By Tim Stevens
Prison in the Marvel Universe gets much more dangerous beginning this November when its newest inmate takes center stage in OSBORN, a new limited series from writer Kelly Sue DeConnick and artist Emma Rios. The series finds Norman Osborn being transported to a facility for what might be charitably called the "worst of the worst" and quickly finding like-minded individuals to join forces with.
"Osborn has a posse; five of the baddest, meanest, deadliest, most dangerous, most ruthless villains in the world," explains editor Alejandro Arbona. "These are bad guys too bad to throw in Ryker's Island maximum security penitentiary; too dangerous to lock up in the Raft or the Slab. These are people so dangerous-'people' isn't even an accurate description-that a new prison had to be built just for them.
Given how Osborn ended up in prison, it may not be surprising that the story revolves around questions of power and the seemingly inevitable abuses that come with it. However, readers should not expect that only Osborn will be guilty of that crime.
"Norman Osborn sees what happens when the people in power go too far," reveals Arbona. "That doesn't just apply to [Osborn], who's imprisoned for his abuses of power; he sees it play out among his fellow prisoners, and from his captors."
However, Osborn remains unconvinced that he has done anything wrong.
"Osborn is defiant to the end," the editor declares. "In his mind, he was never wrong for doing the things he's been thrown in prison for doing, and
|OSBORN #1 cover|
Arbona further hints that the former head of H.A.M.M.E.R. may make persuasive enough arguments that readers themselves could find themselves uncomfortably aligned with Osborn's point of view:
"Is Osborn right? Is the injustice of his imprisonment too unfair even for Osborn?"
With those questions in mind, the story becomes an exploration of how thin the line between good and evil can really be.
"It's a hardboiled prison serial, about the oppressed fighting their oppressors-even if the oppressed in this case are six of the most dangerous super villains in the world."
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