House of M #5 Review

Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Penciler: Oliver Coipel
Inker: Tim Townsend
Colorist: Frank D’Armata
Letterer: Chris Eliopoulos
Cover: Esad Ribic
Variant Cover: Mike McKone
Production: Tom Valente
Assistant Editors: Molly Lazer & Aubrey Sitterson
Associate Editor: Andy Schmidt
Editor: Tom Brevoort

Published by: Marvel Comics

A few weeks ago, I wrote about how I was waiting for this to become more than just another alternate-universe story. Now, I’m not sure it’s quite reached where I supposed I wanted it to, but the way this is written, I feel that the stakes have been risen enough to make a difference. Maybe it’s because more characters are coming to the realization that things are amiss that it feels more…realistic in a way.

The bulk of this issue is about many of the heroes that we know and love coming to terms with the fact that the world around them is, in fact, wrong. Their happy lives are simply a fraud. When Scott Summers finds out that his marriage with Emma Frost is not real, he sort of shrugs it off, like it doesn’t really matter, which in itself is maybe saying something about those two characters. Most of the other characters are accepting of the change. But the one who takes it the hardest is Peter Parker.

Now for many, Spider-man is the core of the Marvel Universe. He is who most people would say they identify with, and that’s due to a lot of things. The Peter Parker who we are all familiar with is the hard luck, nothing goes right Peter Parker. But the Peter Parker in House of M seemingly is someone who everything has gone right for. He has a great family, married his first love, and his beloved Aunt and Uncle are still a big part of his life. In short, he’s has everything he wants. And in one moment, thanks to Layla Miller (who we still don’t know much about), he learns his life is a lie and that his family is dead, or perhaps just doesn’t exist.

How would you react?

Well, Peter Parker flips out. And it’s the most raw expression of emotions I’ve read in a while. And once again, just like that, we identify with Peter Parker. This is a remarkable scene, probably my favorite of the series thus far.

I’m still waiting for a little more from this series though. And it seems like the “final battle” will start next issue, so we’ll see where things go from there. But I’ll be honest with you, I’m liking this series more and more as it goes on. And a lot more than I thought I would.
The end to the issue isn’t really the jaw-dropping cliffhanger that it was supposed to be. I think most readers assumed the final page reveal long ago, simply due to the fact that we haven’t seen this character so far.

But still, it was an interesting way to end the issue.

Coipel has a lot of characters to work with, and he does a great job. As I’ve gotten more accustomed to his style, I’ve really enjoyed it more. And Bendis once again does his best work in the more character driven areas. The opening scene was very bizarre, yet it was brought home because of the humanity he gives the characters he writes.

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