124 of 131 people found the following review helpful
on February 10, 2006
Alternate realities and other worlds are nothing new in the world of comic books. DC has the multiverse, where an infinite number of Earths exist, each with parallel versions of Superman, Batman, and all of the other major players in the world of DC comics. Marvel has the Ultimate universe, which serves as a way to retell the classic stories in a separate, but parallel world to the 616 universe, which is the "normal" Marvel world. There was also the Age of Apocalypse miniseries, in which Apocalyspe, in an altered reality, controlled the world, and Magneto was the leader of the X-Men. However, in most alternate reality storylines, the ending seemed to undo everything. The characters remembered nothing of the other world when things went back to normal. Such is not the case in House of M.
Wanda Maximoff, also known as Scarlet Witch, is the daughter of Magneto. She and her brother Pietro, also known as Quicksilver, are mutants, and thus have lived a life of oppression at the hands of humans. It doesn't help that their father is a maniacal terrorist bent on making the world a mutant paradise. Wanda's powers to alter reality have served her well as an Avenger, but lately, they have begun to take their toll on her mind. Prof. Charles Xavier has tried to help her, but she is quickly losing her grip on reality, which means that she could unknowingly alter the reality of everyone around her. Concerned for the safety of the world, Prof. X asks the X-Men and the Avengers to help decide how to deal with the problem. Fearing that Wanda's death is imminent, Piertro asks Magneto to do something, and suddenly, in a bright flash of light, everything changes.
Peter Parker (AKA Spider-Man) wakes up to hear his young son crying, and his wife Gwen Stacey (who died years ago in the 616 timeline) asking him to take care of it. Scott Summers and Emma Frost are married, Hank McCoy never took the serum that made him grow blue fur, The Kingpin has been taken out, Dr. Doom doesn't need to wear his mask, and Wolverine is a member of S.H.I.E.L.D. along with Rogue, Nightcrawler, Mystique, and Toad. And he has all of his memories of his life before the adamantium was added to his skeleton. Furthermore, mutants are the dominant species on the planet, and they oppress homo sapiens, and Magneto is the king of the world. While a few humans are respected, such as Tony Stark, Peter Parker, and Victor von Doom, most are terrorized by mutants, and human criminals are hunted down by sentinels. Operating out of Genosha, which is a sprawling metropolis as opposed to a desolate wasteland, Magneto and his children are the leaders of the free world. Every person that Wanda knew has had their greatest wish come true. So why is Wolverine suspicious?
Eventually, a series of events is set into motion that allows the heroes to remember the truth while living in the lie. While everyone is upset that Magneto used the Scarlet Witch to take over the world, some are more affected than others, especially Peter Parker. In this reality, he is a celebrity photographer, married to his first love. His Uncle Ben never died, and he knows nothing of the tragedies that he went through in the true reality. He nearly snapped upon learning the truth. By the end of the series, things occur in the Marvel universe that will have lasting effects for years to come.
Nearly every major character in Marvel's history makes some sort of appearance, either in this series, or a number of the tie-in series. Sadly, my favorite X-Man, Gambit, was only in one scene, but oh well. The story is very good, and it will be interesting to see how things turn out in the near future. The art is also great, and it makes the book as much fun to look at as it does to read it.
The series is steeped in backstory, so this is definitely not for beginning comic book readers (unless you're like me and you know people who can fill in the gaps for you). If you haven't read House of M yet, prepare to be blown away.
20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
Much to the dismay of many fans, Brian Michael Bendis' run on the Avengers saw the destruction of the team from the inside out as the Scarlet Witch's reality altering powers killed members Hawkeye, Vision, and Ant-Man; and caused much more chaos beyond that as well. House of M picks up in Genosha with Professor Xavier failing to help the Scarlet Witch reclaim her sanity, leading Xavier to unite his X-Men and the New Avengers to decide her fate. Then everything goes white. When X-Men and New Avengers member Wolverine comes to, the whole world is upside down. Mutants are the dominant species on the planet and humans are looked down upon. Magneto and his family are the royal leaders of the planet, and Wolverine is an agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. who knows that this world isn't right. As he scrambles to locate his friends and team mates to find Xavier and figure out just what happened, we are given glimpses of this alternate reality, which is surprisingly well thought out and written by Bendis, who had a reputation for being a top writer with his indie-crime work and his early work on Daredevil, but has been labeled lately as being overrated and working on so many Marvel titles it's almost impossible to keep up with what he's doing. While this mega event mini-series doesn't focus on as many of the characters as one would like (there are seperate TPB's focusing on Captain America, the Hulk, Spider-Man, Iron Man, and the Dr. Doom led Fantastic Four in this alternate world) but that is forgiveable here. There's some nice art here by Olivier Coipel, and Bendis' story has plenty of twists and surprises, and an ending which actually leaves the Marvel universe in a situation it hasn't faced, and a delicious twist for Wolverine as well. All in all, House of M may be seem as yet another mega cross over mini-series, but the biggest twist here is that it's actually pretty good.
23 of 28 people found the following review helpful
on March 13, 2006
After years of mediocre to bad to (frankly) horrible stories and crossovers within the company, Marvel has recently started to turn things around. Ironically a big reason for the turn around is avoiding the major crossover that "House of M" is and was. However, "M" is one of those stories that seemed to be coming for awhile and was executed very well.
After the Scarlett Witch went insane and killed Avenger teammates Hawkeye, Vision and Ant-man, Professor X and Captain America call together all the X-Men an Avengers to discuss how to deal with her and its determined she is a threat and must be killed. A threat her brother Quicksilver hears and then sprints off to warn her about, and to plead with there father, Magento, to prevent. Magneto refuses, and the super-teams arrive on Genosha when all the sudden a bright light envelopes everything and the heroes all wake up in a new altered reality where Mutants live in peace with the humans and the world is more or less a good place for all the heroes, each seemingly having exactly what they always wanted.
Wolverine seems to be the lone hero to realize something is wrong and he slowly gathers up the rest of the heroes, and reveals the truth to them. (special note: it is awful and heartbreaking when peter parker/spider-man realizes the truth) The heroes gather and a final battle ensues, and in the end everything is set right...well not quite.
The results of "M" are truely epic, and unless Marvel follows the mistakes of its past, and undoes every major decision they ever make, the effects will be felt in the Marvel universe for a long long time. "M" is a return to the great storytelling the company had going for it in the '70s and '80s, and is a welcome addition to the small group of classic stories that must be talked about with things like "The Dark Phoenix Saga".
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Brian Michael Bendis' "House of M" is obvious an important event in the Marvel Universe, since virtually every comic book title has to deal with its consequences in some way or another. The eight-part crossover event is collected in this trade paperback volume is really just the beginning, so that the end is not so much the conclusion as it is setting the stage for what is to follow. So be forewarned, that if think picking up this book is going to get you totally up to speed on what is happening in all of the "House of M" titles, that is not going to happen. What is here, is prologue.
"House of M" follows up on a previous set of story arcs, most prominently "Avengers Disassembled," also written by Bendis, in which Jack of Hearts detonating killing Ant-Man and destroying half of the Avengers Mansion, She-Hulk tore the Vision in two and put Captain America, Captain Britain, and the Wasp in the hospital, and Hawkeye sacrificed his life to save his teammates from a Kree warship. The Scarlet Witch, Wanda Maximoff, turned out to be behind the attacks, having lost control of her reality-altering powers and suffered a total nervous breakdown over the loss of her children. Stopped by Dr. Strange, Wanda is taken away by her father, Magneto, to the devastated island-nation of Genohsa.
The story begins six months later with the New Avengers and the X-Men meeting to discuss the fate of Wanda. Professor Xavier has been working to aid Wanda in her recovery, but he has failed and Wanda is back to trying to alter her reality, now bringing back her children and her husband. So the superheroes have gathered to debate whether Wanda should live or die. Captain America, Wonder Man, and Spider-Man are against the idea, but Wolverine wants to know how many more people Wanda has to kill before they stop her. But when they get to Genosha, Wanda is gone, taken by somebody. Emma Frost finds Wanda, but when they approach the world goes white-and when it fades away Peter Parker is awaken from a sleep by the crying of a baby. When he gets up to take care of it we notice that the woman in the wedding picture and the one sleeping in the bed has blonde hair.
"House of M" stands for the House of Magnus and the world that Wanda has created is one in which mutants rule the world and it is now humans who are the oppressed minority. Everybody knows that Peter Parker is Spider-Man, who is married to Gwen Stacy, and has a son named Richie. Steve Rogers is an old man, retired from the U.S. Air Force living in the Bronx, Kitty Pride is teaching grade school in Cincinnati, and Stephen Strange is a psychiatrist. We see what has happened to many of the superheroes who attended the meeting, and then Wolverine wakes up and remembers-everything (including, apparently, his real name). Now all he has to do is convince the others that they are former superheroes that they are living in a world gone wrong that needs to be set back to rights.
All I have done here is sketch out what happens in the first of the eight issues, and touched on the first couple of pages of the second issue and the crux of what is to come. The importance of the story comes from the general idea, but the fun in reading the story comes in the details. Oliver Coipel did the pencils, with Tim Townsend with Rick Magyar, Scott Hanna & John Dell doing the inking. The cover art is by Esad Ribic, although you will find alternative covers by a variety of Marvel artists, from Joe Quesada to Chris Bachalo. As I indicated above, the fact that not everything is neatly tied up at the end of this one, which ends with a big question as to what happens next, will proven maddening to some readers.
On the side binding of this volume there is the "H" and the left side of the "O" of "House of M," which means if you get all of the "House of M" paperback collections up on the shelf in the right order it will spell out the title. That sort of marketing ploy could set you off as well, but having read "House of M: Spider-Man" (in the original comic books), I know that you do not need to move beyond this one unless you really want to. But at least from this one you get the set up for the brave new world Bendis has created in the Marvel Universe.
30 of 40 people found the following review helpful
on July 14, 2008
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
UPDATE - After reading the other graphic novels in the house of M (Wolverine, Hulk, Fantastic Four/Iron Man, Spider Man) I'm more likely to give this 3 or even 4 stars... if and only if you buy the other titles I just mentioned (see below - stop reading house of M "main" book immediately after wolverine jumps off the helicarier (or whatever) to the ground, read the other graphic novels I just mentioned, then go back and finish this one)... I would NOT recommend the X-Men (Captain Britain) and New X-Men graphic novels however..
I guess everyone's entitled to their opinion ... I bought this based on the positive reviews it's been getting when I should have listened to the not-so-positive ones... mind you one person's trash is going to be another person's treasure, that goes without saying.. having said that... while I found the artwork to be absolutely gorgeous and the storyline POTENTIALLY fascinating it was just that, potentially... I have to disagree with the other reviewer who said enough is covered in this graphic novel to let it "stand alone" without reading the other related house of M titles (spider-man, wolverine, x-men et al) ... I became interested enough to go ahead and pick up the wolverine and iron man/avengers house of m tie ins after reading House of M but I have the distinct feeling the other titles will be a bit of a let down for me only because I already know how the whole meta-plot ends after finishing hosue of m...
I think a far better approach would have been to combine ALL the related house of M books into one entire whole - then break that whole down into several graphic novels that move sequentially, piece by piece, covering events as they occur in a chronological order... if you do want to give house of M a try, strange as this sounds I'd suggest the following.... stop reading house of M around the same time Professor X mysteriously vanishes and Wolverine "wakes up" wondering WHAT the hell just happened ... at that point read any other house of M titles you'd be interested in (apparently wolverine and iron man/avengers got good reviews though I have yet to read those two titles)... and after you're done with that THEN go back and finish house of M so you're not dealing with "plot spoilers" ahead of time and you don't feel like you're reading half a graphic novel instead of a whole one with several "chunks" and "gaps" missing. It's quite possible that after reading those two other graphic novels...maybe "spider man house of M" too (spidey is also featured prominently in house of m ) ... that the house of M will be worthy of the praise heaped upon it by other reviewers but to me, right now it just seems... well, incomplete, for lack of a better word. Yes I know Marvel wants to make money just like any other organization but seriously, I think the way they organized the graphic novels for this whole thing is (very) wrong.
UPDATE - After reading "House of M Wolverine" and "House of M Fantastic Four / Iron Man" I'm inclined to have a more favorable view of this graphic novel, enough to bump it up to 3 stars if amazon would let me , although my earlier criticisms still stand... definitely purchase House of M Wolverine, purchase House of M Fantastic Four / Iron Man if you can get it at a reasonable price say nine dollars or so (the alternate version of the "Fantastic Four" - really Doctor Doom and his imitation of the FF but a fascinating read, Iron Man part was okay but not great)... read one or both of those graphic novels that THEN finish reading House of M (after pausing halfway through House of M at the part I mentioned above to read the Wolverine and FF/Iron Man House of M graphic novels - sounds ridiculous I know but that's really the only way you're going to enjoy House of M, otherwise it just leaves you feeling like the story was incomplete)... I may end up adding Spider Man, Hulk, Uncanny X-Men and New X-Men House of M titles to the recommended reading list too - recently ordered them so they haven't arrived yet.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on October 31, 2011
House of M was a masterpiece that changed the Marvel Universe forever. This book was both well written and well drawn. It is a must read for any current X-men fan/reader. If you read X-Men when you were younger, and started again after the events of this book, as I did, this book will fill in many gaps for you and answer many questions. The events of House of M change the paths of several specific mutants, and also changes the Mutant race as a whole. These changes ti the mutant race are never (at least as of 2011) undone and continue to shape the both the X-Men's lives and the Mutant race.
A note on the issues included. House of M #1-8 is the story part of the book. Once those are done, the story is effectively finished. Do not expect the other issues and bonus content included to be "story" issues. Also, while Amazon says this includes "House of M #1-8 and The Pulse: House of M Special Edition" it also includes "Secrets of the House of M" and "House of M #1: Director's Cut". Both the "Pulse" and "Secrets" issues are excellent bonus content, but don't expect them to be regular comic issues.
"Secrets" includes a summary of how the events in this book came to be, along with bios for all of the mutant and superhuman characters involved in House of M. These can be either interesting or boring depending on your interest level and point of view. For example, I love stories with Apocalypse. Though he is not in issues #1-8 (neither shown or mentioned) there is a bio for him, which details what his role was in the House of M events. This is the case for many mutants and superheroes.
"Pulse" is basically 12 pages of newspaper type articles and headlines relating to the House of M events and stories. Like "Secrets" this gives the reader more insight into the events of House of M which were not shown in the eight main issues.
"House of M #1: Director's Cut" gives you the script written out for House of M #1 along with several small sketches of scenes from that issue. It also includes an interview about House of M with Brian Bendis (the writer) and variant covers and full size sketches from House of M #1.
I would recommend this to any X-Men lover or anyone interested in mutants in the marvel universe. This book will answer many questions if you are a current X-Men reader and missed this mini-series. Expect 8 issues of stories along with pages upon pages of extras and bonus content.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on August 13, 2006
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
House of M revolutionizes the Marvel Comic World and, in a way, starts the X-Men series over again. While House of M does not move particularly quickly (not many flashy battle scenes), it certainly adds a lot of psychological depth to many familiar characters like Wolverine, Magneto, Quicksilver, Spiderman, Scarlet Witch, Hawkeye, and a host of others, as we the readers witness what the world would be like if each mutant had their ideal life. Even more interesting, perhaps, is the round-about way the social schism of mutant vs human changes in this altered world. With mutants now on top, humans experience the same persecution placed upon mutants in the non-House of M world. I rarely read comics just for their fight scenes (although who doesn't love them!), so for someone into more of the psychology and social aspects Marvel brings to the table, House of M is a perfect fit. As has been said in many other reviews, it's also a perfect starting point for new readers. Highly recommended, and Excalibur-House of M Prequel, Decimation- The Day After, Son of M (this chronicles the aftermath of Quicksilver), and the subsequent Civil War cross-over event are also recommended.
*****Keep your eyes and ears open, though, because House of M and the Decimation's effects are far from over. The Scarlet Witch returns in Civil War: New Avengers #26!!!!
11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on March 23, 2006
its ok. the art work is good. the writting is good. the reason it doesnt get five stars is because it feels rushed. it could have been longer. i wish it was longer. instead of having like 5 spin off books they could have gone into more int detail on spiderman's life in the house of M world, but instead they reserved all of that in a separate book. the ending is pretty good. the plot is good. not bendis's finest but good read.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
Read this on my 7"kindle fire HD. I'm not very familiar with the X-Men characters, so keeping track of all the characters was a little tricky at times. In a nutshell, the Scarlet Witch has altered reality, creating a very different world where mutants are dominant and homo sapiens are the minority. Wolverine is the only one who remembers how things once were and tries to put the world back to how it was.
I thought the story was good and the artwork was excellent. My only complaint is that a few of the panes were small, even with the panel view, making some of the text very difficult to read...not all the time, just here and there.
Overall I highly recommend this graphic novel.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on March 30, 2009
This book does not disappoint. The art is beautiful and the story places you in a fantastic marvel story. A bit short but thats greatly made up by a bunch of extra content (Character Bios, Artwork, and a cool newspaper from the House Of M time). I'd recommend this book to any X-Men/Marvel fan.