Writer: Dennis Hopeless
Artist: Marco Failla
Colorist: Matt Wilson
To be honest, it seems like Secret Wars has been going on for a long time at this point, and I’m finding myself eager to get to the post Secret Wars world. That being said, there is still much more quality in the Marvel line than there is anything else. Even being in the thick of the event, we are still seeing some new titles come along, and this week one of the new books was House of M.
Featuring a story based in the world of the mid 2000’s event that bares the same name, this story had very high expectations for me. I personally feel that this is the best of the Bendis penned events, and it was seminal in the development of the Marvel Universe that I came across when I became a hardcore reader. To set the stage, this area of Battleworld is basically a place where mutants rule, lead by Magneto, and there is a group of non mutants who are fighting for equality more or less. This issue spends most of the time world building. We meet all the players, notably a bored ruler in Magneto who craves war and his royal family (Pietro, Wanda, and Lorna). Since I was already familiar with the world of this book, I was looking for something to really grab me, and much of the issue didn’t necessarily do that. The last page, however, really made this a different and fun story, as we see an alliance between a former foe of Magneto and a mutant I will not name here. This one page separates this from the other “mutant based” Secret Wars titles, and gives me the hope that I’ll enjoy this as much as the event from back in the day.My biggest concern with this title was the use of Wanda, and Hopeless appears to have taken her role to that of angry mother rather than what she was in the original series. She was so powerful in the original, and the famous “No more Mutants” situation was a spectre over this book. We get a small idea of her world bending power, but still in a comical and fun way.
Marco Failla is not an artist I’m familiar with, so I was going into this book cold on that front (I do know Matthew Wilson though, he’s great, so I guess not completely cold). I got a strong Kris Anka (who did the cover) feel in this line work. Very clean, very very Marvel if that makes any sense. His faces were incredibly expressive panel to panel, showing some very strong cartooning in parts. The biggest issue I had with the issue was how some of the faces looked to be identical to other characters. There was an almost grimaced face that I saw in these pages, and it became a little hard to tell who was speaking without being very familiar with these characters. The world around that, and even the character rendering and expression in movement around that were very solid however. I feel that with another step, Failla can be an elite artist.
Again, with that last page, I’ll gladly be back for the next issue. I hope that the story picks up a little, but I have faith it will, now that we know the world. Let’s keep those three famous words clear of this story.
3.5 Regals out of 5