Secret Wars House of M #4 Thoughts

Time for my thoughts on the final SW HoM issue. Pictures included. SPOILERS included. Final destination.

GET THEE BEHIND ME SA-… err, father!

Also, I love the art on Lorna here, her whole expression.

Anyway, as I mentioned for the preview, I’m glad the writers noted that Lorna and her father can use their powers in different ways based on their personality. A long-running problem for Lorna has been people falsely believing Lorna is “redundant” due to her powers being the same as her father’s, which is a claim never raised for psychic abilities, super strength, claws or any number of other abilities.

Wiccan trying to restore Magneto’s powers with his magic is a touching moment. It does a lot to suggest that Wiccan is an up-and-comer that can do things, but still has a lot to learn. “Next generation” sort of thing.

I’m getting ahead of myself, but this issue does a hell of a lot for Wiccan and Speed. So much of it, particularly the finale, depends upon their presence. This is a good thing for me, because Secret Wars House of M is the first time I’ve ever truly been exposed to them. Up to now, the only nephew or niece I saw Lorna interact with was Luna.

This issue greatly improved Magneto’s depiction compared to the past couple issues. One of my criticisms of the prior two issues was Magneto coming across as a bit stupid. Here, he’s brash and hot-headed, but he still comes across as intelligent.

Meanwhile, I think this issue made it EXTREMELY clear that this Pietro is absolutely no reflection on how Pietro normally is, especially 616 Pietro. Case in point.

This Pietro is cowardly, conniving, selfish and cruel, and not at all clever. So, as I described in my thoughts for SW HoM #3, the opposite of how you’d normally expect Pietro to be. He’s cocky only when he thinks he can’t get beat down with ease by someone.

We get a moment where Lorna looks like a real badass following up.

And it looks like we’re about to see Lorna and Pietro duke it out, something Pietro shows great fear about doing while trying to act tough (he mentions Lorna could never beat him when they were kids). But before that can happen, Namor attacks from behind, and Pietro does this before Lorna can recover.

So, yeah, as I was saying: I think it’s very clear this isn’t a reflection on 616 Pietro and isn’t in any way intended to be. And I think most people will be able to pick up on that thanks to both the writing and all the other depictions of Pietro out there – a benefit Lorna doesn’t have for any AU depictions of her, thanks to Marvel not making enough use of her.

I wish Lorna and Pietro had fought, but I understand there are page limits and no fifth issue to work with. The writers had to focus on what mattered most in wrapping up the miniseries.

Speaking of fights I wish Lorna could’ve had: fish.

FIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIISH.

Wanda is completely out of the action in this issue to make room for everything else that happens. The reason given: Sirens are being used to keep Wanda in a sleep state so she can’t make things harder for Pietro. The twins stop the Sirens, but Wanda doesn’t wake up to directly join any fighting.

Wanda had a great showing in earlier issues, so it’s not like her sidelining in the final issue is an injustice or anything, but I do find it disappointing. Everything in prior issues, especially Pietro leading Wanda away in SW HoM #3, strongly suggested that Lorna and Wanda would end up duking it out in the final issue. That’s something I’ve been wanting to see since Avengers vs X-Men, when the 616 universe had a perfect opportunity to do just that and blew it.

I’ll be honest: I think that’s what WAS going to happen, but either the writers wanted to give Wiccan and Speed more emphasis, or someone above the writers told them not to go through with that plan. That’s pure speculation on my part. Nothing to back it up, just the impression I get.

Anyway, Magneto gets his powers back (suggested that Wanda restored them from afar), Namor is killed, and all the family remains intact.

And Lorna gets to do this.

I fully expected that this book would end with everyone in the Magnus family dead. I really, really hope this means they’re leaving the door open for a possible House of M ongoing. This issue certainly felt like it needed a House of M #5, and I absolutely wish it had one.

All in all, I loved the issue. There are some things I wish were in it, but it’s still excellent even without those things.

lordtimeblogposts:

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To be completely honest, I’m loving these 3 pages of Lorna far more than Magneto #18-21 combined. It’s more in line with what I had been hoping to see out of Lorna on that book. Not that her appearance on those issues of Magneto were bad in any way, just that the entirely appropriate emphasis on Magneto since it’s his solo naturally led to Lorna not getting much out of it compared to this book, which is focused on the whole family.

Pietro’s expression in the last panel of this preview fuels an expectation I have of what’ll happen by the end, we’ll see if it comes to pass.

Secret Wars House of M #2 Thoughts

No pictures this time. This won’t be very long, because I’m in a bit of a state of depression over things unrelated to Secret Wars House of M or Marvel.

There’s a lot of good, fun humor in the issue, keeping with the more lighthearted tone. The book is doing quite a lot to establish the Magnus family as dictatorial, as we see not just with reeducation centers, but with Wanda allowing to have the laws everyone is expected to follow flouted for the sake of her sons.

She has the motherly protector thing going, powerful and raging at every step, but there is the air of “the law doesn’t apply to us” that brings a double edged sword. It can be construed as Wanda placing love for her children above the law, which you expect from a doting mother, but it can also be seen as thinking the only thing that matters is getting her way. Whether it’s good or bad really depends on your own interpretation; I currently choose the loving mother angle.

Lorna had the best representation of the whole family in this issue. As a Lorna fan who’s seen her ignored and blown off for so long, I absolutely appreciate seeing her granted such a showing. She’s there to protect her father, and she shows some savvy to tactics – not enough to get to her father before the arrow hits him, but enough to know something was amiss and the cyborgs were far too easy.

I think Magneto had a pretty good showing too. The introductory pages demonstrate that he has no worthy adversaries, which sets up that his underestimating the human resistance when they burst in isn’t OOC stupidity, just Magneto not accounting for every potential variable like he should.

The character I’m most unsure about characterization-wise is Pietro. I didn’t say this last time, but I’ve been assuming Pietro joining forces with Namor isn’t an actual attempt to overthrow his father, but rather an attempt to help his father. Magneto clamors for a worthy challenge, there isn’t really a big threat for him other than Namor, and Pietro goading Namor into attacking gives Magneto the perfect justification to defeat Namor and take over Atlantis. What looks at first like backstabbing may in actual fact be a deception meant to benefit Magneto and Genosha.

Keep in mind, at least from what we’ve seen, that Pietro doesn’t know about the human resistance or the arrow that disabled Magneto’s powers. For all Pietro knows, Namor and his army would be going up against a fully powered Magneto and his Genosha.

All in all, this was a great issue, definitely worth picking up and reading.

quicksilverfans:

I’m just not understanding what the heck was done to Pietro’s personality.  It’s like this Pietro came right from the “X-Men Evolution” cartoon.

On another topic, Pietro swimming to Atlantis with no scuba gear is quite a feat. I mean, apart from being able to hold his breath while moving super fast, he still has to contend with possible nitrogen narcosis and decompression sickness…what I’m saying is: why couldn’t they just draw Pietro in a submarine? That’s a bit more believable than him just swimming to Atlantis.

Because reasons.

I wouldn’t have thought of that, which is why I’m always glad to see fans of other characters point out issues they spot that I missed.