Welcome back everyone to the second part of my series on the madness, magic, and mental instability of Wanda Maximoff. Last week, to help viewers of WandaVision better understand why Wanda seems to be losing it, I talked about one time in the comics when she snapped. And said snapping led to multiple deaths and the Avengers disbanding. As crazy as that was, though, what she does next makes it look like child’s play. It makes what Thanos did look like child’s play. Brace yourself for one of the most ludicrous displays of power in Marvel history. Welcome, to the House of M.
A Second Breakdown
Six months passed since the events of “Avengers Disassembled”, and some things changed while others remained the same. The Avengers had since reformed as the New Avengers, complete with a new HQ in the heart of New York, courtesy of Tony Stark. However, the team couldn’t move forward without first addressing the actions of Wanda Maximoff. At a joint meeting with the X-Men and other major heroes, everyone debated on what was to be done with the Scarlet Witch. None of them could come up with a plan, though, with the more pragmatic heroes saying Wanda should die.
As for Wanda herself, she’d been in the custody of her (apparent) father, Magneto, and Professor Xavier on the island of Genosha. Its people used Mutants as slave labor until Magneto got control and turned it into a Mutant haven. But then an army of Sentinel robots came and leveled it, killing half the world’s Mutants. Try as he might, not even Xavier could hold back Wanda’s newfound power. And when Quicksilver came and told them what the heroes may do, everyone despaired.
The heroes never got the chance, though. When the heroes arrived on Genosha to speak with Wanda, they were engulfed in white light. For the second time in six months, Wanda had snapped. Thus began the House of M.
House of M
Wanda’s level of power had progressed to the point where she was one of the most powerful beings in the Marvel Universe. With her fragile mental state leaving her easy to persuade, someone talked her into using her powers again, only this time, it was on a universal scale. The result was a world with a different history than what Marvel had built up over the last sixty years.
In this new world created by Wanda, Mutants were in charge, with normal Humans the minority. Think My Hero Academia, but with darker undertones. No one remembered the true timeline, and to make sure it stayed that way, Wanda granted anyone who could stop her their heart’s desires.
- Spider-Man was now a celebrity. His Uncle Ben was still alive, his college sweetheart Gwen Stacy was still alive, and the two were happily married with a son.
- Magneto became the leader of the Mutants in the late 70s. This led to him eventually conquering Earth and ruling it with his family.
- Steve Rogers never got frozen. He got to live his life as he would have. And despite being 80, he had the physical capabilities of someone half his age.
- Dr. Strange was now a successful psychologist.
- Cyclops and Emma Frost were happily married (long story.)
- Kitty Pryde was a school teacher.
- Carol Danvers was Captain Marvel, America’s greatest superhero
As I said, think My Hero Academia, and aside from Humans getting the short end of the stick, everything seemed perfect and happy. Except for one person: Wolverine.
See, Wolverine’s only desire was to remember the truth about his muddied past. However, when Wanda gave him that, it backfired on her. He not only remembered his true history, but he knew that this world was fake. So he did something about it.
Rallying the Heroes and Counterattack
After escaping from S.H.I.E.L.D., Logan found his way to some of the few non-Mutant heroes, including Luke Cage and a very much alive Hawkeye. They had in tow a little Mutant girl named Layla Miller who also knew that the House of M was a lie, and somehow, she could awaken people’s memories of the real world. The quartet then traveled the world, tracking down prominent members and allies of the X-Men and Avengers and restoring their true memories. And despite how good some of them now have it, they all agree that they need to put things right. Even if it means going back to the crappy circumstances of their old life (poor Spider-Man. He doesn’t deserve the stuff he goes through.)
The group then travels to Genosha and crashes this big gala Magneto’s holding in honor of Mutant’s winning over humanity, leading to an epic final battle between the heroes and the House of M. In the midst of the chaos, though, Wanda slips away with her children. Dr. Strange tracks her down and confronts her, only to learn some disturbing things about how this dream world came to be.
“No More Mutants”
Despite what everyone thought, Magneto wasn’t the one who talked Wanda into using her powers; it was Pietro, her brother. He convinced her that she should use her powers to create a near-perfect world where everyone was happy, and she was too mentally fragile to see how messed up this was. Oh, and Hawkeye tries to kill Wanda as payback for killing him before, but then one of her kids kills him. Again.
When Magneto finds out the truth, he goes ballistic and starts attacking everyone before turning his attention to Quicksilver. After beating him to death, what little sanity Wanda has left crumbles as she brings her brother back and then calls out their supposed Dad for choosing to care more about Mutants than his own family. Essentially, she blames him for how she and Pietro turned out. She then utters three words that will shake the Marvel Universe to its core:
Back to Normal?
And just like that, the reality is returned to what it once was. The world of the House of M is gone, and Humans are back on top. And the only ones who remember what happened whose memories were restored by Layla Miller. However, there is one glaring difference to the restored reality, courtesy of Wanda Maximoff. With the last of her power, she rewrote the fabric of reality to try and wipe out Mutant-kind, and she succeeded.
All over the world, millions of Mutants woke up to discover that their powers were now gone, taken by the Scarlet Witch. Of a population of 16 million, less than 200 remained Mutants. Magneto, Professor Xavier, Quicksilver, and many others all lost their powers. Granted, the three I mentioned eventually got their powers back through alternative methods, but it was still a big shock.
As you can guess, this was a massive shake up for Marvel Comics, and it didn’t stop there.
- Wolverine remembered everything about his past and went on a quest to pay back those who used him as a tool.
- Hawkeye came back to life. Again.
- Wanda seemingly lost her powers and memories and lived a quiet life by herself.
The next few years would see Marvel put Mutants through the wringer as they tried to survive. Eventually, the decimation of Mutantkind would be undone, but that’s a long, multi-part story for another day.
The WandaVision Connection
So, if you read my post last week on “Avengers Disassembled,” then you may be wondering what do these two stories have to do with WandaVision? For fans who are using the MCU as their big foray into Marvel Comics, this is understandable, and could easily slip past more casual fans. But if you’ve read the comics for a couple of years, then you’ll immediately see the connections to WandaVision:
- Wanda gets screwed over by the Marvel Universe
- Wanda finds happiness
- The Marvel Universe takes Wanda’s happiness and screws her over even more
- Wanda has a nervous breakdown
- Someone talks Wanda into creating a perfect fantasy world
- Wanda turns on heroes
- Wanda changes Universe forever
The only steps to that formula that MCU Wanda has yet to fully follow through on are steps 5 and 7. Plenty of people remain convinced that someone’s manipulated Wanda into creating her sitcom-bubble world of Westview. And no matter how you look at things, WandaVision will end with the MCU changed forever.
Even if the theory about the show being what opens the door for the Mutants to join the MCU doesn’t pan out, though, WandaVision has already changed the MCU. Just not in the way people expect. See, I’m counting on Tommy and Billy to stick around after the show ends because, in the comics, they become part of a new team of heroes. A team whose groundwork was already laid out for in Avengers: Endgame. If you want to know what I’m talking about, then come back next week as I cover the history of the Young Avengers and the fate of Wanda Maximoff in the comics.
Or click here if you want to see some more MCU/Marvel Comic action.