Comic Legends: Did House of M Begin as an Astonishing X-Men Fill-In?

Welcome to Comic Book Legends Revealed! This is the six hundred and ninth week of examinations of comic book legends and whether they are true or false.

Here's Part 1 of this week's Comic Book Legends Revealed! And here's Part 2. Let's continue!


"House of M" came about due to a break in the release schedule of "Astonishing X-Men."



As you likely know, in 2004, Joss Whedon and John Cassaday came together to launch "Astonishing X-Men," which, was, well, astonishingly awesome...

A few months after "Astonishing X-Men" #1 came out, Brian Michael Bendis, David Finch and Danny Miki launched "New Avengers"...

Okay, so one of the issues with "Astonishing X-Men" was that John Cassaday would sometimes need a little extra time for his artwork to come out. The amount of detail in his work was amazing, so it took longer than normal for him to draw it. He did the first year of the title on roughly a monthly basis, but if he was going to continue on the book for another year, he was going to need some more lead time.

So that suddenly meant that there wasn't going to be an issue of "Astonishing X-Men" released in the summer of 2005. Summer is typically a big time for comic book sales, so Marvel needed to come up with a way to fill that gap.

As Joss Whedon recalled:

House of M happened because Johnny said, ‘OK I’ll do another year but I need four months and I don’t want anybody doing New Avengers while I’m doing that,’ and they came back and said they had this special event and Bendis was going to do this whole Elseworld called House of M.

Bendis recalled it as such to Marvel.com:

They literally came to me and said, “Listen, Joss [Whedon] isn’t writing ASTONISHING X-MEN this summer, he’s got to go do something else. If you want to do an Avengers/X-Men fun thing, that’d be great.

People can look at the first cover and see New Avengers/Astonishing X-Men and that’s what the book initially was. I had a thing left over that I was talking with [Jeph] Loeb about from Disassembled: if Wanda goes nuts, what does Magneto do about that? That seemed like a great Avengers/X-Men summer thing, because what’s the biggest problem for the Avengers and the X-Men? It’s Wanda. House of M burst out of that.

And sure enough, if you'll note the cover of the first issue of "House of M," it specifically noted that it was "Astonishing X-Men"/"New Avengers"...

And it's funny, as Bendis has noted in the years since, "House of M" was really the crossover that started the whole "Avengers as the centerpiece of the Marvel Universe" approach of the big Marvel crossover events. So if "Astonishing X-Men" doesn't go on hiatus and we don't have a "House of M," does that still happen? Probably, because Bendis was still likely going to write some sort of event comic down the line and he most likely would have stuck with the characters he was already writing, but it's an interesting question to ponder.

But anyhow, yep, the first big crossover event by Bendis came about because of "Astonishing X-Men" needing a hiatus to keep John Cassaday on the book. Pretty awesome.

Check out my latest TV Legends Revealed at CBR: Was Chandler on Friends originally meant to be gay?

OK, that's it for this week!

Thanks to the Grand Comics Database for this week's covers! And thanks to Brandon Hanvey for the Comic Book Legends Revealed logo!

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