- Writers: Dennis Hopeless and Cullen Bunn
- Artist: Marco Failla
- Colors: Matt Wilson
- Letterer: Joe Caramagna
- Publisher: Marvel Comics
I was shocked when I saw that writer Cullen Bunn had joined this mini-series after Dennis Hopeless tackled the first issue by himself. Both Bunn and Hopeless are solid writers in Marvel’s stable, and both have written some great comics. But why the heck did Marvel need both of them on House of M #2? Did Hopeless get sick and needed a pinch runner in the home stretch? Is issue #3 going to be written solely by Bunn, and the pair randomly decided to split the series exactly down the middle? Did they bump into each other at lunch one day and decide to just crank out a comic book?
No explanation could possibly do justice to why House of M #2 is such a boring, lazy comic. Two weeks ago, I declared that the first issue was the breaking point in my ability to have any interest in these Secret Wars tie-ins, and as we travel beyond that breaking point, we’re like Alice falling down a rabbit hole of antipathy.
This House of M mini-series as a whole is a perfectly perfunctory and readable comic. It’s got action scenes, it’s got zaniness, it’s got re-imagined versions of popular characters. It’s fine. But it does not matter. This comic is the equivalent of when a famous actor stars in a crappy movie “for the paycheck”.
Everything in House of M #2 is either so predictable and dull as to be lazy, or so insane as to be ‘go for broke’. Nothing says ‘why the hell not?’ like a Fin Fang Foom appearance.
Magneto is the bored king of a mutant utopia. His grandchildren, Speed and Wiccan, are getting into trouble, and their mother, a rather angry Scarlet Witch, keeps them out of the hands of the proper authorities. Hawkeye and his human resistance team up with Death Locket (a Hopeless character) to sneak into Magneto’s castle. And Quicksilver and Namor team up to launch their own invasion of the castle. So there’s a lot of stuff going on, but it’s all quite pedestrian.
Maybe if we were in any way invested in these characters as part of a real series, then maybe some of this would matter. But we only just met any of them last issue (unless you count the original House of M from a decade ago, which I don’t), and already we’re supposed to care that there’s a bunch of betrayals and rebellions going on? It’s not like we’ve seen Magneto mistreat the human race or mistreat Quicksilver, so their rebellions are flat. And the appearance by Death Locket is obviously just Hopeless having what little fun he can.
There are other signs of laziness throughout the issue. At one point, Death Locket specifically mentions Hawkeye as having a “purple bow”, but sure enough, it’s colored brown in the comic. Wiccan and Speed are drawn exactly like their 616 counterparts instead of anyone bothering to give them new, House of M-style appearances.
And the most eye-rolling of all: Death Locket gives Hawkeye an arrowhead that will take away a mutant’s powers. Yet when he and his people sneak into Magneto’s throne room and have the king in their sights, somebody else attacks first. It’s not until everyone’s in the middle of a big fight, with Magneto hurting his friends, that Hawkeye decides to fire his special arrow.
All Hawkeye needed to do was snipe Magneto when they still had the element of surprise. But nah, Hopeless and Bunn need to stretch out the issue with a fight scene. And why not toss Fin Fang Foom into the fight scene too? He’s always a hoot.
Failla’s art is as perfectly fine as the rest of the series. It’s solid superhero art, even if Magneto looks like some kind of troll for no particular reason. The characters get expressive faces. The action is easy to follow. Hopefully Failla is put on some better comics going forward.
House of M #2, like the previous issue, is an example of excess. Secret Wars already has way too many tie-ins for anybody to care about them all, but House of M might take the cake as the most pointless one. Hopeless, Bunn and Failla give it the old college try, but I would be hard-pressed to find a reason why anybody should care.
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