Who – or What – Is Layla Miller?
Making his way to the city, Wolverine reaches Stark Tower, but finds that Stark isn’t there. Before he can make his next move, he is attacked by Mystique and the Red Guard unit, consisting of Toad, Jessica Drew, Rogue and Nightcrawler. Wolverine battles his former comrades and escapes, but is chased down the streets of Chicago. However, his assailants are defeated by mysterious allies, and Wolverine is suddenly teleported away by newly arrived Cloak.
Cloak takes Wolverine to Luke Cage and his Human Resistance cell, among whom is Hawkeye. The group is attacked by Sentinels, but most are able to escape. Cage informs Logan that they learned of him going rogue and thought it was worth checking out. Wolverine tells the Resistance about the old world and about Magneto and the Scarlet Witch, but is surprised to
learn that Wanda is apparently a human in this world. While the others do not believe Wolverine’s story about reality being altered, Cage does, as a young girl named Layla somehow showed him visions of the old world, though he has no recollection of the events he saw.
Wolverine realizes that Layla is a mutant and then takes her to the residence of Scott and Emma Summers. They catch Emma and Scott off guard, and somehow
Emma’s telepathy mixes with Layla’s ability to see the true reality and this causes Emma to permanently remember the real world. Emma and Layla use their powers in conjunction to “wake up” all the others, except for Hawkeye, who refuses. Emma, however, is intrigued by Layla, as she seems different than mutants and humans. Needing more allies, the group locates and wakes up Spider-Man, She-Hulk, Daredevil, Iron Man, Dr. Strange, Ms. Marvel and Shadowcat. However, they discover that Captain America was never frozen after the end of World War II, and is now an elderly man, so they do not use the process on him.
The group organizes and deduces that Magneto has coerced Wanda into remaking the world and used Xavier to probe their minds to find out what would make them happy, in an attempt to prevent the heroes from interfering; Wolverine’s deep desire being able to remember his past being the reason he remembered initially. Suddenly, the team is attacked by the Red Guard unit but, when Rogue makes skin contact with Layla, she goes out of control and wakes up her team, and inadvertently Hawkeye, who runs away in the confusion. Rogue freaks out and accuses Layla of not being human, but the group has no time to deal with that or Hawkeye, as they must find Xavier and stop Magneto. [Captain America (6th series) #10, House of M #3-5]
It’s the End of the World As We Know It
The altercation at Stark Tower does not go unnoticed, as reporters flock to the scene of the crime, including Kat Farrell of the Daily Bugle’s The Pulse. Kat’s frustrations come to the forefront, as S.H.I.E.L.D. agents prevent her from getting any details and her editor doesn’t help her. However, Kat herself does not go unnoticed. The confused and angry Hawkeye, who now remembers his old life and his death by Wanda, approaches Kat as she works late at night at the Bugle writing a report on the House of M gala for Magneto’s birthday in the next few days. He holds the woman hostage and talks to her about his recent problems in order to get it off his chest. He shows her an article in the Daily Bugle, but Kat sees an article about the House of M, while Hawkeye sees a totally different article about him being part of the Avengers. He apologizes for harassing her, but takes her to where Avengers Mansion would have been in this world, though now it is a garden. Hawkeye destroys a statue to Magneto in Central Park, and tells Kat that he believes the Scarlet Witch brought him back from the dead to put her out of her misery, so he will do just that. Hawkeye then runs off and heads to Genosha. [The Pulse #10]
As the heroes make their war strategies, other forces work to save the entire multiverse from destruction. When Wanda changed reality, her powers broke out of her universe and caused chaos in other realities and worlds. Otherworld, home of the Captain Britain Corps, was horribly mangled and twisted as realities bled together. Captain Britain and Meggan find Roma, the Omniversal Guardian, and discover that a fault in their home universe must be sealed, or else she will be forced to destroy the entire reality. Captain Britain and Meggan have 48 hours to seal the breach, however when they arrive in the House of M reality they are warped into the King and Queen of England and lose all memories of their mission. At a party for Magneto’s birthday, Brian is reunited with his sister, Psylocke, and her traveling companion, Marvel Girl. That night, however, Brian is plagued by visions of his mission.
The next day the group discovers the Marauders, sent by the House of M, are hunting down two individuals in England. The heroes confront the Marauders and learn that their target, Nocturne, has royal blood in her, causing controversy. The group defeats the Marauders but, when Nocturne runs from them, they stumble upon the tear in reality, which causes Brian to regain his memories. Before he can repair the tear, though, he is attacked by the Omega Sentinel known as Karima Shapander for treason against the House of M. Karima is defeated, but the heroes have limited time to seal the breach, as a wave of temporal energy heads to their reality from the other side. Meggan passes through the breach to use her powers to block off the tsunami, sacrificing herself to a fate unknown as Psylocke and Rachel close the breach and save the world. [Uncanny X-Men #462-465]
Dimension-Jumping Party Crashers
Captain Britain and Meggan were not the only ones to enter the House of M from another dimension. The reality-hopping team known as the Exiles came to this Earth several times before, most recently to pick up their new teammate Beak. Finished with his duty as an Exile, Beak was on his way home. However, the Exiles returns to an Earth far different than when they left it. Seeking out his girlfriend, Beak finds that Angel Salvadore is now a famous super-model, and their children no longer exist. Heartbroken, Beak does not know what to do, and the Exiles are troubled to find that, in this mutant “utopia,” mutants commit the same atrocities and have the same lack of compassion towards humans as in worlds where humans rule. However, no one realizes that they are being stalked by the body-snatching serial killer known as Proteus, who takes over Angel’s body.
Using Angel, Proteus attacks the Exiles with his reality altering powers. The Exiles meet Moira MacTaggert, Proteus’ mother, who has been chasing him from Scotland ever since the House of M destroyed her lab and freed him. The Exiles discover Proteus’ weakness to metal and how he was destroyed on the real Earth thanks to Heather, but they can do nothing as he defeats them. Moira kills herself before Proteus can possess her but, when Mimic attacks and hesitates to kill Proteus, the killer takes over Mimic’s body, leaving the dying and withered body of Angel. After encountering the Tallus and using his reality bending powers to access the files of the Exiles base, the Panoptichron, Proteus/Mimic escapes to another reality. The Exiles quickly tend to Angel and, leaving Beak behind, they chase Proteus to the next reality. [Exiles #69-71]
Elsewhere, Deadpool, Cannonball and Siryn return from another dimension to their reality. Before the warp they began a multi-dimensional jump in search of their missing teammate Cable. However, when the three return home, they do not realize where they are and assume that they are in another reality. Investigating, they find Cable, but he is now an infant and in the care of Mr. Sinister. Sinister seems to be reformed in this reality, but he drugs the food he serves the heroes. Not having had the food, Siryn and Cannonball lose all trust in Sinister. They plan to steal baby Nathan from Sinister, who shows them his teleportation chamber. Cannonball and Siryn teleport to Westchester to find the X-Men, but Sinister takes a sample of Deadpool’s healing factor to accelerate baby Nathan’s growth. Sinister insists that Nathan will be needed to guide the world when Magneto dies, but Deadpool steals Nathan away from Sinister and seemingly teleports away. [Cable & Deadpool #17]
Note: Deadpool does not teleport to another dimension at the end, even though he thinks so. In truth, the white light was Wanda reshaping reality again.