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Comic Book / House of M

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"No more mutants."
Scarlet Witch

A Marvel Comics Miniseries with several tie-in books following the events of Avengers Disassembled. It lasted for 8 issues (August-December, 2005).

Wanda Maximoff, better known as the Scarlet Witch, suffers a reality-warping mental breakdown and is taken to Genosha by her father Magneto. When Wanda shows little sign of recovery, the X-Men and the Avengers meet to discuss what action should be taken next; they decide that Wanda must be killed. The combined teams arrive at Genosha when suddenly the world is swallowed by a bright white light...

The scene cuts to Wolverine as he wakes up in a world that has completely changed: A world where mutants are the dominant species, humans are now a persecuted minority, and the United States is led by the House of Magneto. The now-scattered and mind-altered Avengers and X-Men must try to reunite and find out how to reverse what happened on the day they arrived on Genosha. They later come across Layla Miller, a young girl who is aware that reality has been changed and who helps expose the truth about their "current" reality.


Turns out Wanda's twin brother Pietro (Quicksilver) convinced her to rewrite reality into one where all the heroes got to have their greatest desires — including Magneto's and Professor Xavier's — which meant that Magneto's family ruled the mutants and the mutants ruled the world, and Professor Xavier had died a meaningful death and mutants and humans live side-by-side (sort of). The Avengers and the X-Men confront Wanda after regaining their memories of the reality that existed before Wanda's Cosmic Ret Con. Wanda suffers yet another nervous breakdown and eventually restores the original reality, but depowers 99.99% of the world's mutants as well. Afterwards, she disappears without a trace and the reader is given a clue that the depowering might not be as permanent as it seems.

The House of M storyline is continued in X-Men: Decimation.


The next Marvel Comics Crisis Crossover is Civil War, followed by World War Hulk.

Tropes found in the comic:

  • Alternate Continuity: The entire "House Of M" reality is a short-lived one.
  • Back from the Dead: Hawkeye. TWICE!
  • Badass Longcoat: Magneto's emperor attire spontaneously grows an extra two feet when his memories are restored and he goes to town on Quicksilver.
  • Based on a Great Big Lie: Spider-Man is adored by the public, and is even known to be Peter Parker. This, however, is because he's told the world at large that he's a mutant, instead of the truth regarding the radioactive spider bite.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: The Aesop of some of the tie-in miniseries. For instance, Doctor Doom managed to get almost everything he claimed to want: his mother alive, his face unscarred, Richards dead — and he manages to lose it all, mostly at his own hands, by the end of the Fantastic Four: House of M miniseries.
    • Wolverine finally gets all his memories back. And what he sees terrifies him.
  • Bond Villain Stupidity: Victor manages to trick Magneto into a dimension where his powers are nullified and his own family's abilities are stronger. Rather than killing him, he merely leaves him to die of starvation. Furthermore, after he gets back, he and his family abuse Ben Grimm and leave him alone to destroy the only way for Magneto and Pietro to return. Naturally their plan to destroy the House of M and take over the world fails utterly.
  • Calling the Old Man Out: Wanda and Pietro to Magneto.
  • Continuity Porn: When Layla unlocks Peter's memories, we get a two-page spread of the notable villains and events of Spidey's life.
  • Cosmic Retcon: Altering the entire world, without so much as a new timeline.
  • Crisis Crossover: The X-Men team up with the Avengers (sans Steve Rogers), Spider-Man, Daredevil, and the other mutates of New York to defeat what they think is Magneto's most recent evil plan for world domination.
  • Cursed with Awesome: Wanda apparently sees herself this way, because in her fantasy world she has no mutant power, at least as far as the public is concerned, even though Mutants are the privileged class. Though she's still the daughter of The World Emperor, so that helps. Not that she has any trouble repixellating the world she created during the last showdown. Also, she apparently took away her own powers when reverting the world back to its old self.
  • Dead All Along: The heroes spend a while in the main series wondering where Xavier is. After one of these scenes, it cuts to a scene of Magneto sadly visiting his memorial, Xavier having been killed by the Winter Soldier years ago in this universe.
  • Dream Tells You to Wake Up: Wolverine realized that the new world was false, and started to gather heroes to stand against Wanda. They got the help of Layla Miller, who could make heroes remember their old life. It was a new character, and Dr. Strange even suspected that she was created by Wanda herself. Ultimately subverted, as Layla did exist before the whole House of M thing.
  • Due to the Dead: Magneto builds an eternal flame to Charles on Genosha.
  • "End of the World" Special: Wanda. Twice.
  • Fleeting Demographic Rule: The Avengers went through a much more drastic reality warp caused by Morgan Le Fay only a few years earlier, and they reacted to that one almost as if it were routine, because they've been through so many similar incidents before. This time around, everyone acts as if they've never seen anything remotely like this, and they're all on the verge of stark panic.
    • This makes sense, since it's really the House of M characters who really haven't been through anything like this before, and just have memories of their original universe counterparts dropped into their heads.
  • Foreshadowing: In the House of M reality, Hulk is the leader of Australia and does a surprisingly good job at it. Then he goes and rules a desert world in World War Hulk.
  • Genocide from the Inside: The mass depowering of mutants was caused by a mutant.
  • A Glitch in the Matrix: Wolverine realized that things were not right right away.
  • Godwin's Law: In the Captain America spin-off comic, Steve Rogers compares Magneto to Benito Mussolini, Josef Stalin, and finally Adolf Hitler, with the last one especially emphasized. He is very soon after discharged from the Air Force. This is a more extreme version of “losing the argument.”
  • Hero of Another Story: Captain America. In this reality, he was never frozen in ice and got to continue his life post-war. He only cameos in the main mini-series as an old man (prompting the other heroes to just leave him be), but a tie-in issue of his own comic summarizes the different things he experienced during the intervening decades.
    • Per her own desires, Ms. Marvel had managed to achieve widespread fame and acceptance as a hero in the House of M reality, even though she was explicitly a non-mutant.
  • Heroic BSoD: What kicks off the event (arguably, the entire event takes place within Wanda's blue screen).
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: When going to Genosha to kill Magneto, Bucky makes sure not bring any metal weapons with him ... except Captain America’s shield, which Magneto uses this to kill him.
  • Hulk Speak: Lampshaded.
    Hulk: Hulk... hates... personal pronouns.
  • Improvised Weapon: Ms. Marvel, the greatest hero of the world (at least in this reality) fights against Sir Warren Traveler, an evil sorcerer. Her powers are useless against magic, so how can she defeat him? Well, how about throwing a random alley cat to his face?
  • Indulgent Fantasy Segue: A tragic one at the beginning when Wanda gives birth to her twin sons while surrounded by her friends and family... only to be forcefully pulled out of her fantasy by Professor X.
  • Killer Robot: Sentinels, albeit redesigned ones that are programmed to kill humans.
  • Lady Macbeth: Doom himself was already considering it but his mother is the one who tells him to overthrow Magneto, saying he shouldn't be subservient to anyone, man or mutant, and rule the world.
  • La Résistance: The Human Resistance Movement, led by Luke Cage.
  • Lotus-Eater Machine: Wanda's altered reality is this for the entire Marvel Universe. All the heroes who could oppose her are given new lives doing what makes them happy, partly because it's what Wanda wants, partly to keep them from rebelling and trying to change reality back.
  • Luke, I Am Your Father: Magneto reveals to Polaris, Quiksilver, and Wanda that he is their father at the very end of House of M: Civil War. The former two storm off, but Wanda stays and comforts Magneto.
  • Made of Iron: Wolverine, natch. When he wakes up, his first move is to run to the edge of the Helicarrier... and jump off. He crashes into the side of a skyscraper, but the worst it does is bloody him up a bit.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: During issue #1, in a brief moment of sanity, Wanda has a moment like this.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain!: Wanda used her power to alter reality and give everyone their deepest desires. Even the guy whose deepest desire is that his Laser-Guided Amnesia be undone, so he'll remember his entire life again... Even the fact that he's living in an altered reality which she created. Oops.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: There is actually nothing to imply that the House of M reality is inherently bad, and in the aftermath Wanda does something arguably worse by depowering 99.99% of all mutants and the characters involved are all left with a lingering sense of loss. Xavier is especially upset that one of the reasons they "fixed" reality was to save him, when his death in that reality was a Heroic Sacrifice that was his greatest desire.
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: Magneto, to Pietro, in the second-to-last issue, when he recovers his memories.
  • Not Quite Human: The mutants, obviously.
  • Not So Different: During an interview in the Black Panther spin-off comic, Ororo notes that even under mutant rule, white men who conform to human standards of strength, wealth and attractiveness are still in charge.
  • Oracular Urchin: Layla Miller.
  • Reality Warper: The Scarlet Witch.
  • Ret Gone: In-story example with Charles Xavier and the Fantastic Four
    • In the latter's case, actually, only Reed and Sue die. Ben becomes an irrational version of the Thing (which Dr. Doom refers to as "It") and Johnny goes on to become an underground mecha fighter, like Tony Stark and his dad.
  • Ripple Effect-Proof Memory: Ironically, Wanda's Lotus-Eater Machine effect gives Wolverine this as a side-effect of his wish to remember everything.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Initially averted. After finding out that the reality shift has resurrected Gwen Stacy and Uncle Ben, Spider-Man tells Wolverine he's going to kill the Scarlet Witch. Wolverine says that he won't give Spidey the chance.
    • Played straight when Magneto finds out that Quicksilver had the Scarlet Witch alter reality.
  • Scary Black Man: The House of M world Luke Cage, who's a gang boss.
  • Shipper on Deck: Wanda herself, oddly. The new world she creates has several characters romantically involved (e.g. Wolverine and Mystique) who were never shown being in a relationship before.
  • Shout-Out: House of M: Civil War has a few Shout-Outs to Watchmen.
    • Bucky comes off as an Expy of the Comedian: they are both black-ops officers for the military, and Bucky’s uniform—black combat gear with Captain America shoulder pads—-is very similar to the Comedian’s.
    • Richard Nixon gets a third term after overturning the 22nd Amendment and having his cronies (Bolivar Trask in House of M, the Comedian in Watchmen) get rid of any traces of Watergate.
  • Status Quo Is God: Played straight & averted.
    • Played straight, obviously, in that at the end the timeline reverts back to normal, and everyone's backstory is what it used to be and not the one Wanda gave them.
    • "No More Mutants" - Averted, in that a large number of mutants are depowered, and the X-Men underwent a massive shift in their position in the Marvel universe because of this. Played straight, with most of the 98% of mutants who lost their powers being unknown to the reader, and the majority of the named characters being C-List characters or lower with the big name mutants retaining their powers - Really, the only major mutant characters who lose their powers are Magneto & his children, and even then, it's only temporary.
    • Character Development - Averted, Wolverine remembering everything he'd previously forgotten. Played straight, in that despite the Trauma Conga Line he goes through during the story, there are no lasting effects for Peter Parker & his memories of the "House of M" timeline are only mentioned once in the follow-up mini Son of M, and has no bearing on any of the on-going Spider-Man series.
  • Super Family Team: Doom's version of the Fantastic Four is a villainous version.
  • Superior Species: Pietro convinces Wanda to rewrite reality using this as one of the excuses. She's thoroughly disillusioned about it by the end, though.
  • Too Good for This Sinful Earth: Magneto says this about Charles after Charles is killed.
  • Trauma Conga Line: Spider-Man goes through one, and he's not even the focus of the story.
  • Unstoppable Rage: Magneto, when he's zapped by Layla.
  • Villain World: The premise, though it's presented as a (semi-)benevolent dictatorship. Magneto is now the ultimate authority, with smaller territories being delegated to less-scrupulous villains like Apocalypse and Doctor Doom. Mutants have it much better than nonmutants, who are distinctly second-class citizens.
  • Wham Episode: For the X-Men. This series changes the entire mission statement of the team, and the mood and storylines that follow.
  • Wham Line:
    Wanda: No more mutants.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Clint, to Wanda, once he gets his memories back. It gets him killed all over again.
  • Wistful Amnesia: Former superheroes reverted to ordinary humans have a lingering sensation of loss. It doesn't help that mutants rule the world, leaving the powerless to languish in a state of depression called "Dead End Syndrome."
  • With Great Power Comes Great Insanity: And in Wanda's case, with great insanity comes great power. She is unable to access those levels when rational.
  • Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: Oh, Wanda...


Example of: