Norman Osborn is banding together with bad guy groups like Hydra and AIM to take down the Avengers. So far he has them on the ropes. The public are turning against them and he has trapped them. Now, there's just to find out the next step in his plan...
|Executive Producer:||Alan Fine|
|Chief Creative Officer:||Joe Quesada|
|Editor In Chief:||Axel Alonso|
|Associate Editor:||Lauren Sankovitch|
|Lettering:||VC's Cory Petit|
The issue starts in a shadowy government meeting with the President. The President is advised that Norman is extreme threat and that they will need to negotiate with him. The scene then cuts to Cap chained to a chair and being up by Madame Hydra for a couple of pages. Madame Hydra reveals that they are being kept alive so that Norman can have them trialed and convicted for their 'war crimes'.
In another place, Iron Man is captured and a bunch of scientists are trying to forcibly remove his armor. Because the armor is literally part of him now, Iron Man is dying as a result. Spider-woman is shown caged somewhere, while a comatose Red Hulk has some mini-scientists trying to obtain a tissue sample with no success.
Things aren't looking too good for the Avengers, but then we cut to Agent Daisy Johnston who finds a lead on the Avengers location.
The last scene shows the Vision returning to the mansion only to find Norman on the front lawn inciting the crowd and telling them the Avengers need to be held accountable. Norman lets the Vision try to arrest him and makes the Vision look bad. Then Norman seems to activate something that freezes up the Vision. Norman then throws the Vision through the front door of the mansion and declares to the world that it's time for change. Finally, the last two panels return to the government scene from the beginning and the President admitting that it's time to reach out to Norman and broker a deal.
This issue returns to the themes and plot that I found so enjoyable at the beginning of this story line. There is still some action, but the element of Norman attacking the Avenger's public popularity return to great effect.
Some important plot details are revealed that help make sense of Norman's motivations. The reason for Norman keeping the Avengers alive makes sense and fits in with Norman's desire to manipulate the public into seeing him as the hero, while shaming the Avengers. Once upon a time Norman wasn't all evil and had a split personality. One was the evil Green Goblin and the other was the kind businessman Norman Osborn, with the Osborn identity knowing nothing of the Goblin. Things have blurred since then and Norman has become all evil. Maybe this desire to at least be seen as a hero by the public is an echo of his formerly split personality?
The art by Guedes is stronger this issue, though some of the faces seem constipated or other strange expressions with too many thick black lines.
A good issue, returning to more intricate and interesting story telling.