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Brian Michael Bendis (Writer), Olivier Coipel (Penciler), Tim Townsend (Inker), Frank D’Armata (Colorist), Chris Eliopoulos (Letterer), James Taveras (Production), Stephanie Moore and Molly Lazer (Assistant Editors), Andy Schmidt (Associate Editor), Tom Brevoort (Editor), Joe Quesada (Editor in Chief), Dan Buckley (Publisher)
On Genosha, Wanda Maximoff alters reality to make it seem as if she truly has children once again. However, Professor Xavier, who is trying to heal Wanda, forces her to place reality back in place, leaving her lucid enough to agonize over how she killed several of the Avengers, including her ex-husband. It seems this is a recurring scenario and always ends with Xavier psionically forcing Wanda to sleep. However, this ploy is not working as well anymore. Xavier informs Magneto on the dire situation, but Magneto blames himself for it all, as he destroyed his children’s lives in the name of his dead dream. Xavier runs out of options and secretly travels to New York City, where he meets with the new Avengers to discuss the fate of Wanda. The new Avengers call in several former Avengers and Dr. Strange, as well as Cyclops’ team of X-Men, who are shocked to see the Professor after how things ended the last time they met. The heroes waste no time in discussing the situation. Emma and Wolverine find themselves in the minority, as they want to kill Wanda. Shockingly, Xavier reluctantly admits that killing her may be their only option. Wasp and Warbird demand to see Wanda and thus the heroes travel to Genosha, unaware that Quicksilver discovered their secret meeting and ran to his father, fearing that the heroes would come and kill Wanda. Quicksilver, however, is left heartbroken to hear that his father agrees that perhaps Wanda would be better off put out of her misery, though Magneto is quite ashamed to admit it. However, when the heroes reach Genosha they find Magneto and Wanda missing. Suddenly, Xavier disappears and Emma senses Wanda in a church. Dr. Strange, Iron Man and Spider-Man, however, sense nothing. Spider-Man enters the church and goes ahead of the others. As he rounds the corner into a next room, he notices something but, before he can see what it is… reality changes, possibly forever. Peter Parker then wakes up in New York City to hear his baby crying. His lovely blonde wife, Gwen Stacy, reminds him that it is his turn to check on their child, Ritchie.
Sweat pours from Wanda Maximoff’s body, as she gives another great push. As she squeezes her eyes, she lets out a groan. Pushing harder, she grabs onto the bed sheets and squeezes them tightly, as she lets out another groan, much louder than before. Someone takes Wanda’s hand to support her in her difficult moment as Dr. Stephen Strange tells her that they are almost there. Wanda calls out to God, as an excited Strange tells her that they are coming out. Wanda’s eyes open wide and she beholds her two, healthy, beautiful baby boys.
Dr. Strange cleans up the children and soon hands them over to their mother. To one side of her bed is her beloved husband, the Vision. On the other side are her family and friends, including brother Quicksilver and friends Wonder Man and the Wasp. At the foot of the bed is the Avengers’ butler, Edwin Jarvis. Dr. Strange proudly tells Wanda that she gave birth to twin boys. Wanda is ecstatic and asks her husband if he heard what Strange said. They have twins! The Vision looks at his two children and tells Wanda that this is a glorious day. Suddenly, a stranger enters the room and tells Wanda to the put everything back.
Professor Charles Xavier sits in the doorway of the balcony to Wanda’s quarters. As the winds blow the thin white curtains and flower petals around the room, Xavier reminds Wanda that they have talked about this before. She has to put it back now. He reiterates that she has no children. There is no one else in the room except for him and her. Wanda denies all of what Xavier says and shows him her children. Doesn’t he see? She has two babies. Stoically, Xavier again tells Wanda that she has no children and she never could have them. He then asks Wanda to stop abusing her mutant powers as she is only hurting herself.
The Vision turns to Xavier and tells the man not to speak to his wife in such a manner. Wanda again exclaims that the two babies in her arms belong to her. Frustrated, Xavier telepathically screams at Wanda and tells her to put the world back in order now. Tears run down Wanda’s face as her children become more inhuman and animalistic. She refuses to listen to Xavier, who screams at her again. Wanda calls out that she has children one more time, but Xavier tells her that they never existed. Suddenly, the children, Wanda’s bed her clothes, and all the other people in the room shatter into a million pieces.
Professor Xavier finds himself in a dark room, windowless, with a large portion of a wall missing to lead to the outside. In one dark corner is a bed, much different from the fancy frame that Wanda was on moments ago. Kneeling in the room is Wanda Maximoff, better known as the Scarlet Witch, who is dressed in a green gown. Wanda raises her head and clutches her chest and she cries in agony. She calls out to God as she realizes that she has killed them. She has killed the Avengers. She killed her husband. Xavier, blood running from his nose, comes over to Wanda and holds her as she cries into his chest.
Some time later, Xavier watches looks over the ruins of Genosha on Wanda’s balcony in silence. Magneto, dressed in normal clothes, enters and asks his friend how the session went. He heard screaming. Xavier removes his tissue from his nose and shows the blood, to answer Magneto’s question. Magnus looks out to the distance and apologizes. Xavier explains to the other man that every time Wanda uses her powers to warp reality she loses more of her grasp on what is real and what is not. Things are not getting better.
Magneto asks Xavier if Wanda sleeps now, to which Xavier replies that he “suggested” that she did. However, they cannot keep on psychically forcing her to sleep or pumping drugs into her. It is inhumane. It isn’t foolproof either and is hardly working now. Xavier then tells Magnus not to blame himself. Magnus, annoyed, tells Xavier not to read his mind without his permission. Charles, however, admits that he wasn’t reading the man’s mind.
Sorrow overcomes Magneto, who tells Charles that he cannot help it. He put his children through hell to achieve what he believed in. He destroyed their chance at a decent life, so he could have a war with humanity. He waged his war, and he lost it. He has lost the war and his children. Xavier knows that he was ready to sacrifice his children at any moment. He never imagined it would end like this. As Magneto walks away through the air, he tells Xavier that sacrificing his children was for nothing and there are plenty of people who think he deserve this. Once Magneto is far away, Xavier speaks. “Maybe…but she doesn’t.”
In New York City, Carol Danvers and Simon Williams stand outside Stark Towers and look up. They are dressed in their Avengers uniforms, though they both cover themselves with civilian clothing to mask their identities. Carol speaks up and acknowledges the new Avengers Mansion. As the two continues to look at the towering building, Simon wonders why the new Avengers have called in the old Avengers. Perhaps they wanted to not invite them into the new Avengers in person, says Carol sarcastically.
Suddenly, Sam Wilson, a.k.a the Falcon, joins the group and reminds Carol that they didn’t “not” invite them. They all quit. Carol says hello to Sam, who responds in kind. She then comments that they quit after the others pulled the plug on the operation. The three walk to the front doors of the tower, where they are prompted for identification. Carol comments on how ridiculous this is under her breath, but all three still announce their names, followed by their codenames.
Upon hearing Carol say, “Ms. Marvel,” Sam asks the woman if she really is going back to her old name. Carol replies that she is thinking about it. The computer finishes checking their IDs and welcomes them to Stark Towers. It also prompts them to take the elevator up. Sarcastically, Carol expresses her joy in being allowed in. Sam wonders why they couldn’t just fly in. Simon reminds the man that the call said no fly-ins. The public is not aware that the new Avengers operate out of this building yet. It seems the new team wants to keep that a secret for as long as they can. “Yeah,” comments Sam, “But I like flying.”
Sometime later, a jet streaks towards Stark Towers. As the X-Jet reaches its destination, someone on board questions if that really is their target. Emma looks out the window, unimpressed with the whole situation, and comments that it is the only skyscraper with an Avengers Quinjet on top. Wolverine simply replies that they are at the right place.
As Cyclops lands the X-Jet, Beast looks at the new Quinjet model and expresses his love for it. Shadowcat jokes that he is a jealous little girl, to which Beast replies that Stark has all the money. The X-Men disembark from their jet. When Beast, Emma Frost, Cyclops, Wolverine, Shadowcat and Colossus enter the top floor of the mansion, Edwin Jarvis takes them into the main room, where he introduces the X-Men to the waiting Avengers inside. As they enter, Cyclops tells Logan that, since he knows why his Avengers are calling them in, he should just tell them. Annoyed, Wolverine asks Scott if he cannot wait four more seconds. Emma, in the lead as the team, enters the room and stands in shock at the sight before her.
Standing around a conference table is the majority of the New Avengers: Captain America, Iron Man sans helmet, Spider-Man, Luke Cage, and the Sentry. In addition are several former Avengers: She-Hulk, Falcon, Wonder Man, Warbird, Yellowjacket, and the Wasp. Also among the heroes are the mystic Dr. Strange and, surprisingly, Charles Xavier!
Shadowcat runs up to the Professor and hugs him, telling him how she hated how things ended between them last time. Cyclops shakes Xavier’s hand, though he is confused as the last time they spoke Xavier made it clear he wanted nothing to do with the team. He wasn’t exactly nice about it. Xavier acknowledges this, but announces that something important has come up. Shadowcat, still elated, asks Xavier what he is doing there. Cyclops notices that Emma is disturbed and questions what is wrong. Emma simply replies that the Professor will tell him. Xavier speaks up and tells the X-Men that he has made this special trip to New York to discuss and almost impossible matter. They need to decide the fate of Wanda Maximoff.
In Genosha, Wanda sleeps soundly in her bed in the dark. Suddenly, her brother Quicksilver leans over her bed and look down at his sister. He then falls to his knees and looks down in shame. Quietly, Magnus enters the room and asks Pietro what he is doing in the room. Quicksilver, still on his knees, turns to face his father and tells him that they are going to kill her. Magnus, of course, is confused.
Quicksilver gets up and yells that they are going to kill Wanda. Xavier, the Avengers and the X-Men are meeting right now in New York. He was just there. They are agreeing to kill her. Why else would they meet? The heroes have met to decide that there is no other way and they are going to come to Genosha and kill Wanda. They are going to kill his sister and her daughter. Magnus pauses, and when he speaks it shatters Quicksilver’s heart. “…They may be right.”
Quicksilver yells at Magnus in super speed. Magneto quietly responds to his son that he knows no one can understand him when he yells that fast. Pietro slows his speech down and tells his father that he swore to protect his sister, first from him, their father and now from the Avengers? The Avengers, their family, will kill her… and he agrees?!
Magneto asks Quicksilver what he would have him do. Quicksilver does not know and simply repeats that they will kill Wanda, as if that is reason enough to act. Magneto, frustrated, grabs Pietro by his collar and again asks what he would have him do. Quicksilver bursts into tears and collapses at his father’s feet. Magneto begins to fight the urge to cry himself, as he looks at his slumbering daughter. He then lowers his face in shame.
“What is there to say?” asks Emma Frost, at the conference of heroes in New York, “Put her down.” Captain America, at the head of the table, quickly replies that he won’t even entertain that thought. Wonder Man gets up and boldly tells Emma no. Spider-Man repeats Emma’s last sentence and asks if Wanda is a dog or something. Wolverine, who leans back on his chair, eats a slice of pizza and asks if they will really refuse to kill her after Xavier spent twenty minutes explaining that the girl is out-to-lunch and the world is in every kind of danger because of her. Captain America walks over to Logan and tells him that there is always a way. Not always, replies Wolverine. Always, Captain America retorts back.
Emma turns to Xavier and asks him to be honest. He is the most powerful psychic on Earth. Can he help Emma? Xavier tells Emma that, if he could, he would not be there right now. Emma then turns to Dr. Strange and asks him if there is anything in the mystic art that could help Wanda. Strange admits that he does not know. Shadowcat moves forward to speak up, but Emma raises her hand and shushes the girl. She then asks Strange if he has been able to help her so far. No, replies Strange, with shame. Emma continues her interrogation and asks if everything possibly has been tried. At the moment, comments Dr. Strange, yes. Emma turns to the rest and asks them if they have any other solutions. Dr. Strange, however, cuts her off and tells her that he is still researching.
Captain America accepts Dr. Strange’s information and calls the case settled. If Strange is still working on Wanda. then they will let him do what he needs to do. Wolverine asks Captain America what he will do if the Witch gets bored in the mean time. He has known Xavier for a long time and if he cannot hold her together much longer, then he cannot hold her together much longer.
All turn to Xavier, who remains silent. Emma finally breaks the ice and asks if they should vote.
Captain America quickly announces that Wanda is not an X-Man. She is an Avenger. The Avengers say no. Emma comments that they have not heard from all the Avengers and, besides, Wanda is a mutant threat. The X-Men dedicate their lives to dealing with mutant threats. Shadowcat speaks up and says that they now deal with threats to mutants, but Emma interrupts her and announces that they do both. Wanda is a threat to mutants, as well as a mutant threat. Worried, Shadowcat tells the group that this is wrong.
Emma reasons with everyone and tells them that, if word got out that Wanda was responsible for what happened to the Avengers and that it was a mutant that killed the beloved heroes of the city and if word got out that this out-of-control mutant was lose somewhere with a screw loose, then mutant/human relations would be set back to the stone age. It would be the end for mutant kind.
Captain America turns to the Avengers for their input. Wonder Man tells the group that he will never agree to kill Wanda. Ms. Marvel states that Wanda is an Avenger, so it is their call. Iron Man agrees. Annoyed, Wolverine asks someone to do the math for him. How many Avengers must Wanda kill before they snap out of it? Bothered by this, Spider-Man asks if he can count on them to just kill him when his powers go out of control. Wolverine walks to the window wall and tells him that he would kill him and hopes they’d take him down if he were out of control.
Cyclops turns to Xavier and is in shock that his mentor would entertain this thought. Xavier turns to Scott, and for the first time, he looks at his first X-Man desperately and tells him that he does not know what to do.
The Wasp speaks up and tells the group that Wanda was like a sister to her. She wants to know what Wanda wants. She wants to speak to her. Ms. Marvel agrees; she wants to speak to Wanda as well. Wonder Man asks Xavier if he and Emma could protect them from Wanda if there was trouble. Xavier and Dr. Strange share a look, and Strange announces that together they can. Spider-Man realizes that he is not going to be home for dinner.
Some time later, the X-Men and Avengers arrive in Genosha aboard their respective jets. Shadowcat looks out at the ruins and comments about her hatred for the place. Wolverine tells her that is isn’t Paradise Island. Worried, Kitty tells her teammates that all she can think of when she looks down at this place is that this is what the humans would do to them.
The two jets land and the heroes regroup outside. Captain America then asks the Professor to lead the way. Suddenly, Xavier senses something wrong. The heroes make their way up a skyscraper to Wanda’s room, which they find empty save her bed. Captain America is confused, but Iron Man realizes that Magneto moved her. Wonder Man is worried that Magneto took Wanda, and Xavier tells the group that she is not on the island, as he cannot sense her. Emma tells the Professor that she feels something wrong. Cannot he feel it too?
Suddenly, Shadowcat announces that they need to get out of there. No, duh, replies Spider-Man. Iron Man asks Dr. Strange if he can locate Wanda with his magic like he did once before. Cyclops asks how Strange can do so when psychic powers cannot find her. Iron Man is not sure, but figures magic could somehow find her. Spider-Man interrupts the group and calls their attention to an empty spot.
The X-Men all realize that, right where Professor Xavier once was, there is nothing. Kitty once again reiterates that they need to leave. Cyclops turns to Emma, who then announces that she found them.
Those who can fly take to the air, though Emma is carried by Ms. Marvel and Cyclops by Iron Man. The rest follow by foot. Iron Man tells his group that if they feel anything different about themselves they need to announce it immediately before it is too late. Cyclops asks the Avengers to follow Emma’s lead, as the X-Men have more experience with Magneto. Ms. Marvel, however, just wants to grab Xavier and get out of Genosha. Dr. Strange adds that he still feels nothing with the mystic patterns. Wanda is not there.
Emma leads the group to the remains of a church. She tells the group that Wanda is inside. Dr. Strange informs Emma that last time Wanda left a magical trail that he is not sensing there. Cyclops asks Emma what she is reading, but Iron Man adds that his infrared is picking up nothing inside. Spider-Man chimes in and informs the group that he has a spider-sense that goes off when there is danger, but it is not going off now. The heroes do not listen to him, however, and look at the church. “Uh-oh,” says Spider-Man as he turns to where they are facing.
The church doors open by themselves, as if on cue. As the heroes on foot catch up with their comrades, Spider-Man finds himself entranced by the church. He enters the building alone and seems to spot something around the corner. However, all he can see are some pews. Spider-Man walks closer and as he is about to round the bend to see what is there… reality changes, perhaps forever.
In his apartment in New York City, Peter Parker wakes up to hear the sounds of his baby crying. In bed next to him, his wife reminds him that it is his turn to check up on the child. Peter, still sleepy, asks how it is his turn. The baby continues to cry as Peter gets up and rubs his head. He then gets up to check on the baby as usual, leaving his lovely wife, Gwen Stacy, in bed to sleep some more.
Captain America, Iron Man, Luke Cage, Sentry, Spider-Man (Avengers)Beast, Colossus, Cyclops, Emma Frost, Shadowcat (X-Men)Wolverine (Avengers and X-Men)
Dr. StrangeFalcon, Scarlet Witch, Quicksilver, She-Hulk, Warbird/Ms. Marvel, Wasp, Wonder Man, Yellowjacket (former Avengers)
Wanda’s Reality Warp: Dr. StrangeEdwin JarvisQuicksilver, Vision II, Wasp, Wonder Man (former Avengers)Twin babies
This is the main story of the House of M crossover and continues from the prelude in Excalibur (2nd Series) #13-14. Tie in issues include House of M: Spider-Man #1-5, Fantastic Four: House of M #1-3, Iron Man: House of M #1-3, Incredible Hulk (3rd Series) #83-86, Uncanny X-Men #462-465, New X-Men (2nd Series) #16-19, Cable/Deadpool #17, Black Panther (4th Series) #7, Mutopia X #1-4, Wolverine (3rd Series) #33-35, The Pulse #10, The Pulse: House of M Special Edition, Exiles #69-71, Secrets of the House of M, Captain America (5th Series) #10, and New Thunderbolts #11. None of the tie-ins are needed to understand the main story in House of M #1-8.
While serving as an Avenger, Wanda’s reality warping powers slowly deteriorated her mind and she lost all grip on reality. Desperately wanting children again, she conjured them back and went mad, thinking the Avengers as her enemies and killing Ant-Man II, Hawkeye and Vision during the Avengers Disassembled event in Avengers (1st Series) #500-503. In the end, the heroes could do nothing but let Dr. Strange turn off her mind temporarily. Wanda was then taken by her father, Magneto, to Genosha where she has been from Excalibur (2nd Series) #8-14.
Wanda gave birth to twins in Vision and the Scarlet Witch (2nd Series) #12. Unfortunately, it later turned out that these children were not real and were conjured by Wanda using shards of the shattered soul of Mephisto. Master Pandemonium later reclaimed the children in Avengers West Coast #51-52.
Xavier’s comments that Wanda could never have had children refer to the fact that her husband was the Vision, a synthezoid who could not reproduce.
Xavier decided to start the recovery of Genosha in Uncanny X-Men #442-443.
Magneto’s goal of mutant domination was temporarily thwarted during the Eve of Destruction crossover, but seemed to have come to a fruitless end in New X-Men #115, when Genosha was decimated by Sentinels and the world’s mutant population greatly reduced. Later, many mutants would turn to Xavier’ dream over the course of Grant Morison’s New X-Men #114-154.
Iron Man revealed that he could no longer fund the Avengers in Avengers Finale #1, thus pulling the plug on the team. Recently, circumstance brought together a Captain America, Iron Man, and a new group of heroes in New Avengers #1-6.
The X-Men and Xavier did not depart on good terms in Astonishing X-Men (3rd Series) #12.
Magneto took Wanda from the Avengers in Avengers (1st Series) #503 and brought her to Genosha in Excalibur (2nd Series) #8, where Xavier spent months trying to help her over the course of Excalibur (2nd Series) #8-14.
Shadowcat’s odd comment that the X-Men deal only with threats to mutants may be a reference to the X-Men’s recent affirmation of mutant rights during New X-Men #114-156, in which the team stepped out of the shadows and decided to make sure the rights of mutants were not violated, by doing such things as opening the school to the public and opening up X-Corporation branches around the world. During this time the X-Men became more concerned with mutant rights rather than policing their own kind (which would later be taken over by Storm and her X.S.E.). At the time of House of M #1, technically Kitty’s comments would be correct as X.S.E. still polices mutants and Cyclops’ team deals more with the mutant rights and the public relations. Still, the comments do still come off as odd to readers, long-term ones especially.
Kitty may harbor bad feelings about Genosha also because her father was killed during the Sentinel attack as revealed in X-Men Unlimited (1st Series) #36.
Peter’s son’s name, Ritchie, is revealed in Spider-Man: House of M #1.