Review: Osborn #5

Published on May 2nd, 2011

Honestly, I’m not sure where to start when reviewing Osborn. But it’s my “job” and I’ll give it a shot. I’ve never been into anything tied into the Spider-Man mythos or any of its characters, so bear with me and forgive my overall ignorance. Admittedly, I am pretty stupid. Back to the comic!

The Osborn mini-series seemed like a really interesting idea: Norman Osborn got locked up after the events of Siege and was unlawfully, illegally, or any other synonymous term relating to that, placed into an underwater, supermax prison (the Special Containment Center) for the world’s most dangerous criminals and minds. A reporter for the Daily Bugle, named Norah Winters, heard rumors about a secret society/cult worshiping the Green Goblin/Osborn and trying to bust Norman out of the clink. Norah somehow lands herself at the SCC to do a story on Osborn, but things don’t go as planned. Long story short, Norman and a handful of other creepy and disturbed individuals (some with special abilities) end up starting a large-scale riot during which Norman and his “super friends” escape.

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During all of this there, are two government officials that took the steps to transfer Norman from The Raft to the SCC without any official trial or documentation. The officials double cross each other to cover their individual asses in case shit goes sideways while Osborn is incarcerated at the SCC. As I said, Norman does end up getting free and as for Norah Winters? Well, she doesn’t really remember much of the events she witnessed. And now, she’s being deposed in an official U.S. Senate hearing since she’s the only non-prisoner to survive the SCC event. Problem there is that the chairman of the hearing is one of the officials that sent Norman to the SCC in the first place. Norman knows that the government won’t say what really happened at the site of the prison because by doing so they’d be admitting that the place actually exists, thereby condemning themselves. The mini wraps up with Norman turning himself back in to the authorities and Norah Winters with no story of her experience at the SCC; however, she does now have a follow-up story as to why Osborn would turn himself back in. Why? Because he can. Because he thrives on proving to the world that he’s capable of anything and that he’ll do anything because he’s just that good.

The mini-series as a whole, I’d probably call luke-warm at best. Premise: very interesting. Character development: pretty good. Follow-through with the overall concept: meh. Art: …well, I’ll get to that in a minute. Following Norman Osborn’s character during the series was great. It always showed how arrogant, egomaniacal, sociopathic, and powerful he really is. A problem with the story arc is that midway the whole build-up with the Green Goblin cult was virtually abandoned, and that the last two-and-a-half issues became one long prison break.

And now the artwork. I know that a few people at Comic Impact dropped Osborn after the first issue or two because they couldn’t get past the “bad manga”-style. I will say, that I was more bothered by the fact that the art style didn’t ever seem to stay consistent. It’d shift from that manga look to a style that looked similar in tones and structure, but never totally flowed. Had the penciling stayed more even I would have probably liked the book more.

Sam Taylor
Sam@ComicImpact.com