House of M #4

Issue Date: 
September 2005
Story Title: 
House of M – part four

Brian Michael Bendis (Writer), Olivier Coipel (Penciler), Tim Townsend and Rick Magyar (Inkers), Frank D’Armata (Colorist), Chris Eliopoulos (Letterer), Esad Ribic (Cover), Brandon Peterson (Variant Cover), Jacob Chabot (Production), Molly Lazer and Aubrey Sitterson (Assistant Editors), Andy Schmidt (Associate Editor), Tom Brevoort (Editor), Joe Quesada (Editor in Chief), Dan Buckley (Publisher)

Brief Description: 

Wolverine finds himself in the Hell’s Kitchen headquarters of the Human Resistance Movement, led by his Avengers teammate, Luke Cage. Cage, however, does not remember Logan, and Hawkeye is quick to shoot Logan in the back on the neck to remove the tracker in his neck. Cage and Hawkeye argue as Cage thinks Wolverine is dead, but Logan recovers in time for two Sentinels to attack. Cloak teleports as many of the allies as he can, but Misty Knight, Angela Del Toro, and Abe Brown do not make it. In their new hiding spot in Wilson Fisk’s empty office, Wolverine explains the situation with Wanda and Magneto, and even reveals to Hawkeye that Wanda killed him in his world. Wolverine is shocked to learn, though, that Wanda is human in this reality, in which mutants rule and Magneto is king. The heroes are all skeptical of Logan’s story except Cage, who introduces Wolverine to the young Layla Miller, who also remembers the old world and has the power to make others see it. Wolverine realizes that Layla is a mutant with an unknown power and then takes her to the residence of Scott Summers after looking him up. However, he is surprised to find that Scott is married to Emma and comes up with an idea. When Emma arrives Wolverine has Layla use her powers on Emma, who is able to remember everything, thanks to her telepathy as well. Angered by Magneto’s latest attempt at world dominance, Emma vows to kill Magneto and his children, and Logan does not object. The $25,000 question, though, is if it’s too late to turn the world back.

Full Summary: 

It is an amazingly beautiful day in the country of Genosha, capital state of the world. Among the skyscrapers and the glistening ocean is a massive and impressive piece of architecture: Castle Magnus. On the upper tier of the castle, Magnus, ruler of the free mutant world, walks outside to greet the day. Dressed in a fancy garb, with sandals and a red cloak, he looks over his state as petals and leaves blow around.

A voice calls out the name grandpa, and Magnus turns around smiling to see his young grandson, Tyler, son of Magneto’s eldest daughter, Wanda, come out. Tyler, smiling proudly, holds a model boat in his hand. He happily tells his grandpa that he made this for him. Magnus takes the model ship from his grandson’s hands and looks at it. Tyler, with his eyes blood red, informs his grandfather that he made the ship with his mind. Magnus simply stares down at the child.

In Hell’s Kitchen, New York City, better known as Sapien Town, the very confused X-Man and Avenger known as Wolverine stands in his tattered clothes with his claws unsheathed. Surrounding him are members of the Human Resistance Movement, including Cloak, Felicia Hardy, Luke Cage, Marc Spector, Danny Rand, Misty Knight, Angela Del Toro and members of the Sons of the Tiger: Bob Diamond, Abe Brown, Lin Sun and Lotus Shincheko. Also among the crowd is a terrified looking teenage girl. Standing in the front of the group, with an arrow trained on Wolverine’s head, is the Avenger known as Hawkeye, who has been dead for a little over six months.

Hawkeye orders Wolverine to follow Luke Cage’s instruction to remove the tracker from the back of his neck. They know that he is S.H.I.E.L.D. and that he is one of Sebastian Shaw’s Red Guard Army members. Cage, realizing that Wolverine somehow knows his name, asks the man how he knows him. Hawkeye, not allowing Wolverine a chance to answer, once again reminds him that there is a tracker in his neck, telling S.H.I.E.L.D. where he is. If Wolverine does not pull it out then he will.

Wolverine ignores Hawkeye and instead addresses Cage, asking him to calm down his companions. Fed up, Hawkeye decides to take matters into his own hands and shoots Wolverine in the neck, ripping out the tracker, but also knocking Wolverine down to the ground, dead in the eyes of the group around him. Cage yells at Hawkeye for murdering Wolverine, unaware that Logan is alive due to his healing factor. Hawkeye, annoyed, tells Cage that he is tired of dealing with mutants. They need to change their style. As a pool of blood forms around Wolverine, he vaguely hears and sees Cage ask Hawkeye to remember what he said earlier. He didn’t even give Wolverine a chance.

Wolverine begins to go in and out of consciousness. He hears Cage ask Hawkeye if he understands what is going on here. Hawkeye retorts back with the same question. The two begin to argue, but Cage tells him that there is a kid in the room. Defending his murder of Wolverine, Hawkeye tells Cage that the tracker was going to bring the Red Guard Army straight to them.

As the two continue to argue, Wolverine slowly picks himself up from the ground as his wound heals. Felicia tries to interrupt the quarrelers, but has no success. Cage tells Hawkeye that there is a lot riding on this mission, and Hawkeye replies that he knows, but he is done taking these chances. Felicia is finally able to get a few words in and tells the two that Wolverine is awake, much to the surprise of the men, as well as everyone else in the room.

Wolverine asks the group how long he has been out. Shocked, Felicia asks Wolverine how the hell he is still alive. Annoyed, Wolverine repeats his question, but yells it out this time. Stuttering, Misty replies that he was “dead” for thirty seconds. Too late, replies Wolverine. For what, asks Hawkeye. Wolverine tells the group that if they wanted to talk to him they should have yanked the tracker out of his neck before they brought him to their hideout. Confused, Misty reminds Wolverine that he has only been here for half a minute, but her sentence is interrupted by a disturbance.

The ceiling of the hideout is ripped off its foundation. Everyone looks up too see two domineering red and gold Sentinels starting down at them in the bright sunlight. One Sentinel identifies them all as sapiens, while the other locks onto them. Misty immediately begins to shoot at them as the Sentinels retaliate against the humans, destroying the entire area and knocking out several of them. Suddenly, though, the Sentinels are unable to locate a large group of the humans who seemingly escaped, though four did not make it out: Misty Knight, Lotus Shincheko, Abe Brown, and Angela Del Toro.

In the empty office of Wilson Fisk, the Kingpin of crime, the man known as Cloak melts out of the shadows. He then opens his cloak and dumps out his allies, as well as a large amount of dust and debris. Wolverine finds the scared teenage girl he saw earlier on him and asks if she is good. The girl is confused, as she does know where she is and asks Wolverine to repeat his question. Lin asks Cloak where they are, and Cloak replies that they are uptown. Wilson Fisk’s office is the only place he could think of teleporting them, as he knew it would be empty after Cage’s recent hit on the man.

Danny asks Cloak if he got everyone, but Hawkeye regretfully realizes that several of them are missing. Felicia, who looks out to the city through the glass walls, tells her companions that they can see Hell’s Kitchen from there. The group looks out the window to see smoke and fire from their hideout across the city as two Sentinels fly away. Cage bluntly states that they did not all make it. Worried, Cloak states that he grabbed as many as he could, but Cage tells the boy that he wasn’t blaming him. Cloak offers to go back, but Cage won’t let him. Felicia suggests that Abe and the others might have gotten out. “Yeah,” says Hawkeye, not believing Felicia, “Sure.”

Cage takes a moment to soak in the fact that Misty is gone, as well as Angela and Abe. Lin asks Luke if he needs a moment to himself, but Cage angrily tells Wolverine that he better be worth all this trouble. Wolverine sits on a couch and asks Cage what he thinks is going on there. Cage asks the same question back. Wolverine tells Cage that he knows exactly what is going on, but isn’t sure that Cage will believe him. Try me, replies the other man.

Wolverine asks Cage if he knows him, but Cage replies no. Wolverine then asks why he bothered picking him up. Cage cryptically replies that he has a source on the Helicarrier. That source told him that Wolverine had gone AWOL. He heard it was a sight to see. Imagine the Red Guard’s star agent jumping ship. Cage felt that it was interesting timing, considering what he recently learned. He felt it was worth talking to him and so they waited for him to pop up on the grid. They didn’t have to wait long. Wolverine asks Cage if he remembers their time as Avengers, but Cage asks who the Avengers are.

Wolverine gets back up and tells Cage that he can tell Cage everything, but he won’t believe him. Up until two days ago, he was a member of the X-Men and the new Avengers. This means nothing to Cage because he does not remember who the old Avengers were. He lived in a world where mutants were a minority and the X-Men worked to build a peaceful coexistence between the growing mutant population and normal humans, who never seem to run out of reasons for hating them. He will admit it wasn’t a life he was thrilled with, but they made the most out of it.

He then pops his adamantium claws out and explains that a government program that was anti-mutant gave him these metal claws, against his will. He has been mind-wiped so many times he doesn’t remember where he came from or how old he is. In fact, now that the thinks about it, there is a good chance he has finally popped his cork and this is it. However, as long as he is here, he will still tell his story.

One of the X-Men’s greatest enemies is Eric Magnus. He calls himself Magneto because he has magnetic powers. Hawkeye interrupts and tells Wolverine that they all know who Magnus is. Wolverine continues on and states that Magneto had a couple of kids, to which Hawkeye replies that everyone knows that too. Wolverine begins to talk about Magneto’s daughter Wanda, but Hawkeye interrupts and states that she is the human one. “What?” the surprised and confused Wolverine asks.

Pietro, Lorna and Wanda are Magnus’s children, and Wanda is the human one, informs Hawkeye. Wolverine falls back in his couch and wonders what this means. Hawkeye, who seems very much interested in the story of Wanda, explains that it is in the tabloids everyday. The mutant leader has a human child that he raises equally along side his two mutant children. It is an inspiring tale those who believe everything they read. Wolverine tells the group that two days ago Wanda was a mutant calling herself the Scarlet Witch. She had immense power that no one realized. In fact, it was more than she could control. Do they know what she could do? She could alter the world around her; a little here and a little there.

Wolverine reiterates his point, and Cage asks him to continue. Logan explains that Wanda lost control of her powers not too long ago and killed a lot of good people. She was an Avenger. Cage interrupts and realizes that Wanda was an Avenger like he and Logan, but Wolverine tells Cage that she was one of the old Avengers, not one of the new ones. In fact, she is the reason the old Avengers stopped being Avengers. She apparently went nuts and attacked her own team, killing half of them. Two days ago the X-Men and Avengers met to figure out what to do with her. She was out of control and out of her mind. She murdered famous heroes. They went to Genosha where Magneto was keeping her but, when they arrived, the world disappeared in a white flash and he woke up to all this.

White, asks Cage. Yes, replies Wolverine. The world was erased on every level. Magneto turned himself from exiled mass murderer to king of the world. There are no X-Men or Avengers. Mutants run what seems to be a mutant utopia. He then turns to Hawkeye and explains that, to make things worse, he has them sticking arrows in his neck.

Hawkeye asks Wolverine what his role in the old world was before it went white. Wolverine looks at Hawkeye for a moment, and then informs the archer that he was dead. The Scarlet Witch killed him a little over six months ago. The teenage girl in the back mutters that she did not know that that is how the Avengers were killed, but an angry Hawkeye does not hear her and tells Wolverine to go to Hell. “More than I already am?” asks Wolverine.

Felicia is in disbelief and calls this a mutant trick to get them caught. Cage reasons with Felicia and reminds her that he saw his past life before. He had a kid coming and he had a woman. Wolverine confirms this and tells Luke that he was with Jessica Jones. Danny asks who Jessica is, when suddenly Wolverine realizes that there is no possible way for Cage to know about his kid and Jessica if the world was changed. He then asks Cage what he saw. He then asks who they are all supposed to be. He recognizes Iron Fist and Moon Knight. What are they as a group supposed to be?

Cage explains that they are trying to keep the balance from underground. They want sapiens to get the same fair shake in the world as mutants. Wolverine smirks and states that it sounds like something they would all do. Danny asks Wolverine if he knows all of them and Wolverine replies that he does. Cage asks Wolverine what they have to do to change the world back to normal. Logan asks Cage if he believes him and then asks why when Cage confirms that he does.

Cage calls Logan’s attention to the teenage girl and tells him that yesterday she found him and out of the blue said exactly what Wolverine just said. She said everything about the X-Men, Avengers and Hawkeye being dead. She did not know how it happened, but she knew it happened. She knew it in every detail. Suddenly, he saw it for himself in a flash. He saw his kid and his woman. This isn’t his life and he knows it. He saw his true life as clear as anything he has ever seen or smelled.

Wolverine approaches the girl and asks her who she is. Scared, the girl introduces herself as Layla Miller. Logan jokes if it is like the song, but she replies no. He asks her where she came from, and she explains that she goes to P.S. 45. Her family lives in Hell’s Kitchen. She woke up yesterday and the world was wrong. Nobody knows how it used to be. Wolverine kneels down and asks the girl if she can hear what he is thinking. Confused, the girl says no. Puzzled, Wolverine ponders over how Layla remembers everything.

Layla continues her story and explains how she woke up and everything was different. She thought she was crazy. Her parents were the same, but everything else was different. What is going on? Is she crazy? Wolverine replies that she is not crazy, and if she is, then that means they both are. Annoyed, Felicia asks Wolverine why he thinks only he and Layla remember the old world. She then adds that she still thinks that this is all mutant bull.

Wolverine turns around and explains again that he has been mind-wiped so many times he doesn’t remember who he was or how old he is. He doesn’t know where he came from or who his parents are. However, two days ago he remembered everything; he remembered every detail of his life, including today. It is all he ever… Suddenly, Wolverine pauses and looks back at Layla. He then looks at Cage, who is confused. “It’s all I…” mutters Logan, “…ever wanted.”

Wolverine realizes that Magneto got Wanda to give them all what they wanted so he could have what he wanted. Cage asks Wolverine how Magneto would know what they wanted. Wolverine whispers Xavier’s name, then demands to know where the phonebook is.

Sometime later at the Summers’ residence in Connecticut, Cloak emerges from the shadows and then raises his cloak to let out Wolverine and his allies, with their guns out and ready to fight. Wolverine tells the group to relax as no on is home. Felicia asks whose house it is and Logan tells her that it is a friend’s home, or at least he thinks that person is still a friend.

He is then left in disbelief when he sees pictures on a table. He picks one up to see the wedding picture of Scott Summers and Emma Frost. Wolverine then asks Layla if she is ready to change the world. Layla is confused and then replies no. Wolverine, who now has a plan, tells Layla to do what she did to Luke Cage to Emma Frost. She has a big brain and can handle what Layla has to offer. Scared, Layla tells Wolverine that she doesn’t know what she did, but Logan tells her not to worry about it.

Layla freaks out and tells Wolverine that she doesn’t know what “it” is. What is she worrying about? How does she know she did something? She has never done anything before. She should go home. She has to go home. Where is she? She is so grounded she can’t even imagine how much trouble she is in. Wolverine becomes more serious and asks Layla whey she came to Cage of all people in the first place. Layla explains that she lives in Hell’s Kitchen so she went looking for Daredevil. She ran into Luke first. She saw him and she had to tell someone. What is going on? Wolverine smiles and rubs Layla’s hair. He informs the girl that she is a mutant and wishes her a happy birthday sarcastically. Suddenly, Wolverine senses that Emma is arriving and tells everyone to be cool.

Emma unlocks the door, walks in and immediately freezes in disbelief. As guns are trained on her, Wolverine smiles and says hi. Disbelief turns to anger as she asks them if they really are robbing her. None can respond to her and she tells them not to bother. She is telepathically stopping them from doing anything. They will do what she wants. She does not want to hear from you. She then asks if they know what they do to humans like them. She then begins to dial the police when suddenly she “hears” a thought from Wolverine that angers her. She demands to know what Wolverine just thought and allows him to speak.

Emma asks Logan how he knows her and he tells her that she can look around in his brain. Emma suddenly turns and yells at Layla, who cringes and says that she didn’t say anything. Emma continues to pick up odd thoughts from the girl and investigates further. Suddenly, Layla’s eyes become green, and so do Emma’s. A piercing flash of green energy cuts through Emma… and she remembers everything… from her time as a child to her days in the Hellfire Club, to her recent relationship with Scott Summers.

However, that is not all that Emma remembers. She states the name of Charles Xavier, and then has a flashback to the church on Genosha. She and the other heroes rounded the corner to see a sinister looking man in a wheelchair in the middle of the church, with three sinister robed figures behind him. However, Emma remembers seeing Xavier’s face; his eyes wide open in horror and terror, with tears pouring out. Emma screams out loud as the connection between her and Layla comes to an end.

Emma regains her composure and is left in shock. Wolverine helps her back to her feet and Emma asks him if he is messing with her. Cage checks Layla and finds that she is fine, and then asks what happened. Wolverine introduces Emma as the leader of the X-Men to the other heroes. Emma, in a rage, screams the name “House of Magnus” over and over in contempt. In a blind fury she tells Logan that they are going to find Magneto and they are going to kill him… and his kids!

Wolverine goes over to the fridge to see what’s inside, and he tells Emma that he has not problem with killing Magnus and his family. He opens a beer and adds, though, that they are going to need a lot more than just them. Even if they do gather enough heroes and kill Magneto, that doesn’t mean that the whole world isn’t screwed for good.

Characters Involved: 


Layla Miller

Luke Cage, Cloak, Felicia Hardy/Black Cat, Hawkeye, Misty Knight, Danny Rand/Iron Fist, Marc Spector/Moon Knight, Angela Del Toro/White Tiger III (Human Resistance Movement)
Abe Brown, Bob Diamond, Lotus Shincheko, Lin Sun (Sons of Tiger and Human Resistance Movement)

Emma Frost-Summers

Lord Magnus

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, House of M: Fantastic Four #1-3, House of M: Iron Man #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 (3rd 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.

Tyler is named in the Secrets of the House of M one-shot, though his father is unknown.

Luke Cage arranged the hit on Wilson Fisk shortly before House of M #2.

More info on Hawkeye in the House of M world can be seen in The Pulse #10.