14 Huge Changes Wanda Maximoff Made When She Reshaped The Marvel Comics Universe
While fans of the Marvel Cinematic Universe have had their minds blown by the sheer scope of Wanda Maximoff’s reality-warping abilities, those familiar with the biggest crossover events in Marvel Comics history know that changing the world around her is old hat for the Scarlet Witch. In WandaVision, the Scarlet Witch drew an entire township into her sphere of superpowered influence, but in House of M, Wanda altered the past, present, and future of the entire world.
House of M came hot on the heels of Avengers: Disassembled, a storyline in which Earth’s Mightiest Heroes came under aggression from multiple enemies at the same time - just as WandaVision followed Avengers: Endgame - only to learn that Wanda was unwittingly behind it all. Having re-remembered the existence of her non-existent children, the Scarlet Witch lost control of her mind and then her powers, resulting in mass casualties. But when the Avengers, X-Men, and others came to confront her, Wanda’s brother Quicksilver convinced her there was a way to fix everything. Hijacking Professor Charles Xavier’s telepathic abilities, Wanda unearthed the innermost desires of those closest to her and reshaped reality into a form that she believed would make everyone happy. And, for a time, it worked, with everyone on Earth forgetting about the old reality and accepting Scarlet Witch's House of M as the real deal.
Well… almost everyone, that is.
Mutants Weren’t Hated And Feared, But Were Now The Dominant Species
Wanda Maximoff’s House of M reality really started to diverge from the history of the mainstream Marvel Universe in the 1970s, when her father - at the time, anyway - Magneto uncovered an international anti-mutant conspiracy. That revelation led to sweeping mutant protection laws and their greater acceptance in all walks of society, and that, in turn, led to mutants becoming the dominant species over the next few decades.
Another tweak to reality made by the Scarlet Witch was speeding up humanity’s evolution into mutantkind so that, by the present day of House of M, mutants accounted for nearly 50% of the global population. As such, this new societal status quo was slanted in the reverse direction of the old one, with Homo superior recognized as the rightful inheritors of the Earth, and “sapiens” looked down on as second-class citizens.
In other words, Wanda didn’t end anti-mutant discrimination, she just flipped it in the other direction.
Richard M. Nixon Was Revealed As The Head Of A Genocidal Anti-Mutant Plot
No individual had more of their inner desires granted in the House of M reality than Magneto. In this altered timeline, Magneto was one of the world’s first public mutants, leading the US government to unleash a Sentinel onslaught on him in 1979, and that's when he got to become the hero to all mutantkind he had always wanted to be.
Magneto didn't just defeat those Sentinels; he tore them apart, and then used what he found within to prove the existence of an international conspiracy to wipe mutants off the face of the Earth, with none other than President Richard M. Nixon at its head. As part of the public backlash over the revelation, sweeping mutant protection laws were passed, and Magneto was handed sovereignty over the island Genosha - which he and Charles Xavier had previously freed from the grip of mutant slavers - as the world’s first mutant nation.
From their base on Genosha, Magneto and Xavier began to push not just for mutant equality, but for mutant dominance and superiority.
Mutant Governments, Including Magneto’s Family Dynasty, Ruled The World
With mutantkind now making up almost half of the world’s population in the House of M reality, and with Magneto firmly ensconced as the worldwide leader of mutantkind on his island nation of Genosha, it was only a matter of time before other governments gave way to mutant control. First came Magneto’s “House of Magnus” dynasty, which faced down several strikes in the sapien-launched Human-Mutant War, and inspired others to rise.
Ororo Munroe, better known as Storm, helped Magneto find a peaceful solution to widespread civil conflict in Africa and became queen of Kenya. She then transformed the continent into a stable and thriving global breadbasket - though her habit of treating Homo sapiens as equals irked many in the mutant world. That stood in sharp contrast to Apocalypse, who ruled over all of North Africa and used human labor to reconstruct the many monuments of Ancient Egypt.
In Europe, Victor von Doom was not a mutant, but instead one of the few humans whom Magneto actually respected. After officially recognizing mutants as the rightful next step in humanity’s evolution and joining the House of M in the Mutant-Human War, Doom was allowed to expand the borders of New Latveria until it encompassed a wide swath of the continent. Britain, on the other hand, was handed over to Captain Britain, a human with two mutant siblings who had refused to take part in the conflict.
Namor the Submariner, half-mutant and half-Atlantean, was given free rein over the world’s oceans, though he only ever tentatively agreed to respect the House of M’s authority.
Wolverine Got All His Memories Back, Including The Pre-‘House of M’ Ones
In giving one of her allies everything they ever wanted, Wanda Maximoff accidentally set the stage for the eventual fall of her House of M reality. Following severe experimentation at the hands of the Weapon X Program, Wolverine lost large chunks of his century-long memory, but when he awoke in House of M, he suddenly remembered everything - including the previous reality.
Waking up in bed with Mystique, a fellow agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. under the directorship of Sebastian Shaw, Wolverine immediately knew that something was wrong. As memories of his old life flooded into his mind, he set about figuring out what had happened to reality, journeying around the world with young mutant Layla Miller to “wake up” other prominent heroes and ready them for an inevitable conflict with the Scarlet Witch and the House of Magnus.
When they eventually succeeded and reality was reset to (mostly) its previous shape, Wolverine retained his memories, forever altering his path forward as a character by reuniting him with his past.
Spider-Man Became A Public, Popular Hero And Got Gwen Stacy Back
Peter Parker is frequently referred to as a public menace in the mainstream Marvel Universe, but in the House of M reality, he proved to be so popular that he eventually ditched the secret identity and unmasked to the entire world. The public, however, believed Spider-Man to be a mutant, meaning he still had an important secret worth guarding.
Another major change to Parker’s life was the resurrection of Gwen Stacy - who had simply never perished in this reality - and their subsequent marriage. When the world was eventually reset at the end of the crossover, and Peter returned to a reality in which he was married to Mary Jane, this led to a major crisis of faith for the webslinger, and his and Mary Jane’s marriage would only last a couple more years thereafter.
Captain America Never Went In The Ice And Became The First Man On The Moon Instead
In the House of M history, Captain America was still a WWII super-soldier, but he never went into the ice at the end of the conflict and instead continued to live out his life. Returning to America and marrying Peggy Carter, Steve Rogers continued to work for the Army until he resigned in protest after refusing to testify against mutant allies like Namor and Toro.
Rogers moved on to working with the Air Force as an astronaut, which led to him being the first man on the moon in 1955. He ignited controversy by announcing, “This is one small step for man; one giant leap for peace between man and mutantkind,” eventually resulting in a divorce from his S.H.I.E.L.D. agent spouse.
Despite his strong views on mutant rights, Rogers still criticized Magneto’s rise to power and promotion of mutant supremacy. After comparing Magneto to a certain Third Reich leader, Rogers was forced into retirement. By the time the present-day of House of M rolled around, he was 89 years old, and when Wolverine and the other “awoken” heroes found him, they wisely decided not to alert him to their cause until after reality had been reset.