Fantastic Four: House of M #3

Issue Date: 
November 2005
Story Title: 
King For a Day

John Layman (Writer), Scot Eaton (Pencils), Don Hillsman III and Rick Magyar (Inks), Dean White and Avalon’s Rob Ro (Colors) VC’s Randy Gentile (Letterer), Aubrey Sitterson and 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 defeat Magneto and Quicksilver in the other dimension, where Doom gloats over his victory and has It beat the men into unconsciousness. He then leaves them in the dimension, where they will starve and go mad. Once back home, the It demands respect from Doom, who angrily complies. He orders his wife to find Polaris and his son to destroy the dimensional transporter but, after he leaves to the throne room to write a speech about how the royal family tragically died, Kristoff instead joins Valeria in finding and killing Polaris, leaving It alone to destroy the machine. However, It, annoyed with the Fearsome Four, finds Polaris and together they bring back Quicksilver and Magneto. The Fearsome Three blast It out of the tower and into the streets, where he is recruited by Alicia Masters and the Human Resistance Movement. Valeria crashes the roof on Magnus and Doom goes for the kill, ignoring the pleas of Valeria and Kristoff, who cannot defend themselves against the House of M guards. Doom is about to kill the downed Magneto, who reveals he was only pretending to be down. He defeats Doom, who discovers that his obsession to kill Magnus has allowed his wife and son to be murdered in the meantime. Magneto defeats Doom and even tries to punish Doom’s mother, who betrays her son and renounces him to save her own life. Magneto does not kill Doom, however, and instead sends him back to Latveria, where he shall be the most miserable man on the planet.

Full Summary: 

In another dimension, far away from their home reality, Lord Magnus and Prince Quicksilver find themselves in a most intolerable situation. Magnus finds himself in the clutches of the creature known as the It, while Quicksilver is incapacitated by the telekinetic powers of the Invincible Woman, both members of Magnus’ personal strike squad known as the Fearsome Four.

As the Inhuman Torch watches from the air, Doom, leader of the Fearsome Four and bitter ruler of Latveria, tells Magnus that this might be a good time to discuss his surrender. Magnus looks down angrily at Doom and tells him that he is mad. Due to Doom’s liquid metal form, he could kill him without batting an eyelash. Cocky, Doom asks Magnus why he does not do it then. Doom doesn’t allow Magnus to answer and instead answers for him. Magnus doesn’t do it, because Magnus cannot do it here in this dimension.

Quicksilver calls to his father and tells him something is wrong about this place, as the witchery of the Invincible Woman should not be fast enough to capture him. Angry at the irreverence Pietro has for his mother; Kristoff descends from the sky and tells him that he should be more respectful, lest he wishes for his tongue to be burned off.

Doom interrupts his son and tells Magnus that Quicksilver is correct. The rules of this dimension are much different than back home. Does Magnus know how long it took him to find this hellish place; one in which Magnus’ mutant powers over magnetism didn’t give him an unfair advantage? Now they are on the turf of the Fearsome Four, where science does not prevail. Rather, the dark arts rule. Doom then shoots two green magical blasts towards Magnus, not even caring that he hurts the It in the process.

Kristoff turns to his mother and tells her that the mystical energies in this dimension are making his powers crazy. He is giving off so much heat. The Invincible Woman agrees, but tells him to prepare for the feeling of power when they return back to their world where they rule. Magnus tells Doom that he will regret this, but Doom does not listen. He then orders the It to beat Magnus and Quicksilver into unconsciousness.

As the It does so, Kristoff asks his father if he will not kill them. Doom, however, tells Kristoff that it would be too easy. He wants them to go mad as they starve to death, thinking about the price they paid for underestimating Doom. It finishes beating the now-unconscious Magnus and Quicksilver. The four then step through the dimensional portal back to their home reality.

The Fearsome Four return to the palace of the House of M. Valeria kisses her husband, telling him that she loves him. Kristoff is quite happy as well. A scientist turns to Doom and stutters that he did not expect them back so soon. He then asks when Magnus and Quicksilver are due to return. Doom tells the man that his rough estimate is that they will never return. He then morphs his liquid metal arm into a blade and impales the man. Doom turns to the rest of the scientists and tells them that the world they know is about to change. He knows most of them are loyal to him, but he suspects a few of them are truly sided with Magneto. He will not take changes with any of them. With that said Doom murders all the scientists with his blade.

With all dead, Doom turns to his wife and tells her to deal with Polaris. He tells Kristoff to burn the bodies and destroy the extra-dimensional transporter. After that, he should find a suitable holding cell for the It. Doom leaves the room and tells them that he will be in his new quarters, writing his speech on the tragic accident that took the lives of the beloved House of M monarchy. He will then generously offer his guidance and leadership to the mourning world. Before Doom can finish, though, the It says ‘no.’

Shocked, Doom repeats It’s words and turns around. It towers over Doom and tells him that he will not be confined to cages or cells anymore. He is a part of the team. He wants respect. Angered, Doom tells It that he is a monstrosity and he already has more respect than he deserves. He ought to thrash It until he is within an inch of his worthless life. It continues to tower of Doom, not budging. His bluff called, Doom concedes, but tells It for his sake he better be housebroken.

Doom leaves and as soon as he does Kristoff asks his mother if he can help her find Polaris. Valeria agrees and decides to leave It to smash up the machine, since breaking things is all he is good for. She then tells It to make sure he cleans up the mess afterwards, every last scrap of it. Valeria and Kristoff then proceed to leave. Kristoff tells his mom that he thinks Lady Polaris’ green hair is nice and pretty. He can’t wait to see it burn. It then turns to the transporter, with a sad look in his eyes.

Doom arrives at Magnus’ main chamber, which is a circular room with a massive balcony, throne, and a portrait of Magnus. Doom proceeds to the balcony and looks down at Genosha. It is his. It is all his.

That evening, after ripping down Magneto’s portrait, Doom finishes up his speech. Valeria and Kristoff rush in and he asks them what he thinks about his closing like. However, before he can finish his sentence Valeria tells him that Lorna Dane cannot be found. Doom, horrified, is angered. Kristoff tells his father that they looked everywhere, but they could not find her.

Suddenly, they hear the voice of the bitter It, saying that she is with him. He found her. Indeed Polaris stands before the It, with a sinister smile on her face. It then steps back to reveal the ragged Magnus and Quicksilver and smugly states that she brought back the others. Kristoff is shattered at It’s betrayal, but Doom and Valeria are driven to anger. The three collectively use their powers against It, smashing him through the wall and out of the tower, to fall to his unknown fate in the streets below.

Valeria steps through the smoke and rubble and tells her family that they should have put the It down a long time ago. Quicksilver runs around Kristoff, punching him, and tells Valeria that he told his father the same about the Fearsome Four. Valeria is able to erect an invisible wall in front of Quicksilver, and tells him that she isn’t surprised that a mutant like him would say that. Polaris throws shards of metal at the Fearsome Three and tells him that the House of M has been more than generous to them and this is how they repay them?

As the Inhuman Torch burns away the metal, Doom asks the royal family if they really thought he would ever willingly submit to them. As Quicksilver dodges a blast from the Inhuman Torch, Valeria decides she will end the rule of the House of M forever. She then literally brings down the room of the tower on Magnus and Polaris.

Suddenly, hundreds of House of M guards rush into the throne room, seeing Magnus fall under the rubble of the roof. The guards call out to the others telling them that the Fearsome Four are found and have hurt Magneto. The Inhuman Torch is not happy to see the mutants, but is able to incinerate four of them in one blast. Valeria erects a force field around herself, as there are too many attackers. She begins to sweat as she tells Doom that there are too many guards. He has to do something.

Doom, however, ignores his family’s pleas and tells them that Magneto is down. As Doom approaches the downed Magnus, Valeria finds herself hardly able to protect herself. She calls out to her husband for help. Kristoff is taken down by a few more guards, also calling out for his father desperately. Doom, however, continues to ignore the cries of his family and towers over Magnus. He morphs his arm into an axe and is about to kill Magnus when Magneto awakens. He tells Doom that he made a bad move and then uses he vaunted magnetic powers to blast Doom away.

Doom is thrown into a wall, but quickly gets up. However, what he finds at his feet is too much. Before him lie the dead bodies of Valeria and Kristoff, both brutally murdered by the House of M guards. Dooms screams into the sky, asking what he did. Magnus stares at Doom bitterly and tells him that he made a choice. It was horribly miscalculated, based on his selfish priorities. It was fatal. A metal man like him would have fared better if his family was alive against a master of magnetism. A mistress, too, adds Polaris.

Quicksilver joins his family and Magnus tells Doom that there is one question left. What will they do with him? Magnus has an idea. He snaps his finger as he kicks Doom and tells his guards to bring in the woman.

Doom screams as he sees two guards drag in his mother. Magnus covers his mother’s mouth with his hand and tells Doom that she is dear to him, is she not? He should punish her in his stead. He should turn on the dimensional transporter and throw her to another dimension, where some hungry demon can feast on her soul for eternity. Doom’s mother screams and falls to Magneto’s feet. She begs for mercy and lies that she had no clue what Doom was planning. He is a duplicitous traitor and he is no son of hers. He is a monster. Magneto smiles and tells her that if that is true then he grants her mercy. He will see that she is taken far from here and protected. She will never see her traitorous son again. Doom’s mother thanks Magnus and then takes her leave, leaving Doom horrified and shattered.

Magnus uses his powers to keep Doom still, as there is still the matter of his punishment. He has betrayed him despite all he has done for him. He tried to usurp him and kill his family. He then lifts Doom in the air with his powers and asks him what his fate should be. He then pulls Doom’s liquid metal form into many different directions, putting Doom through anguishing pain. Doom screams something, but Magnus cannot hear him. He asks him to repeat it. Doom croaks for Magnus to kill him. No, replies Magus as he reforms Doom and drops him to the floor. He forgives him. He has plans for him.

Magnus then turns away as two guards pick up Doom. He tells them to remove Doom from his sight. Quicksilver asks Magnus if that was a wise idea to let Doom live. Polaris agrees and tells her father that Doom is a diabolical man and could make another attempt on the throne. Indeed he might, replies Magnus, but Doom won’t succeed. He will never be as strong as he was and he’ll never have much to fight for. He has lost everything he has held dear. Doom is a broken man. He will return to his home and continue to play a god among the weak-minded. However, he will never forget his true place in this world. For the rest of his days, Magneto doubts that there will be a man more miserable than Victor von Doom.

Elsewhere in Genosha, It lifts his head out of the dirt as he hears someone say to kill him. He gets up and rubs his head as he finds himself at the entrance of a sewer tunnel, with a few humans armed with spears around him. One of them thinks It is a mutant and wants to kill him before he can recover. It hears this and screams that he is not a mutant. He used to be human before he became a monster. The humans believe what It says and think that he would be a valuable asset for the Human Resistance. They rush It into the tunnels before a Sentinel patrol finds him.

It enters the tunnels with the men, where he is met by a beautiful, blonde woman. She smiles and wraps her arms around It’s arm. It tells her that he cannot see in this tunnel for it is pitch black. The woman introduces herself as Alicia and tells him that he shouldn’t worry. He is in good hands with her.

Characters Involved: 

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

Magneto, Polaris, Quicksilver (House of M royal family)

Doom’s mother

Various House of M guards

Alicia Masters

Various members of the Human Resistance

Story Notes: 

This is part of the House of M crossover and continues from the prelude in Excalibur (3rd 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.

Doom’s story continues into House of M #6.

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