First appearance: X-Men #104 (April, 1977)
History: Muir Island is a small, island off of the northern coast of Scotland. Muir Island's significance stems from the fact that it is the home of Earth's largest and most comprehensive mutant research complex, the Mutant Research Center, founded by Dr. Moira MacTaggert. Originally, she created the facility to help her son, Kevin (a.k.a. Proteus), an extremely powerful and destructive mutant.
Agreeing with Charles
Xavier's dream of peaceful coexistence between mutants and humans, Moira
MacTaggert and Xavier turned her father's private island, Muir Island,
into a world-class research facility for genetic mutations. She also
created facilities that could house mutants whose powers were
uncontrollable and/or dangerous to humanity, in hopes to cure them both
physically and socially. Xavier went on to create the X-Men, but he
often referred mutants to Moira's care, such as his own son, David
Haller (Legion) and Jaime Madrox (the Multiple Man.) Moira had long kept
her own son, Kevin, contained there, for his powers were too dangerous
to be loosed. Magneto was also referred there, during the time the alien
Stranger had devolved the Brotherhood of Mutants to infancy.
The X-Men first visited Muir
Island when their enemy Eric the Red restored and freed Magneto, who
proceeded to demolish the facility. The X-Men realized Magneto was being
used as a distraction and fled, allowing Magneto to escape. Moira
returned to the X-Men's headquarters, leaving Madrox and Havok to help
repair the labs. She returned with Banshee when he had first burnt out
his powers, and soon after, the X-Men had to return to face Moira’s son,
now Proteus, who had escaped to threaten reality.
Rebuilding the facilities, Moira
rededicated herself to full-time research, rarely leaving the Island.
Over time, she offered sanctuary for Wolfsbane as well as for the X-Men
and Morlocks wounded in an attack by the Marauders.
Soon afterward, the evil,
disembodied Shadow King turned his attention to Muir Island. Gradually,
he began to take mental possession of the entire island facility,
including Moira MacTaggert and the mutants interned and hospitalized
there. The Shadow King, through Moira, created a gladiator-like arena
where the mutants could fight amongst themselves. About the same time,
the X-Men were once again believed to have died, and the Shadow
King-influenced Moira formed a band of interim X-Men with Muir Island’s
mutants. The X-Men eventually reorganized and investigated the strange
happenings on Muir Island, ousting the Shadow King with the help of
When the original Excalibur was
suffering a crisis of membership, several of their number joined the
X-Men in a fight against the Acolytes on Muir Island. Afterward, the
members of Excalibur asked if they could be based there, acting as an
extension of Moira MacTaggert's work at the research facility as well as
a force to fight against superpowered menaces. Excalibur remained based
on Muir Island for all their subsequent adventures, although the team
eventually disbanded when Captain Britain and Meggan were married months
During this time, Moira
dedicated the majority of Muir Island’s resources to finding a cure
against the deadly Legacy Virus. Eventually, however, the island was
targeted by the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants, who wanted to use a strain
of the Legacy Virus to attack humans. A number of X-Men tried to prevent
this, but failed. Moira MacTaggert suffered mortal wounds during the
attack, finally discovering the secret of the cure in her dying moments.
The fate of Muir Island upon Moira’s death remains unrevealed.
Fun Facts: In the second X-Men movie, X2, Stryker's computer displays a desktop folder labeled "Muir Island". In a scene of the third X-Men movie, X-Men: The Last Stand, Professor X shows a video of Moira MacTaggert on Muir Island.