Friday, July 30, 2010

House of M by Brian Michael Bendis

Those of you who read my essay, “The Post-X-Men vs. Apocalypse X-Men,” will recall that this is where I proposed to start my project of getting caught up with X-Men. Many people seem to have low opinions of X-Men because of its status as a comic book, but it tells stories just as engaging and entertaining as most of the novels I read, and at times (such as the brilliant God Loves, Man Kills written by Chris Claremont) really reaches towards the best of storytelling, regardless of genre or format. So, with plenty of excitement, I dove into the event that in large part launched the last few years of X-Men comics, House of M.

Magneto’s daughter Wanda is slowly losing her grip on reality, and her powers are just enough that this is a big problem. The first time she lost her grip, three people died. Under control again, the X-Men and the Avengers join together to decide the fate of their friend and former hero. However, before they can make a choice, tragedy strikes, and in a flash of white, the world changes. Magneto is king of the most powerful nation in the world, mutants are the upper class, and the X-Men and Avengers don’t exist. However, one man remembers the truth, and sets out to overthrow an entire world, and set things back on the right path.

Brian Michael Bendis is a very solid storyteller, and he doesn’t falter here. His sweeping story manages to showcase the drastic new direction the world has taken, while at the same time giving us a cast of characters to follow. He manages to hit some interesting depths as well, including a discussion on the ethical “rightness” of destroying one world, even if it is artificially constructed, for the sake of returning things to the original world. Combining action and a great plot, Bendis makes this one a real winner, and a great jumping on point for new readers. A great start to my surge into the newer X-Men series.


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