House of M #8

Title: n/a
Reviewer: James Hatton

Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Penciller: Olivier Coipel
Inkers: John Dell, Scott Hanna and Tim Townsend
Letterer: Chris Eliopoulos
Colourists: Frank D’Armata and Paul Mounts
Editor: Tom Brevoort
Published by: Marvel Comics

This is it.

This is where it culminates, and we find out the fates of Scarlet Witch, Charles Xavier, Layla Miller, and…

…umm.. we don’t?

What do we find out?

Read on and find out what is going to be the most interesting age of Marvel (at least mutant) stories for years. I warn you now that this review is spoiler-iffic, because there is no way to comment on it otherwise.

STORY!

At the end of House of M #7, Scarlet Witch whispered three words that we were supposed to believe would change the world forever.

No More Mutants…

We awaken in the House of Xavier, and there is chaos abound. Kids are crying and it seems that the world might be a little less powerful. Add into it that only a few people remember.

The news reports show William Stryker claiming this is a plague from God. Xavier is missing. Logan remembers…. everything. Iceman is now just Bobby Drake. Cats are marrying dogs. Batboy has been sighted in Washington. IT’S MADNESS I TELL YOU! MAAAADNESSSSSSS!

As an issue, this book is powerful. This book ends just as it began, with a meeting of the minds between the X-Men and Avengers, bringing us full circle. Though now they aren’t discussing the fate of the Scarlet Witch, but their own. Even a weakened and frightened Dr. Strange reappears to discuss the ramifications of what’s gone on.

The scene between Quicksilver and Magneto is now replaced with Logan and Magneto. The Master of Magnetism is seemingly a powerless husk. Spider-Man is begging to have the memories of House of M ripped from his mind, having lived an entire life on the arm of Gwen Stacy. It’s all quite dramatic.

That doesn’t change the fact that this is the end of a series that gives you no answers. I know I’m going to get ripped on about this, as I’ve been harsher on House of M than many others, but I can’t grasp exactly what the story was. We spent a number of issues gathering a team. One issue to watch them fight. Then one issue to sum up the ramifications. There was no true narrative, and no true voice of the story.

That doesn’t mean though, that #8 was a bad book.. it will in fact get a high rating because of how powerful it was, but House of M as an arc will make me sigh at having to wait through a lot of filler for two issues that I found intense.

ART

Coipel has solidified himself as a great artist. His work on House of M has shown a knowledge of every aspect of the Marvel Universe. Every piece of the story he gives you is a telling moment. Each face, even Spidey in a mask, is telling.

I know this is very similar to what I said about him in my last review, but when I read a comic book, specifically one that is more about the reactions of characters than the actions they take, it makes me want to read their faces more than their bodies. Coipel does both in spades.

OVERALL!

What’s next? Decimation. House of M has left us with question after question about the future of the Marvel U. Where’s Charles? Where did Layla come from? What’s up with Pietro? How is it that out of all the mutants that are left, it seems that quite a few of them were X-Men and well known mutants. Did Scarlet Witch pick and choose them individually? Hell, does SHE still have her powers? Oh! Hey! Was that the Phoenix at the end?! HAWKEYE MIGHT NOT BE DEAD!?

There is so much story potential BECAUSE OF House of M that it’s hard to fault the story. It has given writers a new bible to write against, and I give that a big thumbs up. As long as the House of Ideas holds to its belief that the status quo has now changed in a concrete way, then I’m willing to give House of M the passgrade.

By the way: http://www.newgrounds.com/portal/view/251383 <== OOOO PAPERCLIPS!