American Son #1 (Story 2)

Background

Norman Osborn, Spider-Man’s arc-nemesis The Green Goblin, ended up in charge of HAMMER after the events of Secret Invasion. During his time in charge, he enrolled his son Harry as a superhero and created the American Son armour for him. In an emotional encounter, also involving Spider-Man and Menace (Lily Hollister – who was Harry’s girlfriend but ended up pregnant with Norman’s baby!), Harry defeated his father and walked away from the Osborn Empire. See Amazing Spider-Man #595-599 for more details.

Harry positively turned his attention to The Coffee Bean (his own business)…

Story Details

The Coffee Bean has always been important to Peter but when it is threatened with closure, due to lack of funds and competition from new shop Bargain Donuts, he and Harry rally round!

Using Norah Roberts, Betty Brant and friends from ESU they campaign their hardest, using the media to the best of their ability. The bailiff pays a call and becomes frustrated with The Coffee Bean’s financial situation. Peter gets an idea that he can carry out himself!

The following day, Spider-Man chases down minor crook and parkour specialist Speedball! He grabs her helmet, knowing its camera is streaming live online and swings off across town! He lands outside The Coffee Bean and tries to advertise it live as they fight!

Meanwhile Harry is visited by the bailiff again, who says that he expected more from an Osborn! Harry goes mad at him, swiping with a broom! They spill out in front of Spidey vs. Screwball and Harry turns his attention to Spidey, attacking him! Suddenly Mary Jane turns up and everything stops. Her endorsement of The Coffee Bean, as a famous television star, is enough to bring the punters in once again!

General Comments

Unfortunately, I see little point to this. There’s an argument to say that Joe Caramagna’s story captures the spirit of Harry Osborn, breaking out on his own and taking on adversity, but let’s face it: when the adversity is a bailiff and he was last seen facing down Norman Osborn as the Iron Patriot, this is a bit too grounded. The only think of real note is Harry’s continuing, abhorrent reaction to Spider-Man.

Having Todd Nauck on art, means that the pages are busy. This is some of his best work in terms of careful detail and inks. The execution of the story is clear but there is obviously limited space so events and panels don’t feel as drawn out as they should.

Overall Rating

This adds very little to Harry’s character and is only a fair display of creative talent.