Writer: Kelly Sue Deconnick
Art: Emma Rios
Colors: Jose Villarrubia
Back Up: The Prime of Miss June Covington
Writer: Warren Ellis
Art: Jamie Mckelvie
Colors: Matt Wilson
Its Norman Osborn!?!
After the events of Siege (and if you haven’t read that, you have a lot of catching up to do), Norman Osborn, the former Green Goblin, and Iron patriot, is imprisoned at the Raft. Osborn has yet to be charged with any crime, and to avoid any chance of him getting off, three senators have him relocated to a crazy secret, underwater prison. The wing Osborn is in houses five other prisoners as well. We soon find out that a priest working the grounds is an avid Osborn supporter, who believes Osborn is the “messiah to [his] apocalyptic cult.” Osborn, the priest, and the other prisoners in the wing stage a breakout. Meanwhile, Norah Winters is working on a story about Osborn’s transfer, when she gets a note telling her to meet someone. The person plans to take Norah into a submarine for reasons not yet to be explained, thus ending issue two.
Wow is all I can say. There wasn’t much to write about plot wise, but man is this story a doozy. First off I have to talk about the art. Emma Rios is so good that I would read a comic about paint drying if it featured her as artist. Everything she does is incredible. I don’t usually notice inking, but her inking lends such fluidity to the pages, that I couldn’t help but be drawn into the story. Some fans (myself included) took some issue with her re design of Osborn’s hair, but that’s really such a small thing when compared to the beauty on the pages. Every persons hair has such detail as to highlight every individual strand of hair. The scene in issue two where the alarm is going off is a highlight for me.
Another great bit of art was the first two pages of issue one with Osborn watching the Spider. That seems like it will have major implications for the future, and even if it doesn’t, it was damn fine to look at. I also loved the design for the prison wing. Its circular and drawn to really show how claustrophobic it is. She also has a way for drawing faces, and making them look somewhat grotesque. That, amongst other small touches really help with the grimy mood of the story. I don’t think they could have gotten a better art style that lends itself so well to the story. Another thing I enjoyed was Rios Norah. With all the different artists Spidey has had since her introduction, its hard to pin point the Norah winters “look.” Well my personal favorite is Max Fiumara’s Norah, the most practical, for lack of a better term, would definitely be Rios version. Norah actually looks like a stressed reporter looking for the next big story, as opposed to a 22 year old girl you’d find at some indie record store on Sunset Blvd. Jose Villarrubia (and Matt Wilson for issue one) did a phenomenal job on the colors. They perfectly compliment the art. You cant ask for more from a colorist.
The back up in issue one about June Covington was my favorite part of the story, and it’s a shame it couldn’t be expanded upon. If she happens to survive the entire story, I wouldn’t mind seeing more of her again. The over all story seems to be going somewhere exciting. I honestly cant imagine what Osborn could hope to do on the outside world. If Thor or someone sees him, he’s going to have to face all the Avengers. A lot of times these stories can be highly predictable, and the fact that this is leaving me guessing is always a plus. The fact that’s its monthly (unlike other Spidey minis) doesn’t hurt either.
There is not much to nitpick, but I will do my best. Osborn seemed to escape too easily, but the full details have not been disclosed, so Ill withhold judgment on this aspect. I didn’t like how two of the five prisoners in Osborn’s wing are already dead. One of them, Carl Rives, was dead (I assume) before we the reader even got to meet him. Another one, Xirdal, was taken out much too quickly. That, and I thought Xirdal was a sea monster until it drowned and I went back and read that its an alien. Still, seems pointless to introduce characters like that just to kill them off so quickly. Another thing is I hope they have big plans for Norah. If not, than her story is just taking up needless room. Ill reserve judgment on that too, because it seems to be heading somewhere. The only other thing, and its probably just me, I like to be able to root for the main character, be they hero or villain, and I like Norman Osborn, but I just cant root for the guy who killed Gwen Stacy.
He killed Gwen. One of these days Ill have to get over that.
Overall: A solid two issues. A little light on story, but its holding my interest, and the art alone is worth the cover price. 4/5 webs