Disclaimer: It’s quite awful that I got my story arc order messed up so I have to re-organize them in my head as I read along. As such, arc posts won’t be in the proper chronological order. I apologize.
First up, House of M.
Initially, the only thing I knew about the House of M was Scarlet Witch’s infamous line, “No more mutants”, which, due to her reality altering powers and slightly demented psyche, practically wiped out the mutant population. In my attempts to find the comic book issue where said three words were uttered, I decided to read the whole thing. Apparently, my days of waiting for the torrent download to finish was worth it.
So as I’ve said, House of M (or House of Magnus) is a storyline dedicated on Magneto and his crazy kin, namely Wanda Maximoff (Scarlet Witch) and Pietro Maximoff (Quicksilver). With Wanda being the unstable woman that she is, the Avengers and the X-Men decide what to do with her. Currently, there are two options. One, courtesy of Captain America, is to wait it out and think of something. Two, kill her. This latter idea was proposed, of course, by none other than Emma Frost who was being her usual diamond-hearted self. To be fair, Frost’s idea is sensible; Wanda is too dangerous given her current situation. But of course, the Captain disagrees given the fact that first, Wanda is an Avenger and as such, it is “their call”. And second, which will also prove detrimental in Civil War, is Captain’s set of morals. While all this is happening, Wanda goes missing and then all kinds of sh*t happen.
At this point, a search ensues and the whole story becomes a “What If?” arc. Every superhero present sees a brilliant white light (Don’t go into the light!) and they wake up in a totally different reality where mutants are the dominant species and humans are the oppressed. Basically, a mutant utopia. Also, Peter Parker is bald. I have to admit I still can’t process this fact.
And as with all utopias, they cannot exist. Through a series of complicated events which primarily involve Wolverine (who else) and the mysterious–but powerful–telepath Layla Miller, the reality that was House of M was brought down, the truth was revealed, and finally, FINALLY, the Scarlet Witch said the three words that would forever change the face of mutantdom: No more mutants.
For all its complexity, I loved reading through House of M. There were some emotionally-charged scenes not only between Pietro and Erik but amongst the other characters as well. I guess what makes M different is that it’s not just about war and discrimination. It’s about trying to keep an already fractured family together. It’s about the ramifications of being a mutant. Normally, we see how mutants fight for their rights, or protect people. But rarely do we zoom in on one character and look at how being a mutant has affected his or her existence. Well, Wanda’s case is quite extreme and she affected lots of realities, but that is precisely the point. Our usual reaction to having powers is that it’s so cool but we usually don’t look at its dark side, so to speak.
House of M is such an important arc in the Marvel universe in the sense that its effect was not just a ripple. It was a wave. It practically changed the whole landscape of Marvel after that point. And I think, the way the story was delivered–the dialogue, the art, pacing, everything–gave justice to its importance. House of M was a turning point. And as with any good book, there was this emptiness after finishing such a great read.