Fantastic Four: House of M #2

Issue Date: 
October 2005
Story Title: 
Four the Hard Way

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

Brief Description: 

Doom recalls the origins of his Fearsome Four and how he was inspired by the ill-fated trip of Reed Richards. Ben Grimm, now known as the It, was the sole survivor of that trip and was mutated, thanks to cosmic rays. It now undergoes experiments to learn more about the cosmic rays, thinking his transformation will be reversed, but Doom secretly wishes to enhance his own dark magic powers. Doom then is contacted by Magneto, who wishes that Doom use his research on dimension hopping to find him a suitable dimension to place the many enemies of the House of M. The Fearsome Four travel to another reality, where the laws of physics, including electro-magnetism, are slightly altered. The group murders all the villagers in the area, and then decides to use this as their battleground against the House of M royal family. In conversation, It learns that Doom has no intention of transforming him back, but wishes to enhance his own powers. The group concocts a plan and then heads to Genosha to unveil the dimensional transporter to the royal family. Lorna is disgusted by Doom and his family and leaves, but Magneto and Quicksilver head off with the Fearsome Four to view the other dimension, though Quicksilver is convinced that this is a trap set up by Doom.

Full Summary: 

Victor Von Doom supposes that the origin of his quartet starts in the seas of Latveria, where a rocket capsule from an ill-fated trip to space landed. The capsule was recovered and immediately opened on the ship. The ship’s crew was all fantastically altered. Reed Richards, Sue Storm, and John Jameson were all dead and disfigured. It was this image that gave him an idea. However, there was one survivor. A monstrous rocky creature was pulled out, but that they had no clue what it was.

Ben Grimm asked Doom to kill him, but Doom decided not to with an evil smile on his face. He snaps his finger and orders his men to take the creature below. He has plans for it. Yes… the It. He would be the first member of his team.

The other team members he would create using ancient dark magic long forgotten. He chose the two closest people to him for the honors of gaining these powers: his wife, Valeria, and his young ward, Kristoff. He would be the final member of this team. They would have a combined power to rule the world. He would take back the world from the abominations that claimed it. They would be the Fearsome Four, and they would be unstoppable… except for a single problem… Magneto.

Doom enters his conference room and sees Magneto on a large video display, awaiting him. Doom greets the man, who thanks him for his valuable time. Doom thinks to himself that Magneto’s flaw was imagining himself as the master and Doom the slave. Magneto tells Doom that he needs a favor. Doom has done well keeping Latveria on the forefront of scientific and technological advancement. That is why he keeps him.

Suddenly, Magneto, realizing his slip of the tongue, corrects himself and restates that this is why he takes care to keep Doom on his good side. He is an indispensable… ally.

It was then and there that Doom decided that Magneto must die. Magneto then handed him the solution.

Magneto told Doom that he knows of his extra-dimensional research and Magneto was looking for a plane of existence to send some of his incarcerated enemies. There is scattered resistance to the House of M. He wants a few of those insurgents contained. Angered, Doom tells Magnus that, if he has enemies, he needs to kill them, not allow them to live. If he attacks them at once with swift power, they will fall. Magneto smiles and tells Doom that he understands, but he also knows that some enemies are too valuable to kill and it is prudent to let them live.

Quicksilver arrives at his father side, giving Doom a dirty look, and passes on some papers to him. His attention diverted by the news on the papers, Magneto tells Doom to look into the situation and find a suitable holding dimension, say, by the end of the week? Doom smiles wickedly and agrees. In fact, he wouldn’t be surprised if it was by the end of the day.

Soon, in his labs, Doom watches as scientists continue experiments on the It. The beast cries in pain as the scientists work on him, but they soon stop as they see Doom. The worker informs Doom that he was able to retrieve some samples from the deepest level of the It’s silicaderma. A full analysis should yield much information about the cosmic rays. After learning more, the tasks of reversing or enhancing the transformation should be easy. Doom tells the man that the experiments can wait. He has need of the It for the moment. The woozy It gets up, and the scientist tells Doom that it might not be a good idea to have him walking around just yet. Nonsense, replies Doom, who then asks the It if he feels fine.

The It slowly asks Doom if these tests will help Doom find a way to change his form. Doom tells him that it was the general idea. However, he should not concern himself with such questions. Any answers would be beyond his intellectual grasp, and thus a waste of time. They have business elsewhere. The extra-dimensional transporter awaits them.

In the lab floors below, Doom is met by a group of scientists, practitioners of the dark arts, as well as his wife Valeria and ward, Kristoff. Kristoff greets his father and reports for duty. Valeria asks her husband if something is wrong, as this call was unexpected. Doom holds her and tells her that quite the opposite is occurring. They will make things right soon. He then tells his mages to turn on the transporter. The head mage tells Doom that the coordinates are tuned to his exact specifications. For his sake, replies Doom, they better be. The group then walks up the ramp and into the dimensional portal before them.

In another dimension, a group of human-like creatures sit and feast in their jungle domain. Suddenly, there is a flash of blue light and four more individuals arrive: the Fearsome Four. Kristoff smiles and wonders where they are, but Valeria, who is disgusted, asks if it matters. Doom tells them that they know what do to. Kristoff tells his mother that it does not matter in the slightest, and then screams “Hellfire On,” as he incinerates a group of people near him. The Invincible Woman uses her powers to crush her opponents and then causes another whirlwind to slice them up. The It simply uses his fists. The Inhuman Torch chases down the rest of the fleeing villagers and burns them all up.

Having had enough, Doom finishes the last few villagers off my impaling them with his claws. Valeria agrees and also finishes off the last few she sees. Kristoff complies as well, but asks who these people are. Are they insurgents? Are they alien invaders? Are they enemies of the state. Doom tells his son that they are target practice, nothing more. However, they did need to clear up some space and to prepare the battleground for the arena of triumph. This place and dimension is the key. This is the outermost plane that extra-dimensional transporter has been able to access. Reality is thin there, like air atop a mountain. The boundaries are weak. His sorcery is impossibly strong there.

The four warriors walk around the ruins of the village, as Doom informs them that the laws of science that are absolute in their reality are flexible. Like gravity, asks Kristoff? Yes, replies Doom, but he was thinking about another branch of physics altogether: electro-magnetism.

He brought them all here for another purpose as well, as it is far away from the prying spies of the House of M. He needs to outline the plan to the only people in the world whom he trusts. Everything he has done in life is for a single purpose. He has tolerated every humiliation. He has studied every disciple in dark arts and science. He has built appropriate weapons and defenses. He has even studied the properties of the cosmic rays in hopes to enhance their powers.

This last statement catches the attention of the It, who is shocked to hear Doom speaking of enhancing powers. Doom orders the It to shut up, but he quietly mumbles that he thought he would be cured. Kristoff quickly shushes him as Doom tells them that he has been preparing for this day. Doom will ascend the throne and rule all of man and mutant kind. They must strike immediately while they have the element of surprise. They shall bring down the House of M, including the entire royal family. They will bring them here to this place far away from their unfair advantages of their mutant armies and robotic stooges. They will be the first family then, of the House of Doom.

Valeria takes her husband’s hand and agrees. Kristoff joins as well, though admits he always wondered why his father didn’t come up with a plan like this sooner. It begins to say something, but Doom dismisses his babbling as affirmation to the cause. He then tells them to follow him and to listen carefully.

Back in Latveria, Doom stands outside his jet with It. Suddenly his mother arrives and notices that he looks troubled. Doom is surprised to see his mother as she could catch a sickness out here. His mother dismisses the claim and asks again what is troubling him. Is he finally weary of being the lackey for that mutant Magneto? Doom tells his mother that he is, but he will never serve a mutant again. However, he still wonders about one thing. His mother asks him what it is.

Doom looks at his mother and tells her that his team is utterly devoted to him and they love him unconditionally, without question. He has a family and kingdom with all the riches. He is a very lucky man. Shouldn’t that be enough? Angered, Doom’s mother tells him to stop being foolish. He is royal blood and should serve no man. That is the way it should be. He should put the doubts aside and go to Magneto and do exactly what she says… kill the scum.

Soon, Doom arrives in the palace of Magneto in Genosha, where he and his family are greeted by Magneto, Quicksilver, and Magneto’s youngest daughter Lorna. Magnus is pleased and tells Doom that he did not expect to see him so soon. Doom smiles and tells Magneto that he is full of surprises today. Magneto kisses the hand of Valeria and tells her that she looks magnificent as ever.

Kristoff and Quicksilver greet one another, but Pietro goes over to Lorna, who whispers to him that she is excusing herself, as she does not like these awful people. In any case… this thing they call the It creeps her out. Lorna walks away with a bitchy smile on her face as the It looks at her with sadness.

Magneto asks Doom if the extra-dimensional transporter is ready. Has Doom found a suitable dimension for his penitentiary? Doom looks at Magneto’s hand, which is on his shoulder, and tells the man that of course he found one. He is Doom, after all. Did he doubt him? Magneto tells Doom that he did not. Doom informs him that it is perfect for his purposes. The dimension is remote, finite, inhabitable, but not hospitable. It is impregnable inside or out. Magneto asks if it is inhabited, but Kristoff chuckles and tells him that it isn’t anymore.

Magneto tells Doom that he would like to see this place. Doom tells him that it should not be a problem. His underlings are setting up a prototype in the labs below the palace and it should be up shortly. As the Fearsome Four walk on, Quicksilver stops his father and asks for a word.

Nearby, Kristoff tells Valeria that Quicksilver suspects, but the woman tells him to be quiet.

Quicksilver tells his father that his could be a trap. Of course it could, replies Magneto. Doom is treacherous, but is he suicidal? His band of circus freaks is not match for them. Many of the men operating his teleportation machinery are his men and have been for a long time. Besides, what chance does a man who turns into liquid metal have against the master of magnetism?

Magneto then turns to Doom and leads him to the lab. He is looking forward to this. The group reaches the lab, where the transporter is on-line. Doom tells Magneto that he is looking forward for this too. Magneto asks Doom if they shall enter now.

“Most certainly…” replies Doom as It, Kristoff, Valeria, and Quicksilver enter the dimensional gate. “…After you.”

Characters Involved: 

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


Lorna, Quicksilver

Various Doom scientists

Doom’s Story:


Ben Grimm/It

Bodies of John Jameson, Reed Richards, Sue Storm

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 (4th 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, 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.

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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