*** (three of five stars)
Wednesday, December 30, 2015
House of M #4 (HERE BE SPOILERS!)
This series has veered between comical and serious tones from the start, but Hopeless falls fully on the side of comedy here. After all, if he went with a serious approach, it seems unlikely that Magneto would spare Pietro, as he dose here. (That said, Magneto doesn't go totally soft here, using his powers -- once Billy returned them to him -- to off Namor.) Instead, Magneto's time without power actually teaches him some empathy. He not only experiences fear (even though he won't admit it) when facing down mutants whose powers could quickly annihilate him, but he also comes to realize that the allegiance his troops have for him is situational, given that they don't actually recognize his de-powered self. These lessons combine to give a limited form of amnesty to the human resistance, a sort of Scrooge-ian rebirth, if you will. Hopeless leaves some mystery here by not clarifying the nature of Billy's sudden ability to heal Magneto, seemingly pinning it on Wanda's sub-consciously helping him. (In reality, it seems pretty clear that it's because Hopeless needed to delay Magneto regaining his powers for the climax.) I find myself wondering what this series would've been like without the slapstick moments, but I still enjoyed it overall. After all, it can't be doom and gloom all the time.