Story – American Son: Part 1
After three months of ruling the Marvel Universe, Norman Osborn finally comes back to the pages of Amazing Spider-Man. Even though it has been cool seeing Norman rise to become an A-List villain, as he was only A-List in the Spider-Man books but in the rest of the Marvel Universe he was probably more like a B-Lister, it just hasn’t felt right that his new role was not really addressed until now in Amazing Spider-Man. If there was one book, other than Invincible Iron Man, that should have started the new Dark Reign direction for Marvel it should have been Amazing Spider-Man as Spider-Man and Norman/Green Goblin have been battling out for years, Marvel time.
But now Joe Kelly finally brings Dark Reign to the pages of Amazing Spider-Man. Out of all of the web-heads that Kelly has probably been my favorite writer out of the group. Kelly’s style of writing makes him a perfect fit for a Spider-Man book. While I have enjoyed Dan Slott’s and Mark Waid’s stories on this title just something about how Kelly writes Peter and his supporting cast and villains just captures everything that makes Spider-Man such a great character. He does a great job with the comedy in the pages of Amazing Spider-Man that it does not feel cheesy (i.e. Peter and Jonah’s brother bonding) and then a few scenes later he is able to take the issue into a very dark place with Spider-Man almost killing Norman Osborn.
Phil Jimenez did a great job capturing all the small and big scenes in this issue. He does a great job giving everyone natural facial reactions and never making scene’s look odd compared to the dialogue. Also the beating that Spider-Man gave Norman towards the end of this issue was brutal and actually felt like Spider-Man was about to kill Norman if not interrupted by Harry’s phone call it felt like Peter was ready to finish it. Even though we knew that Peter wouldn’t actually kill Norman, Jimenez’s artwork did make it feel like he was going to be close to crossing that line.
In this first part of American Son was probably my favorite book of the week, which is something I have not been able to say about this title in a long time. What made this issue great is that it does not feel like a Spider-Man book but instead a Peter Parker book. A Spider-Man title is always at its best when it focuses on Peter Parker and not Spider-Man and even when Peter is out being Spider-Man it still feels like it is Peter acting as Spider-Man and not the other way around.
I really liked the scene between Wolverine and Spider-Man on the roof with Spider-Man telling Wolverine if he will help him take down Norman once and for all. Wolverine’s comments were perfect and dead on with him basically telling Spidey that if he really wants to finish it that he must be prepared to kill Norman as it is the only way to actually end things. It was a great conversation and kind of makes me want to see a Spider-Man/Wolverine mini-series that is written by Joe Kelly.
Maybe my favorite scene of the issue was the scene right before the dinner were Peter and J. Jonah Jameson Jr. get into an argument like actual brothers even though they, mostly JJJ Jr., does not like that JJJ Sr. and Aunt May are getting married. The scene was dead on with capturing the animosity between Peter and JJJ, and it was some of the best dialogue I have read.
Now I’ll admit the final pages with Harry and Lily (Menace) wasn’t the best hook ending but I am interested to see were this storyline goes from here now that Harry is going to be working for his father again. If anything this will make for some fun dialogue and action in the future with Peter, Harry, and Norman. Though I still don’t know about the whole Lily situation.
Story: 9.3/10 – Joe Kelly writing style is a perfect fit for Amazing Spider-Man as he knows how to give an issue both it’s light and dark moments without going over the top.
Art: 9.5/10 – Jimenez artwork was great, though it is to bad that he is not drawing the whole arc and we will get a new artist in the next issue.
Overall: 9.4/10 – Amazing Spider-Man #595 was a great start to American Son and I look forward to the next part of this arc.