Review: ASM Presents American Son #1

Published on May 23rd, 2010

One of my favorite storylines from last year was ‘American Son’ in the Spider-Man comics by Joe Kelly, and a few months back I saw that there was limited series called American Son coming out too.

I was thinking to myself “Wow, I can’t wait to read this”, and this past Wednesday, guess what hit comic book stores?First off, I was bit sad to see that Joe Kelly was not working on it, and to see that we get Brian Reed (Ms.Marvel) on it, was a bit of a let down. I told myself this is not the end of the world. So I am sure you’re waiting to hear what I have to say about American Son #1.

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Well, this starts up some time after the end Siege #4 (last weeks PICK OF THE WEEK) and the Osborn family. I love that we get a storyline about the end of Norman’s empire, told from Harry’s side of the Marvel Universe.

The comic starts off with someone stealing the American Son armor from one of Norman’s decommissioned labs, and Harry becomes the main suspect. At the same time he is still running his Coffee shop on the East Village in New York. Then one night on 125th Street, a bus is taken over by some new bad guys and who comes to the rescue of the people of New York City? That’s right, the American Son, and this part of the story is where we’re not sure who is in the armor.

The next day, one of Peter Parker’s friend that works at the newspaper, stops to talk to Harry about the return of American Son, and at the same time Harry is obviously not acting like himself. We find out that he is on some sort of drugs to keep him calm, and we also see a group people spying on him and his roommate M.J (that’s right Mary Jane Watson is his roommate). She says Harry’s not acting like himself, and what does she do? She calls her Friendly neighbourhood pal, Peter Parker. As he is Harry’s best friend, and also Spider-Man.

We also find out that an ex H.A.M.M.E.R agent is after Harry because Norman used of one of the agents friends as a lab rat in the American Son project. See, and this is where I have issues with this book, as if you don’t know the backstory with the American Son storyline, or if you don’t know all the baggage about the Osborn family, then this book for sure has more required reading to fully understand the intricacies of this story, which may be lost on a fan who is just looking for a Spider-Man book to read.

I enjoyed parts of it becuse I’ve been a Spider-Man fanboy for over 26 years now, but as someone who just wants a new comic to read well, you’re fucked. The issue ends with Spider-Man showing up and trying to talk to Harry, but he won’t have any of it. There is also a great character revealed at the end of the issue, that makes me want to come back for part 2.

The art this time around is by Phillipe Briones, who I am not a fan of so far. I miss Phil Jimenez and the rest of the art team that was on the Amazing Spider-Man ‘American Son’ storyline. While I found this issue to be an enjoyable read, to fully appreciate it, it requires a large knowledge of the Osborn’s family history and Spider-Man. That may discourage new readers from picking this up.

Simon Daoudi
Simon@comicimpact.com