Peter Parker and Harry Osborn spend some quality time at Central Park, with Harry deciding to go talk to a couple of nearby women. Harry starts by telling them that Pete's painfully shy, forcing Peter to introduce himself and come up with a pickup line that turns the two off. He then misleads them into thinking he lost a bet with Peter just now, and they really are shallow, inclining the girls to give them their numbers.
Peter inquires to why Harry's so happy, considering the past two months that he's been having such problems. Harry states that that period of darkness was all in the past, he wasn't him himself and now he's taking life on life's terms one day at a time. Just then the Avenger's Jet flies overhead, and Harry says to let his father have the skies with his Avengers: We'll do just fine here in the real world.
Afterward Peter bursts into the Offices of Front Line, demanding who will be with him in destroying Osborn's good name. Ben Urich asks what Peter could have against Osborn; He replies that his jail term is commuted under sealed executive order so as to run the Thunderbolts, his promotion to head of H.A.M.M.E.R. without oversight by the Senate or Congress and how he hijacked the Avengers, setting up shop in New York for all to see, not to mention the countless acts committed as the Green Goblin.
Ben Urich reminds him the golden rule is "proof before print." Osborn's records are sealed, the Thunderbolts protected by both the Patriot and Superhuman Registration Acts; Osborn's in power because the people gave it to him. Peter calls him scared, to which Ben states that if he does find legitimate evidence that he'll print it with his own blood. Norah Winters thinks Peter overreacted about Osborn, which piques her curiosity on the subject.
Spidey sits atop a building with Wolverine, discussing how he plans to break into Avengers Tower and stop Osborn once and for all. Logan reminds him that they've gone that route already with more muscle, however Peter feels responsible for it all. He had a chance to kill him more than once, to which Logan asks whether he wants the man out of power or dead. Peter can't think of an answer just yet, and Logan assures him that the best way to fight men like Osborn is with patience every time. However the last thing Logan tells him is that if and when Norman does slip up, to end it, permanently. Spider-Man agrees.
At Gracie Mansion Harry, Peter and Jonah are all preparing for Aunt May's big wedding to Jay Jameson Sr. After some choice remarks from Peter about the two being family now, Jameson takes him aside to tell him his disgust about the wedding. Peter tells Jonah that despite their seething dislike for each other, the couple is pretty happy, and that's all that matters. The butler informs Jonah that the final guest has arrived, none other than Norman Osborn himself.
The entire dinner table wants Norman gone (except for Jonah who invited him,) and May tells Jay that she's feeling under the weather, but Jonah insists the two stay. Norman says its fine considering his past with May might make her feel uncomfortable, however Jay remarks that its really because Norman's a thug that hides behind the American flag (to Peter's delight.) Norman says Jay's disdain does not surprise him considering the elder was honorably discharged. Harry demands to know why Norman came, and he reveals that he only came to see his son. He wants Harry to work for the Avengers and to give him a chance to prove its a New Day. Harry laughs at his father's offer, departing shortly after with a grin on his face. At his apartment he is confronted by Lily Hollister dressed up as Menace, attacking him due to the Goblin serum. She reveals something that shocks Harry but cannot be seen.
When Norman Osborn discusses his son with Ms. Hand in his limousine the roof is ripped off by a web, and Norman is carried away by Spider-Man. Norman expresses disappointment that he missed exactly when Spider-Man went insane. Spidey throws him clear into a statue, resolving that now isn't the time to talk since talking doesn't work with him. He tried that. He proceeds to beat him, stating that the family business is closed. Harry Osborn is no longer his son and as far as Norman's concerned he does not exist (all the while he knocks Norman around New York.) Norman warns Spidey that he can do whatever he wants, and surprisingly answers his phone before Spidey can end their fight permanently. The man on the phone is Harry, who just accepted his offer to work for the Avengers. Norman laughs maniacally as Spider-Man storms off, enraged.
The last panel shows Harry and a pregnant Lily, stating that he'll build his father's trust, and protect their family, their son, by whatever it takes.
On television Norman is seen alongside Dark Spider-Man and the rest of his Dark Avengers, proudly accepting Harry into their ranks. Peter demands to know why Harry's making such a crazy decision, asking exactly what Norman's blackmailing him with. Harry states his feelings towards his father haven't changed and "It is what it is," but Peter asks if that's what he'll say once he starts using again. Before Harry can retort out of anger Peter tells him to look him in the eye and truly say that his sobriety won't be jeopardized, because Norman destroys everything he touches. Harry tells him he's a good friend, but he needs to stay out of his family's business and trust him to save everyone.
Spider-Man web-slings across New York, oblivious to a nearby burning building, trying to let go of his thoughts about Harry joining Norman. He also tries to unsuccessfully forget that Harry wore his Green Goblin costume only a few months ago. Just then he finally notices the fire and jumps in to help.
Meanwhile Norman shows Harry the schematics to Avengers Tower, calling it his playground but reminds him that there are some things about both H.A.M.M.E.R. and the Avengers that he's not privy to yet. That day will come, but today he needs to only mark his territory and set up his apartment there, considering he's "essential personnel." When Harry inquires where Lily is, Norman says she's not there and she's not interested in the Avengers. After the two enter the elevator Norah Winters flirts with an employee, who just happens to see Osborn once a day; Norah says they're going to be special friends.
At Forest Hills, Aunt May and Jameson Sr. talk to Peter about Harry, with May stating its Harry's mistake to make. When she leaves the room Jameson Sr. tells Peter that he did actually go AWOL. Jay was in Korea, and had a pregnant wife at home, but not even the U.S. army could keep him from seeing her when he was needed. Jay's wife died just after Jameson Jr. was born due to complications, and of course he was labeled AWOL but he wouldn't have had it any other way considering he got to see her one last time. He leaves Peter saying to follow his gut because forever is a long time to regret a mistake.
In Avengers Tower, Harry has to be inoculated by a medical employee, because there are certain pathogens at risk in the building. While this happens Lily watches from a monitor somewhere in the tower, happy he made it. Peter visits Gwen Stacy's grave for advice before he heads to the Tower. Norah spots him with two coffees and reveals that she's going undercover into Osborn's operations. Peter warns her that its dangerous but realizes that "a job in the Avengers" is genius. Norah shrugs off his pleads and plans to proceed with her story, storming off.
A civilian points out the Avengers are here including Hawkeye and "the real Spider-Man", angering Peter. Later that night at King's Point, Gargan tells a hooker that she smells good when she asks for drugs. When he pulls out some cash she decides to sit with him, and all the while Gargan admires her smell until he states the smell is bone marrow. Gargan becomes Venom, proclaiming how great it feels to stretch and not have his body disguised telling the woman how she's helping them. Hawkeye stands nearby amusing himself by killing mice with coins. Before Venom can devour her brains, Spider-Man attacks him using a Brown Noise Generator, and despite Venom's screams for Hawkeye to help him Invisible Woman contains him with a force field, blocking out the noise. Spidey throws him into a holding cell and Invisible Woman gives him a black costume designed by Reed. Susan doesn't try to talk Peter out of what he's going to do, but assures him that Reed's inventions always work.
Harry manages to disable the camera watching him using a remote device, hoping he gets to Lily's room in time. Hawkeye arrives with Venom (Peter in disguise.) Daken notices the smell of blood on Venom (Peter), which doesn't surprise anyone there. Norman then demands them to be silent as he begins to reveal the project planned for Harry, his "American Son."
At Avengers Tower, Norman leads the team to a guarded room which needs to be unlocked by sampling Osborn's blood. Osborn states that the public or sheep have asked him for heroes, so he created his own Avengers, however he still hasn't given them the right one yet. The public needs a homegrown red white and blue hero, an "American Son." Norman's Son. The group is shown a set of red, white and blue armor based off Tony Stark's technology.
While the Iron Patriot represents America's strength it does not symbolize its heart as Captain America did. The current Captain America isn't a team player, so Norman decided they're going to make their own. He then releases a test subject that has been horribly disfigured by chemical treatments (as Osborn states the Super-Soldier Serum "doesn't play nice with Goblin Juice") and it lunges at Osborn. Peter stops the beast before it can do harm, asking Osborn how he can do this to his son. He says the monsters have bred miracles and the formula is finally stabilized. Once Harry's properly motivated he will rise to the challenge.
Elsewhere in the tower Harry prepares to break into Norman's office, armed with an electric glove, to find a cure for the Goblin Formula. Before he can act a pair of yellow eyes appear behind him and a hand drags him into the shadows.
At Forest Hills Aunt May stays up long into the night planning for the wedding, and Jay asks if he can help her "relax." May wants to continue her work but a power outage proves otherwise. Just outside their home an Ock-Bot can be seen from a nearby lamppost. These bots are shown in many different areas around New York. A final panel shows tentacles, with Octavius' reflection from a group of monitors watching the city. Otto contemplates doing something either terrible or great, eventually deciding great...
Lily kisses Harry somewhere atop the Avengers Tower asking how he broke in. Harry kept the old tech-scrambling gadgets and weapons from his criminal career, but never knew they'd come in handy. Lily expresses concern about what'll happen once Norman finds out what he's done but Harry assures her he'll handle him. He tells her that he can cure her, which will solve their problems since the only reason Norman wants her is Menace. He's certain his father has some kind of cure lying around to neutralize people like her, and when she's cured the three of them (including their son) can run away: He'll cure her or die trying. Lily gives him a security card that allows access to the more restricted levels of the building. She mentions level 25 would be a good start so to hurry because whatever is happening to her could be affecting the baby.
Norman asks Gargan (Peter) to patrol Level 25, since he wants to test the new facility. While in the elevator Spidey worries what could happen if Harry actually wants the job with Norman. Without warning as the elevator door opens he's suddenly attacked by Daken, Norman's new Wolverine.
Daken informs him that his smell tipped him off, because he's "too clean" to be Gargan. Spidey maneuvers out of the elevator and fires globs of webbing, which miss leaving him wide open since he can't see where he went; the mutant's just as fast as his father. Daken slashes Spidey in the back, making him wonder why he can't fight properly. He reveals that he's releasing pheromones which distort the wallcrawler's visual acuity & depth perception. Spidey web-zips upward to escape but crashes into an electric generator.
Peter can't believe he can't tag this "slimy wolverine wannabe," but the pheromones are overwhelming, and Daken proceeds to beat him without his claws, letting his guard down. Spider-Man remembers his last fight with the new Vulture, leaving the fight up to his spider-sense by closing his eyes and focusing. Taunting his opponent Spidey immediately gains the advantage, zoning out the pheromones and pummeling Daken, incapacitating him by throwing him into the electric generator.
Harry walks in asking what Spider-Man's doing there, and he replies that he needs to find a place to stash Daken. Harry warns him to escape but before Spidey can tell Harry about Norman's project he bursts into the room alongside Ms. Marvel and Hawkeye. "Venom" tells Norman that his other sensed movement in the ducts, and that Daken took Harry from his bed. Norman asks Harry if this is true, and he surprisingly tells him it isn't, stating that that's not "his Spider-Man." Peter is shot in both legs by Hawkeye immediately after.
It turns out Norman knew that Spider-Man was disguised as Gargan the second he entered the building. Spider-Man tells Harry once more not to buy what his father's selling, so Norman brutally hits him stating that Harry is his. Hawkeye asks if Osborn will just let him escape again, but he actually has a different plan this time. Norman proceeds to shoot Peter point blank in the head.
In Avengers Tower, Harry looks out the window when his father (in a blood stained shirt) tells him how he's finally proud of him for turning against Spider-Man. Norman reveals his plans for Harry to be the American Son, assuring him that arrangements will be made to see Lily and that Spider-Man will not live.
Spider-Man managed to survive the head-shot thanks to the unstable molecules comprising his mask, however this does not save him from being tortured by Norman's machines. Hawkeye has already tried acid, lasers, sonics and of course ballistic trauma, but he has yet to make progress removing the mask.
- Amazing Spider-Man #595
- Amazing Spider-Man #596
- Amazing Spider-Man #597
- Amazing Spider-Man #598
- Amazing Spider-Man #599
Links and References