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's takeover of the world hasn't been kind to the human race. The mutants have taken over everything and now there's the possibility after a generation or so there won't be anymore humans. Along with various heroes, Earth's super villains aren't happy about that either. Under the leadership of the Hood, they embark on a mission to get their piece of the pie. -summary
Christos Gage returned with another crossover to House of M that is probably unnecessary, but man, he can make the non essentials feel like near must reads. In this crossover, a large group of human born super villains gather together to take on the mutant race and get rich in the process. This TPB collects House of M: Masters of Evil 1 - 4.
The plot begins when the Hood holds an underground meeting hoping to form an alliance with a host of villains consisting of Absorbing Man, Titania, Crossbones, Wizard, The Wrecking Crew, Madame Masque, Blizzard, and many others. Their aim is to get rich and some of them even have families to feed, and since they're not mutants, they can't get the same consideration for jobs even if they tried too. Normally, why should anyone care about the bad guys? Well, although Gage has proven not to be the best when it comes down to character development, he can make you care for this bunch simply by showing you how cool some of them are in battle; such as Absorbing Man absorbing Wolverine's claws and turning his body into adamantium, plus with them killing some of their enemies mercilessly. In addition, you have to root for the humans anyway, because their treatment is still wrong despite the role reversal.
The story is straight forward and simple, and it's mainly about the next fight which is eventually going to lead into a clash with the House of M. Still, Gage attempts to make it more than that, when the humans they liberate from slavery begin to see them as freedom fighters and not criminals feeding their greed. Soon some of the criminals begin to feel like heroes. Eventually, there's a pretty clever plot twist that leads to an all out battle for all the marbles, when Magneto dispatches S.H.I.E.L.D., and their elite group called Red Guard which is made up of Wolverine, Mystique, Rogue, Nightcrawler, and many others.
When compared to Gage's other crossovers, this book has the weakest artwork delivered by Manuel Garcia. It's pretty good at times with some brutal action, but there is some inconsistency and even ugly designs once in awhile. The action has several stand out moments with bullets going straight through heads, Wolverine slashing away, and panels with all out group action. The story delivers even with on panel deaths.
I'm pretty impressed with what Gage was able to do with this alternate reality; taking the bad guys, in this case, an incarnation of the Masters of Evil and turn them into symbols of justice we can admire. The biggest flaw with this story is that it adds nothing to the main storyline. Personally, it didn't feel like a waste to me, and I doubt it will be a waste in the hands of completest or serious Marvel fans. I don't think the book will really appeal to casual fans though since these are pretty much D-list villains. At best give this a shot only if you're heavily invested in this storyline.
Pros: -Interesting premise, some good action
Cons: -Does have an average feel, not at all essential
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