Amazing Spider-Man: Rising Son

Brian Reed chronicles the next chapter in the life of Harry Osborn in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN PRESENTS: AMERICAN SON

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By Jim Beard

In the aftermath of Siege, its one Osborn down-one Osborn to go?

Web-spinning its way out of the pages of AMAZING SPIDER-MAN, the latest strand in the story of Harry Osborn spools out in May 12's AMAZING SPIDER-MAN PRESENTS: AMERICAN SON #1.

You may remember the high hopes Norman Osborn held in his cold, shriveled heart for his son, Harry. That he'd follow in the old man's footsteps and take a place at his side as the armored hero American Son. Now, after his father's fall, Harry's moving on-or maybe not.

"AMERICAN SON is first and foremost the story of Harry Osborn trying to make something of himself," explains writer Brian Reed. "Things start the morning after Norman Osborn loses power. Harry is assailed by paparazzi as he becomes the scandal of the moment; he's Norman's son, maybe

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN PRESENTS: AMERICAN SON #1 cover by Marko Djurdjevic
the father of Lily's baby, obviously living with Mary Jane and now there's suspicion-from the FBI no less-that he might be playing super hero in the American Son armor his father made for him.

"Meanwhile, he's just a guy trying to get through life. He has no money, has distanced himself from his friends, and has fallen back into drug abuse."

Harry, never possessing the sunniest of dispositions, maintains a particularly dark view of the world as the four-issue limited series opens. Forever linked to his infamous father, what else would you expect?

"Harry hates that the world only sees him as Norman Osborn's son," says Reed. "He's popping pills, working too many hours, and trying desperately to show that he can be/do good. When he's first approached about the possibility that he's the guy in the [American Son] armor, he's not amused."

Enter another infamous denizen of the Marvel Universe: Gabriel Stacy, last seen years ago in the "Sins Past" saga. To say this may cause complications for Harry would be something of an understatement, considering his pedigree.

"Gabriel is Norman's other son, and he believes Harry has always taken all of the love Norman could be giving him," Reed notes. "So in order to get daddy to love him more, he's going to kill Harry Osborn."

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN PRESENTS: AMERICAN SON #2 cover by Marko Djurdjevic
Flying in and around this arrangement, the seemingly-new American Son also creates his-or her-own brand of chaos for our players. Reed cautions readers against drawing conclusions: this armored individual's not your typical super hero.

"American Son is what happens when someone gets hold of near-Iron Man level of armor and doesn't play nice," he says. "He's a bit too rough with the bad guys, and definitely a shoot-first-ask-questions-later-type of guy."

And what would AMAZING SPIDER-MAN PRESENTS: AMERICAN SON be without that wall-crawling webbed wonder himself, Spider-Man? Reed knows full well that where there's Harry Osborn, Peter Parker and his friendly neighborhood alter-ego can't be swinging too far behind.

"The approach of this story was really that it would be the fourth week of AMAZING SPIDER-MAN, but told from Harry's point of view," he points out. "In the first issue, Spidey shows up to talk to Harry, and see if he can help. As the story goes on he becomes more involved in the super heroic action of American Son."

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