Osborn #5

Story by
Art by
Emma Rios, Becky Cloonan
Colors by
Jose Villarrubia
Letters by
Clayton Cowles
Cover by
Marvel Comics

This villain's mini wraps up to quite an effective conclusion, though possibly a smaller bang at the end than predicted. It's nice to see a Marvel mini capably conclude instead of flubbing the ball at the goal line. Kelly Sue DeConnick makes this entire series feel worthwhile and an immense amount of fun.

There are some excellent examples of prose throughout this issue, as there have been in the entire mini, and it's refreshing to read a comic that feels like it's written and not simply plotted. The lofty air of research and erudition permeates these pages, and not just because DeConnick drops some quotes. This issue is a great exit to the funhouse ride that has been Osborn's most recent adventure.

Her interpretation of Osborn is so effective because you like it as much as you find yourself equally wondering about the man while fearing him. If someone took Gene Wilder's Willy Wonka and dropped the sugar high, then this is where you would end up. It's disturbing and I could read tomes of it.

This conclusion summarizes events but also progresses them just that step further. It's a satisfying summary and final statement of the character, for now, that does not feel like an empty coda. There is actual change in this series, not just a reset button conclusion, and the opportunities for our previous Green Goblin now feel so fresh and extreme.

Rio and Cloonan mesh well together though you can feel a difference between the two. It doesn't distract, and the main event is always the toll taken on people. These characters don't look fresh, they weary under the struggle for survival. This isn't a 'pretty' comic in any simple sense of the term. This book has been pretty awesome and intricate, and that's so much more important when it comes to storytelling and emotional gristle on the page.

"Osborn" has been a quality outing from Marvel, though it could possibly have been shorter. The character of Osborn doesn't need a status quo reshuffle as much as he needs to be centered. He just appeared in a slew of comics across the "Dark Reign" banner, and now DeConnick has reminded us all of what his true voice is, and it is this job she does with the most value and vigor. It's nice to see such a saturated character become condensed by one creator and left in such a positive state. The Goblin is dead, long live Osborn.

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