House of M #2

Issue Date: 
August 2005
Story Title: 
House of M – part two

Brian Michael Bendis (Writer), Olivier Coipel (Penciler), Tim Townsend (Inker), Frank D’Armata (Colorist), Chris Eliopoulos (Letterer), Omar Otieku (Production), Stephanie Moore and Molly Lazer (Assistant Editors), Andy Schmidt (Associate Editor), Tom Brevoort (Editor), Joe Quesada (Editor in Chief), Dan Buckley (Publisher)

Brief Description: 

Captain America is an elderly man and retired from the United States army, now living in a dirty apartment in Bronx, New York. In a world dominated with mutants, there is no room for reverence for someone like him. Mary Jane Watson is the country’s biggest movie star, despite being a human. Scott Summers and Emma Frost live together in Connecticut, though Emma has recently been troubled by a tough case involving Franklin Richards, whose parents have died in an accident. In L.A., superstar Simon Williams is a guest on Alison Blaire’s talk show, where they discuss his relationship with the country’s most popular superhero, who just so happens to be human: Captain Marvel. In New York, Captain Marvel foils a robbery by Remy LeBeau, and leaves Lucas Bishop to arrest the common thief. While Katherine Pryde teaches middle school in Ohio, Detective Sam Wilson investigates the recent beating of the Kingpin. All clues lead to Luke Cage, though the Hell’s Kitchen gang leader is sparse with answers. While Robert Reynolds seeks psychological help from Dr. Stephen Strange, Piotr Rasputin lives a content life on his farm in Russia. As Janet Van Dyne helps design Princess Ororo’s dress for the House of M event, Hank McCoy and Hank Pym get into a debate of whether or not Tony Stark, the most successful Homo sapien, will allow his career to be jeopardized, so Pym can continue a project that can be seen as anti-mutant. Pym must accept that he human race is going to be extinct soon. Meanwhile, Wolverine wakes up on the S.H.I.E.L.D. Helicarrier with his agents, Raven Darkholme, Mortimer Toynbee, and Jessica Drew. However, he seems to be the only one who realizes that everything is horribly wrong.

Full Summary: 

In the Bronx, an old man locks his apartment door, and then walks down the dirty, vandalized steps of his decrepit apartment building. The man, wearing a blue windbreaker and red and white baseball cap, then goes to check his mail. Retired Captain Steven Rogers looks at several letters in his mailbox and then takes them out with him as he leaves his building.

Outside, the quiet man sees two businessmen walking by, one of who is made out of fire. A woman with an Afro flies by, as several mutant children play in the street. One has elastic limbs, another with the ability to fly by transforming his legs into energy, and a young girl with a third eye.

Suddenly, the boy with elastic limbs tells his friends too look. “It’s the old dude,” says the irreverent child. Steve Rogers looks at the children, who stare back at him blankly. Saddened, the retired army captain then turns away and walks down the street to do his daily activities.

All is quite typical in New York. In fact, all is quite typical in the world.

In his Hartford, Connecticut home, Scott Summers prepares coffee and toast. Dressed in his usual business attire and ruby quartz glasses, Scott pours the coffee and listens to the radio, which announces that the number one move in the box office this past weekend was “Funny Valentine,” starring America’s sweetheart, Mary Jane Watson. As the D.J. goes on to explain that Mary Jane continues to break the racial barriers for humans in Hollywood, Emma Frost, dressed in only her robe, walks in fresh from bed.

Emma greets her lover and asks when she fell asleep. Scott tells her not to worry, but Emma apologizes anyway. She sits at the counter and playfully tugs at Scott’s tie. Scott smiles and tells her that she shouldn’t worry. She was zonked. Emma smiles and tells Mr. Summers that she can hear his thoughts and he is bummed that she fell asleep. She will make it up to him. Scott hands Emma the breakfast he has prepared for her, and Emma admits her admiration for the fact that he made her a pop tart. Scott reminds his wife that his love meets no bounds, and then asks if she is ready to greet the day.

As a patrolling Sentinel unit flies by their window, Emma becomes more serious in respect to Scott’s question, and tells Scott that she is meeting that Richards boy today. He is such a poor kid. Scott asks Emma which client is the Richards boy, and Emma replies that he is the one whose astronaut parents died. Scott remembers and asks his darling if she is ready to tackle such a tragic case. Emma tells Scott that she has to, but Scott tells her not to go to work today and to take some personal time off. Emma lifts up her coffee mug and tells Scott that Franklin needs her. Scott smiles and tells Emma that he loves her. “Oh, I know,” says Emma back.

In Los Angeles, Alison Blaire, host of her self-titled talk show, bids a good morning to her audience and viewers at home as she uses her powers to create a dazzling light effect. Alison introduces her first guest today, who should be very familiar to everyone’s homes. He is seen every Monday night at nine on NBC. That show, of course, is “Me and Mine.” Alison then welcomes her guest, Simon Williams, onto the stage.

A flash of ionic energy shoots towards the couch and, in a blink an eye, admired actor Simon Williams appears. Alison compliments Simon on his wonderful entrance. Playing the part of a celebrity well, Simon thanks Alison for having him. Alison sits and wastes no time in getting to her juicy topic. She compliments him on his fabulous show, but tells him that she has to ask one thing. Simon, knowing what Alison is referring to, smiles. With and extremely interested look on her face, Alison tells Simon that he is on the cover of every magazine in the country with her. She is dying to know… what is going on with him and Carol Danvers?! Simon smiles, his eyes glowing red, and tells Alison that Carol is a good friend of his and she is a… special girl. Alison agrees, as Carol is just the most famous super hero in America, which is amazing since she isn’t even a… well… you know…

At that moment, the country’s most respected and beloved super hero, Carol Danvers, a.k.a. Captain Marvel, soars through the air with a big grin on her face. She passes by some morning commuters flying through the air or on levitation discs. Suddenly, Captain Marvel hears police sirens howling and looks down to see a purple car speeding through the streets.

Below, the driver turns to his accomplice in crime, Remy LeBeau, and screams his name. Remy, the southern thief, charges up some playing cards with his kinetic powers and tells the driver to head for the park. However, Remy doesn’t see what the driver sees and questions his accomplice’s logic one more time. Before Remy can realize what is happening, Captain Marvel uses her mighty strength and stops the car in its tracks. “Hi, guys!” says Carol.

She then lifts it up and throws it back into the air. The car lands in the park and rolls over a few times, before coming to a hold on its side. The driver, knocked out, lies in a pile of stolen cash. Remy, lying on the ground with bruises, says bitter things and racial comments to the human who just prevented his get-away. He then throws his charged cards at Captain Marvel, who easily avoids them and tells Remy that he really doesn’t know when to quit, does he?

Captain Marvel grabs Remy by his jacket and tells him that she is going to make it clear that it is over. She then throws him against a monument, and Remy slumps down, unconscious. The NYPD arrive as backup, with detective Lucas Bishop in the forefront. Lucas and his partner reach the monument as Captain Marvel flies away. Lucas and his partner then begin to arrest Remy LeBeau in front of the Sentinel monument. Beside the monument is a plaque, stating that the mutant blood lost here would be the last mutant blood ever lost in war.

In Cincinnati, Ohio, Miss Pryde stands in front of her middle school class and tells them that they are starting now. She asks her students, who are all bored and barely pay attention, who the first mutant was. They better not say Moses or Jesus. She is talking about the official first mutant. The class does not respond. Leech sits with his head on his desk, barely awake, while Nikolas Gleason also seems equally bored.

A young girl raises her hand and answers that Prince Namor was the first mutant. Ms. Pryde, surprised, tells her student that she is correct. Did she read the chapter already? No, replies the girl. Her mom sort of has this fixation with Namor. Ms. Pryde turns back to her book and agrees that Namor is considered the first mutant. Now they will talk about some of the things he said in World War II and how they relate to their world today.

In Hell’s Kitchen, New York, better known as Sapien Town, Detective Sam Wilson walks into a bar and is immediately greeted with hostile looks from the patrons, who all go silent at his presence. Sam ignores the dirty looks and walks in, though his face shows a slight discomfort. He reaches a door in the back but, before he opens it, he looks back at the antagonizing patrons once more.

Sam enters and before he can say anything, Luke Cage, dressed in gold and having dreadlocks, asks the cop what he can do for him. Sam asks the man, sitting at a table and surrounded by several companions, if he is Luke Cage. Luke asks Sam why he is asking questions he knows the answer to. It’s insulting to both of them. Luke then asks Sam who he is. Sam introduces himself as a detective. “Damn, man,” says Cage, smirking, “How does that feel?”

Annoyed, Sam asks Luke how what feels. Come on, says Luke, doesn’t he think it’s weird that a Homo sapien was put in Hell’s Kitchen? Doesn’t he feel used by the system? Ignoring these comments, Sam asks Luke what he knows about what happened to Wilson Fisk last night. Luke ignores the questions and asks Sam how many photo ops his employers make him take part in each week, considering he is their token sapien. Sam, annoyed, asks Cage if he wants to continue the questioning at the station. Cage asks Sam what happened to the Kingpin. Did someone whack him?

Someone beat the Kingpin into a coma, replies Sam. Luke claps and tells Wilson that he is applauding whoever did it. Sam asks Cage where he was last night. Sleeping, replies Cage. “You should try it… if you can still do it.” Sam does not respond.

In the poorly lit office of Dr. Stephen Strange, a psychologist, sits Robert Reynolds, who is clearly troubled. Strange asks his patient if it happened again. Yes, replies Reynolds. He was with his boy. Robert thinks of his smiling little boy, and then of what happens next. He was in the park watching his son play, when suddenly he senses something behind him. Robert turns around in time to see a black… void… swallow the skyscrapers and sends cars flying in every direction. Robert grabs his son and screams in horror, and just like that the void is gone.

Strange, listening to the story, asks if this black wall just disappeared. Robert insists that the blackness existed. He knows what is real and he is not crazy. What happened was real. Strange asks Robert what he thinks it means. Frustrated, Reynolds replies that he does not know. How does that make him feel, replies Strange. Reynolds rubs his forehead and does not answer.

In Russia, the sun begins to set on the farm. Alone, tilling the fields is a literal super man. Using his mutant powers, the man known as Piotr Nicolas Rasputin pulls a massive plow through his field. He is at peace. He is happy.

In Chicago, Illinois, a group of mutant technicians, employees of Stark Enterprises, work diligently. In one area of the laboratory are sapien Hank Pym and his lab partner, Hank McCoy, a mutant who looks just like every other person, except more agile and muscular and with an ape-like demeanor. McCoy outright tells Pym that Stark will fire him. Pym argues that Stark will understand when he sees the results, but McCoy wants to tell Pym something about Tony Stark. Stark expects at bare minimum that the people who cash his checks to listen to him.

Pym argues that his notes haven’t been read yet, but McCoy interrupts him. He continues to explain that Pym cannot isolate the mutant gene and he cannot identify it. Perhaps fifty years ago he could, but not in the world they live in today. The idea is anti-mutant.

Pym begins to explain that it isn’t meant to be anti-mutant, but McCoy quickly retorts that it will be perceived that way. Pym, however, could care less what others think. He knows his intentions. McCoy points his screwdriver and Pym and tells him that Stark will perceive it negatively. Tony Stark walks on a political high wire every day. He is the most successful sapien on Earth. He can’t risk having Pym work on a project that demeans the idea of Homo superior evolution.

McCoy points out that Pym’s project is like isolating what makes black people black or Filipino people Filipino. Pym tells McCoy that he doesn’t understand the point of the project and then asks his companion not to talk down to him. McCoy, understanding Pym’s feelings, tells him that he can’t expect Stark to pay his bills when he is doing something Stark does not want. He likes Pym and they have known each other for a long time. He will get fired for this if he proceeds. He will be fired and out of work because the sapien science mind is running out of places to turn.

Pym tells McCoy to not mention that as an excuse. Embarrassed, McCoy pauses and then tells Pym that he understands what Pym is going through. The dinosaurs didn’t see it coming. They didn’t have the intellectual capacity to understand; but humans do. McCoy wipes his spectacles and explains that Pym is watching the human race become extinct and McCoy admits that, if the roles were reversed, he would not know what to do. Pym is justified in his feelings, as it is not fare for him to stand there and watch it happen slowly. He then consoles his friend and asks Pym to join him for lunch.

In Paris, France, Ororo Munroe stands before a mirror in Janet Van Dyne’s fashion shop and looks at the new red and black dress she wears that Janet has designed for her. Ororo, princess of Kenya, is unsure if it is perfect, but Janet tells the goddess that she looks amazing. Ororo summons up a powerful gust and tells Janet to look at how the dress bunches when she summons the elements. Does Janet know what the House of Magnus will be wearing to the event?

Janet picks up her scattered papers and tells Ororo that, of course, she knows what the royal family will be wearing. She designed the piece herself and it accentuates the royal family’s event without making too much of a statement. She even got the Wakandan fabrics Ororo asked for. Ororo looks in the mirror one more time and tells Janet that she just isn’t sure.

James Howlett finds himself in a tank that quickly empties out. He emerges from the water and screams a feral rage at his captors, who all aim their guns at him.

Suddenly, James wakes up to see the beautiful Jean Grey before him, greeting him. James pops his claws and grabs Jean by the collar, asking her what the hell is going on, as this is totally wrong. Jean separates herself and reverts back to her true form as Mystique, his lover. She catches her breath and tells him that he didn’t mind her act last night. It is his redhead fetish after all. James begins to run around the room confused, prompting Mystique to ask him what is wrong with him today.

James ignores her and burst out of his quarters and into the hallway, where he is met by Toad and Jessica Drew, who ask their commander if he is all right. Wolverine, more confused, runs up a flight of stairs to the outside.

In the open, he finds himself on the S.H.I.E.L.D. Helicarrier surrounded by a cadre of jets and Sentinels all bearing the flag of M.

Characters Involved: 

Alison Blaire (talk show host)
Simon Williams (celebrity actor)

Captain Marvel

Detective Sam Wilson
Luke Cage (underworld overlord and Human Resistance Movement)
Felicia Hardy, Misty Knight, Danny Rand, Marc Spector, Angela Del Toro (Human Resistance Movement)

Dr. Stephen Strange (psychologist)
Robert Reynolds

Emma Frost-Summers, Scott Summers

Hank McCoy, Hank Pym (Stark Industry employees)

James, Howlett, Jessica Drew, Mystique, Toad (elite Red Guard Unit S.H.I.E.L.D. agents)

Katherine Pryde (teacher)
Possibly Nicholas Gleason, Leech

Lucas Bishop (NYPD)
Remy LeBeau, unnamed thief (thieves)

Ororo Munroe (Princess of Kenya)
Janet Van Dyne (fashion designer)

Piotr Rasputin (farmer)

Retired Captain Steven Rogers

Various mutants and humans

Story Notes: 

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 reconjured 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.

Carol Danver’s code name of Captain Marvel is actually revealed in House of M #3. The identities of all those with Luke Cage were revealed in the recap page of House of M #3. Felicia Hardy is better known as the Black Cat, Danny Rand is Iron Fist, Marc Spector is Moon Knight, and Angela Del Toro is White Tiger III & Mortimer Toynbee is Toad. The name of Hell’s Kitchen as Sapien Town was revealed in the recap in House of M #3.

The subplot of Hank Pym and his goal of mapping the mutant genome can be seen in Iron Man: House of M #1-3.

More of Storm’s role in the House of M can be seen in Black Panther (4th Series) #7.