Monday, July 29, 2013

House of M (2005):

 “He... He only wanted you to be happy... Look what you've done to us, daddy.”

- Scarlet Witch to Magneto

I gotta say: I’m bored with DC Comics. It’s all about Batman vs., Superman right now, (Infinite Crisis, Batman vs. Superman movie, Injustice: Gods Among Us, Sacrifice, etc.) and they won’t even let Superman act like a hero. So, instead I’ve chosen to review a graphic novel that made me think: What would happen if Magneto suddenly got what he desired? This is the plot of House of M.

   The X-men decide they have to kill Scarlet Witch as she lost control of her powers and killed several Avengers, including her husband Vision. To stop the X-men/Avengers from killing her she uses her reality-altering powers (Amplified by a mind-controlled Professor X to create a world where her dad Magneto gets everything he ever wanted. Mutants rule the Earth, and the Avengers are outcasts. But, this is not without good effects too. Peter Parker and M.J. are happily married and successful; Uncle Ben is alive, The Avengers are alive, several of The X-Men become Magneto’s elite Red Guard. Captain America walks on the moon to broker a tentative peace between mutants and humans.

     But, beneath all that appears happy and successful and covered up by tabloids, Wolverine senses that the reality is false, because he’s had his mind wiped so many times before. He storms out on Mystique (who he’s married to.) and goes off to unite the other heroes, starting with Emma Frost, who also senses the reality is false and can convince others psychically.  Wolverine fights past the elite guards, which notably includes Rogue and Nightcrawler as part of the Red Guard.
    Eventually, Emma Frost (who’s happily married to Cyclops, and she lets him see reality.) runs into Layla Miller, a little girl who, unaffected by the reality-altering, still retains memories of the previous reality. Wolverine takes her to the Avengers’ hideout, where together they figure out this might have been Magneto’s work. See, the Avengers’ don’t have it so lucky. They are hunted by sentinels, like the X-men in the previous reality.

After that, Wolverine, Cyclops and Dr. Strange decide to crash a meeting of the world’s leaders, led by the House of M. Dr. Strange contacts Scarlet Witch, and of course, gets her to confess that she created this reality, and loses control. (With one special caveat I won’t reveal here!) But anyway, this comic just got me thinking in the midst of all this boring Batman vs. Superman stuff: How much good makes up for one evil? People were happy under mutant rule, but people were still oppressed. Is happiness really all that people seek, even under a dictatorship? What defines reality? This was some REAL philosophy to chew on rather than the old dichotomy between Justice and Revenge we see in DC Comics. It was refreshing: Of course, it all leads to a bigger plot which is a whole different beast (But, not Beast!) A vs. X! That’s how you do a vs. buildup!

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