Fantastic Four: House of M #1

Issue Date: 
September 2005
Story Title: 
A Doctor in the House

John Layman (Writer), Scot Eaton (Pencils), Don Hillsman II (Inks), Dean White (Colors) VC’s Cory Petit (Letterer), Molly Lazer (Assistant Editor), Andy Schmidt (Associate Editor), Stephanie Moore (Editor), Tom Brevoort (Supervising Editor), Joe Quesada (Editor in Chief), Dan Buckley (Publisher)

Brief Description: 

The Fearsome Four, rulers of Latveria, are sent by Lord Magnus to negotiate a treaty with the Mole King of Subterranea, but instead massacre an army and kill the Mole King. They return to Latveria and enjoy the rest of their day, but Doom is haunted by some words that the Mole King said to him, implying that Doom just has a nicer cage given to him by mutants, compared to the rest of humanity, and that he does not serve alongside Magneto, but under him. Doom meets with his mother, who feels the same way, but Doom denies it. However, when Quicksilver calls, he quickly meets with the man, who calls him to Genosha, though the “request” is more of an order. Doom and his pet, the It, travel to Genosha, where they meet Magneto. Magneto is not pleased with the results of the Subterranea mission and gives Doom advice on how to be an effective leader. After he leaves, Doom beats the It in anger and decides that he will not tolerate Magneto any longer. The House of M will fall and the House of Doom will rise!

Full Summary: 

In the underground nation of Subterranea, things are not perfect anymore. This kingdom used to be a beautiful world and it was perfect. It was a dream come true. However, no dream lasts forever, and the Mole King is learning that right now. A messenger rushes to the chamber of the Mole King and informs him that the attackers have broken through their outer perimeter and will be here soon. It won’t be much longer. As the Mole King realizes that his perfect world is gone forever, he tells his messenger to let them come. They cannot stop them.

Outside the palace, Subterranea is doomed. Hundreds of army soldiers die against the merciless group known as the Fearsome Four. With the Invincible Woman in lead, using her telekinetic powers to suffocate the legions of the Mole King, the Fearsome Four obliterate their opponents, as their leader, Dr. Doom, watches with a cruel smile on his face. As the It and Inhuman Torch use their powers to destroy the underground kingdom, a guard rushes to kill Dr. Doom, telling him that he won’t take them without a fight. They will protect their master till death and they are not afraid of him. Doom tells the soldier that he should be afraid, and then extends his liquid metal hand and eviscerates his opponent. There is a reason we are called the Fearsome Four, states Doom.

Nearby, the Invincible Woman uses her telekinesis to shred several guards into pieces, all the while stating that they are so disgusting that she doesn’t even want to touch them with her powers. The Inhuman Torch tells his mother to lighten up, as they have to protect the world from the bad guys. He then incinerates several of his foes. The Torch then sends the rocky It to attack a large monster that appears. The It takes down the creature with one mighty punch.

Soon, the Four break down the door to the Mole King’s throne room, with the It in the lead. Doom approaches the Mole King, armed with his staff, and tells him that it is time. He is the unstable ruler of a dangerous rogue nation. He ignored the will of the world community and now he must pay the price. The Mole King, not impressed with Doom, states that he thought Magneto himself would appear. However, Lord Magnus instead sends his flunkies. Doom tells the Mole King that he serves neither man nor mutant. He serves with Magneto, not under him.

The Mole King laughs and tells Doom that he is delusional. Doom can alter his own body and his companions with science and magic to try and keep up with a world run by mutants, but in the end he is only human. He is Magneto’s trained monkey, no matter what his powers are. His cage is just nicer than most. Doom reminds the Mole King that he isn’t even human. He will be exterminated like a mole.

Angered, the Invincible Woman asks the Mole King if he would dare speak to royalty like this. She then asks her husband for permission to kill him. Doom holds Valeria back, as the Mole King reminds them that he is royalty too. Doom informs the King that his nation is not recognized by anyone in the international community. He is a traitor and considered a member of the resistance. The Mole King scoffs at the mentioning of an international community and then claims that the “resistance” is anyone who isn’t in lockstep with the House of M. Doom is a foolish puppet.

Mole King then turns to face Doom and tells him that he would rather die a king then to live as a slave. Die you shall, says the bitter Doom. He then grabs the Mole King by the neck and tells him that he let him live to see his pathetic kingdom fall. Now your majesty, says Doom condescendingly, your time is up. He then snaps the Mole King’s neck.

The Fearsome Four return to Latveria, where they are welcomed by a parade. As they ride through the streets and waving to their people, Kristoff exclaims about how it’s nice to be on land instead of underground. His mother, Valeria, tells him to smile and sit straight up. These are his people and they should get a good look at their leader. Behind their caravan, the It is shackled and rolled in a cage. When they reach the palace gates, Kristoff asks his father, Doom, if they are done with government business and if he is excused. Doom excuses his son and tells him to enjoy himself.

Kristoff enters the pool area and tells his father that he will, with a wicked smile on his face. He turns to two bikini-clad women and tells them that they will be joining him. He asks them if they like parties, for he is throwing one in his suite soon. As he walks away with the two girls, Doom and Valeria watch. Doom wonders if he should have a talk with Kristoff as too many of his parties end with his girls in the burn ward. Valeria smiles and tells her husband to let Kristoff have fun before he grows up and picks up his responsibilities. The two then go on their balcony and look over their land. It is a beautiful world, and it is all theirs.

Later, Doom walks through his palace with the It, who he has on a leash. They inspect the feast prepared in the kitchen and then walk out to the courtyard, where a monument of Doom stands. He then leads It, whom he addresses as his friend, to his cage. He then tells his pet that he did well today. The timid It thanks his master, who pets him on the head. Doom calls Boris and tells him to give extra meat to It today, and to get him clean blankets and a clean cage. Doom then remembers what the Mole King said about Doom having a nicer cage than the rest of humanity. He walks away bitter, so Boris calls out to him about what he should do. Doom tells him that it doesn’t matter.

Doom then returns to his lab, where his acolytes report on their latest attempt to breach the dimensional gate into the land of dark fire. However, they have yet to come up with affective weapons against the demons, for none of them possess Doom’s sorcery skills. However, they have managed to fuse boron and radium atoms to create a new metallic element. Doom tells the scientists that he does not want metal elements. Liquids and gases are what they need. He then has them refer to one of his papers and asks what else.

The scientist then brings up Doom’s latest request to alter the It and, after doing some research, they found a paper by one of Doom’s old classmates, Reed Richards. Doom flips at the uttering of the name and screams that Reed was a fool. That is why he and his crewmembers are dead. However, since the scientist found Richard’s work so fascinating, all he has to do is mention his name again and Doom will gladly help the man meet Richards. Doom then takes his leave, ordering the men to come up with a more substantive answer for his return.

Doom then enters another room, where his mother is sitting by the fireplace. Doom greets his mother, who is happy to see him and asks how she is. His mother comments that it is a bit hot, which prompts Doom to become angry, as he does not understand why her attendants wheeled her chair so close to the fire. His mother, however, calms him down and insists that she is fine. She then asks him to sit and to tell her what he has been up to. Doom tells her that he had some affairs to take care of that she would not be interested it. It involves a rogue nation.

Concerned, Doom’s mother asks if he was running errands for that horrible Magnus again. Slightly offended, Doom tells his mother that he does not run errands. He went to deal with the rogue nation, because it was in the best interest of Latveria. He has nothing to complain about as he has everything. He has his mother, a devoted wife, a bright son, and he rules one of the most powerful nations. “One of,” says Doom’s mother, bitterly. She then apologizes and she does not know of what she speaks of. She only wants what is best for him, as he deserves the best.

Suddenly, an attendant arrives and informs Doom that a conference request has come through. Doom tells the attendant that he cannot take it now, but it is informed that it has come from the House of M. Doom leaves immediately, leaving his mother, who smiles wickedly.

Doom arrives in his war chamber and finds Pietro waiting for him on a monitor. Pietro greets Doom and informs him that Magneto requests his presence in Genosha. Doom smiles and declines, stating that he recently returned and has business to attend to in Latveria. He then tells Quicksilver that he will contact Magneto when he has time. He then ends the communication and heads to the door to leave. The door opens, and there stands an annoyed Quicksilver, who has arrived in Latveria thanks to his super-speed. Pietro tells Doom that he misunderstands. Magneto’s request… was not a request.

Some time later, Doom and It arrive in Genosha. However, he is stopped by two guards at the palace doors. The furry female guard informs Doom that he should stay where he is. They will inform Magnus of his arrival. Doom is not pleased.

Moments later, the gates open and Magnus and Pietro walk out. Magnus greets Doom and thanks his friend for meeting him. He then points to his two unconscious guards and tells him that his roughness was unnecessary. Doom begins to defend himself, but Magneto interrupts him, already knowing what he will say. Magnus turns to Pietro and asks him for some privacy. Quicksilver is surprised that his father wants him to leave and interjects, but Magneto becomes impatient and displeased with his least favorite child, and orders him to leave. He also tells him to take that… thing… away. Slightly offended, Doom tells Magnus that they call him the It.

In any case, says Doom, the brute cannot understand them. Magneto tells Doom that he does not understand why the man doesn’t use his science and magic to transform the creature into something more aesthetically pleasing. Doom watches as Pietro leads It away, and tells Magnus that It is a reminder of times gone by and enemies vanquished. Keeping him near amuses him.

When Pietro and It are gone, Magneto asks Doom about the Mole King. His territory contains much uranium and vibranium. Did they negotiate a satisfactory treaty? Doom informs Lord Magnus that the Mole King was not cooperating. Not pleased, Magnus asks Doom if he is to assume he took violent measures. Doom informs Magnus that negotiation is irrelevant now. Their empires shall divide the riches. Indeed, says Magneto, before he tells Doom that he wishes to give him advice, as a colleague and friend. He is the first among men, but his ego and temper make a dangerous combination. He must be mindful.

Doom thanks Magneto for the advice, but is clearly put off by it. Magneto tells Doom that he looks forward to their next meeting. Doom then gathers the It and heads back to his jet. Once there, he angrily kicks It over how Magnus gave him advice. He then calls Magnus “condescending mutant trash” and kicks the defenseless It with every word.

It curls up into the ground and cries, which angers Doom, who knows that it did not physically hurt him. He orders him to get up as work must be done. This status quo cannot continue. The House of M must fall. The House of M will fall. From its ashes… as House of Doom will rise!

Characters Involved: 

Dr. Doom, Inhuman Torch, Invincible Woman, It (Fearsome Four)

Lord Magnus


Various House of M guards

Mole King

Various Subterranean guards

Various Latverians

Story Notes: 

This is part of the House of M crossover and continues from the prelude in Excalibur (2nd Series) #13-14. Tie in issues include Spider-Man: House of M #1-5, Iron Man: House of M #1-3, Incredible Hulk (3rd Series) #83-86, Uncanny X-Men #462-465, New X-Men (2nd Series) #16-19, Cable/Deadpool #17, Black Panther (3rd Series) #7, Mutopia X #1-4, Wolverine (3rd Series) #33-35, The Pulse #10, The Pulse: House of M Special Edition, Exiles #69-71, Secrets of the House of M, Captain America (5th Series) #10, and New Thunderbolts #11. None of the tie-ins are needed to understand the main story in House of M #1-8.

While serving as an Avenger, Wanda’s reality warping powers slowly deteriorated her mind and she lost all grip on reality. Desperately wanting children again, she reconjured them back and went mad, thinking the Avengers as her enemies and killing Ant-Man II, Hawkeye, and Vision during the Avengers Disassembled event in Avengers (1st Series) #500-503. In the end, the heroes could do nothing, but let Dr. Strange turn off her mind temporarily. Wanda was then taken by her father, Magneto, to Genosha where she has been from Excalibur (2nd Series) #8-14.

In the House of M reality, Victor Von Doom realized that mutants were the next step in evolution and sought to alter his genes as to not be left behind. He used technology and mystic arts to create a liquid metal to use as body armor that he could manipulate into weapons. Doom joined Magneto and, though neither truly liked one another, they did respect one another. Doom took over New Latveria after the Mutant-Human War and married a woman named Valeria, and adopting a boy named Kristoff. Transforming them both into the Invincible Woman and the Inhuman Torch, the three alongside the beast known as the It became the Fearsome Four, a strike force Magneto uses to keep super powered individuals in line.

The Mole King is better known as the Mole Man in the proper 616 timeline.

Reed Richards was revealed dead in House of M #2.

In the proper 616 reality, Doom’s mother is dead.

Issue Information: 

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