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House of M #2: Review

Jun 2005
Brian Michael Bendis, Olivier Coipel

Story Name:

(no title given)

Review & Comments

Rating:
4.5 stars

House of M #2 Review by (July 2, 2013)
House of M: Masters of Evil was published at the end of Dark Reign, and has the Hood organising a large group of super-criminals as he did during that period. These crooks were all non-mutants. At first they created the Sapien Rights League as a front. Then they took over a small country Santo Rico and declared it a non-mutant haven. Eventually some of them came to believe in their cause, and died defending the country from Magneto's forces. They inspired the Sapien resistance. House of M: Avengers was actually published 1st of the 3. Hell's Kitchen became a ghetto called Sapien Town (an analogue of Mutant Town in District X). Super-powered Luke Cage set up a gang of other sapien super-characters there, which other people call the Avengers. After defeating/absorbing other super-gangs Cage was in a position to challenge Kingpin, who now allies with the mutant police. Just before HoM actually started, the Avengers took down Kingpin and defeated the police. Magneto appointed Sam Wilson (Falcon) to take charge of the local police to defuse the situation. Which leads to the scene in this issue where Wilson grills Cage about what happened to Kingpin. Another set of tie-ins that makes sense as being set in the remembered past is Incredible Hulk (2000) #83-86. Hulk and AIM, led by Monica Rappaccini, freed Australia from rule by Exodus. Hulk and the female Scorpion, Rappaccini's daughter, stopped AIM turning Australians into cyborgs. Hulk, still allied with Rappaccini in more ways than one, made Australia a haven for refugees from Magneto's rule.

The action in HoM only takes 1 or 2 days, but some of the tie-ins are set in the past of this changed reality. But as Wolverine's memories, and later events in the series, show this past never happened. The past events only exist in people's memories. The deepest piece of history is described in Captain America (2005) #10 which explains how come he's an old man in HoM. We find that in this reality Cap and Bucky survived WWII, and Steve married Peggy Carter. Steve resigned as Cap during the McCarthy anti-mutant hearings. Bucky worked for SHIELD and was killed in action. The reason Steve is a retired *Air Force* Captain is that he became an astronaut and was 1st man on the Moon. The story comes right up to date and ends with a scene from HoM#5 where the heroes are contemplating recruiting Steve to their cause. A lot of the back-story is told in 3 tie-in mini-series that were published in the years following HoM, unlike other tie-ins which were published alongside the main story. Civil War: House of M was published 1½ years after Civil War and has nothing to do with that. Instead it describes the war between humans and mutants. Prof X sided with Magneto and was killed by SHIELD agent Bucky Barnes. Magneto killed Bucky in revenge. Atlantis, Attilan and Wakanda supported Magneto politically. SHIELD agent Carol Danvers (with secret Kree powers) helped mutants win, and became popular heroine Captain Marvel.

In Fantastic Four: HoM #2 it will be shown that only 3 went up in Reed Richards' rocket (excluding Johnny Storm, who will appear in the Iron Man: HoM mini-series). Reed and Sue died. But Ben Grimm did become a rocky monster, press-ganged into Dr Doom's Fearsome Four as the It. Of course reality also had to be rearranged so that Franklin was born before this. Peter Parker doesn't appear here, but the Spider-Man: HoM limited series will show him happily married to his 1st love Gwen Stacy, openly operating as Spider-Man, acclaimed because he pretends to be a mutant. Luke Cage's gang probably include Black Cat and Misty Knight. Other appearances make me think the guy in the hoodie is Iron Fist. Plus Cloak lurking in the background. Hank Pym's story will continue in the Iron Man: HoM limited series. In this reality Ororo shares the rule of most of Africa with Black Panther, as seen in Black Panther (2005) #7. As I mentioned last issue Hank Pym and Jessica Drew are really Skrulls.

This should only be in the Captain America Library, but I've also put it in Iron Man Library for completeness. Some of last issue's characters don't appear here:- Prof X is dead in this reality. His grave will be seen in Genosha in #5, and his fate will be told in the HoM: Civil War limited series. The ruling house Magneto, Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch won't put in an appearance until later. Iron Man and Spider-Man have their own mini-series. She-Hulk will also make a delayed appearance. The X-Men were never formed.



 

Synopsis / Summary / Plot

House of M #2 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
This issue shows how most of the characters from last issue are living in the new reality.

There are lots of mutants, living openly everywhere.

Steve Rogers is an old man, a retired Air Force Captain, living in the Bronx.

Scott Summers and Emma Frost live together in Hartford, Connecticut. Emma is a child psychologist, and she's having a session with Franklin Richards today, whose astronaut parents died.

In the background we hear that Mary Jane Watson is a movie star.

In Los Angeles Alison Blaire (Dazzler) is interviewing TV star Simon Williams, especially about his relationship with Carol Danvers.

Cut to Carol flying as Captain Marvel, the most popular super hero in America, even though she's not a mutant. We see her capture thief Remy LeBeau (Gambit).

Kitty Pryde is a teacher in a Cincinnati, Ohio junior school.

Sam Wilson is a cop in Hell's Kitchen, hassling gangster Luke Cage about Kingpin being beaten into a coma.

Stephen Strange is a psychiatrist having a session with Robert Reynolds, who has repeated visions of a wall of blackness.

Peter Rasputin is still Colossus, but still living on a farm in Russia.

Henry McCoy and Henry Pym are working for Tony Stark. McCoy warns Pym to stop working on the mutant genome. Stark will fire him if he finds out, not least because as a homo sapien he can't afford to anger the mutant rulers.

Janet van Dyne is a fashion designer whose current client is Ororo Munroe.

Wolverine is a SHIELD agent, sleeping with Mystique. 2 other agents are 'Jessica Drew' and Toad. But Wolverine knows that reality has changed, and remembers the real one.


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> House of M: Book info and issue index

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Olivier Coipel
Tim Townsend
Frank D'Armata
Esad Ribic (Cover Penciler)
Esad Ribic (Cover Inker)
Letterer: Chris Eliopoulos.
Editor: Tom Brevoort.

Characters

Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Beast
Beast

(Hank McCoy)
Captain America
Captain America

(Steve Rogers)
Doctor Strange
Doctor Strange

(Stephen Strange)
Falcon
Falcon

(Sam Wilson)
Iron Fist
Iron Fist

(Danny Rand)
Iron Man
Iron Man

(Tony Stark)
Luke Cage
Luke Cage

(Power Man)
Ms. Marvel
Ms. Marvel

(Carol Danvers)
Spider-Woman
Spider-Woman

(Veranke)
Wasp
Wasp

(Janet Van Dyne)
Wolverine
Wolverine

(James Howlett)

Plus: Black Cat (Felicia Hardy), Cloak, Colossus (Piotr Rasputin), Dazzler, Emma Frost, Hank Pym (Skrull), Misty Knight, Mystique, Shadow-Cat, Toad.