Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Artists: Olivier Coipel (p), Tim Townsend, Rick Magyar and Scott Hanna (i)
Publisher: Marvel Comics
I've not reviewed this mini-series before because I'm not buying it; oh, I'm reading an issue when I can, by looking at it in the shop, or borrowing a friend's copy, but I'm not going to support this creatively bankrupt nonsense with my money. I enjoy crossovers or any other event when they're story-driven, but House of M is not. In fact, it wouldn't be entirely unfair to suggest that there isn't a story at all, because we're six issues in, and all that's happened is that the heroes have realised that there's something wrong and have decided to do something about it. The Doing Something bit starts here and will likely take up the next issue, leaving the final issue to, well, do everything else. Unless it's going to be a 200-page issue, I doubt it'll make for a satisfying finale.
And it's all so wasteful, even by Bendis' standards. Four double page spreads is a ridiculous number for one issue; not only is it a waste of space that could be devoted to such frivolities as plot and characterisation, but any visual impact generated by a spread is lessened by seeing so many of them in sequence. The single pages are also rather heavy on the large single panels; I like Olivier Coipel's art a lot (and there are some great action sequences in here), but it'd be nice if he was illustrating a story somewhere along the line.
As if Bendis is suddenly aware of the fatal lack of content in this series, he serves up a ridiculously incompetent attempt at developing some kind of moral dimension to the anorexic story as Spider-Woman asks whether the heroes should even be attempting to undo what Quicksilver has done*. Not only is it empty because we know that that's exactly what they are going to do, but the world Jessica, a human, is concerned with conserving, the world she says is a happier place, is a world where humans are subjugated and are about to become extinct. It's a terribly badly thought out attempt at introducing some moral uncertainty; an inane non-argument where one side is clearly in the right, made even worse by having Spidey and Cage lamenting what this new world has cost them in the very same scene. I'd have preferred more of Bendis' meaningless waffling than such a worthless attempt at introducing some moral uncertainty. This is my advice, and I know it's probably too late, for which I'm very sorry, but you'll save yourself some money even so; go and find a copy of the X-Men annual from 1997. It's the same plot, and in only thirty-eight pages. This is just pointless gibberish.
* This is not a spoiler. It's been patently obvious from the first issue that Quicksilver's behind this new reality. That'll be the big twist, you see. The heroes will be going to kill Magneto for this, but it was Quicksilver all along! How clever!
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