Current Reviews


Spider-Man : House of M #5

Posted: Thursday, November 10, 2005
By: Ariel Carmona Jr.

Writers: Mark Waid and Tom Peyer
Artists: Salvador Larroca (p), Danny Miki (i)

Publisher: Marvel Comics

Plot: After finally reading the contents of Peter Parker’s journal, his loved ones come to the conclusion he must be either mentally disturbed or that he hates them all. All except Gwen Stacy who doubts his fantasies could be so tragic. Meanwhile, humans are being sent to shelters and mistreated by mutants. In the end, Uncle Ben and Peter devise a tragic way to abate the anti-human sentiments. There’s a bonus section featuring Franklin Richards, “son of a genius,” which seems oddly out of place in a House of M book, unless Reed Richards’ son only exists in this altered reality.

Comments: The cover of a neglected, homeless web-slinger is a bit of hyperbole because things never personally get this bad in the comic for Spidey. It’s very similar to a recent Spectacular Spiderman cover. Perhaps it’s an homage? The ending to this book was anti-climatic, and it felt rushed. After five books, Spidey’s House of M alternate reality tale ends in a whimper with Peter settling down to the life he always envisioned minus Spider-Man. There are too many loose ends for my taste. What happens to Mary Jane Watson? Who was the real Green Goblin? Was it Norman Osborn trying to ruin Spidey’s life because he bought out his company? Or was it Peter himself in an effort to prevent the backlash on his family if the mutants ever found out he was faking being a mutant? Yet, that is exactly what happens and even worse, humans are all at risk because of his actions. Even though Peter does come up with a solution to the chaos, it just seems too far fetched to believe Peter would go through such an elaborate charade just to disassociate himself with the Spider-Man persona, even risking his family’s safety and causing them so much grief. It’s strongly suggested by hints dropped by the writers that Peter realizes this is a fake reality and in the end, after the journal is read, Gwen appears to realize that the fantasy has an ounce of truth to it, because why would Peter fantasize about suffering so much? Yet, the House of M is unaltered by the end of the book. Parker doesn’t wake up from the dream which may coincide with events in the main House of M book. This I don’t know since I don’t read that book. Jameson shedding a tear at the end also makes little sense, considering how fanatical and maniacal he was about destroying Spider-Man. Did he believe he could accomplish that and have things work out any better? At least the artwork continues to be good, from Larroca’s and Miki’s cover image to the colorfully subdued panels found within.

Final Word: As a stand alone alternate reality Spidey tale, this series works at times, but its open ended conclusion, whether intended all along by the writers or a rushed solution to the problems presented throughout, feels very unsatisfying. The Franklin Richards supplement seems like a cheap plug for that one shot, which would be cool if it weren’t mediocre. Richards is nothing more than a Calvin clone with H.E.R.B.I.E. serving as a less clever and humorless Hobbes.

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