After the Scarlet Witch suffered a nervous breakdown due to the side effects of her reality-altering powers. Her father Magneto brought her to Professor Xavier for help. Xavier and Dr. Strange attempted to cure her but both have failed. Now Xavier must figure out what to do with her, because she can instantly wipe out all life across the planet or even further beyond. He calls in the X-Men and the New Avengers to decide her fate.
When the Scarlet Witch reshaped the world handing it over to her father Magneto, this lead to the mutants taking over and humans reduced to being second class. In the process superheroes were effected in different ways with the Scarlet Witch giving those close to her their hearts desire. But is this the world they really wanted? -summary
I'm amazed at how Marvel allowed their writers to handle the House of M tie-in's in regards to the star superheroes. Many times through out this thing there was this feeling I may have been reading something else, because the writers stories felt so detached from the main storyline. For some strange reason though, the crossover stories taking place with obscure characters and groups across three different books seemed to be the most rewarding. The streak continues with House of M: No More Mutants, which is no doubt the best tie-in by far. This book took advantage of the premise, it was very entertaining to read, plus it offered a little bit more. This TPB is written by Tony Bedard, David Hine, Chris Claremont, Brian Reed, Nunzio DeFillipes, and Christina Weir, and it collects New X-Men: Academy 16 - 19, Mutopia X 1 - 5, Exiles 69 - 71, Giant -Sized Ms. Marvel 1, and Decimation: House of M - The Day After.
The story begins In New X-Men, when The New Mutants are taking leadership classes. They come under attack by an anti-mutant group whom are defeated by the Hellions; the Hellions are young mutant S.H.I.E.L.D. operatives still in training. They learn that the human father to one of their members is the leader of the human resistance group. They head to Japan to put an end to his chapter. Although this story doesn't play into the main House of M storyline, it takes full advantage of its premise and it feels like it could have taken place at some point during the story. To include it features character deaths, which is great for these type of alternate reality stories. The story becomes even better as you get some background on why the humans hate the mutants so much. There's a top secret agenda with two different plans taking place. To mention only one, the mutants plan to recycle waste as food only for the humans, which is a good enough reason to be completely ticked off hatemongers. There's some very good action and subplots. It's also worth noting that these four stories are the best in the New X-Men: Academy run, which was an overall stale series that would get better after House of M, when the title changes to New X-Men: Childhood's End.
The greatness continues within the pages of Exiles. For those who are unfamiliar with them, they're a constantly changing roster of superheroes from different realities, whose mission is to save other alternate realities that are facing doom. I loved the commentary taking place here, because it actually questions whether Magneto's world is bad for the Earth. Even though the humans are miserable, the mutants are living in peace free from racial bigotry, in which that is the first thing Sabretooth points out. He basically says the ugliest and most deformed mutants can walk in the streets without being worried of their appearance. However, what makes this story golden is who they have to face. Due to the Scarlet Witch's powers, Moira MacTaggert has been resurrected, along with her maniacal son Proteus, who was quite possibly the most dangerous mutant to ever live, his powers are far beyond Magneto's as he can bend reality itself, his powers are only limited by his imagination. In addition, he can inhabit anyone's body killing them slowly in the process. Although this story doesn't play into the main storyline, it does other great things such as bringing Proteus back into main continuity, plus it can arouse newbies interest in the Exiles making them want to read their stories. Now that's that what I call a successful crossover.
The final three stories continue to move with good momentum; Mutopia-X follows Bishop of the X-Men and a human cop Ismael Ortega, as they track down another anti-mutant group but this story also introduces more interesting subplots. I enjoyed the commentary here as well, with the mutants treating being human as an illness, and they perform test on regular people to release their dormant mutation if it's there. This also doesn't play into the main story, but it does deal with the aftermath in the real world when the Scarlet Witch snaps again returning reality back. Decimation is the full House of M aftermath, here you see the result of the Scarlet Witch's second breakdown and the X-Men are forced to deal with it. I'll cover this later and better in it's own book, along with Ms. Marvel, in which her story only lays out the groundwork for her series that was launched after this.
The only flaw that can really bother people is the lack of mainstream characters, with the exception of Decimation which deals with well known X-Men. But I think if people come into this with an open mind, especially in regards to the Exiles, they may find themselves another interesting series to backtrack. The character development is done fairly well plus the artwork is also nice too. New X-Men and Exiles look really good with vivid colors and great character designs. The action panels are very good, with the awesome battle against Proteus delivering that throwback feel to his original fight against the second generation X-Men. Although short, Ms. Marvel has some fantastic character designs captured in different poses, plus the battle against a former Sorcerer Supreme by the name of Traveller is just too fun.
This is indeed the best House of M tie-in. I had fun with Christos Gage's run through House of M: Avengers, Masters of Evil, and Civil War, but this batch of stories outshines them. Now I don't truly believe this book is essential, however, I do believe this book is a fun read. I only recommend this to completest and serious Marvel fans. But as a final note, if you really need to see the more mainstream characters such as Wolverine, Spider-Man, Hulk, and Iron Man, then stay far, far away from this book and Christos Gage's run.
Pros: -Very interesting and entertaining stories
Cons: -Not really essential, will not appeal to mainstream readers
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