House of M: World of M featuring Wolverine (2006)

[ Listening to BBC Radio Scotland Currently: Listening to BBC Radio Scotland ]

Quote:
“You gave him the one thing that he could not live without: you gave him back his war.”

 

This book is a bit of an odds and sods collection of House of M related stories. The main story is from Wolverine 33 -35 and was written by Daniel Way with art from Javier Saltares and Mark Texeira. The book also contains three single issue stories from Black Panther 7, The Pulse 10 and Captain America 10.

The main story features Sebastian Shaw, the director of S.H.I.E.L.D., interviewing Mystique after Logan literally jumps ship from a helicarrier. He is concerned about Logan’s loyalty especially after a recent terrorist incident in which a sentinel was stolen by Logan’s old colleague Nick Fury and Logan himself disappeared. The story features Wolverine only in the flashbacks as the interview proceeds and examines further the mutant oppression of the human population and the spiky relationship between Fury and the mutant squad he is tasked to train.

The main story is good but only features Wolverine as a background character in his own book. It does explore, along with the other stories in the books, some of the prejudices of the formerly suppressed mutant majority. The Black Panther story expressly addresses the prejudices of the ruling regime towards other mutants – for instance the ruling classes tend to be white and human looking with the more extreme looking mutants not having a look in. The quality in the book shines through in the last two stories that were written by the great Brian Michael Bendis and Ed Brubaker. Bendis’ story again features the oppression of humans in the mutant controlled workplace and the censorship the press. It features a confrontation between journalist Kat Farrell and the anguished Hawkeye who has just had his memories of his death restored to him. The Captain America story features the sad decline of the formerly feted hero as he struggles to find his place in the increasingly mutant dominated world order. So a mixed bag but an interesting read exploring some of the background to the House of M universe.

House of M: Spider-Man (2006)

 

Quote:
“Hope you don’t mind, Goblin, but I brought some of my buddies along.”

 

This book collects the five issue mini-series and was written by Mark Waid and Tom Peyer. I know Waid best from the Kingdom Come mini-series but he has had runs on other DC titles such as Flash and JLA and Marvel titles such as Captain America and Fantastic Four. Peyer was an editor on Sandman but I think this is the first book I have read for which he has a writing credit. The art was by penciller Salvador Larroca and inker Danny Miki. I know Larroca from the Ultimate Daredevil and Elektra and Ultimate Elektra mini-series and I don’t think I have come across Miki’s work before.

Peter Parker has the perfect life. He is one of the most famous mutants on the planet – as a wrestler and film star. He is happily married to Gwen Stacy with a small son and has the rest of his family around him including his uncle Ben. So why would anyone want to dirty his reputation? Who is the mysterious Green Goblin who passes the dirt, in the form of an alternate reality journal, to Parker’s personal whipping boy Jonah Jameson?

Peter Parker is the superhero who gets the roughest emotional ride in the House of M series when his memories are restored. And that continues in this great series from Waid and Peyer in which his real memories are trying to come to the surface and he goes from hero to zero with Jameson’s revelations in the press. The book continues a theme common to a lot of the House of M related series – the so-called dream come true reality created by the Scarlet Witch does not seem like a dream come true in actuality. The only fault that I can find with it is that I felt the ending was a little weak but other than that well worth a read even without any knowledge of the main book.

House of M: New X-Men – Academy X (2006)

 

Quote:
“You’re a terrorist now?! People have been sent to kill you. My people.”

 

This book collects New X-Men 16 -19 and was written by husband and wife team Nunzio DeFilippis and Christina Weir. The art was by penciller Aaron Lopresti and inker Brad Vancata. All of the creative team are new to me.

In this reality, the Hellions are a group of young S.H.I.E.L.D. trainees and the New Mutants are a group of non-combatant mutants being trained for leadership. After the Hellions break-up a terrorist incident at a New Mutants assembly, the signs point to the father of Surge, one of the Hellions, as being behind the attempted atrocity. When the Hellions are sent to Japan to investigate without her, Surge enlists the help of her New Mutant boyfriend to find out the truth of her father’s involvement and the super secret Project Genesis.

This was an enjoyable little side tale in the House of M universe. It explores more of the dark side of the seemingly perfect mutant ruled world created by the Scarlet Witch. Because the teams are made up of teens there is a bit of a juvenile feel to some of the settings and dialogue but the story is mostly good with mystery and intrigue in the form of the secret Project Genesis and super covert S.H.I.E.L.D. agents in both camps. one of the worthier House of M titles though it did feel like they ran out of room a little with an ending that borrowed from Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.