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By Tim Stevens
Escaping alternate worlds can be hard. Just ask writer Christos Gage.
After delving into the alternate reality where Magneto has conquered much of the world for CIVIL WAR: HOUSE OF M and HOUSE OF M: AVENGERS, Gage has been lured back for a third go-round with HOUSE OF M: MASTERS OF EVIL, a five-issue limited series coming this summer. Of course, getting the writer back did not take much effort.
"I've always been a fan of alternate world stories," Gage admits. "The cool thing about the House of M is the same thing that's cool about any well imagined alternate universe: asking yourself how the characters we know and love would be different under a changed set of circumstances. It's no secret that I'm a sucker for the bad guys, and when editor Bill Rosemann brought up the idea of looking at the non-mutant super villains of the House of M world, I couldn't resist."
Aiding and abetting Gage's return to the House will be artist Manuel Garcia, a pairing that has Gage thrilled.
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"I can't wait for folks to get a look at it," the writer proclaims. "I think everyone involved has been blown away by his work. It manages to be both pretty and hard-edged at the same time."
That balance will come in handy as the duo delves deeply into the underworld of this alternate universe, a journey that will prove frightening and seductive.
"The tone is as dark and edgy as you might expect from a book like this," explains Gage. "I'm looking forward to exploring what makes someone a hero or a villain—and how one man's villain is another man's savior."
To do that, the writer has called upon an assembly of heavy hitters banding together in a way that might not be entirely unfamiliar to Marvel readers.
"The Hood [is] putting together a mob of the deadliest super villains he can find," reveals Gage. "The lineup includes the Absorbing Man, Titania, the Wrecking Crew, Crossbones, the Wizard, Batroc the Leaper, the Cobra, Mr. Hyde, the Sandman, Chemistro, Blizzard, Nitro, Madame Masque…I may be forgetting one or two."
While selfishness and a drive to do wrong might be what brings these villains together, the group quickly finds that others have their own interpretations of the Masters' actions.
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Suddenly, the super criminals have become underground folk heroes to the demoralized humans and face a whole new level of opportunity.
"When they realize oppressed Sapiens view them as revolutionaries striking back against a corrupt power structure, they see the opportunity to pull off the scam of the century," says Gage. "The question is who will end up getting scammed and what will Magneto do in response?"
With promised appearances by the Red Guard, the Sebastian Shaw-led peacekeeping organization of the House of M world, Magneto's response will most likely not be a pleasant one for our villainous protagonists. With their backs to the wall, Gage promises to delve into just what they, particularly the Hood, will do to protect what they hold near and dear.
"The Hood is our [point of view] character. If you read his debut [limited series], you know that Parker Robbins is an everyman who's trying to take care of his loved ones and may be doing some bad things to bad people to do that. [This] gives us the opportunity to ask: In a world where everything is against you, how far would you go to protect your family?"
Look for HOUSE OF M: MASTERS OF EVIL coming this summer. And check out Christos Gage's HOUSE OF M: AVENGERS on Marvel Digital Comics Unlimited!
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