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.
Magneto, one of Earth's most powerful mutants, has been a victim of racial prejudice his whole life. After witnessing the death of his first child, it's now time to fight back. He begins his war with the humans and along the way wins the admiration of mutants every where. Together they form an army to take on the governments of the world. -summary
I know Marvel has been heavily criticized by fans over the last 8 years for relying on crossovers. I will admit that they have been overkill with them and not all the time are crossovers a good thing. Usually in order to get them to work, the main story will feel like things are missing. House of M is such a story, but at the same time, the premise had so much room to explore it would have been a shame to let this potential go to waste. One of the more interesting storylines and among the best to come out of this story was Magneto's actual rise to power. If your only exposure to House of M is the main story, then it will come off as if everything was just handed to him. That is not the case here, as Magneto actually had to work to rule the world. Christos Gage (House of M: Avengers) pens House of M: Civil War, which can actually serve as a prequel to the actual event and although it isn't exactly necessary, it does answer at least one question that was left hanging in the main story, plus delivers plenty of cool action. This TPB collects House of M: Civil War 1 - 5.
The story delivers an alternate spin to Magneto's origin, and it rushes through many chapters of his life. Although it reads rather quickly it's entertaining none the less since major points are addressed and even concluded, with very little left out assuming long time fans already know the answer. For the most part character development is rather scarce, and a majority of the cast are present only to fill roles. Gage crams the reader with multiple characters assuming you already know about them, his intention is to use them for cool action scenes and he rarely fails at that; as you will see Magneto taking on the Mimic with his powers at the max, plus the Winter Soldier makes an appearance piling up the body count.
The plot is straight forward, it follows Magneto as he not only battles the humans in pursuit of liberation, but he also goes one on one with Apocalypse for leadership. Bolivar Trask attempts to counter his take over with the Sentinels, and even Professor Xavier plays an important role. The only real flaw I can think of with this story, is that you already know what the outcome is going to be. However, Gage makes it fun getting there by introducing so man obstacles for the Master of Magnetism.
Crossover stories more often than not will sport some of the most average to lackluster artwork out there. When I saw Andrea DiVito's name, the Italian artist behind Thor: Disassembled and Annihilation, I came in hoping to see good things. The character designs are finely drawn and the action panels are too cool at times. Battles with the Sentinels almost never fail, and here you will be treated to mutants being obliterated down to the bone with intense energy blasts. The Magneto and Apocalypse battle is nicely drawn as well despite not being long at all. I can't think of any dull action-filled moments or anything bad to say about the artwork. The colorist earned their money as well, since everything is pretty to look at.
House of M: Civil War is one of the most enjoyable crossovers yet it's not exactly essential. You don't really learn anything new here, but you do get a cool story, nice artwork, and action. Unless you're a House of M completest or a diehard fan of Magneto, you won't lose anything leaving this on the shelf.
Pros: -Interesting story, artwork, action
Cons: -Not really essential to main story
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About the reviewer
May 22, 2011
Jun 15, 2013 08:21 PM UTC
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