House of M #2


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House of M #2


  • Words: Brian Michael Bendis
  • Art: Olivier Coipel
  • Inks: Tim Townsend
  • Colors: Frank D?Armata
  • Story Title: N/A
  • Publisher: Marvel Comics
  • Price: $2.99
  • Release Date: Jun 22, 2005

Marvel’s huge summer crossover event’s central title continues, and things literally are not what they used to be.

I’m torn by this whole House of M business. On the one hand, I find that gigantic crossovers rarely serve a purpose other than to grab attention of comic readers, and they are even more rarely worth more than the paper they’re printed on. On the other hand, the creative talents behind this book are usually trustworthy as far as dependability and quality go. And after two issues, the verdict is still out on all of the above.

While the setting changes on average of every other page during this issue, placing familiar faces in unfamiliar circumstances, the plot really doesn’t take a step forward. Captain America is an old war veteran quietly living in New York City collecting his Air Force pension. Scott Summers and Emma Frost are living the yuppie life in wedded bliss. Doctor Stephen Strange is a psychologist…the list goes on, and none of the characters seem to realize the "change." Well, except for one who wakes from a nightmare to find the skies flooded with military crafts and Sentinels. What is interesting about the bit of the plot that has developed here is that Homo sapiens is the minority species, while Homo superior has pretty much taken over as the dominant species. What is also interesting is that the reader has a pretty good idea of what has happened to make these changes occur, but none of the characters, save perhaps one, has a clue.

By now, anyone who has read a Brian Bendis-penned story knows that he takes his time in telling a story. His strengths lie in the way he portrays his characters and their interactions with one another. There are a few such strong points within this issue that make up for the lack of any major plot progress, such as the interaction between the "token sapien" on the police force—Sam Wilson—and resident bad ass, Luke Cage. It’s several moments like this that help to ground an otherwise hectic issue.

Olivier Coipel is a fine choice for the task at hand. There are so many different characters involved in this issue that it must have been difficult making them so distinguishable, but Coipel does a bang up job of just that. There are also a few action scenes, and Coipel eats them up with vibrant delight. Tim Townsend eagerly allows Coipel to shine by restricting himself in all but the darkest of scenes. And Frank D’Armata seems to be channeling Peter Pantazis with some truly dynamic coloring.

Overall, I can’t give this issue a glowing recommendation, but I do believe that this was mostly a setup issue—sort of a calm before the real storm hits. If nothing else, Bendis and company have tapped into some interesting notions here. Marvel keeps saying that this series will have lasting effects on their Universe even though I don’t really see the changes being drastic in the end. All I know is that I’m finally rooting for a crossover to be interesting and worthwhile.

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