Writer: Joe Kelly
Penciler: Stephen Segovia, Marco Checchetto, Paulo Siqueira and Amilton Santos
Inker: Stephen Segovia, Marco Checchetto, Paulo Siqueira and Amilton Santos
Story Title: “American Son Conclusion”
Father vs. Son. Norah escapes. Battle in the park. Harry becomes his own man. Epilogues.
You know, other than four major problems this was a pretty decent ending to American Son.
Except for those four problems, at least as far as the finale is concerned.
The first is that the dramatic tension of Harry vs. Norman was negated by the fact that I know that Norman is a main mover and shaker in Dark Reign. Harry wasn’t going to kill him and I was pretty sure that when it came down to it Harry would think of killing his father, get really close and then walk away. That doesn’t mean it was a bad moment. That doesn’t mean it was a bad fight. I even liked the call back to the conversation between Logan and Peter in the first part of this story, but I will admit that it didn’t hit me as hard as it could have if Norman was only appearing in this book.
I was also a tad disappointed that even at the end Peter wasn’t the main focus of the story. It was more about Harry and Norman. I’ve mentioned this in previous reviews and I was hoping that something would happen in this issue to change my mind but it didn’t happen. Peter played an integral part and he had some good moments but at the end of the day (or issue I guess) it wasn’t really a Spider-Man story. What started out as Peter trying to take Norman down ended with Peter sitting on the sidelines after only getting one or two shots in. If the point of the story was for Harry to man up then why spend all that time having Peter get his mad on for Norman? Now Norman will go back to Dark Reign, Peter will continue on his adventures and I am left wondering why we had so much lip service to Peter vs. Norman and were given very little of it.
My last major problem was the previously mentioned epilogue with Harry. Harry went on a true journey with this story. He started out one way and came out another. This is Creative Writing 101 type of stuff here and I was digging it because I like character progression. And then, after standing up to his father, walking out of Norman’s shadow and getting on with his life what is the first thing he does? Get a prescription for Oxycontin. Now I realize that we don’t see him take the drugs or even answer the doctor’s question and I also realize he’s got some medical issues to deal with but it seems disingenuous to both Harry as a character and to the reader to pull this out at the very end. It doesn’t make any sense and really bothered me.
Oh, and Harry not seeing who Spider-Man was kind of lame and a real cop out. That made very little sense to me too.
Other than those major quibbles I liked what this issue had to offer. The action was solid, Norah’s arc got a little more interesting and while I know it is going to end badly I continue to warm up to Jonah senior.
And thus American Son ends. It was a good ride. This was a real page turner of a story and had some great moments in it. There were some other moments that took the overall story down a peg or two and while the ending was decent it wasn’t as satisfying as I thought it would be. In a way I feel we were kind of misled. For several issues the writers seemed to be building to this ultimate showdown between Peter and Norman and through the course of the story it became something else. The title of the arc should have been a tip off but I was hoping against hope that there would have been more balance between the two major conflicts. Still and all this arc did serve to make me like Norah and Lily more than I did before and was a good lead in to issue 600.
Ah issue 600. Now I am really looking forward to that.
3 out of 5 webheads.