Graphic Novel Review: House of M: The Ultimate Edition

11:14 23 May 2014

House of M: Ultimate Edition

House of M: Ultimate Edition

Archant

The Avengers and X-Men are trapped in a new reality where mutants are the dominant force...

(Panini Books)

Before the Avengers franchise was catapulted into the stratosphere, the team was very much in the shadow of the more influential X-Men, although both groups occupied their own corners of the Marvel Universe, rarely interacting unless extreme circumstances demanded otherwise.

This is one of those occasions, an event which sees reality itself rewritten, and requires the combined forces of Avengers and X-Men alike to restore the world we know, but without further devastating consequences in its wake, including the depowerment of over 99 per cent of the world’s mutant population.

House of M was originally published almost 10 years ago, and yet its impact is still being felt today, with characters and situations forever changed as a result, and also led into later crossovers like Secret Invasion.

The changes to reality are triggered by a summit meeting of Avengers and X-Men to discuss the fate of Wanda Maximoff, aka the Scarlet Witch, following her actions in bringing about the disbanding of a previous incarnation of Avengers, leading to the deaths of members Jack of Hearts, Hawkeye, Ant Man and her estranged husband the Vision.

Wolverine leads a contingent which believes the only solution is to kill Wanda, a stance opposed by Captain America’s faction, but before a decision can be made, the world goes white, and everything changes…

We are thrust into a new world, one where homo superior are the dominant force, and normal humans are treated as second-class citizens, a reality ruled over by Magneto and his children Wanda and Pietro (aka Quicksilver).

Only Wolverine appears to remember the original reality, and he must team up with drastically different versions of his friends and foes in order to restore the “true” Marvel Universe, little knowing how the Scarlet Witch will react in response…

The House of M was one of the first major crossovers for the Marvel Universe in the wake of writer Brian Michael Bendis taking over control of the Avengers, and it sets up events which were to bear fruit throughout the remainder of his run, as well as having devastating effects for the X-Men franchise.

Not only a landmark title, but a self-contained epic in its own right, the House of M is a fundamental cornerstone in the creation of the modern Marvel Universe, and comes with the highest possible recommendation.

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