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"House of M"

Cover of House of M 1 (Aug 2005).Art by Esad Ribic.
Publisher Marvel Comics
Publication date August 2005 – January 2006
Genre Superhero
Crossover
Creative team
Writer(s) Brian Michael Bendis
Penciller(s) Olivier Coipel
Inker(s) Tim Townsend
Colorist(s) Frank D'Armata
Collected editions
Hardcover ISBN 0-7851-2466-7

House of M is an eight-issue comic book limited series and crossover storyline published by Marvel Comics in 2005. Written by Brian Michael Bendis, and illustrated by Olivier Coipel, its first issue debuted in June 2005, as a follow-up to the events of the Planet X and Avengers Disassembled storylines, in which the mutant superhero Scarlet Witch suffered a mental breakdown and tried to alter the fabric of reality to recreate her lost children. Scarlet Witch's father Magneto and her twin brother Quicksilver played major roles in the series.

Contents

Publication history

The first issue was released in June 2005 with series concluding November 2005. The first 2 issues were ranked first and second in the June 2005 period with the first issue selling over 233,000 copies.[1] The final issue of the House of M #8 was ranked third in sales for the November 2005 period with sales of 135,462.[2] In addition to the main eight-issue limited series, House of M was heralded by being a lead-in arc in Excalibur #13-14, and had several tie-ins to ongoing series, including Uncanny X-Men, New X-Men: Academy X and Wolverine.

Bendis, lead writer for the House of M event stated that the series would "shake the world and break the internet wide open." [3] Prior to the event, Bendis also mentioned in several interviews that the event will have a lasting effect on the Marvel Universe, but remained tight-lipped as to what. The reduction of the mutant community was the only rumored effect that actually came about.

The crossover has been followed by a one-shot called House of M: Decimation - The Day After, a series called Son Of M which depicts Quicksilver dealing with his loss of powers and Generation M, which devoted each issue to a different mutant dealing with his/her loss of powers. Characters confirmed to star are Chamber, Jubilee, and Blob. Characters who lost their powers included Dani Moonstar, Magneto, and Tag. The storyline also led to the reboot of Excalibur into New Excalibur, a shift in the creative teams of several comics, and the debut of several spin-off series, including X-Men: Deadly Genesis, X-Men: The 198 and Sentinel Squad O*N*E, Ms. Marvel and a new X-Factor series.

The epilogue to the House of M and Decimation storylines, which served to answer to the mystery of the strange "energy-cloud" hovering in orbit around the Earth at the conclusion of House of M #8, was revealed in the pages of New Avengers # 16-20.

Synopsis

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Genesis

Artwork for a variant cover of House of M 1 (Aug 2005). Art by Joe Quesada.

The story begins with a birth. Wanda Maximoff, also known as the Scarlet Witch, is surrounded by friends and family while giving birth. Her attending physician, Doctor Strange, hands Wanda her newborn twins and declares the birth a great success. Professor Charles Xavier (Professor X) appears and demands Wanda return the world to normal. She refuses, clinging to her babies, who shatter and disappear. There are no friends, no family and no babies. Instead, Wanda is resting in a dark room in the devastated mutant paradise of Genosha. Using his mental powers, Professor X forces Wanda to sleep. Magneto appears and asks Professor X about his progress with his daughter. Professor X informs Magneto that his power will no longer be enough to hold back Wanda and that a solution must be found. Magneto blames himself for twisting his children through the strength of his own dreams and ambitions.

Meanwhile, Xavier arranges a meeting of the Avengers, the X-Men and several lone heroes to Avengers Towers to decide the fate of Wanda Maximoff. Emma Frost concludes that killing Wanda is the only way to end her destructive magic. Captain America, however, argues that the group should seek alternate methods of dealing with Wanda including suppression of her powers and her insanity. The X-Men argue that if word gets out that a mutant with the ability to change reality went insane, it will "send human-mutant relations back to the stone-age". As the conversation progresses, it is revealed that Professor X asked Doctor Strange to help Wanda, but unfortunately neither was strong enough to combat her magic. Wolverine speaks up, saying that there is no other way—Wanda must be killed. The rest of the group, however, decides that they must talk to Wanda in person before making their decision.

Back in Genosha, a distraught Quicksilver rushes to Magneto and reveals that he was just in New York where he heard that the X-Men and Avengers are planning on killing Wanda. Magneto angrily replies that he does not know what to do. Quicksilver falls to the floor sobbing and Magneto glances over at his sleeping daughter.

Xavier takes the two groups to Genosha, only to discover that Wanda is missing. Suddenly, the members of the group start to disappear one by one. Spider-Man is soon the only one left and becomes engulfed by a white light…

New world

When the light departs, we see that the world has changed: Spider-Man is married to Gwen Stacy in New York; Cyclops and Emma Frost are married; Doctor Strange is a psychologist; Carol Danvers—known usually as Ms. Marvel—is now Captain Marvel, America's most beloved superhero; Gambit is a criminal; and Steve Rogers is an aged veteran. As we follow vignettes of their lives, it becomes readily apparent that none of them remember the change. Meanwhile, Wolverine is now in charge of S.H.I.E.L.D.'s House of Magnus Red Guard, and wakes up onboard a helicarrier sleeping next to Mystique. Unlike his comrades, Wolverine remembers.

Wolverine immediately rushes outside for a breath of fresh air. Leaping from the helicarrier, he finds himself in a world where Homo superior, instead of Homo sapiens, rule the planet.

Attempting to make sense of the strange world he finds himself in, Wolverine first seeks Professor X at the Xavier Institute for Higher Learning. He finds, however, a family who has lived in the mansion for fifteen years and who have no recollection of any Charles Xavier. Wolverine then sets out to find either Peter Parker or Tony Stark, Iron Man. However, when he reaches the lobby of Stark Tower, he is stopped by his teammates in the elite Red Guards. He escapes, but is promptly contacted by his former New Avengers teammate, Luke Cage, when he is transported to the hideout of the "Human Resistance Movement" by Cloak. To make matters even stranger, he is then threatened by Hawkeye.

After enduring a less-than-pleasant security check from Hawkeye, Wolverine realizes that the Red Guard has followed the tracking chip that Hawkeye just removed from his neck. The room explodes and Wolverine's teammates storm the underground headquarters. In the middle of the battle, Cloak teleports everyone he can to the Kingpin's office, which he knew would be empty. There, Wolverine relates to the Sapien Underground Resistance the series of events that led to the establishment of this alternate world, including the Scarlet Witch's nervous breakdown and the subsequent murders of Hawkeye, Vision, Jack of Hearts, and Ant-Man, resulting in the destruction of the Avengers. Wolverine theorizes that his personal history under the Weapon X program had so drastically wiped clean his memory that he alone could remember how things were. Furthermore, Wolverine asserts that as of yesterday he could remember every day of his life, and that he had what he most desired. Eventually, Wolverine hypothesizes that Magneto used his daughter to give everyone what they wanted, so that the Master of Magnetism could have what he wanted—global domination and a world where mutants rule over the common man.

An incredulous Luke Cage asks how Magnus knew what they wanted; Wolverine simply states that Charles Xavier, whom Magneto had kidnapped prior to the final transition into the House of M, would have the power to ascertain these desires. When Wolverine questions if the group believes his story, they say that yes, they do. Questioning why they believe him so easily when his story is so fantastic, Wolverine is presented with young Layla Miller, a mutant girl in the alternate world who awoke that morning to realize she had the power to show people the real world. Wolverine decides that the best way to proceed is to get all his former teammates together to kill Magneto and the rest of the House of M. Wolverine and the resistance then arrive, via Cloak's transportational power, at Emma Frost's home; Wolverine asks Layla Miller to "enlighten" Ms. Frost, just as she had previously done with Luke Cage. It is still unknown why Layla remembers the world before the change, but it is believed she is a mutant with the ability to see alterations in reality.

Wake-up call

Having illuminated Emma Frost, the resistance movement then contacts various heroes, including Cyclops, Spider-Man, Shadowcat, Doctor Strange, Iron Man, She-Hulk, Daredevil, Rogue, Mystique, Nightcrawler, Toad and Spider-Woman. As Layla awakened the heroes, Rogue, being distraught and confused, touched Layla; the power appeared overwhelming for Rogue as it emanated from her and awakened others in the vicinity. Hawkeye, unable to handle reliving his own death, flees the group, and is seen again in The Pulse #10 acknowledging his own death. The group consider reawakening Captain America, but appear (though Layla's eyes are seen flashing green, which signals her using her power, even after Emma Frost has told her not to illuminate the aged hero) to decide against it, seeing that, in this reality, Steve Rogers was never frozen during World War II, is now roughly in his early eighties, and thus unable to aid them in the fight against Magneto. Meanwhile, in Genosha, Lord Magnus ignores his daughter, Lorna, in order to look at a memorial gravestone in the Genosha gardens that commemorates the death of Professor Charles Xavier.

Meanwhile, the 'awakened' heroes travel to the S.H.I.E.L.D. helicarrier where Emma Frost uses her mental powers to commandeer a vehicle to take them to Genosha. While travelling, the heroes sit down in the ship's cafeteria to enjoy a meal. While there, Cyclops informs the team that since the upcoming battle with Magneto may be the most important battle of their lifetimes, no one should hold back in the least. Cyclops assertively explains:

I've—uh—I've been Team Leader of the X-Men since I was a teenager...and in that entire time I've always prided myself on my tactical restraint. Taking moral highground where violence is concerned. But today...there's no other way to say it...if we fail here, if we lose...we lose EVERYTHING. Everything we have ever believed in...every fight we've ever fought, every battle..it'll all have meant NOTHING. So I'm saying...that whatever restraint or personal boundaries you usually put on yourself in the name of good or right...well, I think there's no place for any of that here...in the fight we have in front of us. We CAN'T lose this. We HAVE to win. And to do that...you, are going to have to fight without Any restraint. Does anyone disagree?[4]
House of Magnus, from left to right: Quicksilver, Scarlet Witch, her two children William and Thomas, Magneto and Polaris.

Everyone is silent. This causes Jessica Drew to object; if Magneto has given each of them everything they've ever wanted in this illusion, shouldn't they be content to just live in his world? Wolverine quickly dismisses the idea.

Back in Genosha, Magneto receives the incoming representative from Latveria, Victor Von Doom. There is to be a great event held that night to commemorate the mutant triumph over humanity, an event for which the House of M will act as host. The party begins in the Royal Magnus Palace as the guests are introduced: King T'Challa (also known as the Black Panther) of the African Commonwealth of Wakanda, King of Latveria Victor Von Doom, Genis-Vell (a visiting delegate from the Kree Empire), Princess Ororo (also known as Storm) of Kenya and King Namor of the Kingdom of Atlantis. Finally, the hosts of the evening are introduced: the House of Magnus, composed of Magneto, the Scarlet Witch, Quicksilver, Polaris, and Magneto's two grandchildren, William and Thomas. Suddenly, from high above, a S.H.I.E.L.D. Sentinel plunges toward the castle. Magneto uses his magnetic powers to hold the Sentinel back from crashing into the castle when the awakened heroes attack. This is a Trojan Horse allowing the resistance to clash with Magneto's forces. Elsewhere, Cloak transports Emma Frost and Layla Miller to Magneto's Genosha garden. Searching for Xavier, they instead find the memorial commemorating his death, but Cloak reveals that Xavier's remains are not in the grave.

Battle with big consequences

The battle between the House of M and the heroes continues with great ferocity. While the chaos ensues, the Scarlet Witch disappears from the battlefield only to be discovered by Dr. Strange in a tower with her children. The two begin to talk as Dr. Strange attempts to discover the origin of the madness that is happening. Wanda reveals the answer to him in a flashback to the beginning when Quicksilver is confronting Magneto about the fate of Wanda. It turns out that Quicksilver himself was the one responsible for the creation of the alternate world, conspiring with Wanda to make everyone happy in an almost-perfect world. After this revelation, Emma Frost tells Strange to ask about the fate of Charles Xavier. Before he can tell Emma, Wanda is struck in the back by an arrow.

The attacker is Hawkeye, who begins to break down emotionally to Wanda about his death in the real timeline. After a heated exchange, Hawkeye is killed for the second time as one of the Scarlet Witch's antagonized sons - who, as in Avengers Disassembled, are both conduits for Wanda's own almost schizophrenic mind - uses her mutant powers to make the Avenger non-existent again. Meanwhile in the memorial garden, Magneto confronts Emma Frost and Layla Miller, who reveals the truth to Magneto about all that has happened. He then unleashes his wrath on everyone, especially his son Quicksilver. He nearly kills Quicksilver by pummeling him to a bloody pulp with large pieces of steel. Suddenly the Scarlet Witch appears, stopping Magneto and returning her brother to healthy form. She begins to lash out saying, "We're freaks, Mutants...you chose this over us and you ruined us... Daddy!" She then utters three words, "No more mutants," and things begin to break down and everything burns out to white once again.

No more mutants

In a blinding flash, the world seemingly comes back to the way it had been. New York is back to normal and Layla Miller wakes up from what she thinks must have been a lucid dream where she played an important part.

Peter Parker wakes up confused with Mary Jane Watson at his side. Together with the Avengers, they try to make sense of what happened that night (some of them remember, others do not), only to be confronted by a distraught Doctor Strange who states that the House of M really took place and its effects are slowly being felt on a wider scale.

Outside of the X-Mansion, Emma Frost awakes with her nose bleeding. Screams come pelting from the mansion as the students of the Xavier's School for Higher Learning one by one faint and lose their powers. Two students confirmed to lose their powers are Wind Dancer and Tag from New X-Men: Academy X. Helplessly, the X-Men watch most of their students lose their gifts, hoping in vain that Emma would soon give them an answer to all their questions. As Nightcrawler races to find Wolverine, Emma Cerebro-scans the whole world for mutant activity only to find out the great decimation the mutant population has endured. Among the depowered is Iceman who is covered with water as his previous ice-form shut down. Meanwhile, Wolverine awakes remembering everything about his past.

Back at the Stark Tower, the Avengers are seeking possible explanations from whatever useful sort of media report they can get when they are interrupted by an abrupt appearance of someone in the Mansion's ruins. When they arrived there, they had seen Hawkeye's uniform and an article written by Kat Farell publicizing Hawkeye's death, which brings tears and a great sense of pride to his former teammates.

Still in desperate pursuit of answers, the X-Men fly to Genosha to confront Magneto who has also lost all his powers. He is not able to satisfy them with the answers they have been seeking. Instead of killing Magneto for all his evil deeds, Wolverine consigns him to live the life of a powerless, aging, normal human, the kind of person Magneto never wished to be.

The heroes can only guess about what has caused the majority of the mutant population to lose their powers. With Xavier still missing, and with the Scarlet Witch probably depowered (as she could not be detected by the Cerebro scanner or by Doctor Strange, though she later appears to be living a normal life), the mutant population can only hold on to Hank Pym's words that all these powers could not simply vanish... they are contained somewhere, and that every action has an equal and opposite reaction. The question remains, as Henry Pym said, "What will be the reaction?"

As if to punctuate this statement, a colossal red ribbon of energy begins to orbit Earth.

World

In this world, Magneto was attacked by Sentinels over Manhattan in 1979 (taking advantage of Marvel's sliding timescale policy, there are no heroes active in the 1970s). At the end of the attack, Magneto revealed an alleged international anti-mutant conspiracy involving Richard M. Nixon. The main result of this was that Magneto was granted sovereignty of the island of Genosha as the leader of the world's mutants. Another result was that the protection of mutant life was judged to be the first worry of all laws (as a result, stem cell research on mutant embryos is illegal, but stem cell research on altered human embryos is permitted). Because of this, the world is a racist society, with mutants controlling governments, businesses and culture, and Humans (or "Sapiens") are looked down on as inferior (essentially a reversal of the status quo in the mainstream Marvel universe, where mutants are looked down on and despised instead).

Some exceptions apply to sapiens who live with privileges like Carol Danvers (Ms. Marvel in Earth-616 continuity, but Captain Marvel in the World of M) and Spider-Man. However, while Carol Danvers is widely known to be a sapien, Spider-Man is believed by the House of M world at large to be a mutant.

Given that the House of M reality was created by the Scarlet Witch and Charles Xavier combining their powers to give the assembled New Avengers and X-Men their heart's desires, it appears that Magneto's heart's desire was threefold. Primarily he wanted the entire world to acknowledge that his paranoid fantasies about baseline humans wanting to exterminate mutants were true (hence the Sentinel attack over New York in 1979 which concluded with the release of evidence that the world's human leaders were involved in a genocidal anti-mutant conspiracy). Secondly, he wanted to be acknowledged as a heroic figure and the rightful leader of all mutantkind (hence the disappearance of Charles Xavier and the timing of Magneto's rise to dominance, before other superheroes had appeared on the scene to challenge him). And thirdly, a massive speeding-up of the natural evolution of Homo sapiens into Homo superior until, by the modern era, they accounted for almost 50% of the global population, providing him with a power base sufficient to take over the governments of the world and use them to oppress baseline humans.

It is unclear whether Wanda's magic altered the entire Marvel Universe, or merely the structure and history of Earth, a fact further complicated by the events of Secret Invasion; the Skrull Pym stated that there was no way the Skrull army could win against such a vast number of mutants, at least possibly implying the Skrull army was left intact by Wanda's reality warp. Also, Xavier's supposed death in this reality, yet with no body, combined with his own off-planet actions, further confuse the issue. However, there is a Kree ambassador called Genis-Vell that appears within this illusory reality, and the Kree are shown to be peacefully collaborating with Earth, signifying that such was Wanda's power that she was indeed capable of rewriting all of reality, the entire universe. [5]

Decimation

The House of M has created some serious consequences in the Marvel Universe. The greatest so far is the reduction of the mutant population from millions to hundreds. Only two current members of the X-Men (Polaris and Professor X) suffered this fate,as well as former X-Man Chamber, although the X-Men's main villain Magneto has lost his abilities as well, as have two members of the Avengers: Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch. Magneto and Xavier have since been repowered, whilst Polaris and Quicksilver (and others) have either gained new powers (sometimes almost exactly like their old powers) or regained lost powers via other means (such as through Quicksilver himself and Chamber), within a span of well under two years. Other reasonably popular mutants have also been repowered by technology, such as Wind Dancer and Jubilee.

Other consequences include:

  • The temporary disappearance of Charles Xavier (he returned in X-Men: Deadly Genesis without his powers), Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver. Quicksilver's disappearance is explained in the Son of M limited series.
  • Wolverine's total recall of his past, which caused a serious change in his status.
  • Though not explicitly expressed in the House of M series, as of New Avengers #26, Clint Barton has been revived in the Marvel Universe.
  • The Collective, a new villain that destroyed the Canadian superhero team Alpha Flight, was created as a result of the Decimation event. The Collective was apparently formed from all of the mutant energies displaced by Wanda's actions.
  • The Shadow King was able to return to this reality with Shadow-X when Wanda shifted reality.
  • Onslaught was reborn.
  • Jim Jaspers was brought back to life and fused with The Fury.
  • The disappearance of Meggan and return of Captain Britain to the UK as a result of preventing the destruction of all realities from the strain of the House of M rewriting the 616 reality; later Meggan was reportedly taken prisoner by a demon named Plokta.
  • Due to the vast depowerment of mutants, America won the super powers war without lifting a finger.[6]
  • The Skrulls gained a massive advantage in their infiltration and sabotage. With so many millions of mutants killed, lost or powerless, one of the three primary threats Veranke stated was neutralized.
  • With all the mutant energy released, Vulcan, the third Summers brother, was revived from a long slumber.
  • Ilyana Rasputin was reborn as Darkchylde.

Worlds Tour

The Exiles begin their Worlds Tour in Exiles #69 to chase down Proteus who has been reborn in this new world. It was their first stop of six.

House of M: Avengers

The House of M: Avengers five-issue limited series debuted in November 14, 2007, written by Christos Gage and drawn by Mike Perkins.[7] The series spans from 1979 to the present day and acts as a prequel to the original House of M miniseries, showing the formation of Luke Cage's Human Resistance Movement.[8]

Secret Invasion

In a May 5, 2008 interview, Brian Michael Bendis indicated that the events of House of M play into the Secret Invasion. The activities of the Skrulls during House of M were covered in New Avengers #45,[9] in which it was revealed that the Skrull agents were able to retain their memories after Wanda altered reality, her powers seemingly unable to detect their true natures and desires, and had attempted to instigate the destruction of the mutants over the alteration. The Skrull queen, still disguised as Jessica Drew, considered the resulting Decimation to be a boon to the Skrulls plans as they could now divert the part of their forces intended to deal with Earth's mutant population to other areas.

Civil War: House of M

This mini-series depicts how Magneto took over the world and made mutants the dominant race, as well as confirming that Xavier is indeed dead in this reality.

It also features House of M versions of Bolivar Trask, Bucky, Burner, Dragoness, Gateway, Graydon Creed, Lifter, Mimic, Nuke, Randall Darby, Slither, the Soviet Super-Soldiers (Crimson Dynamo, Darkstar, Red Guardian, Titanium Man, Ursa Major, Vanguard), Vashti Cleito-Son, and Warlord Krang.

House of M: Masters of Evil

Set right after Civil War: House of M, this mini-series depicts how the Hood assembles a gang of the deadliest Sapien super-criminals: Madame Masque, Absorbing Man, Batroc the Leaper, Blizzard II, Chemistro III, Cobra, Constrictor, Crossbones, Nitro, Sandman, Titania, Wizard, and the Wrecking Crew (Bulldozer, Piledriver, Thunderball, and Wrecker).

Comic tie-ins

As a universe-wide event, House of M stretches beyond its main series with the storyline interacting with the following comics:

Collected editions

Trade Paperbacks

The trade paperbacks collect many of the issues involved with the House of M storyline. Arranged in order, the books form the House of M logo. They include:

  • Excalibur: Prelude to the House of M (collects Excalibur #11-14, ISBN 0-7851-1812-8)
  • House of M (collects House of M #1-8 and "The Pulse: House of M Special", ISBN 0-7851-1721-0)
  • House of M: Incredible Hulk (collects Incredible Hulk #83-87, ISBN 0-7851-1834-9)
  • House of M: Fantastic Four and Iron Man (collects Fantastic Four: House of M #1-3, Iron Man: House of M #1-3, ISBN 0-7851-1922-1)
  • House of M: Uncanny X-Men (collects Uncanny X-Men #462-465, first half of Secrets of the House of M, ISBN 0-7851-1663-X)
  • Mutopia X (collects Mutopia X #1-5, ISBN 0-7851-1811-X)
  • House of M: New X-Men (collects New X-Men: Academy X #16-19, second half of Secrets of the House of M, ISBN 0-7851-1941-8)
  • House of M: Spider-Man (collects Spider-Man: House of M #1-5, ISBN 0-7851-1753-9)
  • World of M Featuring Wolverine (collects Wolverine #33-35, Captain America #10, Black Panther #7, Pulse #10, ISBN 0-7851-1922-1)
  • House of M: Avengers (collects House of M: Avengers #1-5, ISBN 0-7851-2750-X)
  • House of M: Civil War (collects Civil War: House of M #1-5, ISBN 0-7851-3380-1)
  • House of M: Masters of Evil (collects House Of M: Masters Of Evil #1-5, ISBN 0-7851-4166-9)

Hardcovers

Title Material collected Date Released ISBN
House of M House of M #1-8 and The Pulse: House of M Special January 2008 ISBN 0-7851-2466-7
House of M (vol 2) Spider-Man: House of M #1-5, New Thunderbolts #11, Fantastic Four: House of M #1-3, Black Panther #7, and Uncanny X-Men #462-465 December 2009 ISBN 0-7851-3881-1
House of M (vol 3) Wolverine #33-35, Iron Man: House of M #1-3, Incredible Hulk #83-87, Captain America #10, Pulse #10, and Cable & Deadpool #17 February 2010 ISBN 0-7851-3882-X
House of M (vol 4) Mutopia X #1-5, New X-Men #16-19, Exiles #69-71, House of M: The Day After, and Giant-Size Ms. Marvel #1 March 2010 ISBN 0-7851-3883-8

It should be noted that each storyline/paperback contains a mostly standalone sidestory, and can be read individually without any continuity problems. Only the House of M mini-series itself deals with the main storyline.

Alternate Versions

What If?

  • An issue of What If? revolving around House of M asks "What If Scarlet Witch Ended the House of M event by saying No More Powers?" In this story, all of the heroes of the world lose their powers with mixed results. Thing is human, Doctor Strange tells Wong that he can't connect with magic, Wolverine's adamantium skeleton is too heavy, Ms. Marvel and She-Hulk are normal, Cyclops doesn't have to worry about wearing special glasses, Maria Hill delivers a report that the superpowered inmates at the Raft have lost their powers, Spider-Man is relieved at the loss of his "responsibility," Iron Man believes there is still work to be done, and most of the X-Men try to resume normal lives. Iron Man speaks to the Illuminati members about this problem. Outside of the news that this event uncovered some Skrulls on Earth, they talk about what to do next. Red Skull obtains a cosmic cube and uses it to take over New York. After killing the Young Avengers, Reed Richards and a newly fully-human Ben Grimm, Red Skull declares his intentions to take over the world. Iron Man (who had been freelancing against the non-superpowered villains) appears along with several other heroes, including Wolverine, War Machine, and Carol Danvers, all of whom are outfitted with special suits of Iron Man-esque armor (Wolverine's includes laser-claws). The X-Men appear, using remaining Shi'ar technology in an attempt to stop Skull. After he defeats them, Spider-Man, who had been watching the news of Skull's attack with his newly pregnant wife, Mary Jane, uses his old mechanical web-shooters to steal and crush the Cube from the Skull, before leading the collected depowered community into battle against Skull and his forces, shouting "Avengers assemble!" Many years later, a white-haired Tony Stark is shown visiting Spider-Man while he and his daughter, named May, play with his granddaughter, Anna. They remark on the reason that humans would have appeared as heroes, stating that if things get bad enough again, more of "their kind" will emerge. As he says this, Anna is shown leaping from a monkey bars after a butterfly with uncanny grace and agility.
  • An upcoming issue of "What If?" in the 2009 series will revolve around the Spider-Man: House of M mini-series, asking the questions of what would have happened had Emma Frost not wiped Gwen's mind and she had accompanied the heroes to Genosha, and what would have happened if the Scarlet Witch had allowed Gwen and her son with Peter to exist after returning reality back to normal.

See also

Notes

References

External links


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