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.

Reblogging myself. I wanted the initial posting of these pages to be devoid of commentary, so other people would feel comfortable sharing the actual preview if they don’t like or agree with my commentary.

I find it weird the preview came out so late at night. I’d question the reason for that, but unlike the past two times where Lorna was prominent in something big for her, Secret Wars House of M actually received a decent amount of support from of Marvel.

I have no idea who the snake and other guy are on the variant cover. Though I take it this is a sign of just how successful House of M has been? As I’ve been told, variant covers are only offered for books that prove themselves so highly desired that it’s fair to guess a variant cover is worth offering.

Naturally, I love what’s going on for Polaris here, and I very much like how Black Cat suggests Lorna being more dextrous with her use of her magnetic manipulation than HoM Magneto. It’s been a long complaint for other Lorna fans and myself that Lorna’s power set is usually perceived as “redundant” just because Magneto also has it, while a slew of telekinetics/telepathics and claw wielders can run around without that same complaint. It means a lot that differences in how Polaris and Magneto might apply their powers based on their personalities is being weighed here.

Magneto also comes off better personality-wise here than in prior issues. I mentioned before that Magneto came across to me as stupid, but in these pages, he’s being willful and prideful rather than stupid. There are shades to it that can be admired.

I won’t be able to say anything on Wanda and Pietro until the issue comes out next week. Thoughts given for SW HoM #3 currently still stand: Wanda and Pietro aren’t really like their 616 counterparts, and I completely understand Wanda and Pietro fans being upset about that, but personally, I’m okay with it due to context. Context: that these are AU representations, and that since this is some character’s recreation of HoM based on his perception of what HoM was, discrepancies can be chalked up to how that character perceives these ones.

I’m looking forward to SW HoM #4. Bunn and Hopeless make a good team, and I hope there’s something more involved to Pietro’s actions than “he’s power-hungry and betrayed his father”.