“The Osborn Identity” has not exactly knocked it out of the park thus far. While it hasn’t been unreadable it has not reached the level that The Clone Conspiracy or other Dan Slott Spider-Man stories have attained. Part of what has made “The Osborn Identity” not reach previous arc’s levels is the tie-ins this story has to Secret Empire. The connection to the Marvel event has distracted from what should be the main focus of this new story arc. With two issues left in this big clash between Spider-Man and Norman Osborn there are is still enough time to turn “The Osborn Identity” fortunes around. Will Amazing Spider-Man #27 do just that? Let’s find out.
Writer: Dan Slott
Artist: Stuart Immonen
Inker: Wade von Grawdger
Colorist: Marte Garcia
Story Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Synopsis: Inside the Castle Karkov, Doctor Dragovic informs Norman Osborn that he has had too many procedures done that his facial muscles have been damaged. Norman takes off the bandages and understanding that there is nothing Dr. Dragovic can do for him anymore kills the good doctor with Goblin Gas.
Norman meets up with Countess Katarina Karkov, who is grateful for how powerful Norman has made her kingdom of Symkaria in military force. They overlook their kingdom as the people of Symkaria are forced to work in the military weapon facilities.
Elsewhere, inside a cargo plane holding all of Parker Industries’ Spider equipment and weapons Silver Sable explains the current situation in Symkaria to Spider-Man. Silver Sable reveals that the way she survived Rhino’s attempt to kill her is that she used her cloaking equipment to hide her appearance in the last minute to make Rhino believe she disappeared when she just used the opportunity to escape Doctor Octopus’ facility. Though she thought it would make it easier to hunt down her enemies if they believed she was dead it actually allowed Countess Karkov to rise to power in Symkaria.
Over in SHIELD’s Hong Kong facility, Nick Fury tells Harry and Aunt May that Peter is out of his mind for funding an incursion on a foreign country. Harry tries to play dumb but Nick says he knows that Harry and Peter signed off on the incursion. Aunt May says she is disappointed at what she is hearing and says that the Uncle Ben Foundation and SHIELD should work together to save Symkarian.
Nick does not buy Aunt May’s “nice, old lady” act and asks Harry if Norman is really involved. Harry says he has no idea and asks if they can leave now. Nick walks away while saying Harry and Aunt May are free to go since SHIELD has eyes everywhere.
Over in SHIELD’s control room Nick contacts Mockingbird to get an update on the Parker Industries plane. Mockingbird says she has grounded the plane on the border of Symkaria and sends him the coordinates.
Not long after some SHIELD agents arrive at the location of the grounded Parker Industries plane. When they investigate the plane they find it completely empty.
Nick calls Mockingbird back, asking where she is at since the plane is empty. Mockingbird informs Nick that she is officially putting in her resignation to SHIELD as she watches the plane Spider-Man and Silver Sable are actually in land in Symkaria.
Spider-Man says he owes Mockingbird one but Mockingbird tells him not to make it weird.
Silver Sable then introduces Spider-Man and Mockingbird to her new Wild Pack team, made up of Tango, Juliet, X-Ray, Foxtrot and Romeo, who each lead their own team of freedom fighters. Everyone goes inside the plane and they all do some light joking on how the Spider vehicles work.
Inside Castle Krakov, Norman and Katrina are enjoying their dinner when they suddenly hear an explosion. Norman notices it is Spider-Man who is attacking them at their main munitions factory.
At the munitions factory Spider-Man tries to draw out Norman’s attention while some of the Wild Pack get the workers transported to safety. Norman sends all of his weapons and soldiers to Spider-Man’s location. Mockingbird leads some of Silver Sable’s freedom fighters to fight off the initial wave while Spider-Man and Silver Sable, who delivers an inspiring speech to her people, get the workers to leave the area.
Spider-Man and Silver Sable then join Mockingbird and the others to fight off Norman’s Goblin forces.
In his control room, Norman watches the battle going on outside and says it is time to roll out their big ticket item. Katrina thought they were saving that for a special occasion but Norman says they can blame their uninvited guest for this. Norman then tells Katrina to speak to her people.
Katrina gets on a mic and tells the people of her country that they are being attacked and for everyone to take shelter as they are the country’s most precious resource.
Elsewhere Spider-Man, Mockingbird, Silver Sable and Wild Pack are making quick work of Norman’s Goblin soldiers and machines. Spider-Man suddenly gets tackled from behind by a Goblin soldier. Spider-Man quickly overpowers the soldier and takes of his Goblin mask. Spider-Man is shocked to see the soldier has a mutated Goblin face underneath the mask.
Inside the castle, Norman looks at one of his bombs holding his Goblin Serum gas and notes how it is his greatest invention. He then speaks on how the Super-Soldier Serum has been the holy grail for a long time but now has the ability to create an invincible army of Goblins. Norman then gets his missile filled with Goblin Serum ready to launch. End of issue.
The Good: After a few issues of set-up we finally see the rivalry between Spider-Man and Green Goblin become a full-on war. That feeling of escalation in the rivalry between the characters helped Amazing Spider-Man #27 hit all the right notes to elevate “The Osborn Identity.”
With Amazing Spider-Man #27, Dan Slott was able to accomplish what previous issues couldn’t and that is give meaning to all the action. While it was fun seeing Spider-Man try his best to capture Norman the action didn’t quite hit in terms of the impact. But with this issue Slott is able to give us a very good idea of what Spider-Man is fighting for is not just to take down Norman but to save a country from a madman.
This sense of importance in the rivalry was elevated thanks to Silver Sable giving the story some much needed context. Slott did a good job in giving us an explanation for Silver Sable’s survival in Ends of Earth that made sense and stayed true to how the character would get out of the situation she was in with Rhino. For one, the explanation was a big sigh of relief as it did not go down the whole death/resurrection angle. Second, it showed how much foresight Silver Sable had as she tried to use her supposed death to try and save her country.
Though Silver Sable had the best intentions in faking her death the fact it turned out to be the worst move she could make added to her character development. Now Slott has given Silver Sable and her new Wild Pack even more of a reason to act as freedom fighters to make up for the power vacuum left in Symkarian. That alone gives the reader a reason to cheer for Silver Sable to be successful in liberating her people from the rule of Norman and Countess Katarina Karkov. Sable’s speech that inspired her people only added to why we should be behind her being able to save the day.
Silver Sable’s side of the story also elevated how despicable Norman Osborn. Seeing how he has used his relationship with Countess Katarina Karkov to basically take over a country and force the people to work in his factory further drove home that there is nothing redeemable about what Norman has been doing. Even when he tries to act like he is doing it for others the way Slott formats Norman’s dialogue it is clear he is using everyone to make his Army of Goblins. This all made the fact that Norman has been damaged beyond repair make his outer appearance look as monstrous as his mind has made him for so long.
Helping to add some levity to the entire war was how Slott furthered Spider-Man and Mockingbird’s relationship. With all the work Slott has done recently with the two, I was glad that we didn’t have to see them go through an awkward fight where one of them felt betrayed by the other. Instead Slott was able to make Mockingbird’s resignation from SHIELD be a payoff for how much trust has been built between her and Spider-Man. And seeing how effective they continued to work together makes me look forward to where exactly Slott is going with Spider-Man and Mockingbird’s relationship in the future.
Mockingbird’s resignation from SHIELD also creates an intriguing sub-plot with Nick Fury. As we’ve seen, Spider-Man has basically ruined his working partnership with Nick Fury with his current actions. Now with Spider-Man causing Nick to lose one of his top SHIELD agents it is for sure not to sit well with Nick at all. With only one issue left in “The Osborn Identity” arc it’ll be interesting to see if we get some payoff in this broken partnership in the next issue or if Slott is building towards a bigger story involving where Parker Industries is going and how SHIELD gets involved moving forward.
With how much was going on in Amazing Spider-Man #27, Stuart Immonen delivered his best work to date on “The Osborn Identity” arc. There was no shortage of emotional, funny and action packed scenes in Amazing Spider-Man #27 and Immonen perfectly balanced everything going on. The action with Spider-Man leading a full blown invasion made the story feel like a big event with how many characters were involved and explosions taking place around everyone. At the same time Immonen was able to deliver when it came to the character moments like Harry and Aunt May interrogation with Nick Fury or anytime Norman Osborn was on screen to further develop his plans.
The Bad: Nothing
Overall: “The Osborn Identity” hasn’t had the cleanest start but Amazing Spider-Man #27 quickly turned the story arc’s fortunes around by hitting all the right beats to further Spider-Man and Green Goblin’s rivalry to full-blown war. The various character dynamics made the war between Spider-Man and Green Goblin feel bigger. Having Stuart Immonen draw everything happening in this issue helped elevate Dan Slott’s story to an even higher level.