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Appearing in "Citizen Osborn"

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Synopsis for "Citizen Osborn"

The Green Goblin flies across the city and hovers outside the Parker home. After a few moments, he begins to laugh and flies away. This is all a nightmare had by Mary Jane, who wakes up from the dream in a panic. Although she can't remember what the nightmare is about it still frightened her very badly and wishes her husband, Peter Parker, was home to comfort her.[Continuity 1] She becomes upset when she thinks that she always takes a back-seat to his responsibilities as Spider-Man. That's when the phone begins to ring. Hoping it's Peter, Mary Jane is disappointed by Betty Brant. However, what Betty tells her over the phone is a complete shock to her.

Meanwhile, at the apartment of Ashley Kafka, Spider-Man has tied up John Jameson who has been convinced into thinking he is the Man-Wolf again after a botched session of hypnotherapy. With John restrained, Ashley begins trying to work to repair the damage she has caused. Unfortunately, she ends up making things worse as she ends up causing a full-on transformation into the Man-Wolf. Breaking free from his bonds, the Man-Wolf tries to attack Kafka, but Spider-Man gets between them. While Spider-Man works to restrain the Man-Wolf, Ashley continues to try to reach out of him. Eventually, she gets through, making John to face his demons, forcing a reversion back into being a human in both mind and body. Meanwhile, Norman Osborn has returned to his company to reclaim his office, much to the shock of his widowed daughter-in-law, Liz Osborn, who wishes Norman could just stay dead.[Continuity 2] Norman warns her to watch her tone with him, prompting Liz to admit that seeing Norman alive has come as a shock to him. Norman uses this as an opportunity to put on an emotional display where he wishes it was he who was dead, instead of his son Harry.[Continuity 3] Still, Norman is glad that Harry sired a son, Normie, so that the Osborn Legacy can continue. Hearing this, Liz refuses to allow Norman any opportunity to get near or corrupt her son. Norman admits that he wants no harm to go to the boy, but warns her that if he can't have Normie, then nobody will.

Elsewhere, Flash Thompson is in a busy emergency room following a car accident. He is visited by his sister, Jessie, who wants to know how drunk Flash was when he got in a wreck. When she asks how drunk he was, Flash tries to put blame on the kid who ran across the street. Since their father had a problem with driving under the influence of alcohol and she doesn't want to hear Flash making the same excuses. As Jessie turns to leave, Eugene breaks down and begs her to come back. She gives in and promises to be there for Flash. However, before they can leave the hospital an officer enters the room and puts Flash under arrest for impaired driving. While at the Kravinoff estate, Kraven the Hunter's tranquility is interrupted by the arrival of Calypso. Thinking this to be the original Kraven the Hunter, Calypso has followed him back to his home from the cemetery where he previously blew her off.[Continuity 4] Kraven allows the pair to give in to their carnal desires. Afterward, Calypso admits that she is glad that Kraven is back. However, the mood suddenly changes when Kraven begins to laugh and painfully yanks on her hair. Asking what is so funny, Calypso learns that this is not her beloved Sergei, but his son. He clarifies that he is not Vladimir, the late Grim Hunter, but yet another son, telling her that his father has had many children from different lovers.[Continuity 5] Calypso is furious that the young man would deceive her like so. When she tries to attack, Kraven summons his loyal beasts to defend him. Realizing that she is out of her depth, Calypso retreats but vows to get revenge.

Back in Queens, the news that Norman Osborn has bought the Daily Bugle has come as a shock to her. Going through old photo albums, Mary Jane thinks about how all of her friends were struggling with their own demons. Peter was still struggling with the death of his Uncle Ben and the responsibilities of being Spider-Man.[Continuity 6] Mary Jane was also struggling with her own family problems, while Harry Osborn was dealing with being raised by his father, a total monster.[Continuity 7] The only well-adjusted person in their group back in those days was Gwen Stacy, and she was ultimately destroyed by Norman Osborn.[Continuity 8] She thinks about how things all changed when Gwen died, and how Harry ended up following his own path into madness and ultimately his own destruction. Realizing how grim she sounds, Mary Jane tries to remember that there have been happy times in all these years as well and not to let Norman Osborn's darkness swallow them all.[Continuity 9]

Two Weeks Later

Norman Osborn has organized a huge gala to announce the re-opening of the Osborn Foundation, the charitable organization that was started by his son, Harry, before his death.[Continuity 10] During a press conference, one of the reporters asks for an explanation for reports of his death. Osborn explains that he did not die but went into hiding, accusing Spider-Man for the reason his life was in danger. When asked why he chose now to come back, Norman explains that between the death of his son Harry, his wife Liz taking over the family company, Ben Urich's damning book on the Osborn Legacy, and the recent attack on the Daily Bugle by a madman claiming to be him, Norman could no longer stay hidden.[Continuity 11] He says the person who supported this decision the most was his friend, J. Jonah Jameson. Calling a reluctant Jameson up to the stage, Norman goes on to tell the press and that he and Jonah have now become co-owners of the Daily Bugle. Between the newspaper and his charity, Norman intends to use his resource to make the world a better place.

Among those in the audience are Joe Robertson, his wife Martha, Ashley Kafka, Peter Parker and his wife Mary Jane. None can believe what is going on and believe that Jonah has just made a deal with the devil. Joe is surprised to see Peter here, as Norman being back must be opening old wounds. Peter explains that sometimes you need to look a monster right in the eyes. That's when Osborn spots Peter and draws the press to Parker's attention. Putting on a false sense of pride, he tells everyone how Peter was friends with his son Harry and how much he has changed since then. Rubbing salt in the wound, Norman recalls how Gwen Stacy was murdered by the Green Goblin and swears to Peter that he will use all his resources to bring Gwen's killer to justice. Before he can lose his temper, Peter is pulled aside by Joe Robertson and tells the young man that he needs to calm down. Norman then continues on, spinning more lies to distance himself from the Green Goblin. Peter's anger continues to boil, but Joe reminds Peter that if they attack Norman without any proof they'll make themselves criminals in the eyes of the law. Not far away from this, John Jameson and Ashley Kafka question why John's father, J. Jonah Jameson, would agree to work with Norman Osborn. Jonah can't give an explanation but tells his son that he did what he had to in order to protect his family.

Meanwhile, Flash Thompson returns home to discover his apartment is a total mess. Since the car accident, he has been fired from his job and the fines for driving under the influence has wiped out his bank account. Even more annoying, his sister Jessie has insisted that Flash join Alcoholics Anonymous. As he reaches into the fridge for a can of beer, he thinks how he can solve his problems on his own. Realizing that he is about to start drinking again, Flash decides that he can't help himself and trashes his apartment. After he is done, he looks at himself in the mirror and sees the reflection of his father looking back at him. In doing so, Thompson decides that it is might be about time that he pay his father a visit. While at the Kravinoff estate, Alexi Kravinoff trains by fighting his pets. Fighting off a lion, tiger, and gorilla with his bare hands he feels that he can now rest as he has a great challenge ahead of him in the future. Spotting a spider crawling along the wall, Kraven swats the creature. Back at the Osborn Mansion, Norman takes some time to talk to his grandson Normie. Made uncomfortable by this, Liz tries to tell Norman that she needs to get her son home. Norman insists that the boy sit and have dinner with him and walks off with the boy. Noticing how tense Liz is, her boyfriend Foggy Nelson tries to get her to talk about what's wrong but she won't say anything. Disgusted with how Norman is manipulating people, Mary Jane tries to convince Liz to do something. Growing angry, Liz tells Mary Jane to stop dictating how she should raise her son and storms off. When Peter sees if his wife is okay, they both notice that Norman is making them turn against each other.

The Parkers have had enough and they decide to return home. On the cab ride into Queens, Mary Jane decides that they shouldn't run away from this like they did when they were dealing with the Jackal and Ben Reilly. Peter agrees, mostly because he doubts there is anywhere they can run in order to get away from Norman Osborn.[Continuity 12] When they arrive home, they discover Mary Jane's Aunt Anna in a panic as someone has broken into and trashed their home. Shocked, Peter rushes into the house to look for clues as to who is responsible. In the bedroom, Peter finds his Spider-Man costume intact. Looking among the rubble he discovers a Green Goblin action figure holding a small sign that reads "Gotcha!". Furious, Peter decides that it is time to deal with Norman face-to-face. Spider-Man ambushes Norman Osborn in his penthouse apartment. As he beats his foe and tosses him around the room, the wall-crawler tells him that Norman will not interfere with his life anymore, that there will be no more victims, and orders Osborn to leave the country once more.

At that moment, Flash Thompson has returned to his family home where he attacks his father and demands that he answer for the years of alcoholism and abuse that he put his family through over the years. When he has Harrison Thompson at his mercy, Flash is suddenly horrified by what he has done. What's worse, he feels even more shame and guilty when his mother -- Rosie -- enters the room and demands to know why Eugene would attack his father. Unable to provide any answers, Flash walks out of the house. Back at the Osborn penthouse, Norman is amused that Spider-Man has attacked him like this, as it proves that under the veneer of a hero there is a savage just as destructive as he is. Norman then reveals that he had recorded the entire attack so he can use the footage to show the world and turn society against the wall-crawler. That's when Norman's security team comes crashing in forcing the wall-crawler to leave. As he swings away, Spider-Man realizes that he allowed himself to fall into this trap. Thinking of all of Norman Osborn's manipulations, all the lives he destroyed, Spider-Man begins to wonder how he will ever be able to stop Norman Osborn this time.


Continuity Notes

  1. Peter and Mary Jane are referred to as husband and wife here. However, years later, their marriage is erased from existence by Mephisto in Amazing Spider-Man #545. As such they should be considered a common-law couple here.
  2. At the time of this story, everyone believed that Norman Osborn is dead following a battle against Spider-Man in Amazing Spider-Man #122. His survival is explained in Osborne Journals #1. Everyone became aware that he was still alive in Spider-Man #75.
  3. At the time of this story, everyone thinks that Harry Osborn is dead following the events of Spectacular Spider-Man #200. However, unknown to everyone at the time, Harry survived as explained in Amazing Spider-Man #581. He will resurface again in Amazing Spider-Man #545. Norman is directly involved in this deception and his claiming that Harry is dead is all part of maintaining this ruse.
  4. Sergei Kravinoff committed suicide after the Kraven's Last Hunt story arc.
    Kraven's Last Hunt
    Web of Spider-Man #31 Amazing Spider-Man #293 Peter Parker, The Spectacular Spider-Man #131 Web of Spider-Man #32 Amazing Spider-Man #294 Peter Parker, The Spectacular Spider-Man #132

  5. Vladimir first appeared in Spider-Man #47. The Grim Hunter was murdered by Kaine in Spider-Man #55. His assertion that Kraven has had many children is very true. Other children include a sister Anastasia (first seen Amazing Spider-Man #565) and a half-brother Ned Tannengarden (first seen Spider-Man: Get Kraven #2)
  6. Peter's Uncle Ben was murdered in Amazing Fantasy #15.
  7. Mary Jane and Harry's troubled childhoods were documented in Amazing Spider-Man #259 and Amazing Spider-Man #40 respectively.
  8. The Green Goblin murdered Gwen Stacy in Amazing Spider-Man #121.
  9. Mary Jane doesn't specify how many years has passed since between the death of Gwen Stacy and this story. Per the Sliding Timescale it has been almost seven years.
  10. Harry Osborn first formed the Osborn Foundation in Spectacular Spider-Man #200.
  11. Ben Urich wrote a book revealing that Norman Osborn was the Green Goblin, something that was, until then, not known by the general public. That happened in Spider-Man: Legacy of Evil #1.
  12. The "insanity" with the Jackal and Ben Reilly is a reference to the very convoluted Clone Saga.

Chronology Notes

Events in this story occur behind the scenes that affects the chronology of the following characters:

  1. Spider-Man:
  2. Mary Jane Watson-Parker:

Publication Notes

  • Gatefold cover with art by John Romita with a slightly different image compared to the front cover by Romita Jr. and Hanna.

See Also

Links and References


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