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Marvel: House of M

I forgot about all the posturing in superhero comics; it is so funny. It took me a few pages to get the reading order straight. After years of reading manga I couldn’t follow the bubbles; at first it was funny, but then it was a headache.

Initial reaction after only a few pages.

Yes, it can be devastating for a mother to lose her children. Yes, anger and depression can a impact her ability to make rational decisions. Yes, the torment of her reality can take her to a point from which she is unable to return. But this is also possible for a man. However, I can’t see the comic world being okay with a man having a breakdown and scrambling the universe because he’s essentially sterile. Family slaughtered? Yes. Got fired? Yes. Got dumped? Yes. Teased? Yes. Taken lightly? Yes. Superiority complex? Yes. Granted, I’m just passing through after a long absence, so I could be very wrong, but I’m not aware of any male trouble makers who made trouble because they were unable to produce offspring. I say sterile because, although it was never said, to my knowledge anyway, that her womb was barren, her husband, the love of her life, was Vision, an android, so I assume she only wanted to have children with him. I don’t think she tried with Wonder Man.

Yeah, about that. The other problem is that Scarlet Witch “realized” her twins because her husband was a bucket of bolts. So, with her reality altering powers, why could’t she rewind, undo, or redo reality so that she could get her twins back… before she cracked?

So, the rest of the story aside, having Scarlet Witch, who has one of the most incredible powers, go off the deep end (and take everyone with her) because of an aspect of life traditionally associated with women reads like “women shouldn’t be in power because they’re too emotional.”

The art.

As I turned the pages, it was like an awkward high school reunion. Familiar names and powers, but the two did not always meet with my recollections. And the stances. Are you even comfortable like that? For both men and women, their chest sticks out so far that it will enter a room five minutes before they do. I just wanted to stick a pin in them to see if they’d deflate.

{Marvel} House of M--04

I didn’t like Xavier’s face. I’m not too keen on the art style as a whole—big face, small features; they all look like they’re constipated—but particularly Xavier’s face. They need to decide on a chin width and stick to it. But the close-ups were very good.

Wolverine, too. It’s like they couldn’t decide which animal’s likeness he should take on: canine, feline, or simian.

This might be my favorite page:

{Marvel} House of M--03

The story.

Basically, Scarlet Witch cracked and gave everyone a new reality, one in which the hierarchy was: mutant, supers, norms. The mutants were in power and the norms were on the decline. Most of them got their heart’s desire. For example, Uncle Ben was alive and well. However, Wolverine was the only one who knew of another reality. The rest of the story is Wolverine tracking down people and with a little help from some mysteriously enlightened friends, enlightening them. And then, all of the enlightened looking for Xavier and Wanda to put things back the way they were. I know this came first, but I am reminded of the TV series Once Upon a Time.

I suppose anything is possible. Professor X is with the Avengers and not the X-Men? And had no intention of working with them again? I had to read that several times just to make sure I got that right. I realize this part of the legacy of a related series, but I was a little heartbroken.

I’m glad they used discretion when returning some supers and mutants to their senses and left Steve Rogers, who had never been frozen in the House of M reality and was an old man, alone.

The story didn’t really get my attention until issue #4. I liked that everyone wasn’t immediately on board with the whole “this is not your reality” thing. Hawkeye and Spidey took it especially hard. Xavier was M.I.A. for the rest of the story even when Wanda changed the world back. That in itself was a double-edged sword.

Spider-Man was full of sass, but still emotionally vulnerable; that was good. Wolverine was grouchy as usual, but everyone else was sort of enh. Well, there was the girl, whose hesitation about doing her thing was totally appropriate for her age and lack of experience.

Dismissing the catalyst for the House of M, I think the story was pretty good. Or it might be better to say that the premise was good and the execution was readable. I wasn’t bored, but I wasn’t excited either. One thing I did like was the idea and the inclusion of The Pulse, the in-story news publication. Some of the articles piqued my interest enough that I wouldn’t mind reading the series they were promoting, others were just interesting because of the format and having a wider view of the world.

From about issue #6 on, even continuing into my thoughts about what takes place in the restored universe after issue#8, this song just kept playing in my head.

This wasn’t the most provocative return to superhero comics, but I think I’ll hang around for a while longer.

{Marvel} House of M-02

Emma, that’s not a pop tart.

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