The House of M is a Marvel event unlike any other in recent time. The comic industry received much criticism in the past for large crossovers that required readers to buy titles they don’t normally collect, just to be able to understand the full story. Not only that, the sheer number of continuations and tie-ins often caused continuity errors. With the House of M, Marvel decided to take a new approach to their traditional crossovers, treating it more like an event rather than crossover.
Following the success of Marvel’s prelude storyline of Avengers Disassembled in the pages of Avengers, House of M copies the event idea, with the main story occurring in only one title; in this case the House of M limited series. This series is a self contained story that doesn’t need any other tie-ins to make sense. Of course, there are still many tie-in stories. However, Marvel’s many tie-ins are also stand alone, expanding upon elements from the main series, but the exact details of the House of M limited is not necessary to understand or read any of the tie-ins. Still, if readers opt to, they can collect all the House of M labeled titles, thus creating a richer and bigger story. Even better, writers who did not want to participate in the crossover didn’t have to, and could continue telling their own stories without interference.
Avengers (1st series) #500-503
Excalibur (3rd series) #8, 13-14
Core series & side-issues
House of M #1-8
Black Panther (4th series) #7
Cable and Deadpool #17
Captain America (6th series) #10
Fantastic Four: House of M #1-3
Incredible Hulk (3rd series) #83-86
Iron Man: House of M #1-3
Mutopia X #1-4
New Thunderbolts #11
New X-Men (2nd series) #16-19
Secrets of the House of M Handbook
Spider-Man: House of M #1-5
The Pulse #10
The Pulse: House of M Special Edition
Uncanny X-Men #462-465
Wolverine (3rd series) #33-35
Decimation: House of M – The Day After
The 198 Files #1
Prior to the House of M event, a couple of titles had crucial events leading up to the main story. Avengers (1st series) #500-503, Avengers Finale, and Excalibur (3rd series) #8 set up the seeds for the House of M. Finally, the official prelude to the event occurs in Excalibur (3rd series) #13-14. The main story takes places place in House of M #1-8, with the tie-ins taking place anywhere between House of M #2 and #7. While most titles have tie-in stories occurring in the characters’ regular book, several writers did not wish to participate in the event, and so several books have House of M spin-off titles that run along the normal titles uninvolved in the event. These titles are Spider-Man: House of M #1-5, Fantastic Four: House of M #1-3, and Iron Man: House of M #1-3.
To help readers identify which titles were a part of the House of M event, Marvel put a banner of the House of M flag on each title. This banner runs down the entire left hand side of each title, with the symbol of the House of M on the top left corner, and red and white stripes running down from it all the way to the bottom.
During the House of M event, Astonishing X-Men (3rd series) was on a temporary hiatus, with its cast starring in the main House of M series. The only core X-Men titles to take place in the event are Uncanny X-Men #462-465 and New X-Men (2nd series) #16-19. The hit title District X and Excalibur (3rd series) were also put on hiatus and District X was replaced with a limited series called Mutopia X. Other X-Titles to participate in the event are Wolverine (3rd series) #33-35, Exiles #69-71 and Cable/Deadpool #17.
New Avengers was not involved in the crossover, as its cast was heavily involved in the main House of M series. Other Marvel Universe titles involved include Captain America (6th series) #10, Black Panther (4th series) #7, New Thunderbolts #11, Incredible Hulk (3rd series) #83-86 and The Pulse #10. The epilogue of the story was told in Decimation: House of M – The Day After, which not only wrapped up the House of M storyline, but kicked off the aftermath event in the X-Titles known simply as “Decimation.”
Finally, in addition to these stories, Marvel also published The Pulse: House of M Special Edition, which is a faux newspaper, published by Marvel Universe’s Daily Bugle and displays the latest headlines, news, and gossip in the House of M world. Also, a handbook to the characters and groups of the House of M was published in the Secrets of the House of M handbook.
Since the tie-ins are independent of one another and only expand upon certain story elements in the House of M main title, creating a suggested reading order would not only be unnecessary, but impossible, as there is little evidence to say where certain titles occur in continuity. However, certain characters that have tie-ins are also important in the main story. The following are suggestions on where to place certain tie-ins:
Wolverine (3rd series) #33-35 should be read during House of M #3.
Spider-Man: House of M #1-5, Iron Man: House of M #1-3, and Fantastic Four: House of M #1-3 should all be read between House of M #2-5.
The Pulse #10 should be read after House of M #5, but before #7.