House of M was the Marvel event that made me read comics again after years of not picking up an issue of Marvel and DC. I was trying to fill in the gaps of my Strangers in
More than anything, House of M was a story heavily based on the characters – the impact of Wanda’s alternate reality where most of the Avengers and X-men were actually living their deepest wish of “what-could’ve-been” is best appreciated if you knew them – their history, their loves, and their failures. Wolverine was an agent of Shield (“I wanted to be Nick Fury”); Emma and Scott were married (which surprised Logan, I think he was expecting to see Jean); Ms. Marvel was a star superhero; Ororo’s was a bratty African princess (considering her childhood as a poor orphan/streetkid…); Magneto is King; and the tables were turned – the humans were persecuted by sentinels. It was kind of expected – angst ridden mutants were living easy, rich, and happy. But it was Peter Parker's dream come true that was most surprising – he was married to Gwen and they had a son; MJ was a successful actress; and Spiderman was legitimate and appreciated by the public - he had fans!
When Layla Miller and rest of the gang made Peter remember the real timeline, it almost destroyed Peter. Being married to Gwen reminded him of his worst failure and I thought it shamed him that deep inside he had wished he was not married to MJ and instead had a family with Gwen. Seeing MJ successful also made him believe that he was not good for MJ – that he held her back. Peter confronted the reality of what he really wanted and I thought it would lead to him to self-loathing and blaming – even when nothing is actually his fault.
For me it was the most defining moment of Peter – among all the mutants and powered people he wanted the alternate reality to be real. I think even Magneto was not completely happy with being king of the world. I think the ultimate sacrifice is not to die for a cause or someone (because you will not live to deal with the consequences or the responsibility of picking up the peices) but having to sacrifice what you want or need for the greater good (and you get to live and suffer the consequences, thinking of what could have been).
After all has been said and done, after the universe changing “No more mutants,” Peter had to live with the memory of that alternate reality. This should have changed him and his relationship with MJ. I was looking forward to how he would cope with the emotional grinder that the events put him through. It should have fucked-him-up-in-the-head knowing how angsty the character is. BUT this seems to have been ignored in the Spiderman comics – at least his anger and hurt was touched upon on Son of M where he confronted a powerless Pietro. Sayang lang. It could’ve made a great Spidey story.