Fans have wondered for a while whether or not the MCU would adapt House of M as an Avengers film, but Phase 4 might have even bigger plans.
After the earth-shattering events that took place at the end of Marvel’s Phase 3, the MCU needs to find a new way to raise the stakes: and House of M might be just what they’re looking for. House of M is an iconic Marvel Comics storyline from 2005 that radically changed the status quo of the Marvel Universe within just a few short issues. In it, Wanda Maximoff (driven to the brink of insanity by the expectations of her father and the societal pressures of being a mutant) uses her reality-warping powers to rewrite the fabric of reality. The change results in an altered timeline in which mutants, led by Magneto, have become the dominant species on planet Earth, with humans viewed as inferior with the exception of a few examples.
The storyline is arguably one of the most important events in the life of Scarlet Witch, and comic book fans have been curious to see if the MCU would ever adapt the story. Wanda Maximoff was introduced in Avengers: Age of Ultron, but due to recently-resolved licensing issues between Marvel Studios and 20th Century Fox’s ownership of the X-Men, certain elements of Wanda’s characterization couldn’t be utilized prior to 2019. This included her mutant status, the details of her parentage, and further elaboration of her Chaos Magic-based powers.
Wanda’s abilities make her one of the most formidable characters in the MCU, and House of M is a devastating demonstration of just a fraction of her power. While the storyline seems fit to be adapted into a single film, there just might be evidence to suggest that all of Phase 4 could take place within Wanda’s pocket dimension.
Marvel’s House of M Explained
House of M is literally one of the most influential storylines in the history of Marvel Comics, and the outcome of the story affected the relationship between mutantkind and humanity for decades to come. After several major crucibles experienced by the X-Men, including the events of Planet X (a story written by Grant Morrison in which a mentally-unstable Magneto kills hundreds of thousands of humans), the tentative co-existence between mutants and humans had already been unraveling at the seams. This strains the mutant heroes of the X-Men, but it also only adds more trauma onto Wanda Maximoff, who was at the time dealing with her inability to have children with The Vision.
With her trauma and vulnerability manifesting as unintentional manifestations of her power, both the X-Men and the Avengers came together to discuss options on how to handle the crisis. Several heroes sought peaceful means, but other characters like Emma Frost and Wolverine came to the conclusion that Wanda needed to be killed. After heated deliberation, Xavier takes the two teams to Genosha to intercept Wanda, only to arrive too late as a blinding flash of light engulfs the world.
The inevitable reveal is that Wanda has completely rewritten the fabric of the Marvel Universe, creating a world in which an assassination attempt on her father’s life in the 1970s led to the reveal of a massive genocidal conspiracy against mutantkind. As a result of this plot being exposed, mutants become a protected class by the international community at large, eventually leading to a world in which mutants make up 50% of the world’s population and humans are viewed as inferior. Several heroes also receive ground-breaking changes; Spider-Man is now married to Gwen Stacy and viewed as a celebrity, Steve Rogers has aged up in real time, and Wolverine (the only one who remembers the events of the original timeline) is now a SHIELD agent.