In the first decade of the new millennium, Scarlet Witch lost her grasp on reality and created a new world where mutants ruled the Marvel Universe after she accidentally killed the Avengers in House of M.
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[Editor’s Note: This transcript has been lightly edited for clarity.]
Justin Alba (JA): Is this anyone’s first time reading House of M?
Matt Attanasio (MA): No.
JA Was this anyone’s second time reading it?
Maite Molina (MM): Yes, technically second. All the way through.
JA Second all the way through?
JA: So what were your thoughts the second time reading it? What changed from the first time you read it to the second time?
MA: It was a lot sadder then I remember.
JA: I thought this was more than your second time?
MA: But like the first two times I just read it. It was just reading it through just to read it. This was like, now that I knew we’re having an actual discussion, I was actually taking it in.
JA: So this is not literally your second time, it’s metaphorically your second time.
MA: Yeah. Being the Spider-Man fan boy I am. I was like this stuff is rough for Spidey.
JA: So what changed for you from the first two times reading it to right now?
MA: I think because the first time I was reading it was when I was really just getting into comics and I was just going through the event stories just to sort of be on the same page with the Marvel Universe. But now like looking at it and seeing all the larger implications and consequences of this book, like having read New Avengers, I know where all the, like the bad guy from whatever the arc was comes from because it’s where all the mutant powers go at the end of House of M. I don’t read X-Men so I don’t know what the problems there were, but I’m sure there were many.
JA: When you said you don’t read X-Men and I had a flashback to Game of Thrones when Daenerys was in one of those weird cities and then she killed the slave boy and then all the other sites were like, “Hissssss.” Do you remember that part?
MA: No, and nor do I see what the connection is.
JA: You just said something I didn’t like and I wanted to hiss at you. I wanted it to be in context. I didn’t want people listening to be like, “has Justin developed some sort of feline obsession where he is now hissing at me?”
JA: Anyway, a lot of people read comics for the first time and HOUSE OF M was their first comic. So do you think, was this a good jumping on point for you?
MA: As a jumping on point? Yeah, because it’s sort of at a spot where the New Avengers were still new. So there’s that. I didn’t know what was going on with the X-Men prior to this because I know there’s like, like Xavier’s and talking with them; Storm’s not there for some reason. I don’t know.
JA: Should we fill them in?
JA: Does anyone else know besides me? I’m sure Peyton, I’m sure you know. DEADLY GENESIS?
Peyton Hinckle (PH): I’ve never read that actually.
JA: Oh my God, I’m so excited because you’re totally going to read it after because it’s so good. So basically what happened right before this, just to give some context for the X-Men, is that apparently Cyclops has a third brother — his younger brother. And Xavier wiped all memory from him because he was on the second team of X-Men that was constituted before Storm and Colossus and all those people. So the real second team of X-Men died trying kill Crycoa??, the island, and Xavier wiped it from the memory and he wiped the memory of Cyclops ever meeting his brother and his brother Vulcan ended up surviving with the help of Darwin, who we all know from the comics who can evolve. Ironically, Darwin survived on an island in the middle of the space because he can evolve.
JA: So anyway, so he comes back and then basically the youngest brother is all fucked up because he was ripped from the womb of Cyclops and Havok’s mom and he wants revenge on the X-Men and he’s really mad. And that happened right before as well as ASTONISHING X-MEN with Josh Whedon. So Jean died and blah, blah, blah. Cyclops with Emma. Bam!
MA: Right. OK. Then that makes the X-Men hate Xavier because he kept all this from them.
JA: Yeah, yeah, yeah. I mean you wouldn’t like if like you had a little sister —
MA: Oh no.
JA: You do have a little sister?
MA: No, I have an older sister.
JA: OK, pretend you had a little sister because it’s better if we’d have a pretend person and she applied at ComicsVerse and she came here and she died and I just wiped it from your memory. Like that would be really fucked up, so I just want it to be clear like.
MA: Yeah, OK.
JA: OK. Third time reading it for anyone?
PH: Yeah, I think this was probably my third time reading it and I mean I think I paid a little more attention to Emma’s character just because I’m a huge Emma Frost fan now — much more than I was when I first read it, the second time I read it. And especially kind of comparing it to Firestar, which I had just recently read too. She’s just a completely different kind of person from then to now and seeing that growth is just crazy.
JA: I always said I always thought she had the most organic change from villain to anti-hero in X-Men comics that I read, at least
PH: For sure. For sure. Yeah. Especially seeing her with Layla throughout House of M. It’s kind of like a mother, like weird mother-daughter relationship, which is kind of different. Especially when you read like Firestar and you’re looking at her relationship with most of her students, Hellions, in the past. But yeah, I really thought that was interesting to see how she reacted with Layla.
JA: So maybe not in Firestar specifically, but in terms of old Emma Frost and we see this very caring maternal figure to Layla when she was a villain. Did you ever see hence of who she would become?
PH: She was really good at faking it. I think sometimes. I mean, I think she did care about her students in a way. She just didn’t know how to express that love yet. I mean because she had such a hard upbringing herself. In her origin story, her dad just ruined her. She just didn’t really know how to express love to someone or act like a parental figure. And I think being at Xavier’s that definitely showed her how to do that.
JA: I agree. Every time we talk you, we switch off on liking Jean or Emma more. So now you just made me —
PH: Oh, we’ll get back to Jean. We’ll get back to Jean. It’s OK.
JA: I know, right? Marius, how about you?
Marius Thienenkamp (MT): I think like the first time I read it was actually more to get into like the X-Men and the Avengers canon that was relevant at the time and the, I guess in the Marvel Comics universe. Um, it was pretty early on when I wasn’t very much filled in on the canon. Now re-reading this after having read it a couple times already. I think what changed is that now I approached it more from the point of view that we usually do at ComicsVerse because the first time or the first few times I read it, it wasn’t, it was before I joined ComicsVerse. And now I guess seeing it on the, this paradigm of we actually want to find out like what is each character’s inherent need each character’s biggest wish all their life. I guess that made it really interesting to look at. And also in terms of like the ramifications of what happened since in x man comics, but also for a Brian Michael Bendis as a creator. I guess this was fun too to take another look at it.
JA: So did you think this was a good jumping off point for you?
MT: Um, yeah, I think so. I read some expense stuff prior to that. Um, and I was kind of confused as to how exactly the, the events in, uh, had taken place, so it was good to, to go back and reread that. It’s certainly a big paradigm shift I guess in comics, which is always fun to jump in on for new readers.
JA: So more than four or five times as Jordan and Maite?
MM: Oh no, this is my second time.
JA: Oh my God, Maite! We skipped you at number two.
MM: That’s OK. I wasn’t sure. I wasn’t sure if you’re going in order, but I can talk about it now.
JA: I’m going to lie and say I wasn’t. This is all part of my genius.
MM: I believe that. This is my second time reading it and I’ve been reading Saladin Ahmed’s Quicksilver series that is, has been running since I think early this year. So going into House of M the second time I kind of read it with that lens of Saladin Ahmed’s perspective on Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch’s relationship. So I know the later issues are much more attuned to their relationship and kind of dig deep into that.
JA: Wait, what’s that perspective?
MM: I mean, I guess it’s kind of the more obvious — they’re kind of dependence on each other and I mean, in that series alone, Quicksilver is very much dependent on her presence in his life. He’s kind of going through this — he’s almost like stuck in this dimension by himself. So he’s just constantly running, constantly fighting these monstrous beings by himself. But the only thing that’s kind of getting him through is Scarlet Witch’s omnipresence throughout the series.
MM: So kind of going into that and if you, I guess the first time I read it, I hadn’t really read much about Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch prior to House of M and it’s was like a few years ago. So kind of having that background knowledge of their relationship going into House of M made a lot more interesting and kind of made you sympathize with Quicksilver a little bit more than, you know, the first time coming into it. I really didn’t understand the depth of their relationship. So, I think reading it a second time after I had read other excellent stuff was really helpful.
MM: So kind of going back to what we were talking about earlier about having the story be a jumping off point, I think it’s pretty beneficial if you do have some background knowledge of the characters, it just gave me more context to work with. Then if you know, going into the first time not really having that background knowledge.
JA: And Jordan, what number were you at?
Jordan Parrish (JP): Two, also.
JA: You know, once Maite said that, I thought I remembered you saying that as well. But first of all, two questions about that. Number one, why did you choose this comic for us to do on this podcast and since this was the second time you read it, what was something that changed for you?
JP: I chose this partially because Maite and I have been talking about it for a very long time, partially because I kind of love Scarlet Witch, even though she goes like crazy, but I love her character and she’s super underrated. I think for the most part and especially at CV, we don’t talk about her here that much in general. Even though we talk about the X-Men a lot and I feel like the connection is very strong. So that’s mostly why I chose to have us read House of M and kind of go from there and reading it for the second time. Well, I’ve always kind of not been an X-Men person just because — I don’t have a reason. I just haven’t. So kind of being able to be here and talk to all of you X-Men people and kind of know a bit more and reading Firestar and kind of seeing like Emma Frost and all of those characters and understanding definitely what’s going on between all of them is a lot easier for me to understand this time around. And kind of understand like, oh, that’s the relationship between like Emma and Scott and all of that that’s going on there and seeing her as the mentor role as Peyton was talking about earlier and then kind of also juxtaposing that with what happens in Firestar. It just kind of gave me a new way to look at things and a new way to see it and understand what’s going on.
JA: Do you think that this was the biggest Marvel crossover event in the mid-2000s, in terms of impact on the future?
MA: I don’t know because there is also CIVIL WAR, SECRET INVASION, all the — pretty much all the early 2000 Bendis stuff. Although CIVIL WAR was Mark Miller.
JA: Well, I will say I’m not necessarily talking about how it impacted the X-Men, but how having only 198 X-Men, whether that’s a symbolic number or actual number, how that impacted the entire marvel universe because there were a mutant on Avengers teams. There were meetings on, in the new warriors. Firestar was a mutant. She asked, she was in the Avengers, but she was also a new warrior before that. In that sense, I kind of wanted to ask about the lasting impact it had on the stories. But if you’re saying that you don’t think so that civil war was. I think that’s an extremely valid response.
MT: Yeah. I think I agree as well because I think that in terms of just the impact on x-men books themselves House of M has been a lot more significant. But if we’re talking about the marvel universe in general, I think that a lot of stories when unaffected by House of M, just because most of the characters that we would care about outside of x-men books either didn’t lose power. So it doesn’t really change a lot for them in these individual titles. Or they got back that powers at some point like Quicksilver did. Right?
JA: It seems that they all got their powers back.
MA: Well, yeah. None of them. Yeah. Like Marius said, none of them lost them really.
JA: Quicksilver got his power back from the Terrigen Mist.
MT: That’s true.
JA: OK. Thank you.
MT: But now he’s also not a mutant, so I’m not sure if that counts.
MA: Well that’s just in the movies, I thought, that he’s not a mutant.
JA: No, he’s been retconned from here too, yeah.
MA: Oh yeah. Because they’re not Magneto’s children.
PH: Yeah, because they wanted it to match up with that movie.
JA: OK. New question, Jordan. What makes you like the story so much? Or did you not choose it because you liked it so much, you chose it because you thought it’d be good to dissect.
JP: I think both is the correct answer there. Obviously it’s good to dissect. There’s so much going on and so much that connects it to other stuff in the future. I also like the story. I don’t really know. I think, like I said before, I like Emma and her mentor role. I kind of like seeing the alternate realities that all of them would have lived in. I think that’s a fun little, almost a what if type story idea to just kind of see what would have happened if things hadn’t happened the way everyone knew it went down. So I guess it’s mostly because of that.
JA: Did you guys learn anything about the characters when we found out what they really wanted and what their ideal life was like? Did you feel like it informed what you knew about them?
MA: Kind of. I mean for me like looking at all the Spider-Man stuff is a real eyeopener because I think one of one of the biggest things for Spider-Man is how his guilt always weighs so heavily on him and how that’s sort of informed how he grew into being a hero, but then you take all of that away. Like Uncle Ben is still alive. He’s married to Gwen Stacy because she’s still alive. He’s got a child like all of that. It really throws a whole different perspective to the character and then seeing him just totally break down during the main story when it’s like, oh yeah, all this is fake. Your real, your real life is in this other reality. Oh man, that’s so good. That stuff gets me.
MT: Yeah. Yeah. I agree with that completely. And I also think that with some of the Spider-Man books, I’m not sure if I can come in and run a coming out around that time or maybe a bit later, but for instance, there was this one storyline where he was introduced to an alternate universe Uncle Ben, I think. So we did see some glimpses, like how would Peter react if some of the people that he felt guilty about having more or less killed as Spider-Man came back to life and he had the opportunity to talk to them again. But I don’t think it’s as poignant and as extreme as in the House of M, the main book because we see him basically in this, for him, in a very utopian world where he’s relieved of all the guilt. And he has all the people he loves with him and then seeing how this really pushed him over the edge. And seeing Spider-Man talk about wanting to murder someone and just this blind rage I think is something that has only been used very sparingly in comics, which I really like. And I think it makes these moments even more impactful. I think it really worked.
MA: I think it’s also a great handling of his character in the sense of a event book because normally if Spider-Man is ever in an event story, he’s just there for really for comedic relief and not much else. He was big in CIVIL WAR and he’s pretty big in this. He’s not, he’s not exactly pivotal to the story, but he gets a pretty solid arc that really works well with his character, I think. And I’m happy that Bendis did that.
JP: I mean, OK. I’m not a Spidey fan and I don’t know if I totally agree. I mean, I agree that he’s not used for comedic effect, but also I’m really tired of him and Uncle Ben. That has just been overplayed so much. I’m way more interested in him and Gwen Stacy and MJ and like that whole storyline because everyone knows that he feels guilty about Uncle Ben dying and we don’t need to rehash that over and over and over again. So that’s where I stand on Spidey.
MM: The second time reading it, I like low-key kind of just skimmed the alternate reality stuff because I kind of wanted to get to like the action and like the climax of the story. Not that I skipped it completely, but I was kinda like, “OK, they have these different lives, like what they wish their life could have been. It’s like obviously like gonna go back to how everything was and be tragic again.” So for me it’s like if you think about it’s kind of a depressing story because they all go back to the realities that we all know. And then on top of that it’s like everything goes to shit, you know, because I’m like, you know the norm, you inside and they like, all the mutants disappear. Then the ending of the story is so depressing, but for me, like I think that’s kind of, that kind of made it better because it’s not at least the first time we already get like that’s not what you would expect and like at least for me, like, like I said before, going into House of M, I hadn’t really read a lot of X-Men before that, or even Avengers before that. So reading that for the first time I was like, oh my God, what just happened? Like that’s just how it ended. So second time going into it I was like, yeah, this is going to be really depressing to read once again. But it’s really, really good.
MA: It’s like Jessica Drew says when they’re about to go fight Magneto and the whole House of M, she’s like, like, should it, don’t we deserve this? Or is this like, this is how mutants become the dominant species. And maybe that’s OK, but of course Wolverine’s, like, no, you’re going to be really embarrassed one day that you said that. And yeah, like, cause it’s, yeah, they present that moral question like should they fix this? Like everyone was happy here. Pretty much. Yeah. The humans were basically dying off as implied by the Hank McCoy-Henry Pym conversation, but still like, oops. Pretty much everyone’s happy. Everyone’s got a good thing going, but–
MM: well then you go back to like what that had been the same result if they had killed scarlet witch like they had planned to in the beginning of the story, you know, we don’t know.
PH: OK, if they’d killed scarlet witch, God only knows what would’ve happened. It probably would’ve like destroyed the world. Like she’s so powerful like it. I don’t even know what would have happened. Like
MM: I just feel like there was no actual like happy alternative.
PH: Yeah, that’s true.
JA: I don’t blame the x one for wanting to kill her immediately. Really without talking. Like they’ve been through so much with Jean Grey and storm and Polaris and everyone lost their shit so many times. I have a question. No. OK. This is what I wanted to ask Maite though and to have other people expand on is don’t you feel that the really emotional moments in the beginning and the end of the book really anchored this story because otherwise for me it was like pure action.
MM: No, for sure. No, I guess only the second time reading it I kinda was like, you know, issue and I’m like, oh, I’m so into this. And then the middle I was kinda like, OK, like flipping through the pages kind of get to like, you know, the big fight scenes and the big climax where Scarlet Witch says, “No more mutants,” and stuff. So, um, yeah, without the beginning and the end. I mean that sounds really redundant. So like without those moments in the first issue and then, you know, the big twist at the end, I think that’s really what makes us so memorable.
MA: I don’t know because the whole, I feel like a big part of the book is showing you what these characters all want and then when that’s sort of, when it’s all revealed like this is all a lie and how they react. I think that’s a big part of it as well, but that you don’t get that from really the beginning of the end. You just. That’s just the story playing out.
MM: Yeah. For me, I didn’t really resonate with those parts like emotionally as much as I did with at least, the beginning and the end. And like at the end when you see Scarlet Witch playing with her children, —
MA: I will say like the scarlet witch stuff is, is probably the most powerful stuff where in the beginning she’s like giving birth, but then Charles just comes in like, yeah, no, stop it, quit screwing around. You don’t have kids. And then at the end where it’s all, it all just blows up again. Those, those were really. I don’t know, it was sad.
JP: OK. But going back to the alternate reality is, I mean we already know how I feel about Spider-Man, but I think the one that really got me– I don’t feel bad.
MM: Tell us again, tell us again.
JP: The one that really got me was Jessica Jones and Scott Lang, they just like call their voicemail and so they weren’t even involved in this story, but you still found out that it was affecting other people and you still kind of see how that played into that even though they weren’t here and you didn’t really know what was going on, but like that part I think was interesting.
MA: Is that who it is? It’s because I know it says Scott, but I was wondering if it was just like, oh, it’s just a name drop. So it’s supposed to be Scott Lang?
JP: I just assume that because they’re all super heroes and like it kinda makes sense.
MA: Yeah. Fair enough.
JA: All right. I wanted to ask Peyton and Marius a question because we often have the same tastes in comics, but I totally cried at the end of this.
PH: Yeah, pretty emotional ending with Scarlet Witch for sure. And with just Emma and all the X-Men kind of like hearing that like “No more mutants,” and somehow knowing exactly what that means and the effects. It is super emotional.
JA: It was right? And Marius, what about you?
MT: Yeah, I think for me it wasn’t as much like a crying moment but more like a goosebumps moment because I just thought that the few pages leading up to the “No more mutants” moment were absolutely perfectly orchestrated and I think this — it’s one of the biggest moments in comics for me. Absolutely.
JA: I think for me when she says we’re freaks and I remember when I read that for the first time and I kind of broke down. It was so sad because that’s what people were telling her her entire life and she’s like, it’s true. Like it was watching someone give into all the discrimination they’ve ever faced and it was like super upsetting and it’s total statement of how she feels about herself.
MT: Oh yeah, absolutely. And I feel like I’m rereading FIRESTAR kind of reminded me of that scene as well, which, what you mentioned kind of the moment where, where people break down and kind of give into everything they’ve been told for years and years and it’s, it’s really, um, it’s, it, it hits home. I think.
PH: The SCARLET WITCH solo series is so important to read after this, I think because it really shows her kind of like becoming more confident in her abilities and not just controlling them better, but also just learning more about her history and who she is and not being ashamed of, you know, being who she is. I don’t know if anyone else has read that, but it’s amazing.
MA: I was going to say, is that the recent one that they did starting with the all new, all different marvel stuff?
PH: Yeah, the newest one that just came out 2015. I think it came out.
MA: I was debating giving that a look I might have, I might have to now.
PH: It’s pretty good. I really enjoyed it. But I think if you’ve read House of M, you should definitely read the children’s crusade of interscope children’s Crusade. But after that the scarlet witch series is perfect to examine her character post House of M.
MA: Again, not big into X-Men, but I’d say if there’s any one member I’d gravitate towards reading it’s probably wolverine and I really enjoyed his whole arc through this story and seeing him having like those moments where “yeah, I don’t remember like three quarters of my life because I’ve been mind wiped so many times,” but then at the end it’s like he remembers it all. I don’t know how much that was — I’m sure that was explored in whatever Wolverine solo series or the other X-Men books that came after, but I wish I got more of that just from House of M, like in the aftermath. I mean like that last page of him sitting up in the grass being like “I remember my whole life.”
JA: It was a really good one, but my question is about that. Is everyone happy that wolverine found out about his past? Because I had mixed emotions about it. Because on the one hand, I was happy for him, but I liked the drama of his misery of not knowing anything and it’s kind of like with Joker, you don’t really want to know. I don’t really want to know who Joker is.
MA: But I think it works to the point you make were all the x-men have been through so much shit that it’s almost like it’s well deserved for him, I think, to have some clarity on his life and who he is, even though he’s assembled this idea of who he is currently. Like he’s just this — sort of just a killer. He’s made peace with that and not much else. Then again, I don’t really know that much Wolverine, so I’m sure there’s more to it than that, but that’s the basic gist I see when I read Wolverine stuff, like if he’s in relation with like Avengers or something, but from what I gather, I think it’s very rewarding for his character to get that clarity.
MT: Yeah. I think if they were going to do this I think the execution has to be excellent and I think it was in House of M and I really liked the in-canon explanation of why he would get his memories back. I think it was handled tastefully, so I’m fine with it, mostly.
JA: Maite, what was your favorite character arc in this?
MM: It’s hard to say favorite because if I say I liked Scarlet Witch’s arc, you know, I wouldn’t say it’s my favorite because it’s so darn depressing. But rereading it this time, I actually really liked Dr. Strange’s role, especially in the last issue when he’s kind of infiltrating Scarlet Witch’s space and getting to know the root of all this reality altering experience that everyone’s going through and figuring out that it was Quicksilver.
MM: I just really liked his approach to her. I found it to be really sincere and genuine because, you know, you had all these Avengers talking about, “oh we need to kill her. We need to end this” Everyone was kind of coming at it in just, I don’t want to say aggressive ways, but just maybe not the most sympathetic to her. But I think Dr. Strange kind of inverted that and kind of went about it in his own direction and he actually understood her pain and understood how she was feeling about herself and how tragic that perception of herself was. So I really enjoyed his role in it and it was something I really did not notice the first time around because I was so focused on the x-men and the main characters. So it might be unpopular opinion, but I really like Dr Strange’s role.
MA: And because also back then like no one knew Dr. Strange back then. I feel like now with the movies and everything now he’s so much bigger. Now I read anything about Dr. Strange. And I’m like, “yes, give me.” Because he’s so cool. He can do so much cool stuff.
JA: He is cool. What did you think about the moments when he was inside Wanda’s head? Did you feel like those were telling in terms of Wanda’s character? I did.
MA: Oh yeah.
MM: Yeah. I definitely think it was telling of her character. It kind of just revealed where she was at and I think, I mean, this scene was really telling. I think it was also telling about Quicksilver obviously because it revealed that he was kind of the cause of all this madness. But I mean, I think that’s why I’m so much more inclined towards the beginning and the end of the story is because of moments like that where you kind of have, it kind of breaks from those big climactic action sequences and those, you know, those sequences where it’s like, “oh my God, like exploring this alternate reality.” It kind of like was really intimate and focused on these two characters and kind of dug into the psyche of Scarlet Witch and I really liked that. So for me that was a really transformative moment in the series as a whole. And it really breaks the, you know, the chaos of the action. And again, like all these alternate realities and such.
JA: Did everyone find both Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver to be sympathetic figures?
MA: Scarlet Witch? Yes. Quicksilver? No. He comes off — I understand his, like the dependency he and scarlet witch share for each other and that’s good. That shows they have a strong familial relationship. I like that. But part of it also seems selfish in his case. I wonder like he takes this relationship with his sister too seriously, to the point that he’d be willing to like completely flipped the world upside down just for her. And I wonder how much of it is just for her and if it’s like where his own desire comes into play.
MM: No, I agree with most of that. I mean, I sympathize with him. I do. And obviously with Scarlet Witch, especially like I said before, through the lens of Saladin Ahmed’s new series, but when you do see him, like convincing her to bend reality, it does come across as kind of manipulative. So with that being said, you know, you kind of wonder, you know, what are his intentions? You know, kind of using her to just alter everything. So, you know, obviously there’s multiple interpretations you can take on that. I mean bottom line, I do sympathize with the both of them, but with Quicksilver. I do think he does kind of come across as manipulative and maybe self seeking.
PH: I think he does that a lot. I mean he tried to get her to side with him in CIVIL WAR, the second CIVIL WAR, so I think he’s always just kind of that domineering brother. But I think it just comes naturally for him because he had so many years where he had to kind of be her everything. So I do kind of still see it as sympathetic. Like he just wants whatever is best for her. Like he’s behind it. And this was kind of, he was literally at the last end. She was going to die, he had to do something.
JA: But do you think that was definitely in his mind what was best for her or was that also what was best for him? Or does that not matter? Was it still selfless?
PH: Well, at the same time he knows that she needs him, so he has to be around too, and he has to be his best self too. So this whole royal family thing, it’s, I mean, it’s extremely prideful and kind of disgusting, but I think he just wanted this idyllic family life that he and she had never had. They both wanted that and he knew that they would be happy together in this life.
MT: Oh yeah. I think going off what all of you said about him having kind of this manipulative aspect to him. I think there’s actually ties pretty well into one of the big themes of the book, which I thought was kind of people mistreating their family members or people who mean a lot to them because of their grand ideas. I think we see that with Magneto, obviously. You hit him talking about how he regrets having sacrificed his family’s well being for his dream of mutant domination. But then also with Quicksilver, in the scene where he talks about how she should change the word for the better. He talks about how they deserve to be a family. They deserve to be happy after everything based they’ve gone through. It’s kind of his grand idea of them being a family, but also being the mightiest family on the planet, it turns out in the actual House of M world.
MT: So, yeah, I think there’s — this definitely ties into this as well, is one of being manipulated by him because of these, well not exclusively because of these big ideals, but I think it ties into it as well. And I think that’s actually what makes the payoff so satisfying is to see her frustration with being used as a tool. And then obviously her complete self hatred and the hatred for her people, for mutantkind, for all these concepts that, yeah, I guess her brother and especially Magneto have been fighting over. And then seeing how it actually ends up tearing her family apart. Yeah, that’s. Yeah. That’s what really sold this book for me in the end.
JA: Is House of M in a way about a woman who, and she says this — or I forget if she says it or if Pietro says it, but she never has a chance to live a normal life because of the trauma she endured from essentially being fucked up from her dad. How much of that truth is in House of M?
JP: I don’t feel like she’s still living a normal life in House of M anyway, so I don’t know if that’s really something she wants. I guess she wants the kids and like that’s quote on quote “normal,” but it’s not like a normal life. There’s still the royal family. There’s still all that type of aspect too.
JA: Do you think — but she’s not there, right? She’s really with the kids in some other room is what my understanding was.
JP: Yeah. But assumedly she still has responsibilities and she can’t escape that always.
JA: Oh Shit. I thought she had like a double doing it.
PH: I think she did. I think she had like a human double who poses as her all day.
MA: Yeah. The whole disguise is that Wanda is actually the human child of Magneto and that there’s this facsimile version of her walking around when she has to make an appearance. But the real Wanda, yeah, is off in another room somewhere with the kids because she never leaves them alone. They’re always playing or something.
JA: Jordan, I think that that still proves that your point is valid because it’s still not a normal life because it’s not healthy for anyone to just lock themselves in a room and raise their two kids when they or their children don’t have access to the outside world. I think what she wants, I think what she needs as a person is safety and to be taken care of and to take care of someone and I think for me that’s what kind of came across there. But I’d love to hear your guys’ thoughts on that.
MM: I mean, I also feel like that idea of normalcy is something that we’ve discussed on other podcasts. I mean most recently the Vision one and just how it’s almost an ideal that doesn’t exist, especially in the realm of superheroes. Because they want basically what will never actually be attainable because even in this ideal world, like Jordan said, that reality of Wanda’s existing. It’s not normal at all. Like locking yourself in a room all day, that’s not normal. Normalcy doesn’t actually — it’s an ideal. And I think it’s defined by — I don’t even know if it’s defined by society or by what people perceive normalcy to be, but it’s just not –especially in the context of the story and the superheroes as a whole — it’s not real.
MA: Definitely a society thing I would say. I agree with that.
JA: And I think also it says a lot about her that that’s what she wants her normal to be like so far away and that’s what I kind of find heartbreaking about her character and so tragic about her. Did everyone get the feels her storyline as much as I did. Because I’m assuming that it moved everyone as much — I mean I was so moved by it.
MA: I really enjoy, along with the Dr. Strange stuff, like the moment where Hawkeye walks in the room and is almost ready to kill her because he really like, I don’t know if he ever really went through the whole memory revival stuff that everyone else goes through, but in that moment it seems like he did. Because he remembers what happened during Avengers Disassembled where she basically killed him and he’s tearing up ready to fire an arrow at her, but then he dies again. Which really begs the question why he came back to life. But who cares? I Love Clint Barton. So any reason to get him back is OK in my book.
JA: I thought that was a powerful moment though when she made him disappear.
MT: Oh yeah. And that scene in particular, I was absolutely getting goosebumps when he told her how he would kill for her, which is kind of, again, tying back to the Avengers Disassembled stuff and just the raw emotion of this is actually like a really important member of the Avengers team, an important friend for so many of them. In this case, so made it even more emotional, I guess, to witness what would kind of happen based on her mutant abilities, which of course ties back into her self-hatred about this. I thought it was actually one of the best scenes in the book.
MM: For me, the “No more mutants!” line is just so powerful. Especially reading it again and knowing it’s coming. I like the way she prefaces it with saying, “Daddy.” It really tugs at the heartstrings and then just to follow that with all this catastrophe. It’s just mind blowing and to know that’s kind of how everything ends. It’s insane.
JA: It’s so interesting to me too that she didn’t say dad or father or whatever she calls him or Eric. She says, “Daddy,” like a little kid and it was the child and her that did that, you know, she’s almost like a child throughout the whole thing in a lot of ways. And I just thought that was so heartbreaking.
PH: I think some superheroes with that much power, they kind of can handle it. They’re like ready and they’re a superhero and they love doing this. Like I look at like Cyclops and Emma just taking on the world by storm. That is not Scarlet Witch. Like she just doesn’t know what to do with this power. She doesn’t really want it. She’s just all over the place and I feel like in this last issue particularly, you really just see that that’s what’s happening. She was like, “I’m just tired of this. I never wanted this. Like this is the worst thing that could happen to me is having these powers.” And I think that’s really, especially in this reality, she doesn’t have powers or no one thinks she does. They think that she’s human. That really speaks volumes.
JA: That who she really wants to be is someone who is human.
JA: She doesn’t want to be someone who — she doesn’t want to be a mutant; she doesn’t want to be a superhero. She just wants to be a normal lady raising her kids.
PH: And that is so, I think that’s really relatable for like so many of our own problems is stuff, you know, that we were like, we’ve been handed this and some people think it’s great, whatever, but maybe you don’t want it for whatever reason and it just builds up and builds up and you finally have a breakdown.
JA: And she never had the choice.
PH: Definitely. She never had any choice and it’s kind of ruined her whole life. I mean from the beginning when they kind of kicked her and Pietro out because of her hex powers. It’s really ruined her whole life.
JP: I don’t want to follow that up because I think Peyton had the best answer and I don’t think I can top that. But on top of that I also think everyone already got the good answers and stole mine. So basically everyone succinctly put it all together and to what I think makes Scarlet Witch is a whole in this so emotional and emotionally driven and also allows readers the chance to connect with her because obviously not all of us are like grown women wanting children. But at the same time, like Peyton said, there are things that have been given to us or not even given kind of like shoved onto us that we kind of have to deal with and you see how she deals with it, which may not be how we all want to deal with it. But you know, sometimes temper tantrums are good except in this case.
JA: Wait, so did everyone empathize with that specific fact about being handed things that are too much for you or that you didn’t want?
PH: For sure. I think that’s what made it the most emotional for me. That definitely struck home.
JA: Same. Well I want to ask her without getting too personal or maybe if you feel comfortable, but whether it was something within you or you were empathizing how someone else could be. What did you sort of see in into it? What did you divine into the storyline that crosses over into real life? I guess is what I’m asking. I mean obviously for me, I thought about being queer. I thought about my relationship with my parents. I love my parents deeply, but we often have, even recently we’ve had arguments that were so similar to that. And I remember when I read this for the first time and he says that line about them never having had a chance that that was something that I said to my parents like so many times and I felt so that was really right on for me. So I could definitely see other things like Jordan brought up a really good point, like being forced to follow this quote unquote “normal” with what also Maite was saying life and have to get married and you know, maybe you don’t want that. Maybe that’s not the life that you want.
MA: Responsibility forced upon you that you don’t want. Yeah. I think the general idea is easy for most people to grasp onto. Yeah.
PH: I think it’s also important that she was kind of surrounded by all these other superheroes who are keeping it together really well who are like Captain America and Iron Man. And then there’s her and she was just like barely holding it together. And I feel like we also can sympathize with that because we’re surrounded by people who seem to be holding it together a lot better than we are.
JA: But can you argue that Captain America and Iron Man were people that chose this and she was someone who had it forced on her?
PH: Totally. I definitely, I mean Iron Man for sure. I mean this is all on him. Vision, maybe that’s why she had such a close connection with him because he really didn’t have a choice. But yeah, a lot of them definitely do. She needs to hang out with the x-men more.
JA: She does. I say she crosses over, I’m just saying. But also Peyton, you brought up such a good point which is her relationship with Quicksilver. And after hearing you guys supine on that, I thought of how much it makes sense that they’re so close with one another because they really had no one else. So the incestual undertones that are overtones in the ultimate versions of the character, I always found that kind of. I don’t want to say cool — “oh cool, they’re having incest.” Not that, but I always found it interesting because it made sense.
PH: I agree. A lot of people don’t agree and they get really angry about it, but I think it honestly really make sense with their characters. Hate it, love it, whatever you want, but it does kind of make sense.
JA: Exactly. You don’t have to like incest to like Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver.
MT: Yeah. No, I couldn’t agree more. I think it was absolutely consequential.
JP: But does it have to be specifically incest? Like couldn’t it be like really close, like almost a best friend type relationship? Like that type of thing?
PH: It was only in a couple issues of Ultimates. They just tossed it out of there.
JP: I didn’t read the Ultimates so I don’t know.
MM: Yeah can you fill me in on that?
PH: Well, because it was literally like it’s one issue and then she dies.
MM: That they have incest?
PH: Yeah. They’re in like they’re in a relationship and Captain America’s like “What is this? I don’t understand.”
MM: I read like when Aaron Taylor Johnson and Elizabeth Olsen were like preparing for their roles they talked about how they had to like play with that idea and when they were like going into the portrayal of the characters in Age of Ultron. So that was always in the back of my head when I read it, I didn’t actually know that that was like a thing.
PH: So yeah that was definitely the overtones, but I think there’s undertones in a lot of their scenes just in their normal comics you can kind of read into it if you so choose.
JA: Is anyone gonna love her as much as Quicksilver will? Because I know that that’s a weird question to ask. But like you know, I’m getting old, I have to get married. I’m like you know what, even if I get married, no one will love me as much as my parents do and in her case she had Quicksilver. So I wonder if that’s a concern for her.
PH: Yeah, I think it also helps that they both had kind of failed romances. Like they’ve both been married and divorced so they kinda like came back together and we’re like, well, we’re kind of each other’s like best friends. Like that’s, that’s who we’re most connected to in this entire world.
JP: Are we connecting this to like when people have a marriage pact? Like that’s what I’m getting out of this.
MM: I think like I think it goes back to their dependence on each other and I always thought like maybe it was a little bit toxic. But they are each other’s one constant throughout their lives. Like despite all of their failed relationships and all the tragedies they’ve experienced. Like they’ve always been in it together in a way. So. I don’t know, that might not be the healthiest relationship. But you know, I think that’s up to interpretation.
JA: Well no, it isn’t the idea that you grow up and you get older and then you attach to someone who isn’t in your family?
MP: Yeah. And like you form other relationships outside of your family. Like you move out of your home, you know, you don’t stay there until you’re like, you know, old and gray.
JA: Well, Marius, what did you see in terms of House of M being a real life story that has a real life crossover?
MT: I don’t, I don’t think I ever saw it under that paradigm to be honest. I have this sometimes with X-Men comics. Well obviously I think they’re relatable in many ways. But I have it with X-Men comics where I feel like reading about the characters, it’s more like reading about a friend or like I’m getting to know what a friend is up to. I can imagine this character. Like this is something that we’ve been talking about, being able to imagine this character sitting next to you in a room. I very much feel like that with so many characters from books, but then it’s only a few books where I feel like I actually like identify or relate to like one character in particular. I feel like I had a similar reading experience with HOUSE OF M because I’m like, I guess getting into the book I really was interested in exploring, OK, this is a very extreme situation with all these characters I guess I know from other comics are being put into. Like, how is it going to play out, which is what I was most interested in. I guess. I never like took the extra step to relate any of the character arcs to like my own, like in real life experience. But you were talking about your experience with queerness and obviously this as being a potentially metaphorical for these issues. Yeah, I guess thinking about it more, it does seem like something I could relate to. It just didn’t instantaneously happen. I guess that’s all.
JA: I definitely saw a lot of things now that I didn’t originally see, especially after everyone put in their two cents. Especially what Maite said about Quicksilver and what Peyton said about Scarlet Witch. Because after I was kind of upset with Scarlet Witch with that series, I didn’t read it. And the reason why I didn’t read it was because she was like, fine. And I was like, “well you can’t just go fucking nuts and then be fine two days later.” Like, you know what I’m saying? But now I’m like, OK, I didn’t, I need to like give it a chance and you know, I always had that issue. Like Spider-Woman, she’s like the most pissed off person in the world when she comes back from Secret Invasion. Next thing you know, she wants to have a kid. The woman I know would not want to bring a baby into that world.
JA: OK? She went, she was like a fucking alcoholic, like, you know, hanging out in Madripoor, like doing drugs. The next thing you know, she’s like, “oh, let’s bring a baby into this beautiful world.” So that kind of stuff confuses me. However, I did put a new light on what I think about the characters, but yeah, going off of what you were saying, Marius, it’s like people who are different, her just listening and accepting and giving into what all these bigots have been saying. I don’t know. Again, I know I said that before, but that’s kind of what I found so heartbreaking. I do feel like we should talk about Emma and Scott because it seems like everyone besides Matt and Jordan want to talk about them.
JP: I mean, I’ll talk about them too. I have thoughts. I just don’t want to go first because I’m like the least educated X-Men person here. So my thoughts —
MA: I don’t know about that. I think I might beat you for that role.
JA: It’s not that you guys aren’t educated, it’s that you hate the X-Men. It’s different.
MA: I don’t hate the X-Men.
JA: Yes, you do.
MA: No, I don’t.
JA: Anyway, back to Emma and Scott. Peyton, you said you paid a lot more attention to Emma this time, especially after reading Firestar, reading about her as a villain and kind of seeing her in this. So talk to me about what you liked about her character, what you noticed about it.
PH: I thought it was really interesting, the kind of picture perfect life that she had with Scott. It’s pretty much the life that she lives in X-MEN: THE END if anyone’s read that? Kind of like married life with Scott, which I thought was really cool.
MT: I read that.
JA: You just said Marius’ favorite words.
PH: It was like, no, this is like literally what could happen I guess, like maybe. But I also thought it was kind of cool how when they both found out that they were married, they were so disgusted. They were like, “what were married?”‘ And I’m like, yes, like y’all have been dating forever!
JP: Yeah, I mean that part was like the least surprising for me. But I also just recently read, whatever x-men run that was. That was where Scott and Emma have their psychic affair.
JA: Oh, the Grant Morrison run.
MT: Oh yeah. So I think this is shortly after New X-Men, it must have been like somewhere during the Astonishing X-Men run by Josh Whedon.
PH: Yeah, that’s what I feel like that’s where their relationship started to really take like leaps and bounds was during that run.
MT: Absolutely. Yeah. I think, I guess what I really enjoyed about this book is getting to see that relationship play out in like a quasi-marriage in this alternate world while being in this kind of like phase of like uncertainty in the early relationship. Because in the Josh Whedon run on Astonishing X-Men there’s a lot of like intrigue that happened with her and with the after effects of having interacted with Cassandra Nova, amongst other things. So, yeah, I think them solidifying that that relationship was a really important part of that so I like to see Bendis’s take on this in the alternate universe. And then on the other hand, I was kind of taken by surprise because I’m like, I don’t know how you feel about this Justin, sometimes I think many people, what many people associate with Scott is just him, like whining about his dead ex-wife. And I guess like, I feel like for some people it would have been really intuitive to see in the House of M world, to see Jean back alive and happy with him because that might’ve been one of his biggest wishes. So initially I was kind of surprised by the fact that he was married to Emma, but now that I think about it more it’s also very indicative of how he’s changed as a person in the last few years. I really like it now. I think so.
JA: I think he was over Jean at this point.
MT: Yeah, it must have been.
JA: I think he was like, “I don’t mean to be a dick, but I need a break.”
MT: Yeah. Yeah. So I think it’s questionable to an extent if he’s ever like 100 percent over Jean. I don’t, I don’t think so personally.
JA: Who is your go to character in this House of M thing?
JP: I don’t know. I kind of want to say Hawkeye, even though he’s not really in here. But I feel so bad for him and also I love him. So there’s that.
JA: If it’s any conciliation, he was dead the whole time.
JP: I know he like, yeah, I know. I also just read Mockingbird and he’s in that one and has like that whole relationship going on there. So anyway. But other, I honestly, I don’t know if I have a go to character. There’s a whole bunch of x-men and they’re never my go to characters.
JA: What did you think of the fact that the x-men wanted to kill her pretty much immediately?
JP: Well, Scott Summers is in charge, so it’s not surprising.
MA: Scott and Emma.
JA: Emma was fucking in charge of that shit. Like she should be.
MA: Yeah, it’s Scott, Emma, and Logan are all like, “yeah, kill her.” But thank God we’ve got the Avengers because they all like, “Nah, that’s mean. She’s one of us don’t do it.”
JP: But like they still could’ve killed her. Not that I want them to but they could’ve just been like, “Sorry, sniper,”
MA: As Captain America says, “there’s always another way.”
MT: I guess what just kind of bugs me is that, and this, I guess this ties back into like a lot of ethical discussions that me and Justin had in regards to comics is that I’m kind of bugged by the fact that the amount of mutants that died in the aftermath of House of M. Because like in a lot of the tie-in books they go into how there are people who lost their powers and in consequence of that they liked died in a volcano or something like that would be one example. But I guess I’m a bit concerned with just the amount of casualties that could have been prevented were the attitude of the Avengers a bit more, a bit different. And it kind of makes me wonder if they value mutant life only if it belongs sort of to their team. And then of course that has been explored with characters like Captain America in Avengers vs. X-Men a lot.
JA: That’s such a great point. I think Emma says to Captain America and not in this, I think it’s in Civil War and the X-Men crossover. She’s like, “well, where were you when Genosha happened?”
MT: Oh yeah. And I think that I’m pretty sure that Scott says something very similar to Iron Man at some point as well. So I think the attitudes of these characters certainly is sometimes questionable I think. And then of course like having read Avengers vs. X-Men and then the Uncanny Avengers stuff after that by Rick Remender. I think just really reading House of M and then getting into the attitudes of people like Captain America makes it really interesting.
JA: So Marius, let’s talk more about the ethical dilemma because it’s a really good point because isn’t it like Kant versus Singer again? Isn’t it utilitarian versus Kantianism again?
MT: Oh yeah. I guess just like briefly going over this. A lot of our listeners or maybe of the other people on the podcast might be familiar with this already. I think this is a really good example of the trolley problem, which is of course like an ethical dilemma where you are standing next to a set of train tracks and there’s a trolley heading towards one set of tracks where five people are being tied up to and you can’t really free them from the track. So all you can do is divert the trolley using a lever to get the trolley onto another set of tracks where only one person is being tied up too. So, yeah, I guess just the question of whether like actively killing someone is permissible if it saves a high amount of lives. And then of course that’s, that I think is very relevant.
MT: I guess the different notions that you could have about this is either the side of the consequentialist. So utilitarians where you say, “OK, we’re going to take a look at the results and that’s what kind of matters in deciding whether this is ethical and one result is clearly preferable to the other.” And then the other side of the coin would be like a deontologist or like a Kantian who would argue that it’s not the consequence of the action that makes it wrong or right, but it’s the action itself as something inherent to the action that’s right or wrong. So we shouldn’t be murdering, but it’s OK to let others die I guess. So that’s. Yeah, that’s just kind of the dilemma in that situation.
JA: What do you think is the right — Is there a right thing to do to you guys in that situation?
MA: I think I’m in the, I’m on the Avenger’s side basically, like, no, I don’t entertain the thought of killing that person. And in their defense they, in the context of House of M, the Avengers didn’t know that the whole House of M thing, that that would be the consequences. None of them could have guessed what the consequences of keeping her alive would be because her powers are so sporadic and random. There’s no way to really say what she’s going to do if we don’t kill her?
JA: Marius, would you have made the utilitarian choice in this, would you have chosen the utilitarian option in this dilemma?
MT: Yes, I think so. I guess like growing up was what has been like argued against this. I think it’s safe to assume that the way that her powers manifest would’ve had like some amount of casualties as a cost because when they were talking about the powers they were essentially unsure whether this could be like a global catastrophe and they already had suffered through situations where like a lot of heroes actually died as a direct consequence of what powers did. And more or less like back then in Avengers Disassembled, it ended like the Avengers as we knew them. And then of course like spawned a new era with the New Avengers. I think that there’s a fair argument to make that even though we don’t know with 100% precision what would have happened with the powers that that would have been some amount of like disastrous consequences.
MT: So I think that like an argument that I understand is that it is — or that I would agree with is that it’s safer to keep the situation under control with her living in Genosha and Xavier trying to calm her down. It’s safer to do that then just like go into the offensive and risk escalating the situation while than it already had. So I think, yeah, that’s a fair case to be made there. But again, that’s like that too is a consequentialist arguments. I, I guess it’s just, I guess I’m just really like consequentialist in nature, so I don’t really agree with arguments against just like the inherent, like wrongness of killing in these kinds of situations just because of the vastness of what the implications could be for the entire world. And I think that, yeah, I think that should be for me to be convinced otherwise someone would have to make a strong case about how the act of killing is a lot worse than like a billion times worse than the act of letting them die, which I think would have been like one of the inevitable consequences.
JA: All right. What about the rest of you, what would you guys have done?
JP: I don’t necessarily know what I would’ve done. Admittedly, I feel more aligned with the X-Men’s point of view than the Avengers’ point of view. But I almost wonder if they could have just been like “Scarlet Witch, kill yourself.” Like they didn’t kill her.
JA: I was thinking that too.
JP: I mean it’s better than being like, “well, someone has to shoot her down.”
MA: That’d be assisted suicide.
JP: OK, she didn’t really want to live anyway.
PH: Didn’t she have that line where she was like, “is it bad that I’m so cowardly that I won’t just kill myself.” Didn’t she say that?
MM: Oh, that’s so heartbreaking.
PH: Which totally reminds me of Jean. Like, that’s, that’s such like a dark phoenix line.
MM: Like we said earlier, there’s no way to know the alternative of either decision. It’s just like, seriously an impossible position. Then I think back to is part of being a hero considering that anyone is capable of reformation. And I mean, I don’t know if that was in the realm possibilities for Scarlet Witch since it was kind of inherent in her powers. But I don’t know because then you consider that because like is it heroic to kill a person despite the consequences? So I don’t know.
MA: Depends on your definition of hero.
JP: And why you’re killing them.
MM: Exactly. But then it’s like, but then it’s all subjective, right?
PH: Well, I mean I was just thinking of actually the Phoenix End song where Wolverine kills Jean like 20 times in a row or something and obviously that’s where they’re coming from. I mean they’re all thinking about, “well this is just what we have to do. Like it sucks, but this is another Jean. And you know, we have to get rid of her.” I don’t know what I would have done. I mean if they had killed her, she would’ve come back in like a year, so she wouldn’t really be dead.
MM: Do you ever really kill anybody?
JA: No. And not for nothing, but she could have killed herself so painlessly. Also like, OK I’m sorry. I almost said something really shallow, which is like, if that happened to me, I would just be like, make me really hot. And then I would be like, I’m definitely not going back now to the real world anyway. But sorry.
MA: Infinity stones and just be done with it.
JA: No, that’s too much power. I don’t even care. I don’t want the power. I just want some affection. You know what I’m saying? Honestly what Peyton said made me think of something so important, which is what does it say about her character that she couldn’t do what Jean did and what does it say about Jean’s character? That she did it without hesitation. And I think that that speaks to good writing because in a way, this is the dark scarlet witch saga, just like dark angel Saga is the dark Angel Saga, just like Dark Phoenix Saga is the dark phoenix saga. What do you think, Marius?
MT: I’m not sure because I think it speaks to like a big part of the dark phoenix saga were like Jean’s moments of absolute clarity. And I think the moment that she decided to end her own life was one of them. I’m not sure to what extent Scarlet Witch got those moments in kind of her own saga because like most of the moments where she seemed more reflected about her situation were also like her talking to a family member or talking to Xavier who are, I guess like to an extent — I wouldn’t say that exactly Xavier trying to manipulate her, but it, as we have explored, could be the case with Quicksilver. It is the case with quicksilver. So I guess she didn’t get that moment of absolute autonomy and like determination are heroicism. And instead she got like a lot of moments of absolute, like mental breakdown, complete exhaustion from what she suffered through. I think it’s very strong but in a very different kind of way, which is because I didn’t really think of this as analogous to the dark Angel Saga and the Dark Phoenix Saga. And then the dark angel soccer is pretty different as well I think. But it’s good that it’s not a, it’s not a rehash of that storyline in any way for me.
MA: Although if you’re talking about moments of clarity or something like that, I would say that’s her — that’s Wanda’s whole moment of “we’re mutants, we’re freaks.” Like no more just done. I think that that’s her quote unquote “epiphany.”
JP: To me personally, That’s one of the best lines in all of comics.
MA: Because there’s so much weight behind that. And then not just in the phrase itself, but then what actually goes along with it.
JA: Yeah. No, I, I thought it was really good writing. So, OK, to close up: recommend House of M, yes or no and why. Jordan go.
JP: I mean, obviously I’m the one who suggested we do it right now. So yes, read it. Everyone should read it. Why? It’s a good story. You get to look at Scarlet Witch more in-depth. It impacted other X-Men comics. I liked it. Read it. Maite, why do you like it?
MM: I like how — this sounds so weird. I like how dark it is, how unexpected everything is.
JA: Why is that so weird? It’s sad and sad makes you feel.
MM: People are like, “oh, you like dark stuff?” And I’m like, “yeah, but it’s interesting,”e you know, I think. Yeah, but I think I would recommend kind of getting to know some of the main characters before reading it to get a better sense and it makes more of an impact emotionally.
JA: Peyton, what about you?
PH: I would definitely recommend it. If you’re an X-Men fan, then I think it’s a great way to get a more in depth look at some characters. Emma Frost, definitely. Also, the illustrations are beautiful. The illustration is, especially that first scene with Wanda giving birth to twins, is one of the most emotional variations in comics I’ve ever seen.
JA: Absolutely. Marius, what about you?
MT: Yeah, no, I couldn’t agree more. I think it’s beautifully illustrated. I would recommend this to anyone who’s interested in comic books that explore interesting concepts that have beautiful character work and absolutely iconic moments. I would recommend this to any X-Men fan and then of course, any Avengers fan or just anyone who’s interested in marvel comics really because this is a classic, absolutely. And then maybe I’m like, I’m not sure if there’s a lot of people like that out there, but I feel like a lot of people reading comics nowadays are really disillusioned with Brian Michael Bendis and I think sometimes for reasons that can be argued are legitimate, but I don’t think we should forget that the guy has written so many incredible works and this is one of them. I guess it’s a good one too to look back on.
JA: OK. Well, what about you?
MA: Oh, absolutely. Recommend this story for sure. It’s part of Bendis’s whole 2000s handling of the marvel universe. I will agree with I think Maite and Peyton said like it would help, I think to know your other marvel characters going into this one. Know some other backstory, but at the same time there it does handle the story does handle itself in a way that it actually does fill in some blanks. Like you don’t know why the Avengers, I’m sorry, the X-Men and Charles Xavier are on bad terms, but you know, that’s a thing. So you know, this getting back together, it’s is a big moment. So. But the story itself does handle it’s itself well because even as you’ve got this whole crazy scenario going on, you get a lot of the characters evolve. You get a lot of, a lot of background on them. You really get a deep dive into what do they all really want and then what do they well is it worth fighting for? And it’s just a really. It’s a really good emotional story. Like Maite said it’s dark. It’s very depressing at times, but that’s OK. Sometimes stories have to do that if you want to deliver that kind of, I guess, thematic flare and it’s handled very well. So yeah.
JA: Yeah. I thought this comic had a great balance between action and real emotion and Scarlet Witch’s emotional bottom, so to speak. I thought it had some of the most beautiful dialogue. I thought it had some of the greatest ideas and I would recommend it. I think I want to recommend it for people who want to get into X-Men because I do feel like from this starting point until the Avengers vs X-Men is, is really the Bendis —
MA: It’s like that half of the era.
JA: And it’s the Bendis era and it’s the x-men half of the story. So I would recommended for that, but, yeah, I think that’s going to do it. So thanks everybody for listening and stuff like that.