Amazing Spider-Man Presents: American Son#1 review (with slideshow)

Back in the 70’s, when Marvel first published “Spectacular Spider-Man”, they jokingly informed the readers that they wouldn’t be diluting the waters by giving him as many spinoffs as Superman has. One example that they made was that they wouldn’t be giving Harry his own series. It’s 2010, and things have changed..

The Basics

Things aren’t going well for Harry Osborn. He’s struggling the keep the Coffee Bean afloat and the press at bay. Someone wearing an American Son costume, who may or may not be Harry, is out playing hero which only adds to Harry’s problems. The young Osborn also begins taking pills again. Plus, a fun backup story about the pressures of running a coffee shop.

What everyone is talking about

Gabriel Stacy returns and finally meets his brother Harry. Gabriel hasn’t been mentioned in years. While he’s not a popular character, his absence has been very noticeable since the Osborns have been running the world. It’s very glaring when Norman and Spider-Man mention things about Harry being Norman’s “only son”.

The Good

* Gabriel Stacy is finally being dealt with.

* Reed is actually doing something with the Watson/Osborn roomies situation.

* The backup story (written by Joe Caramagna and drawn by Todd Nauck) is actually fun.

* Harry is starting to feel like Harry again. When he was first brought back it felt more like the writers were copying what they had seen in the movies.

* Everytime Screwball is used, we get “hit you over the head” exposition about her motivation. This time it was alot more subtle.

* Todd Nauck drew the backup!

The Bad

* Harry and Mary Jane’s celebrity status varies for the purposes of the plot. Granted, all the books with them have this problem but it’s really apparent here. Harry is so famous that paparazzi follow him and he’s a household name…but nobody will come to his coffee shop. You would have thought that Mary Jane was Justin Bieber with the way people reacted to her in the backup, yet in every other story she walks the streets ignored. How famous are these people?

* More continuity errors in the recap page. Second time noticed in less than a month. Someone needs to start checking these stat. This time it says Harry’s “death” was in a building collapse. No.

* We’re told that the events of this mini-series tie into “Age of Heroes”. In fact, one of the major plot points is something that American Son does in “Age of Heroes”. It’s really annoying that the story for this mini-series can’t be self contained.

* Philippe Briones cannot draw eyes, especially for women. Look at Mary Jane and Norah’s eyes.

* I’m really not getting a consistant vibe from the Norah Winters character.

The Final Word

This isn’t “Kraven’s Last Hunt” by any means, but it’s a fun Spider-Man story. It’s also great to see how all this “Rise and Fall of Norman Osborn” stuff has been affecting Harry, a character who has gotten lost in all “The Gauntlet” madness. Pick it up!

3 out of 5 webheads. It loses a webhead for all the references to the stuff I’m missing in “Age of Heroes”.

The Slideshow

Check out the slideshow to see selected panels of the issue!

The Replacement

Due to the recent sex scandal and laundering accusations, Brad and I felt it was best if I stepped down as mini-series reviewer. Make way for Jon Wilson!

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