House of M #6

Issue Date: 
October 2005
Story Title: 
House of M – part six

Brian Michael Bendis (Writer), Olivier Coipel (Penciler), Tim Townsend, Rick Magyar and Scott Hanna (Inkers), Frank D’Armata (Colorist), Chris Eliopoulos (Letterer), Esad Ribic (Cover), Greg Land, Matt Ryan, and Justin Ponsor (Variant Cover), Tom Valente (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: 

Emma uses her powers to sneak the heroes onto the S.H.I.E.L.D. Helicarrier and also to take over its crew at the control room, whom she makes steer the Helicarrier to Genosha to find Xavier. The heroes rest and ponder their moves. Some argue that perhaps switching the world back isn’t their right, while others simply imply that they are happier in this world. Cage and Spider-Man both are dismayed at how the lives of Jessica Jones and Mary Jane have changed without them, but Spider-Man takes his pain harder than Cage. After arguing, Cyclops divides the group into three teams. Emma will take Cloak and Layla to find Xavier and awaken him. Dr. Strange will try to find Wanda and reason with her. The rest will keep the House of M occupied. The Helicarrier reaches Genosha where the gala has started, with guests including Storm, Namor, Genis-Marvell, Black Panther and Dr. Doom. The heroes attack with a Sentinel, and Cyclops blasts Magneto away, leaving Magnus’ fate unknown. As Wanda seemingly collapses, Rogue tries waking up Storm and Namor with the power she has from Layla, but fails. Elsewhere, Emma and her team find the memorial grave of Xavier, crushing Emma, who realizes it is over. However, Cloak inspects the dirt under the grave and finds no body or coffin. It is not over yet.

Full Summary: 

Special Agent Jessica Drew, aboard her Quinjet Red-5, calls the S.H.I.E.L.D. Helicarrier requesting secured approach and landing. In seconds, Drew receives permission to land, and is welcomed back by S.H.I.E.L.D. command. The Quinjet descends on the runway of the massive flying fortress, flanked by two abnormally large Sentinels and numerous other fighter jets.

Special Agent Jessica Drew is not alone, however, for along with her are Emma Frost, Wolverine, Cyclops, Shadowcat, Rogue and Nightcrawler of the X-Men; Tony Stark, Spider-Man, Luke Cage, She-Hulk and Warbird of the Avengers; in addition to several other heroes among them Dr. Strange, Matt Murdock, Felicia Hardy, Cloak, Marc Spector, Danny Rand, and the two villains Mystique and Toad. Also with them is the mysterious young girl known as Layla Miller, who is one of the reasons why the heroes are here today. These heroes represent the last resistance against Magneto, ruler of the world, and apparent shaper of reality.

The heroes exit the Quinjet, and immediately Spider-Man is creeped out by the fact that they are on the S.H.I.E.L.D. Helicarrier surrounded by a liege of Magneto’s men, but not a single one of them notices the heroes. Emma Frost explains that no one can see or hear them. She is using her psychic powers to project seventeen different mental commands to cover them. The S.H.I.E.L.D. officers can’t see them, because she won’t let them see. “Yeah,” says Spider-Man, “Like I said: creepy.”

Cyclops asks Emma what her plan is. Emma simply says “command deck.” Follow me, replies Nightcrawler.

In minutes the heroes arrive at the command deck of S.H.I.E.L.D., where Captain John Greycrow stands in charge, while Director Sebastian Shaw is at the Savage Land outpost. The S.H.IE.L.D. agents are busy doing their daily tasks. Natasha Romanov calls in to an agent, while another agent patches into Comannder Garrison Kane. While someone checks up on the status of Weapon XXXC, a corrosive weather pattern is found over Wakanda. One agent stresses over the Brood Signal going offline, while another reveals to his colleague that the man he is speaking to is a liar, as there is no ambassador for Latveria.

Emma Frost ignores all this busy action and uses her telepathy to take over the minds of Captain Greycrow and his crew. She asks him to set the Helicarrier’s course. Greycrow asks for a location. Genosha, replies Emma. “Yes, sir,” acknowledges Greycrow.

The S.H.I.E.L.D. Helicarrier then changes course.

Some time later in Genosha, a royal aircraft swoops around the city and through the massive skyscrapers before it docks on a platform high in the air. Waiting on the platform is a plethora of House of M royal guards, as well as three members of the royal family: Lord Magnus, Pietro, and Lorna, all stone faced and serious. The door to the craft opens upon the red royal carpet and out steps a most sinister man.

Victor von Doom greets Magnus and approaches the ruler. Magnus tells Doom that he was surprised to have received his R.S.V.P. to the gala event. Doom asks if he thought he was more surprised than him to even receive an invitation. Magnus states that Doom will pose for a few photographs for the newspapers. It is why I am here, replies Doom. The two mortal enemies then put on fake smiles and shake each other’s hands for the cameras. In the back, however, Pietro does not seem pleased.

Meanwhile, on the S.H.I.E.L.D. Helicarrier, the heroes gather in the mess room, where the agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. eat on, unaware of the danger to their monarchy all around them. The heroes, however, are not happy at all and most sit silently and stare off into the distance thinking. Cyclops speaks up and tells the troops that he knows its commissary food, but they need to eat, for they need their strength. While Wolverine gathers his food, Rogue tells Cyclops that she is not hungry. She is angry. Emma, who has Layla Miller resting her head on Frost’s lap, tells Rogue that they all are, but Rogue must hold it together. Rogue mocks Emma for saying that, but Emma tells her that they will be at Genosha soon enough.

Luke Cage swipes a cell phone from an agent and then calls 4-1-1 directory to pull up the listing of Jessica Jones, whom he assumes is in Manhattan. The operator cannot find a Jessica Jones in Manhattan, but locates one in Queens. She then gives Luke the number and he alls Jessica. At first, when Jessica picks up, he is relieved to hear her, but realizes in a second that it is the answering machine, but what is worse is when the voice of Scott Lang comes on as well, asking Luke to leave a message. Saddened at the turn of events, Luke hangs up the phone and stares down, but he is noticed by Spider-Man.

Spider-Man asks Luke if Jessica picked up, but Luke tells him that he doesn’t know why he just did that. Spider-Man apologizes. Cage then asks him if he tried getting hold of Mary Jane, but Spider-Man asks Cage what he would tell the woman. Cage puts his hand on the depressed Peter’s shoulder and tells him that it would not mean that Mary Jane would be more successful if she were not married to Peter. However, Spider-Man doesn’t accept this. The truth is in this world she isn’t married to him… and she is successful.

Cyclops speaks up once again and gathers all the heroes, telling them he wants to speak for a second. He has led the X-Men since he was a teenager and, during that time, he has always prided himself on his tactical restraint. He always took the moral high ground when violence was concerned. However, today there is no other way for him to say if. If they lose, they lose everything. Every fight and battle they took part in will mean nothing. What Cyclops is trying to say is, whatever restraint of personal boundaries they have on themselves, well…there is no place for that. They cannot lose this fight. They have to win, and to do that they must fight without any restraint. Does anyone disagree?

All in the room fall silent, but the silence is broken when Wolverine speaks as he eats. “So what’s the plan Sparky?”

Three teams, begins Cyclops, but suddenly he is interrupted by Spider-Man. Spider-Man asks the group if they are going to put the world back. Can they put the world back or is it too late? Emma, who sits beside Danny Rand, tells Spider-Man that they will know the situation when they reach Genosha. Ms. Marvel speaks up and asks what if they try and they fail. Do they just continue on in this world like this? Do they tell people the truth or just pretend they don’t know. Emma once again states that they will know when they get there.

Surprisingly, Shadowcat speaks up and asks if they are supposed to do this. Black Cat asks Shadowcat what she means, and Kitty replies that isn’t putting the world back after what has happened to it just as bad as what has been done? This isn’t a mission to stop a bomb from going off… the bomb has gone off. They might make things worse. Cloak reasons that they have to try, but Shadowcat asks him who says.

Spider-Woman then offers her opinion and asks who is being hurt here. Surprised, the depressed Nightcrawler snaps to attention upon hearing this. Spider-Woman takes center stage and tells the group that Magneto got what he wanted and so did they. Isn’t it a wash? Weren’t they happy in this world? She thinks she was. Weren’t they all? Magneto gave them what they wanted and isn’t there an argument that they deserve what they got? Shouldn’t they be happy for once? Maybe this was supposed to happen.

Wolverine, who doesn’t even look at Jessica, tells her that one day she is going to be really embarrassed that she said that out loud. Jessica turns to Wolverine and tells him to listen. When something of this magnitude happens they have to step back and ask if it was time for this to happen. Who are they to decide how the world is to be? When a meteor hit Earth and wiped out the dinosaurs it was natural selection right? Like Shadowcat said, a meteor hit the Earth. Perhaps this is how mutants are to become the next dominant species.

Again, not looking up, Wolverine tells her that that is two things she will be embarrassed about later on. Annoyed, Spider-Woman “translates” what Wolverine is saying, stating that he is confused about whether she is right and it scares the crap out of him. Well, it should. Everyone in the room stares at one another, seeing how everyone else reacts to this argument.

Emma finally breaks the silence and tells all that they have to try. They have to find Xavier. Spider-Man slowly walks out of the room and Cage spots him, but Peter excuses himself. Shadowcat gets up and tells everyone that she has never seen Spider-Man like this. Cage tells her to give him a minute. He will get it together. Ending the discussion, Cyclops takes charge once again and tells the group that they have three teams.

Back on Genosha, night falls as all the guests arrive to possibly the biggest party of the year. An announcer calls out to the hundreds of privileged guests who are roaming the palace grounds that the House of Magnus is honored to have them as guests. As everyone rushes to a majestic staircase, where all the action seems to be occurring, the announcer tells them that the House of M is privileged to introduce to them the special guests of honor for the evening.

As the photographers snap away, the Helicarrier finally reaches Genosha. Aboard the landing platform on the Helicarrier the heroes gather. Someone asks Cyclops why they need three teams. Cyclops tells that person that, even with Emma and Dr. Strange hiding them from view right now; the House of M probably knows that they are coming. Even if they don’t know, they have to know something is wrong. As Scott motions the heroes attention to the massive Helicarrier around them, he reminds them that it wasn’t a bicycle they stole.

Hundreds of feet below, one of the royal guards, Phantazia, senses something amiss, due to her mutant powers to sense electromagnetic fields and electricity. Her fellow guard, Blob, asks Phantazia what is wrong.

Meanwhile, the announcer calls out King T’Challa of the African Commonwealth of Wakanda. The audience claps as King T’Challa, also known as the Black Panther comes out in a royal Wakanda garb.

On the Helicarrier, Scott tells the group that their primary objective is to find Charles Xavier if he is still with them for Emma to get Layla and her powers in front of him. They need to wake Xavier up. Cyclops turns to Cloak and tells him that it is up to him to teleport Emma where she needs to go. Cloak agrees, and Scott asks Emma if she needs anyone else on her team. No, replies Emma, Cyclops needs his men. Cyclops then asks Layla if she is okay, but the girl does show pressure despite what she says.

Below, the next special guest called is Victor von Doom, king of Latveria, and sometimes known as Dr. Doom, whose face is covered in the shadow of his hood.

Next is Genis-Vell, formerly known as Captain Marvel and now known as Photon in the proper reality, who is a visiting delegate from the Kree Empire.

Back up at the Helicarrier, Cyclops turns to Dr. Strange and tells him that he had luck in the past getting through to Wanda. Strange, who levitates in the air, tells Cyclops that the Astral Plane is a place where he can communicate with Wanda on a level playing field, or at least for a short time. Hopefully he will be able to cut at the heart of the problem and find out what is happening. Of course, that depends on Wanda’s present state of mind.

Below, Princess Ororo of Kenya, otherwise known as Storm, is called out.

At the Helicarrier, Cyclops asks Strange if he needs anyone else for back up. No, replies Strange. Wolverine then asks Cyclops what the rest of them are doing.

Below, King Namor from the kingdom of Atlantis is called out.

On the Helicarrier the heroes look down at Genosha. “We keep the House of Magnus occupied,” replies Cyclops to Wolverine.

Below, the last few moments culminate as the guests all begin to clap louder and the guards bow. A spotlight is put on a large red curtain at the top of the stairway, as the announcer introduced the House of Magnus!

The curtains are then pulled away to reveal the royal family. Lord Magnus sits upon his throne with Wanda, whose stoic face is covered with jewelry, stands to his right side, while Lorna is on his left. Quicksilver stands in front of Wanda, while one of Wanda’s twins sits in Magnus’ lap and the other stands close by.

Suddenly, however, Phantazia senses something and looks up as a large shadow comes crashing down to the royal palace. At first, the unknown object is nothing but a fast coming dot in the sky, but as it comes closer the horror is revealed to be one of the massive royal Sentinels, which is on a head first collision course with the palace.

As the Sentinel is about to crash and kill the royal family, however, Magneto and Lorna both use their magnetic powers to abruptly stop the Sentinel, ripping its head to pieces. Lorna calls out to her father, confused as to what is going on. The guests to the party stand in silence and awe at what is going on as they realize there is a massive Sentinel hovering above them, threatening to crash at any moment. However, the Sentinel attack was not an attempt to kill Magneto, but instead it was a ride for the heroes, consisting of Cyclops, Nightcrawler, Shadowcat, Wolverine, Rogue, Spider-Man, Moon Knight, Black Cat, She-Hulk, Toad, Mystique, Ms. Marvel, Luke Cage, Iron Fist, Daredevil, Tony Stark, and Spider-Woman, with Moon Knight, Black Cat and Tony Stark, armed with nothing but guns.

The royal guards waste no time in engaging the enemy. A giant Sasquatch-like creature attacks Cage, as a mutant with the ability to generate fire attacks Ms. Marvel. Cyclops does not waste time either, as he quickly locates Magneto, still holding up the domineering Sentinel. He calls out Magneto’s name and then looks over in time to be blasted by a powerful optic blast. When the dust clears, Wanda is lying motionless in the arms of Pietro and where Magneto once was there is nothing but a crater.

Lorna, terrified, calls out for her father and is horrified to think that he may be dead. However, Pietro realizes the worse horror, as with Magneto missing and Lorna distraught, there is no one holding up the Sentinel. The Sentinel then crashes down onto the plaza, destroying the entire area and sending the guests and heroes flying in different directions.

Nearby, Rogue recalls how Cyclops said that they should not hold back. She then charges at Storm and Namor and tackles them. She narrowly misses skin-to-skin contact with Storm, but is all over Namor. However, when she tries using the powers she absorbed from Layla, she finds that she cannot.

Elsewhere, in the royal gardens, Emma Frost, Layla Miller and Cloak emerge from the shadows. Layla asks what that noise is and Emma tells her that it is fighting. Layla then thinks that she hears a scream. The three heroes march through the area and Emma tells them that no one is here. Wherever here is, adds Layla. As the three pass a large rock monument, Emma tells Layla to concentrate as they have to find Xavier. She then looks to the side and reads the inscription of the on the plague, introducing them to the Xavier Memorial Garden. He died so Genosha could live.

Oh my God, says the destroyed Emma, as she falls to her knees. Layla, scared, asks Emma over and over what this means. She turns to Emma and asks if this is it. Emma buries her head in her hand, as she realizes that it is over, but Cloak tells them to wait. He then begins to descend in to the ground, creeping Layla out as she realizes Cloak has phased into the ground. Worried, she hopes he doesn’t drag up any bones. Emma looks up with hope at the ground, but Cloak emerges from behind them, scaring Layla. Cloak tells Emma that there is nothing down there, which confuses Emma. Cloak repeats that there is no coffin, no body. There is only dirt.

“Xavier’s not here,” state Cloak with his eyes wide open, “It’s not over yet.”

Characters Involved: 

Cyclops, Emma Frost, Nightcrawler, Rogue, Shadowcat, Wolverine (X-Men)
Luke Cage, Spider-Man, Tony Stark, Spider-Woman I (Avengers)
Black Cat, Cloak, Daredevil, Dr. Strange, Iron Fist, Moon Knight, Ms. Marvel, She-Hulk (other heroes)

Layla Miller

Lord Magnus
Lorna, Pietro, Wanda
Wanda’s twins

Delegate Genis-Marvel (Photon II)
King Namor (Submariner)
King T’Challa (Black Panther)
King Victor Von Doom (Dr. Doom)
Princess Ororo (Storm)

Blob, Phantazia
Various other royal guards (House of M guards)

Captain Greycrow (Scalphunter)
Various S.H.I.E.L.D. agents

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 Spider-Man: House of M #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 #1-5, 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.

Bob Diamond and Lin Sun mysteriously disappear between the pages of House of M #5 and this issue. Why they were not with the heroes is unexplained.

John Greycrow is better known as Scalphunter. Natasha Romanov is Black Widow I.

Tension between Magneto and Doom is direct from Fantastic Four: House of M #1-3.

Scott Lang is better known as Ant-Man II, who was a former love of Jessica Jones, Cage’s girlfriend, and also killed during Wanda’ initial rampage in Avengers (3rd Series) #500.

Spider-Man has taken the idea of the House of M and reversing it especially hard, due to the fact that his old love Gwen Stacy and his Uncle Ben are alive, in addition to the fact that in this reality he has a son named Ritchie, who never existed in the proper universe, as seen in Spider-Man: House of M #1-5 and House of M #1 and 5.

For more info on Storm and Black Panther in the House of M world see Black Panther (4th Series) #7.

For more info on Genis-Marvell in the House of M world see New Thunderbolts #11.

In addition to being in the royal guard, Blob also serves as one of Magneto’s Marauders in the House of M world, as seen in Uncanny X-Men #462-465.