it’s still there, but I, I at least remember the name of the comedian. He’s a, he’s a uk you know, a British comedian named ROEs Ron, and it talks about how he has three kids. But his point is, I have no idea how he had the third one because the first two were so completely different. The first one was so perfect and they were giving themselves such great credit.

They were patting themselves on the back. Oh, well, it’s about setting limits and, you know, having personal. And he describes the second one as feral and all the things that that would happen and just, you know, the experimentation, not by the parents, but by the child in terms of what can they get away with.

So the whole point of it is, yes, I was just talking about a heavy topic. For those that are worried, no, I am not calling you out. Okay? As a parent, you’re doing the best you can. Please continue to do the best you can, and if you do think that there’s something that you can work on or you have questions, it’s okay to talk to someone.

That’s all you know. And obviously for those of you, if you are in more serious situations, then please, as we always say in the bumpers, you know, you are not alone and help is out there.


Anthony: true, very well stated. I will say that keeping with the tongue in cheek nature, that. The running joke slash statement in my family is always that the firstborn child is wonderful and easygoing, and that is God slash the universe’s way of tricking you into having more. And then the second child comes along and they are the heian and the difficult one, the rabble rouser, whatever the case may be.

And of course, I can say this as the older sibling, my wife is also the oldest. And it’s just interesting to see how there’s no obviously scientific truth to that whatsoever. There’s no real way of saying the first child is easy and the second child is a pain. It’s all anecdotal, but it is indicative.

In many cases, and we’ve talked about this on the show many, many times ourselves, you can have siblings raise in the same house by the same set of parents and then completely different people. And some of that is perhaps inbred the whole nature scenario. Some of that is the environment in which they grow up and it’s nurture.

We don’t know how much is contributed to each. But in any event, back to Moira and the way that she treated her son, it was at least explained in universe as, oh, he was dangerous and his power set. And I tried to work with him, but he just got so full of himself and I knew I couldn’t let him out. Because otherwise it would wreak, hav a destruction upon the planet.

But still, You had Charles as a contact for all those years. You could have had him step in maybe a little sooner and try and work with the boy at least a little less of a heavy hand. Maybe just spitballing here. So in a case, we’re gonna take a break. We’re gonna plug a couple shows, and when we get back we will get into treatment.

And we’re back. So treatment

starting as we always do with in universe. I am very curious to see where you’re gonna go with this, because Miles spoiler alert for the skit, given that Moira’s lived 10 lifetimes, she’s kind of seen it all. She’s not really gonna be surprised by anything that you’re gonna pull or attempt. So yeah,

Doc Issues: that’s cuz I’m not gonna pull or attempt anything.

I recognize that she has a certain level of control. What I would do is, is way more philosophical and introspective and one that’s this, what I’m about to say is now just gonna be in the ether because none of you are ever gonna know it. And only Anthony does. This is great. I had something that I said that is just not gonna be said.

So that’s, you know, that’s not gonna be the treatment. So at this point, I, I hope everybody’s puzzled. No. What I’m thinking is if you are able to carry through because of your mutant ability, multiple lifetimes of experience. From conception. There’s a lot of stuff that happens in utero where you’re not doing anything, you can’t do anything, you’re just keeping alive thanks to your mother.

So my point is, I would like to think that that doesn’t have to be so much a, how do I put this adult time? I know that we’ve had plenty of research about how music can help during pregnancy and talking to a child, all that stuff.

Of course it would need some help from other people. You know, you would either need some precog or, or time traveler or whatever. I’m saying you can do that on such a larger level. You wanna talk about books on tape audio? Well, now I’m dating myself, audio books, but that again, depends on when this all happens.

You wanna talk about college level lectures, you wanna talk about being able to learn the classics, all of the knowledge of mankind. So rather than being so singular or focused that you worry about what happens to mutants and humans and all of that, and the judgment ahead of time and wondering where your role is and, and developing this, this narcissism and, and all that stuff that ends up happening.

You could be the Renaissance woman, you could take advantage as. Bill Murray’s character did in Groundhog Day, and you could branch out into so many other things unrelated to that, because there is plenty of research to show that if you wanna get better in the thing that you’re focused on, do other things that aren’t focused on it.

And I think that’s what’s been missing from Moira for a long, long time. Stop worrying so much about the genetics. Stop worrying about mutants versus humans and all that stuff. God’s sake woman. Learn how to write an opera or something. You know, just do something to expand your mind beyond that area and maybe just, maybe you won’t end up being some sort of, mutant killing cyborg thing, just.

Anthony: I forget if at any point in any of the lives she attempted to try and slow roll it and just focus on the knowledge accumulation aspect of it. Again, 10 lives. There was a lot there, and I don’t remember everything from each of the lives. Like I said, I know, yeah, she, she played the hero, she played the villain, right.

But see

Doc Issues: the everything between, right. But for the sake of comics, the way it’s written, she’s doing it all for that one purpose. And my point is, stop that. Get away from that. As a matter of fact, there are a lot of high level people when it comes to being in their own field, where some of the best advice that they’ll get from their therapist is, my goodness, you need to just do something in a different lane, please.

And magically, because their brain is now doing other things that allow for the neuroplasticity to really kick. It’s like, wow, I’m doing better at my primary thing. How’d that happen? Well eat. Yeah. That’s the whole point of development. But, and, and I’m not gonna get on a soapbox about it, but that’s true for a lot of

Anthony: people just saying, fair enough.

Yeah. Just get a hobby, something, something different. Now, out of universe, I’m really pondering. She’s got the God complex. She has the guilt from everything that she did, supposedly guilt, everything that she did with her son. She’s got the experimentation and

she’s disassociated from humanity. On an individual level because she’s so focused on the grand scheme of things that I think this real world analog would have difficulty interacting in a one-on-one or in a small group interpersonal relationships. So I’m trying to come up with these things because obviously the power set is such a huge part of it that to take it out of that and go real world is a complete shift of the the person.

But I also don’t wanna say, let’s focus on who Moira was before the Hickman run, because it’s a complete change of the person.

Doc Issues: So, believe it or not, it’s, I know this seems like one, like, oh my goodness, how do we struggle to come up with someone? No, I, I actually had this one once I read that Hickman run, it’s a person that’s been a serial foster parent.

I’ll tell you what I mean by that. Foster parents can be some of the greatest people in the world because it’s clear that they’re motivated to take care of children that otherwise would have difficulty finding the support on their own. Having said that, what ends up happening with some foster parents is that they become desensitized to some of the traumas that the children themselves may have experienced, or they end up, for one reason or another, incorporating their own trauma into how they’ve been handling the children that they’ve been caring for all those years.

Now, this may be as a part of what they consider to be their calling, so they do make it their career, or it can be the offshoot of having a very high powered, high stress career where they want to at least feel like they’re doing some other good in the world rather than just focusing on that other thing that doesn’t quite give them that sense of accomplishment, even if they’re accomplished in their job or, or what have you. In those cases, once in a while there may be accusations of abuse. It doesn’t necessarily have to be that the child was abused. It’s just that even the suspicion that it has happened leads to a level of scrutiny that can create increased emotional stress for the person.

So this is not as uncommon as we think. And the reason why I say that relates, how does that relate to, to Moira’s Power set? Well, it’s because, like I said, it’s one thing to see a child grow up. It’s another thing to take a person that has already started to develop their own sense of their personality and timeline and jump in at that point and say, by the way, I’m responsible for all of this now. That takes a special person because that takes a lot of energy, but also, You have to be pretty self confident to, to think that you can step in and, and either change the trajectory for the better, or at least continue a trajectory that you consider to be positive. So with all that being said, how would I treat a person like that?

Well, first, just coming from a sense of understanding. I hate to be base about it, but if I get the sense that the person is just in it for the check, then I do my best to point out to them that, okay, maybe this is the last time you, you get involved in that. And by the way, it doesn’t even necessarily have to be foster stuff.

You could be volunteering at an animal shelter or something. The point is, you’re doing something that you consider to be this ultimate altruistic thing, and yet the people around you are trying to point out things aren’t going as hot as you think they are, and as much good as you’re saying you’re doing, it’s either emotionally burning you out or you like you just need to take a step back.

And they may not take that well from the people around them, and they may need a counselor, therapist, or other mental health professional to let them know that and do that in a way that’s not judgemental. So it allows them to create the space necessary to heal from whatever’s happened that has led to whatever you wanna call it, if you wanna call it burnout, if it’s truly dissociation, where you really just can’t connect with people anymore, whatever terms you want to use for it.

The focus then is trying to reestablish what was the original goal? Why did you get into this in the first place? Why were you doing this? Why were you so focused at the expense of everything else that you allowed for this emotional dysregulation to happen? Not accusational, just from a standpoint that the person knows that they’re being heard and they’re being seen.

They may not. Have the language to explain why they’re doing what they’re doing. And they may consider it an affront to them, like as, as a challenge and, they may want to fight about it. Our job is not to fight back. Our job is just to, you know, be a solid pillar of understanding to be a sounding board and to provide the type of feedback and alternatives that hopefully the person will take at some convenient ratio.

And what I mean is for every, I’ll say five to one, for every five examples of some different way to handle things, they’ll try one. And I would consider that to be a success. And obviously monitoring over time to make sure that there is some level of progress and that no one’s getting. Because sometimes, as you know, if we want to go with the mad scientist thing, sometimes people will say like, yeah, that sounds great.

I’m gonna change everything right now within the next hour. And they go home and they say to the family, Hey, guess what? Everything’s about to change around here. And it’s like, I’m a whole new person. I’m like, well, oh, oh God, don’t do that . But, but some people are, are very gung-ho about those things. And then they don’t understand why the rest of the family thinks that they have.

Just, you know, sorry for the colloquialism like, have you completely lost your mind? And then they come back and they complain to the therapist, see what you told me didn’t work. Like, well, that’s, that’s not the intention. . And once again, not saying this a hypothetical, it’s definitely happened to me.

And it’s not fun. But the good news is as long as you have developed the appropriate rapport it does

Anthony: get better.

Yeah, it’s, it’s a lot. And I can imagine that on your end, it is not easy to cope with someone who’s gone through everything as we’ve described. And from your perspective, I think you even said this at one point just take it incrementally, just bit by bit by bit because the change isn’t gonna come overnight for you or them.

And any expectation that it would is delusional. I can say that I’m not the professional. It’s a lot to take because they didn’t get this way overnight. You can’t address it overnight. It’s the thing I always hear that with, when people are talking about trying to lose weight, they’re like, we didn’t gain the weight overnight.

You’re not gonna lose it overnight. So don’t expect the miracle turnaround. So very, very wise, wise counsel there. So when we get more MacTaggart on Dr.

Issues’ couch.

Doc Issues: Hello, Dr. McTaggart. I’m Dr. Shoes.

Anthony: Going for the formal helps with the disassociation. I see.

Doc Issues: So do you prefer Moira

Anthony: or don’t be dense, doc, it’s beneath you.

Doc Issues: 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.

Anthony: That’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 Issues: Done what exactly?

Anthony: All of this. The analysis, the prodding, experimentation, incarceration, exploitation, isolation. Incineration.

Doc Issues: Well,

Anthony: objectification deviation.

Doc Issues: Dr. McTaggart.

Anthony: Oh, discrimination. Can’t forget.

Doc Issues: Can, can we please move on in

Anthony: Infantilization,

Doc Issues: you’ve made your point.

Anthony: I wanted to see how long I could keep it up.

Doc Issues: Oh, believe me, I would listen to you all day if I didn’t have any 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, and no, that’s not a shot at any group of people. If you’re gonna try and exploit that comment or

Anthony: 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 just listened to me, we could have had such an easy go of things, but no matter how many times it’s, sorry, 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 Issues: 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 incentive of others. So they’re disinterested. Antagonistic, even projective identification.

Anthony: 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. 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. Hopeless optimists like Charles, who believe in a harmony that will never exist or war mongers 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 Issues: Fatalism next,

Anthony: oversimplification. Next.

Doc Issues: It’s not my fault if you collapse all 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?

Anthony: There are no words in English, crack or any other form of communication on this planet that could define what I have gone through.

Doc Issues: Then stop using those languages. You get to make your own definitions. You’re too smart to get bogged down in existentialism. You know, I, I get that, but you cut too much meat off the bone. That’s a flavorless existence.

Anthony: Mixed metaphors. You ought to be ashamed of yourself, doctor

Doc Issues: Deflection, good one.

Anthony: And what is your role in all of this? You play along with the heroes, diluting yourself into believing, you’re helping, making things better. All in service is some greater good that does not exist. And all the while the world hurts us towards its inevitable extinction. You are, you are so out of your element. It defies explanation.

Doc Issues: Ad hominem attack.

Nice. Almost through in nihilism, but not quite.

Anthony: Oh, now look, who’s talking about

Doc Issues: Condescension. I’ll be a juvenile.

Anthony: That’s not really what I’m talking about.

Doc Issues: But where are the, the emotional overtones? Where’s rage? No, no, no, no. You’re too intellectual for that. Bombast. Bombast. That’s the word.

Anthony: Are you daft.

Doc Issues: No, no, no, no, no. We already covered that. Oh man. I wish I had one of my professors here. You know, we keep going longer, but yeah. See at this point, you’re not helping.

Anthony: This is outrageous. Stop it.

Doc Issues: Got it. Premeditated victimization. That’s the new term. You created it yourself. You know, you, you live your life solely for the purpose of your own martyrdom, like, like a, a bastardized phoenix.

Anthony: How dare you compare me to that thing. I am not some want and 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 just further proves how inadequate your conception of my plans and the whole world as even, even for someone who’s lived a multitude of lives, I have wasted so much time speaking with you.

Doc Issues: Your choice, right? And, and to clarify my stance on your metaphor, I do think you know how to hold a scalpel. I’m just not accustomed to someone so willingly holding the belly of the blade and the palm of their hand and then complaining to the world that they don’t appreciate the bloodshed.

Anthony: As any woman will tell you, that requires bloodshed. I’ve not shyed away from it. That’s simply an objective assessment of the situation.

Doc Issues: Oh, I agree. It’s objectification as you said earlier. All right. I mean, I know that’s not what you actually said, but I had to give my objective assessment of your objective assessment. You see,

Anthony: I’m no longer entertained by this game. We’re done here.

Doc Issues: Sorry. You considered this a game after all. I thought you make the rules.

Anthony: I do. And one of the key suppression is slight of hand Orcus. That should have been enough time. You can take me out now. But you mean you couldn’t hack the system?.

Doc Issues: Who are you?

Anthony: I don’t care if Mystique couldn’t get it. She didn’t have your, our resources. This entire mission is a failure. I will have your hide when I return.

Doc Issues: What?

Anthony: I will see you again, doctor in this lifetime.

I needed to throw in just a little bit of the Scottish accent but not over the top because when she was first written, the way that they wrote her dialogue was over the top with the can I, and they wrote her like a stereotype like that, sort of over the top with a Scottish accent and everything .

But I also didn’t wanna completely ignore it cuz the way that she’s been written in the Hickman run. They don’t write her dialogue with a Scottish flare. But I also didn’t wanna just completely neglect 40 years of the character. What I did neglect to mention during the background, and it’s a very important thing that I literally just occurred to me right after we finished recording the skit is Moira’s end game is not the peaceful, harmonious existence of mutant and man, it is the curing of mutant kind so that no one else has to suffer like she did because she has endured so much over her lifetime’s, plural, that she abhors the very idea of mutants.

And so underpinning all of this, and one of the reasons why Destiny and Myst. Are so keen on stopping her is because her ultimate end game is the elimination of all mutants, and that is such a key part of her character. And I feel that it was very important that at least before the episode ended that I mentioned that even if it wasn’t included in the background, the description or the analysis of the issues, but is to one of those things while I was writing, it slipped my mind.

And as we were finishing up the skit, I said, son of a bitch, she’s a self hating mutant. She wants them all gone. We didn’t even address that. So maybe that’ll be for a future episode. , who knows? Listen, we make things, we make mistakes, and you know what? Now that we learn, Now we’re gonna go back to the very beginning of the episode and we’re going to do it right the second time around and you won’t notice the difference.

And the only ones who will notice is me and Doc, just like Moira. So recommended Reading Naturally is the Crico age of the X-Men, starting with Hox Box and then delving into the dawn of X storyline. I say it’s only about three years worth of stories, three to four years worth of stories. That’s still a lot of comics, but to be fair, it’s something you can catch up on.

If you have Marvel Unlimited, you can read them over the course of a couple of weeks as opposed to trying to read up on, say, the entire 40 year history of Moira McTaggart prior to that, which will take you a really, really long time. You can get the new stuff in a couple of weeks, maybe two months if you’re pretty.

Consistent reading. So anyway, that’s my suggestion for the recommended reading. Next episodes Gladiator, Raven and Aquaman and Aquaman is going to be the last episode of the year. We are going to take our seasonal break as we always do right around the holidays. Doc and I will be recording stuff during the break so that when we come back in January with the new episodes, we will have more of a buffer as we started off this season with like a three episode buffer and now we’re recording like week before we release.

Cause you know, that’s just how things work. But we’ll get that buffer back. In the meantime, you can follow us on social media, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and TikTok at capes on the couch. You can go to our website, capes on the, which. Well, I say we, I recently revamped, I changed the theme. I’m still in the process of tweaking it cuz there’s still some things I’m not overly enamored with.

But as I don’t fully understand WordPress, it’s difficult for me to get to make what is in my head and what I want the website to look like. Actually look like it. The days of coding and HTML that I knew from MySpace and being a child that, grew up with technology in the late nineties, that’s all gone.

It’s so different now. I don’t remember. But in any case, go to the website, Cape on the It’s got all of our episodes on there in case you’ve missed anything. And you can also go to on the couch and subscribe at the one three and $5 level and special announcement for our patrons.

With respect to my fundraiser, if you are a patron and you make a donation, I will match and double your donation for my extra life fundraiser. And if you are a new subscriber to Patreon between now and December 18th at the one, three or $5 level, I will triple your your level and donate that with my own money towards the fundraiser.

That’s a little incentive for you to sign up for our Patreon or if you are already a Patreon and we greatly appreciate your financial support. This goes to charity, so like I said, if you are an existing patron and you donate, I will match and double your donation. And if you sign up for, for Patreon, I will triple your level and donate towards a fundraiser.

So Kate, who’s already a patron, she sent us 25 bucks. I’ll be throwing 50 bucks towards that. I’ll do it. In one lump sum towards the end. This way I’m not constantly just upping the, the amounts, but in any case that’s just a little announcement. And I think that’s about gonna do it for me. So Doc,

Doc Issues: so just to let you guys know, the word Moira in ancient Greek meant fate.

So what I’m about to say is very important. Learn from the lives of Moyra McTaggart, lest you end up an embittered braggart.

Anthony: Wow, a rhyme. I don’t remember the last time you rhymed. And an episode. Well done, doc, well done. For doc issues, I’m Anthony Sitko. Thanks for listening. We’ll see you next week.

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