The House of M Omnibus is the #59 Most-Wanted Marvel Omnibus of 2017 on Tigereyes’s Secret Ballot.
Visit the Marvel Masterworks Message Board to view the original posting of results by Tigereyes.
What Is It? House of M (2005) is an alternate reality mystery that finds the Avengers and the Astonishing X-Men in a world where mutants dominate a society that is racist against regular humans. It prominently stars Wolverine, Cyclops, Emma Frost, Hawkeye, Scarlet Witch, and Magneto.
House of M was Marvel’s first major, line-wide event since Onslaught in 1996 as well as the first significant X-Men and Avengers crossover since then. It was also the first time that Marvel thrust its entire line into an alternate universe story (in an expansion of their strategy for the X-Men-only Age of Apocalypse in 1995).
House of M resulted in massively changed status quo for several Marvel characters, including Ms. Marvel and Wolverine. In its aftermath, Marvel’s mutant population was decimated from millions to just a few hundred, which began a six-year mega-arc that eventually ended in Avengers vs. X-Men in 2012.
The House of M (2005) mini-series event ran for 8 issues from August 2005 to November 2005.
Past Ranking: This is the debut appearance of this book on the ballot!
Creators: Written by Brian Michael Bendis with pencils by Olivier Coipel, inks by Tim Townsend (with Scott Hanna, Rick Magyar, & John Dell III), colors by Frank G. D’Armata (with Paul Mounts), letters by Chris Eliopoulos, and covers by Esad T. Ribic.
Probable Contents: This omnibus would definitely collect House of M (2005) #1-8 plus The Pulse: House of M Special (2005) #1 and Secrets of the House of M (2005).
Those contents have already been published in an oversize hardcover, which is just 312 pages long. Marvel reprinted a similar hardcover of Civil War for their 2016 film, but it was not relabelled as an omnibus. What else could this volume contain?Click to expand a discussion of further content for this volume.
There were three oversize hardcovers worth of House of M tie-ins, each weighing in at about 350 pages – House of M: No More Mutants, House of M: Spider-Man, Fantastic Four, X-Men, and House of M: Wolverine, Iron Man, Hulk. They are all now out of print and relatively expensive to obtain.
It is likely that most voters had that all-inclusive volume in mind when selecting this choice for their ballot. Together, those tie-ins represent 1048 pages of material, which (combined with the main event) would produce a 1360 page omnibus. That’s larger than Marvel’s current biggest printed volume by a signature (16 pages). The length is potentially feasible, though it would leave no room for the bonus materials many fans look forward to in omnibus editions.
We’ll call that version, “House of M Complete Collection Omnibus.”
Alternately, all of that material could be saved for a sizable “House of M Companion” omnibus, and this volume could instead include both lead-up and aftermath stories to the event. Excalibur (2004) #11-14 in Excalibur, Vol. 3 contained the lead-in to the event – another 96 pages. The quintet of X-Men: The Day After, X-Men: Generation M, X-Men: Son of M, X-Men: The 198, and Sentinel Squad O.N.E. covered the fallout of the event, called “Decimation.” Together, they account for a combined 712 pages. New Avengers #16-20 was not part of Decimation, but it also served as an epilogue – another 120 pages.
An omnibus of all that material would be a slightly-more-reasonable 1344 pages – as long as Marvel’s longest current book. Less the inessential lead-in from Excalibur and the disconnected Avengers epilogue, it would be 1120 pages.
We’ll call that version, “House of M: No More Mutants Omnibus.”
If Marvel went with the “No More Mutants Omnibus,” it would reasonable to see the additional material from the “Complete Collection” omnibus as its own “House of M Companion.” Conversely, if Marvel went with the “Complete Collection Omnibus,” it would also be reasonable to see a “House of M Companion: Decimation” omnibus containing all of the follow-up material.
For the full details on all of the issues contained in the prelude, tie-in, and aftermath titles and how they are presently collected, see the Guide to Marvel Universe Events.
Can you read it right now? Yes! The House of M trade paperback has “evergreen” status at Marvel – meaning they always keep it in print. However, all of the various supporting books are long since out of print and may cost you a lot of money to purchase. Learn more about them in the Guide to Marvel Universe Events.
And, fear not – every single issue of House of M and its tie-ins are available on Marvel Unlimited for just $10 a month!
House of M is one of Marvel’s biggest and most-accessible stories of all time for a litany of reasons.
It featured a team of blockbuster creators, told an alternate reality tale that was massive in scope, kicked off Marvel’s modern age of yearly line-wide events, and was an Avengers and X-Men team-up that actually changed everything that came afterwards for both teams.
However, it might be most notable for being a major inflection point for Marvel. The pre-House of M Marvel of early 2005 would be unrecognizable to readers of both today and of a decade prior to House of M.
Marvel’s line was beginning to expand after their gaunt late-90s bankruptcy years, but it was not the interconnected universe to which fans of the early 90s were accustomed. Titles tended to keep to themselves, without major interaction across Marvel’s Universe. Crossovers were all but extinct. Most of the hype and fan interest was around Marvel’s Ultimate Universe, which launched fresh, modernized version of their four core franchises starting in 2000.
Yet, the prior year had brought with it two major shake-ups in the main Marvel Universe that captured fan imagination (and, in one case, ire).
The first was the ending of Grant Morrison’s extraordinary New X-Men run leading Marvel to hire Buffy The Vampire Slayer creator Joss Whedon to pen Astonishing X-Men along with John Cassaday on pencils. Starting in July 2004, this blockbuster title became center stage for a revitalized X-Men franchise, presenting an unusual team of Cyclops, Emma Frost, Wolverine, Beast, and Kitty Pryde.
The second was Brian Bendis’s deconstruction of the Avengers team and franchise in his abrupt “Avengers Disassembled” storyline at the end of 2004. In that story, seemingly every possible calamity hits the Avengers all at once, decimating their line-up in the process – Hawkeye dies, Vision is torn to shreds by an out-of-control She-Hulk, and Thor’s entire cast experiences Ragnarok in his own title. That, in turn lead to a re-launched New Avengers in January 2005 that included such untraditional cast members as Spider-Man, Wolverine, Luke Cage, and Spider-Woman – who would be among the last characters an Avengers traditionalist would eve suggest as cast members!
House of M mashed up both books, and also gave Whedon and Cassaday cover to take a break from Astonishing X-Men, which had experienced some delays leading up to the end of its second arc in issue #12. Orchestrated by Brian Bendis, it was his chance to play with all of the toys from both team’s franchises for an arc with no conflicts with present-day continuity. And, ultimately, it served as a device to fundamentally alter the status quo of mutants in the Marvel Universe.
The story starts with a bang. After the events of Avengers Disassembled, the united X-Men and Avengers determine that the Scarlet Witch is too great a threat to allow to exist unchecked, though they’re divided on what her fate ought to be. Yet, when the assembled teams visit her on Genosha, she is nowhere to be found. As the teams search the island, they are enveloped by a mysterious energy.
What if you woke up one day and everything was different, but you were better off for it? Would you even want to remember what came before? That’s where House of M #2 picks up.
In a world where mutants rule and humans are discriminated against, most of the core of the Avengers and X-Men are better off than they were in their normal reality. Carol Danvers is Captain Marvel, the world’s most-favored hero. Spider-Man is a beloved star (and presumed mutant) married Gwen Stacy. Black Panther and Storm are happily married and ruling one of the planet’s most powerful nations. And, the House of Maximoff – Magneto and his children – rule supreme.
Unlike the dystopia of Age of Apocalypse, most heroes have little motivation to change things back to the way they were. However, Wolverine remembers the old reality – in fact, he regains all of his previously repressed memories of the past from prior to the Weapon X project lacing his skeleton with adamantium. It’s him, along with a small cadre of other out-of-place characters, who are convinced that the House of M must be removed from power so that they can repair reality.
I won’t spoil any of the rest of the story for you. While I might not love all of the outcomes of House of M (including Wanda’s infamous final action at the end of the story), there’s no denying it as Marvel’s most well-executed event, full of bombshells from start to finish.
An omnibus edition would be welcomed by fans and introduce new readers to the expansive story that set up the modern Marvel universe they love.
Will we see this omnibus in 2018? Probably not, but it depends on how pivotal Scarlet Witch’s role is in Avengers: Infinity War or its currently untitled sequel.
A volume of this size and scope of a modern event crossover would be slightly surprising, but less so after Marvel collected War of Kings into a three-volume set over the past few months.
However, House of M is one of only two or three truly significant Scarlet Witch stories in Marvel’s arsenal. It’s also one of Marvel’s signature alternate reality stories.
If Scarlet Witch plays a pivotal role in Infinity War or its sequel, or if either she or Thanos using one of the Infinity Stones significantly alters reality in one of the films, this would be the obvious go-to omnibus to accompany the movie.
Would I recommend buying it? Yes, if the contents reflected either of my two predictions above.
And, you should probably just read it now, anyway.
Most Marvel Events require a lot of foreknowledge or cap months or years of storytelling. While House of M is certainly connected to Avengers Disassembled, it’s extremely satisfying to read on its own. Its cast is packed with recognizable characters and it unfurls a compelling mystery.
Rather than sputtering out in the final issues like many event books, House of M saves its most significant twists for the finale, which is possibly the most shocking “nothing will ever be the same” outcome of any Marvel event, ever.
The 2017 Most-Wanted Marvel Omnibus Secret Ballot Results:
- #60 – What If? Classic Omnibus, Vol. 1
- #59 – House of M Omnibus
- #58 – Captain Marvel by Peter David, Vol. 1 – coming tomorrow on Crushing Krisis!