The day of the House of M is over, and today begins the rest of Pietro Maximoff's life - as a Homo Sapien.
|Artist:||Roy Allan Martinez|
It is the day after Wanda Maximoff; The Scarlet Witch uttered the words "No more mutants." And millions of mutants lost their powers and abilities. One of those, much to his dismay and eternal regret, is her brother Pietro Maximoff, formerly called Quicksilver, but now as slow and as ordinary as any human. This is the story of how he comes to cope with his fate.
Pietro has been reduced to living in squalor. He is currently living in a flop house in New York City, pining away for the good old days when he could run faster than a speeding bullet; outthink his opponents, and process information like it was nobody's business. Now, he can barely figure out how to manage to get through the day. Yesterday he was a Superhero; today he is just another drunk.
Peter Parker is standing by the window at the very top of Stark Towers. He is fully dressed in his Spider-Man costume, save for his mask. Mary Jane approaches him, wishing to talk, only Peter is still brooding over the loss he experienced at the end of the House of M (his marriage to Gwen Stacy, their son Ben, as well as the new lease on life granted to his uncle Ben, and Gwen's dad, Captain Stacy).
He tells MJ that he is fine, dons his mask, and says that he is going out on patrol. He leaves his wife to prowl the City, only he doesn't get far before he tumbles into a well of his own despair. His real problem is that he finally had the life that he had wished for all these years, and it wasn't with MJ, and that was tearing him up.
Pietro can't believe that he and Wanda came so close to pulling it off, and yet were thwarted in their plan for a perfect life for mutantkind. He stumbles back into his apartment, and dons his Quicksilver costume, and locates a key that he feels will help him in his quest to retain status as more than human. It is a key that will put him in contact with the Inhumans on the Moon.
Quicksilver heads up to the roof of his building, only, once he is there, he witnesses three street thugs roughing up a mutant. They rip his shirt off only to discover that he has multiple tentacles writhing beneath it. Startled and provoked, the tentacles take on the offensive, and attack the thugs. Weirded out by the mutant's condition, one of the thugs pulls a knife out and cuts the tentacled creature protruding from the boy's chest.
At this point, Pietro steps in and attempts to return to the role of hero, and defend the youth, only without his super speed, he is not as scary, and gets his clock cleaned by one of the thugs, who then pulls the knife on Pietro. He is prevented from actually knifing the former mutant by a strand of webbing. Spidey makes short work out of the thugs, tapping his rage to channel his anger against the muggers. Once they have been properly dispatched, he turns his attention to the mutant and provides him some first aid, in the form of a makeshift bandage with his webbing, and utilizing the mutant's cell phone to call for an ambulance.
Having dealt with both the thugs, and the injured youth, Spidey turns his attention to an old friend, of sorts. Only, he really isn't very happy to see the former mutant. In fact, he is royally pissed off at the ex-Avenger, because the entire House of M storyline has turned the Webbed Wonder's life on its ear.
Spidey starts whaling away on Quicksilver, expressing his extreme displeasure at discovering that his most secret desire is not to be married to MJ, but to be married to his dead former girlfriend, Gwen Stacy. Pietro tries to fight back, but simply cannot function at the much slower, human, speed, and is easily bested by Spidey.
Pietro whines about now being human, and no longer a super-speedster, and Spidey just laughs at him. Spidey points out that whatever pain that Pietro is suffering is nothing compared to the loss and heartache that Peter suffered during the House of M debacle, nor is it what is being suffered by Mutants around the world, or even by the kid with the tentacles, who is being carted away by the EMS as they watch from the fire escape above the ally.
Peter tells Pietro that the worst part of waking up from the House of M nightmare is that while he is mourning the loss of the son he never had, his wife is trying to tell him about Letterman's monologue from the previous night. Realizing that there is nothing that he can do about all of the pain that he has caused others, Pietro jumps off the roof of the building. Spidey, realizing that the former hero has jumped, slips back into hero mode and shoots out a web line to catch him, only is too late, and Pietro hits the ground below.
Spidey swings down to the ally below and attempts to help Pietro when the Inhuman, Crystal shows up with Lockjaw demanding to know what Spidey has done to her husband.
While I had some issues with the House of M storyline (like that the main story didn't completely link up with the Spider-Man: House of M story). This story is very gripping right from the get-go. We qet to see into the tortured psyche of Quicksilver who once could move at the speed of the wind, and now feels like he is moving through mud. So, as a follow up, this series is certainly off to a good start.
This story is (obviously) continued in next issue.