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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 ran 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 Retcon. 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. Some years later, Marvel released two mini-series, House of M: Avengers and House of M: Civil War, filling in a few details of this reality's backstory.


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

The Marvel Cinematic Universe series WandaVision takes some inspiration from this run, mainly the plot point of the Scarlet Witch using her reality-warping powers to change her surroundings to her liking after a traumatic event.

Tropes found in the comic:

  • Adaptational Badass: In the original universe, Diamondback was just an ordinary human with exploding knives. In the House of M reality, he's a mutant even before Luke went to prison.
  • Adaptational Villainy:
    • Shang-Chi is the leader of a Chinatown-based street gang called the Dragons, whose ranks also include Colleen Wing, Mantis, and Swordsman, all of whom are heroes in the main universe. They eventually come around, though, and become allies of the Avengers.
    • Thunderbird was known to be pretty hotheaded in the original timeline, but here, he's an outright Rabid Cop who goes to increasingly extreme lengths to catch the Avengers, including outright Police Brutality, an alliance with The Kingpin and the endangerment of innocent civilians.
    • Apocalypse's Horsemen include characters who are heroes in the normal continuity, such as Nightcrawler, Angel and Iceman.
  • Alternate Continuity: The entire "House Of M" reality is a short-lived one.
  • Amnesia Missed a Spot: During the main series, Robert Reynolds is talking with his psychiatrist, Doctor Steven Strange, about how he was out with his son at the park when he suddenly had a vision of darkness consuming everything - the Void fighting back.
  • Appropriated Appellation: The Avengers initially got their name from the human citizens they protected.
  • Back from the Dead: Hawkeye, TWICE! He first appears alive in the House of M reality after having previously been killed during Avengers Disassembled, only to be disintegrated by Wanda after confronting her on Genosha. Then, after reality is restored, the Avengers find his costume in the ruins of Avengers Mansion, hinting that Wanda resurrected him once again.
  • 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.
  • Big Brother Instinct: Everything kicks off because of Pietro's desire to protect Wanda.
  • 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.
  • C-List Fodder: Half of Luke's crew are people like Angela del Toro, the White Tiger. They get unceremoniously murdered by Sentinels shortly after Logan meets Luke.
  • Clothesline Stealing: How Luke got his infamous yellow satin shirt in Avengers. While making his way back to New York, he had to take some clothes from an elderly couple, who were distracted by Magneto's takeover on the news. Plus, it was the seventies.
  • Comicbook Time: In-universe, Magneto's children are all adults when he conquers the world in the seventies, but when we get to present-day early 2000s they are in no way in their fifties. Which makes sense considering it's all Wanda's creation.
  • Composite Character: Composite Team example. The Wolfpack is a teenage street gang named after an obscure Marvel series from The '80s, but, aside from Rafael Vega, all of its members actually come from the New Warriors and the Power Pack.
  • Continuity Porn:
    • When Layla unlocks Peter's memories, we get a two-page spread of the notable villains and events of Spidey's life.
    • House of M: Avengers is filled with all sorts of continuity nods.
  • Cosmic Retcon: Altering the entire world, without so much as a new timeline.
  • Creepy Child: Wanda's kids. Between the weird behaviour and their being made by reality warping, they're very creepy.
  • 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.
  • Doomed by Canon: Avengers is a flashback tale, so anyone present in the story who isn't part of Luke's gang come the main event, like Tigra or Mockingbird, is doomed.
  • 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. She was a new character, and Doctor 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.
  • External Retcon: Doctor Strange implies during a discussion with Wanda near the climax that the out of character actions of Magneto during New X-Men might be attributed to her meddling, either her making a copy or resurrecting him. Subsequent retcons would only muddy the waters further.
  • Expendable Alternate Universe: Played horrifically straight in the Uncanny X-Men tie-ins, which claim Wanda's reality warping is destroying multiple realities.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Humans may be treated as second-class citizens under Magneto's rule, but he finally intervenes after Thunderbird attempts an outright purge of a human neighborhood in an attempt to get the Avengers.
    Magneto: I'm a Holocaust survivor; I can't be seen as condoning purges.
  • Fantastic Racism: Due to mutants controlling the world, humans are now an oppressed group. The racism parallels are driven home when Luke Cage mocks Sam Wilson for being the "token sapien" on the otherwise mostly-mutant NYPD. This is also acknowledged in the House of M: Avengers limited series, where Lotus Shinchuko (who is Asian American) says that Magneto's takeover of the planet has effectively rendered all prior racial tension meaningless; now the only division that matters is the one between humans and mutants. This is later reiterated by Thunderbird, who says he grew up being treated as a third-class citizen because of his Apache heritage, a problem that went away once Magneto took over the United States.
  • Fantastic Slur: Mutants in the House of M reality who are racist like to call humans "sapes."
  • Five-Second Foreshadowing: Magneto calls Wanda his daughter in a speech, a couple of pages before revealing to Lorna, Pietro and as far as he knows Wanda that he's their father.
  • 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.
  • Foreshadowing: In the House of M reality, The Incredible 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.
  • Genetic Engineering Is the New Nuke: In this universe, Luke Cage got his powers from a desperate last ditch attempt by the government to create an army of Super Soldiers to fight Magneto's mutant forces. It was too late, however, since by the time Luke escaped from the lab, the world leaders had already begun meeting with Magneto to discuss the terms of their surrender.
  • Genocide from the Inside: The mass depowering of mutants is caused by a mutant.
  • A Glitch in the Matrix: Wolverine realizes that things aren't 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 to kill him.
  • Hollywood Acid: Diamondback's mutant power allows him to spit acid, strong enough to hurt Luke Cage's unbreakable skin.
  • Hulk Speak: Lampshaded.
    Hulk: Hulk... hates... personal pronouns.
  • Idiot Ball: Apparently everyone in the Avengers forgot about Pietro, well-known for his extreme protectiveness towards Wanda, when they met up to discuss what to do about her.
  • 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 at 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.
  • Inspirational Martyr: Hector Ayala, the original White Tiger, was sent to prison for refusing to help the police track down Luke Cage's Avengers. It's stated that his conviction played a major role in convincing people that the legal system was unfairly biased against humans.
  • In Spite of a Nail: A few details remain the same. For example, Luke Cage was still set up over Reva Connors, who was still killed while he was in prison, and he still got sent to Seagate and dealt with the racist guards.
  • "It" Is Dehumanizing: A non-robot example with Victor referring to the empowered and near-mindless Ben Grimm as "It" instead of Thing.
  • 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 (A.K.A the Avengers), led by Luke Cage.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: At the end of everything, Pietro, who was responsible for the whole mess, is among those depowered by Wanda.
  • Legacy Character: Angela del Toro became the new White Tiger in honor of her uncle Hector, who was screwed over by the anti-human legal system.
  • 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, Quicksilver, 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.
  • Minority Police Officer: Magneto chooses Sam Wilson to replace Thunderbird as the detective in charge of Sapien Town, reasoning that it's more appropriate for a human cop to police a human neighborhood.
  • The Mole: Black Cat is a member of the Avengers who acts as an operative inside the Kingpin's criminal syndicate. She's nearly killed after her cover is blown, but manages to survive.
  • Murder Is the Best Solution: When the X-Men (well, the Astonishing team, so five of them) are invited to talk about what to do with Wanda, Emma Frost's immediate solution is "put her down." Wolverine agrees with her.
  • 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 uses 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" Remark: Trish Tilby notes that despite being bitter enemies, Luke Cage and Thunderbird have a lot in common. Both men grew up facing racial prejudice and lost their families, only to form new surrogate ones (the Avengers and the Brotherhood, respectively). They even have similar powers.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: Luke Cage initially pretends to be oblivious to what has happened when he first meets Logan. Then, after Logan gives his story:
    Wolverine: You believe me?
    Luke Cage: Yeah.
    Wolverine: Why?
  • Oh, Crap!: Apocalypse has this reaction when he realizes Black Panther has allied himself with Black Bolt. Black Bolt then proceeds to kill Apocalypse with a whisper.
  • Oracular Urchin: Layla Miller.
  • Pass Fail: Certain superpowered humans like Spider-Man, Tigra and Taskmaster are able to pass as mutants due to their superhuman abilities or bizarre appearances. Taskmaster's cover is blown after he gets a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown from Luke Cage.
    The Blob: Hard to blame the man. Being a sapien must suck.
  • 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.
  • Riddle for the Ages: Bucky made it through the war intact in this continuity, so how come on his final mission, his left arm is made of metal?
  • 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.
  • Sequel Hook:
    • After M-Day, Cap notes a man on one of Avengers Tower's TV screens and asks Tony to turn it up. It's Reverend William Stryker, who claims the Decimation was "God's will" and it's now time to finish the job. He then showed up as a recurring nemesis in New X-Men.
    • The series ends with Hank wondering about where all those energies mutants manipulate will go without someone to manipulate them. Cue ominous red light flashing over Earth... followed up in New Avengers, when it hits Alaska.
  • Shame If Something Happened: The authorities try to force Hector Ayala's cooperation by threatening his family. It doesn't work, as most of his relatives flee to Wakanda, which has become a haven for displaced human refugees.
  • 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:
    • In the House of M verse, Apocalypse Now still exists, but actually appears to involve the villain Apocalypse.
    • 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.
  • Sole Survivor: Moon Knight was the only surviving member of a military unit that was wiped out in Egypt by Apocalypse and the Horsemen.
  • Spared By Adaptation:
    • A number of heroes and villains who are dead in the mainstream Marvel Universe are alive in the House of M timeline, including Thunderbird, Pyro, Swordsman and Hector Ayala.
    • This also applies to some civilians, most notably Gwen Stacy and Uncle Ben. Frank Castle was also able to save his wife and children from being killed by gangsters in this continuity.
  • 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, consisting of Victor, his wife Valeria, and their adopted son Kristoff.
  • 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.
  • Taking You with Me: Diamondback tries blowing Luke Cage up with a grenade. It doesn't work.
  • The Team Normal: The Punisher is the only member of the Brotherhood without any powers, as Thunderbird, the Blob, Avalanche, Boom-Boom, Feral and Taskmaster all possess superhuman abilities.
  • There Are No Therapists: The story starts off with Magneto and Xavier having spent six months trying to help Wanda deal with her grief over the children she lost and eventually calls a meeting between the X-Men and the Avengers to discuss mercy-killing Wanda before her mental instability and her powers cause her to do something potentially apocalyptic. However, at no point is the idea of taking her to a Psychiatrist even brought up, and there's no indication that they've tried or even thought of the idea.
  • Token Minority:
    • Sam Wilson is one of the NYPD's only human detectives, something Luke Cage uses to taunt him.
    Luke Cage: How many photo ops they make you take a week? Being the token sapien.
    • Frank Castle is chosen as the only human member of the Brotherhood, which Thunderbird admits will be a good PR move and help ease tensions in the human neighborhoods they police. Taskmaster is also a human, but deliberately hides his heritage.
  • 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.
  • You Killed My Father: Shang-Chi hates Magneto for killing his dad during the mutant conquest of the planet.
  • 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: Two.
    Wolverine: I remember. My whole life. I remember all of it.
    Wanda: No more mutants.
  • What If?: One story has Wanda say "No more powers" instead of "No more mutants" at the end of the series, causing all superheroes to lose their powers, and the Red Skull to become a threat once again thanks to the Cosmic Cube. The heroes quickly get their act together, use Iron Man suits to attack the Skull, and ultimately, the Cube is broken by Peter Parker.
  • 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...
  • You Kill It, You Bought It: Luke manages to gain control of Diamondback's gang when David blows himself up. Turns out most of his gang were humans Diamondback was blackmailing or bullying into working for him, and are pretty glad the guy's dead.