Although House of M was terrible for many of Marvel’s heroes, Spider-Man got to experience a world in which all of his dreams came true.
Peter Parker is one of the most morally structured heroes in the Marvel Universe. His mantra of “with great power comes great responsibility” is more than just words to Peter, it’s a way of life. Parker adopts this motto after the death of his Uncle Ben, but Spider-Man: House of M by Mark Waid, Tom Peyer, Salvador Larroca, Danny Miki, Liquid!, and Cory Petit gives a glimpse of who Peter Parker may have become if his uncle was never shot.
To a point, his origin here is very similar to that of the mainstream universe. A bullied high school student gets bit by a radioactive spider and gains powers. Peter, wanting to test his abilities, takes part in an all-comers wrestling match against Crusher Hogan. This match leads to Peter receiving a shot at wrestling on television, where he tackles a burglar who had robbed the owner of the wrestling arena. This is the same burglar who would have shot Ben Parker. The arena owner is so thankful to Peter that he offers him a regular spot in the wrestling league. Peter accepts and becomes a part of the popular league.
At this time, the Mutant-Human War was in full swing and Peter was accused of being a mutant by the media. He had confessed to Ben and May that his powers were from a spider bite, but Ben encouraged Peter to stay silent on where his powers originated. When the mutants won the war, Peter claimed that he was a mutant and became an international superstar. He used this popularity to become a movie star, even hiring Mary Jane to play his female lead in a movie that launched her career. Peter took a break from the spotlight to marry Gwen Stacey and return to college.
After Peter earned his doctorate, he returned to the public eye and started a science/philanthropy company with Ben. He truly had everything he ever wanted at this point. He had a great support system that included his wife Gwen, her father, Uncle Ben and Aunt May, and many longtime friends including Crusher Hogan. He bought out Norman Osborn and took over Oscorp, incorporating it into his own company. He also had a son with Gwen and they all lived together happily in their Connecticut estate. This all changed very quickly when Peter pushed his disgruntled publicist, J. Jonah Jameson, too far.
Peter paid Jameson a lot of money to work for him and thought he could treat the former journalist however he wanted, humiliating and embarrassing him at every opportunity. Parker took it too far one day and the Green Goblin reached out to Jameson to try and destroy Parker by giving the journalist Peter’s private journal that contained the truth about his origin. Jameson then revealed to the world that Peter was not a mutant, a fact that was met with immediate outrage.
Peter’s theatrical biography was about to be released but was canceled the day before its debut. The House of M reclaimed everything that Peter had earned while misrepresenting himself as a mutant. His family was forced into hiding, and the human species as a whole took a hit when Peter’s lies were revealed. Their lives became a lot more restricted as they were forced to work in labor camps and live in ghettos if they stepped out of line. It was later revealed that Parker was actually the Green Goblin and had a mental breakdown from the stress of living a lie. He seemed to have some memory of his prior existence, as his journal had mentions of his life before “House of M” and referenced Ben and Gwen’s deaths.
Peter was eventually able to reconnect with his family, who helped him through his psychosis. They then faked Spider-Man’s suicide and Peter Parker went into hiding with his family. Spider-Man attempted one last heroic deed before he disappeared by sending Magneto a note demanding the mutants ease up on the humans, at the threat of revealing that he was still alive.
While Peter Parker got everything his heart desired in House of M, his legacy was built on a lie. Parker would never be able to live with this guilt and his mental breakdown was inevitable. Peter Parker is one of the few heroes who had a positive experience during House of M, even if it all came crashing down in the end.
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