House of M #7

Issue Date: 
November 2005
Story Title: 
House of M – part seven

Brian Michael Bendis (Writer), Olivier Coipel (Penciler), John Dell, Scott Hanna, Tim Townsend (Inkers), Frank D’Armata with Paul Mounts (Colorists), Chris Eliopoulos (Letterer), Esad Ribic (Cover), Salvador Larrocca, Danny Miki and Liquid! (Variant Cover), James Taveras (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: 

The heroes fight for all of reality in the palace of the House of M in Genosha. While her comrades fight on, Rogue absorbs the powers of Namor and Genis-Marvell, temporarily becoming a cosmically powered being. Lorna tells Pietro to get Wanda to safety, but Wanda falls to pieces. Pietro attacks the heroes, blaming them for this, but is stopped by Rogue. Strange finds the real Wanda in her tower, playing with her twins and oblivious to the fight outside. He begins to ask her questions and finds that she remembers the old world, though she is still not mentally intact. He raises the possibilities of Wanda creating Layla Miller to gather the heroes, and also of Wanda resurrecting her dead father prior to the House of M world, but Wanda either denies the allegations or doesn’t understand them. She then shows him what happened with a visual memory of hers and Strange finds that, while he and the others gathered to discuss Wanda’s fate, Quicksilver was in Genosha arguing with Magneto, who refused to stop the heroes. Quicksilver then coaxed Wanda into using her powers to take over Xavier and to make the perfect world for them, their father and all her loved ones. Before Strange can find out about Xavier’s location, Hawkeye arrives to kill Wanda, angry at how the person he loved so much could do this. Unable to take his accusations, Wanda seemingly erases him from reality. Meanwhile, Magneto finds Emma, Cloak and Layla, and Layla wakes up Magneto. Knowing the truth, Magneto attacks Quicksilver for doing this and kills his son. Wanda sees this and destroys her tower and resurrects her brother. She then yells at Magneto for ruining their lives by choosing mutants over his children. She then tells him that she gave him mutant supremacy and he is still evil and things still ended badly. Mutants are indeed freaks. To punish her father and to end the fighting for good, Wanda chants three words: No more mutants. The world then burns away in a white light.

Full Summary: 

On the grounds of the royal palace of King Magnus in Genosha an epic battle for the fate of all of reality is underway. However, majority of the players on the field do not even know it. A handful of X-Men, Avengers and various allies and would-be enemies fight against the massive royal army of Magnus.

As a mutant with the ability to generate flames attempts to incinerate Luke Cage, Iron Fist goes one-on-one with a female guard with a psychic dagger. She-Hulk pummels another guard while Cyclops blasts away one, all the while screaming to the others that they cannot lose this battle.

Spider-Woman chases after Sauron in the air, while Matt Murdock gets knocked over by the Blob. Ms. Marvel puts Doom in a choker, while the ruler of Latveria tells her that she is mad. As Moon Knight and Tony Stark defend themselves with guns, Princess Ororo, recently escaped from the clutches of Rogue, flies over the battle field and asks the heroes who they are and what they want from them. Wolverine slashes his way through a few guards and tells Ororo that, whether she believes it or not, she should know that they are her family and friends, so she might want to take it easy on them.

Nearby, King Namor looks up at Rogue and tells her to unhand him, as well as delegate Genis-Marvell. Rogue tells the men that normally she would not use her powers to suck so much power from them, but they are playing to win this match. She then tackles both men and makes skin-to-skin contact. Due to the nature of Genis’ genetics and powers, half of Rogue’s body transforms into a seemingly window to a cosmic landscape of black void dotted with stars. Not saying a word, Rogue uses her cosmic speed to fly back to the battle.

Nearby, as the landscape continues to fall apart and become hellish, thanks to the damage of the crashing Sentinel, Lorna calls up a magnetic field to protect her and her siblings, as well as her two nephews. Not noticing the two nephews motionless and lying on the ground like dolls, Lorna tells Pietro to get Wanda to safety and to find their father. She cannot keep up her magnetic field for long.

Pietro, however, does not move and just stares down at the motionless Wanda, in his arms, telling Lorna that something is wrong with their sister. Amazingly, Wanda’ body suddenly breaks up into hundreds of tiny orthogonal pieces, almost as if she were made out of building blocks. Horrified and with tears streaming from his eyes, Pietro turns back to the battle and the heroes and angrily asks what they have done to his sister.

Pietro charges out of Lorna’s magnetic bubble and starts screaming for answers as to why these people are attacking his family. He spots someone atop the wreckage of the Sentinel and goes to attack, but finds the cosmically powered Rogue waiting up top. Pietro slams into Rogue and is sent flying back.

As the heroes continue battling, the astral form of Dr. Strange hovers over them, searching. The recent ongoing with Pietro, Wanda, Lorna and Rogue had not gone unnoticed. Below him, Cyclops orders Nightcrawler to do a better job at watching their backs. As he teleports around to defend his teammates, Nightcrawler desperately tells his leader that he is trying to but there are a lot of backs to watch.

Suddenly, Strange senses something and looks over to a tower on the edge of the battlefield, yet unscathed from any of the massive powers being wielded. He looks up to the top off the tower, which is virtually closed from the outside, except for one small glassless window, where Strange notices an eerie, scarlet glow. Knowing that this may be what he is looking for, Strange flies towards the tower and his astral self easily passes through the wall into the room inside.

Inside, Strange finds himself in a lovely room, where the colors are all scarlet or some shade of red and pink. Many pillows lie about, as well as candles that light up the room made for a princess. Sitting in the middle of the room is Wanda Maximoff, dressed in an elegant red gown and playing with building blocks with her twin boys. Without looking at Strange, Wanda addresses him.

Strange looks at Wanda and tells her that she looks well. Wanda, still not looking at Strange, tells him that he looks vibrant. Is he in the Astral Plane? Strange comes close to Wanda and tells her that he is. How is she? He was scared that they lost her for good. Wanda, confused, asks Strange why he would think that. Strange replies that it seemed as if her body fell apart outside. Wanda, now understanding, tells Strange that it wasn’t her real body, as she does not like to leave the kids alone. That body is something for her father to show off during such occasions. One of Wanda’ boys tells Strange that their mommy always stays to play with them. Wanda, worried, asks if she upset anyone outside and if she should make a new body.

Strange sits next to Wanda and asks if he can play too. Wanda allows him and tells him that it is good to see him again. She misses their talks. Confused, Strange asks if she remembers him. Finding Strange’s question weird, Wanda tells him that he was there at the birth of her children. How did he find himself in Genosha? Strange tells Wanda that she brought them there, but Wanda asks him if she really did. Strange then reveals that he thinks she created Layla Miller to bring the heroes there. Looking at Strange for the first time since he entered, Wanda tells him that she has no idea who Layla Miller is.

Strange accepts Wanda’s word and figures that it might be true, as she has created so much lately. One of the boys tells Strange that building things is what mommies do, as Wanda pinches the boy’s cheek tenderly, repeating her child’s words. Continuing with his interrogation, Strange asks Wanda if she created her father as well. He heard rumors of his death last year and his puzzling rebirth before all or reality was shifted. Strange wonders if that was Wanda’s doing as well. How long has she been playing with the world? Wanda snaps two pieces together and tells Strange that he is full of questions and she cannot say if she understands them.

One of the twins shows impatience with Strange and tells him that play time is no time for talk. Strange apologizes to the prince, telling him that he has many questions but there is little time for that now. Why, asks Wanda; they have all the time in the world. Strange tells her that he is concerned for the safety of their friends, which catches Wanda’s undivided attention. Strange motions to the wall and tells her that their friends are fighting over her and over her father outside. Wanda turns to the wall and uses her powers to pull the wall apart, puzzle piece by piece, much like how her body outside fell apart. She then sees all the chaos occurring outside her tower.

Deeply saddened, Wanda tells Strange that no one should be fighting. She then closes up the wall. One of the twins asks his mother if she is sad. Wanda tells him that he purpose of this all was so that there would be no more fighting. However, no matter what she does there will always be fighting. She doesn’t understand people really. The boy then reminds his mother that he said they could be happy. Strange then asks Wanda how her father did this. Where is Charles Xavier? Wanda stares at her child and tells Strange that he just wanted her to be happy. He wanted all of them to be happy. Is that what Magneto said, asks Strange.

Wanda begins to pull apart various objects in the room back into building blocks and starts to use the pieces to form one giant block. She tells Strange that it is more complicated than that. He has to understand, though, that he was trying to save her. Strange looks up to the block and sees what appears to be a memory of Wanda’s, showing Pietro arguing with his father, claiming that the Avengers and X-Men will come to kill Wanda.

In the memory, prior to the reshaping of the world, Pietro tells his father that all the heroes are meeting in New York right now to decide Wanda’s fate. They must be agreeing to kill her; why else would they meet? They will decide that there is no other way and they will come to kill his sister and Magneto’s daughter. Magnus looks at his son with sorrow in his face and tells Pietro that the heroes may be right. Pietro flips out and reminds his father he swore a duty to sister to protect her, first from Magneto and now from… her family?! They will kill her and Magnus agrees? What you would have me do, asks Magnus.

Pietro, not knowing, simply shouts that the Avengers will kill Wanda. Magnus shouts back at Pietro and asks him what he would have him do. Overcome with grief and pain, Pietro collapses at his father’s feet. Magneto takes great strides to hide his own tears and then simply leaves the dark room, with Pietro crying on the ground. Suddenly, a soft voice tells Pietro that he shouldn’t yell at Magnus like that.

Pietro turns to see Wanda awake in bed, scared and vulnerable. She tells her brother that their father doesn’t react well to yelling. Pietro holds his sister and asks if she heard them. Wanda admits she did and tells him that she knows her friends are coming. She hopes Pietro won’t be mad at her but, when they arrive, she is not going to fight them. Pietro promises to take Wanda from Genosha, but Wanda reasons that the heroes will follow. She will not go. Pietro then tells Wanda that he will fight the heroes for her. He will not let them take her away from him again. Wanda interrupts Pietro and tells him that it is over. He denies it, but Wanda reveals her true feelings to him. It should have ended months ago.

Wanda pulls back from Pietro and asks him if she is a coward for not wanting to kill herself, even though she knows she should? The siblings then embrace one more time, as both find tears falling from their eyes. Wanda tells Pietro that it will be over soon. She can feel Xavier in her head, checking up on her. She then adds to herself that she wishes she knew if any of this was real or not.

Pietro then tells Wanda that they never had a chance. Magnus chose his mutant race over them. They were just little kids and he abandoned them. Even so, they fought so hard to get out from under it all. Wanda asks her brother how it was to be, and Pietro tells her that they would have been a family. Wanda likes the idea of that and Pietro goes on to say that they were to be great heroes. Wanda adds that they were for a bit. Pietro admits that he liked being an Avenger more than he ever said. Wanda agrees that she feels the same way, but look what she did to them. She would do anything to take it back.

Pietro falls silent and clenches his eyes for a moment. He then tells Wanda that she could take it all back. Wanda pulls away once more and asks him what he means. Acting as if he has had a sudden revelation, Pietro begins to get excited and tells her that she could take it back. She could make everyone happy. Not taking Pietro seriously, Wanda tells him that she could not control her powers. Not listening to Wanda, Pietro tells her that he could help her. They could do it together. Xavier’s mind is inside hers and with her powers as they are now she could use his powers and hers together. There is nothing she could not do. In an instant they could have what they always desired. She could give it to their friends too. Magnus could have everything he dreamed of. They can finally be a family and be happy. They wouldn’t bother them anymore.

Scared, Wanda’s eyes become wide open at what her brother suggests, and she argues that she cannot do it. Pietro leans over Wanda and tells her that they became Avengers to make things for the better. She can change things permanently without the fighting right now. She could make anyone she ever loved happy. Wanda looks at her brother fearful, and Pietro, with almost a desperate, insane look in his eyes, asks her why she would be granted all this power if not for this reason. This may be what she was supposed to do. He grabs Wanda by her shoulders and desperately tells her that, if she does not do this, they will kill her and they will never be together again.

Back in the tower, the block falls back into its pieces, as Dr. Strange sits there, soaking in the revelation. It wasn’t Magneto, says Strange. It was Pietro.

One of the twins tells Strange that he is making his mother sad, but Strange ignores him and contacts Emma telepathically and asks her if she is listening.

In the Xavier memorial garden, Emma hears Strange and, knowing that he is with Wanda, asks him to ask her where Xavier is. They need to find Xavier. Layla asks Emma who she is speaking to, but Emma shushes her for the moment and asks Strange to ask Wanda.

In the tower, Wanda holds her children, as Strange asks her where Charles Xavier is. Before Wanda can answer, she convulses with pain, as there is a painful sound as if flesh was torn. Wanda’s eyes glow scarlet red and she emanates energy as she falls to the ground, motionless, with an arrow in her back, much to the horror of Strange. “Mommy?” asks one of the boys.

Back in the memorial garden, Emma sees all of this happening through Strange and is shocked herself. Layla notices something behind Emma and calls the woman’s attention to it. The girls and Cloak turn to see Magneto emerge from the foliage, charged up with magnetic energy, and asking the three who they are and why are they bothering his family. Layla freaks out, but Emma calls her attention. Lashing out in fear, Layla wakes up Magneto with her powers.

In the tower, Hawkeye steps out of the shadows with his bow and arrows, and also with a very angry look on his face. He pulls out another arrow out of his quiver. Wanda looks up from the floor, as her children try rolling her over and calls out Clint’s name. She asks why he did that. Enraged, Clint screams at Wanda, repeating her question as he cries. Is she really asking him why? Meanwhile, Wanda uses her powers to destroy the arrow, one building block at a time.

Wanda gathers her terrified children in her arms and asks Clint if he is angry with her. Strange tells Clint that now is not the time to fight, but Clint ignores him and rhetorically asks Wanda if he is mad for her killing him. Mad doesn’t seem to cover it. He was hoping that, if he couldn’t at least kill her for all the stuff she has done, he could at least snap her out of her crazy. More tears fall from his eyes and he tells her that they were teammates and friends. He truly loved her and would have killed for her. Touched, Wanda tells Clint that she loves him too. Angry, Clint asks again why she killed him. Why did she do this? Wanda reminds Clint that she brought him back. Clint puts his arrow in his boy and closes his eyes, telling Wanda that she doesn’t even know what she has done.

Angry, one of Wanda’s twins screams at Hawkeye and tells him to shut up. With that said, Hawkeye is blown away into hundreds of building block pieces, just like Wanda’s fake body earlier. As the candles are blown out, Wanda is left stuttering at what just happened. Strange turns to her, but the children clutch their mother, crying and telling Wanda not to be sad. Wanda tells Strange that Clint was mad at her and she was just protecting her children. Interrupting her babble, Strange tells Wanda to listen to him, but the woman begins to cry and tells him that she cannot control any of it.

Outside, someone calls out for everyone to watch out for Pietro, but it is too late as he runs around and punches Spider-Man, Wolverine, Cage, Shadowcat, Ms. Marvel, Cyclops, Moon Knight, Matt Murdock, Mystique, Black Cat, Nightcrawler, Tony Stark, Spider-Woman, Toad and Iron Fist. Before he can hit Rogue, however, a powerful voice booms for this to end, and suddenly all the heroes find themselves paralyzed.

Magneto walks down from the sky, glowing with magnetic energy and obviously very angry. He wraps everyone up in metal to keep them contained, including Pietro, who is the only who he does not levitate into the air. Screaming out to his son, he asks him what he did to the world in the name of Magneto. Crying, Pietro tells his father that he was going to let them kill her. Enraged beyond belief, Magneto tells Pietro that he used him and he used Wanda. He would never have allowed any of this.

Magneto then begins to throw chunks of metal at the incapacitated Pietro. Still screaming, Magneto tells his son that he destroyed everything and everyone… and he used his name to do it! What right did he have to do that? Magneto then finishes him off at to the horror of the heroes Magneto kills Quicksilver with the remains of the Sentinel by crushing him!

Seeing all this from the tower, the horrified and insane Scarlet Witch screams and obliterates the tower with her powers. She calls out to her brother and then descends from the sky, glowing with scarlet energy. Suddenly, Magneto finds himself incapacitated by Wanda, causing him to lose his powers temporarily. The heroes are free from the metal casings and all fall to the ground, though the Black Cat of course lands on her feet.

Calming down, Magneto tells Wanda to stop, but she simply erases his mouth. She then lands at the bloody and ravaged body of her dead brother, Pietro Maximoff, who lies in a pool of his own blood. Wanda sits at her brother’s side and puts her hand over his face. He glows with red energy and then miraculously his body is perfectly normal. Pietro is alive. The two hug.

Nearby, Cyclops asks the newly arrived Emma what they should do. Emma tells him that Wanda’s mind is a mess. One blink and she could erase the mall from existence and not even know that she is doing it. Wolverine steps forward, offering to end this, but Emma stops him and tells him to do nothing until Dr. Strange says so. Wanda is too wound up. Emma then calls out to Strange telepathically.

Wanda finally speaks up and tells Magneto, who is still held by her in the sky, that Pietro just wanted him to be happy. Magnus should look at what he did to them. Pietro was right. He did ruin them before they had a chance. Why would he treat his own children this way? They were just babies. Why?!

Wanda knows the answer, though. Magnus thinks that he is better than everyone else. He is arrogant. He thinks because they are mutants that they are better than the rest of them. He thinks because of this they deserve to rule. That is what he wanted and she gave it to him. Now look what it has become in the end. Nearby, Strange, Ms. Marvel and Kitty look on, with Kitty deeply saddened to hear Wanda’s speech.

Wanda shouts to her father that even when he gets what he wants he is still a horrible man. They are not the next step. They are not gods. They are freaks! He needs to look at them. They are freaks! They are mutants! He chose this and ruined her and Pietro.

Wanda then calms down, though still crying, and calls out to her daddy one last time. Suddenly, Emma picks up Wanda’s thoughts and immediately is scared.

“Daddy…” cries Wanda, “No more mutants.”

There is a massive white light and no time for the heroes to react at all, as Emma, Cyclops, Wolverine and the still reality-warped Storm try to stop Wanda. Strange immediately begins to cant a spell. Magneto, with his mouth back, screams at Wanda.

Wanda closes her eyes as a wind picks up that billows her elegant dress around. The ground around her and Pietro begins to rip apart, as a white light appears beneath Wanda and envelopes herself and her brother. All the debris in the area is blown away as a few of the heroes closest to Wanda try to charge her.

It is too late, though. The world burns away in a white light.

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

Wanda Maximoff (Scarlet Witch)
Pietro Maximoff (Quicksilver)
Lorna Dane (Polaris)

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

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

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.

Fan speculation over who are among the royal guards that the gathered heroes battle include Havok, Revanche, and Northstar of the X-Men and Sasquatch I of Alpha Flight. The flame wielder in this issue and last was speculated to be either the sometimes villain Pyro or the X-Man Thunderbird III. However, there is no proof at all to confirm that any of these characters are the ones depicted in this issue, especially considering it makes no sense for a human such as Sasquatch to be in Magneto’s most trusted royal guards, though it can be argued that since so much has been changed in the House of M world that nothing can be assumed.

Fan speculation over House of M #6 spread rumors of Namor and Storm being awakened by Rogue, but as this issue proved neither was awoken by the time Wanda altered reality once more at issue’s end.

As revealed in an interview post-House of M, writer Brian Michael Bendis revealed that he originally intended for Rogue to permanently absorb the powers of Genis-Marvell and for her to become Marvel’s next cosmic powered character. However, the idea was nixed as the current writers and editors of the x-titles didn’t seem interested in taking Rogue in this direction, so Rogue only temporarily keeps Marvell’s powers for this issue only.

The scene of Wanda falling to pieces was first depicted in the variant cover of House of M#1.

This issue also stirred up much buzz as it was publicized as shining some light on the “Xorneto” debacle that has been around in recent X-Titles. In New X-Men (1st Series) #115, Magneto apparently died on Genosha, but was revealed alive under the guise of Xorn in New X-Men (1st Series) #146, where he destroyed the mansion and took Xavier prisoner. He apparently though was on the drug Kick and under the influence of the malevolent bacteria known as Sublime. Magneto was killed by Wolverine in New X-Men (1st Series) #150. However, in Excalibur (2nd Series) #1, Magneto was revealed alive and well in Genosha and the Magneto that was killed in New York by Wolverine was an imposter. However, only Magneto and Xavier knew about this. Thus, the “evil” Magneto in New York was dubbed Xorneto by fans. More complications ensued when a Xorn II was found, apparently the brother of another Xorn. “Xorneto” seemingly did not make up the identity of Xorn, but actually was disguised as Xorn I, the dead brother of Xorn II. When Strange implies that Wanda may have resurrected Magneto, though, it does not shine much light on which Magneto. There are many different scenarios that can be played out. First, Magneto could have died on Genosha, then was resurrected in the only image that Wanda knew of Magneto (evil tyrant) and died as Xorneto, only to be resurrected again on Genosha as a more idealizes Magneto (loving caring father). A second theory is that Magneto died on Genosha, Xorneto truly is an imposter, and Wanda resurrected the caring and nice Magneto in Genosha. Finally, Magneto did not die in Genosha but Wanda did not know this and made Xorneto in the only image she knew of her father (evil tyrant), and the real Magneto was on Genosha all along. For now, the complicated saga of Magneto/Xorn/Xorneto remains unresolved.

The first part of Magneto and Pietro’s conversation is seen in House of M #1, but the latter half of the memory where Pietro speaks with Wanda is first revealed here.

It is a little odd that Pietro would make the perfect reality for him and his family, but his estranged wife Crystal and his own daughter Luna have no place in this new reality. In fact, without Crystal as his wife in this reality, Luna would not even exist at all.

The heroes gathered to discuss Wanda’s fate in House of M #1. Wanda initially went mad in Avengers (1st Series) #500-503. Hawkeye was killed in #502, but was revealed alive in the House of M world in House of M #3. He regained his memories in #5 and then his story continued in The Pulse #10, where he attempted to regain his bearings after remembering his death. In The Pulse, he vowed to kill Wanda, assuming that is why Wanda brought him back.

This is not the first instance where Wanda warped reality. Back in Avengers (3rd Series) #1-3, the Scarlet Witch was used by Morgan Le Fey to warp reality into a medieval world. Few fans speculate that perhaps this was the beginning of Wanda’s breakdown into insanity, as her powers were irrevocably altered by Morgan. To give credence to this theory, it was soon after that this so-called “Chaos Magic” was coined by Agatha Harkness to explain Wanda’s odd change in power. In an interview, Bendis tossed around the idea of Wonder Man being yet another one of Wanda’s creations, as she literally created him out of nothing in Avengers (3rd Series) #12. Only time will tell about the nature of Wanda’s breakdown.

This issue also includes a preview of the new series Nick Fury’s Howling Commandos #1.