Dark Reign: The List - Amazing Spider-Man #1: Review

Nov 2009
Dan Slott, Adam Kubert

Story Name:

The last name

Review & Comments

4 stars

Dark Reign: The List - Amazing Spider-Man #1 Review by (June 19, 2018)
This is the last of the 8 1-shots labelled Dark Reign: The List, covering 8 targets Norman Osborn wanted eliminated.

Norman Osborn used to know Spider-Man's secret identity, but then so did everyone else after he unmasked in Civil War. But then everyone was made to forget they knew during Brand New Day. It wasn't a result of the deal with Mephisto in One More Day, which merely saved Aunt May's life and de-married the Peter and Mary Jane. Amazing SM #641 will reveal that Reed Richards, Stephen Strange and Tony Stark made it happen a short while later.

The Prometheus X-90 affair referred to here happened before Secret Invasion and Dark Reign. During DR Spidey mainly opposed NO as part of the New Avengers, until the American Son storyline in ASM#595-599, and now this issue.

NO arrives here with Victoria Hand from overseeing his Dark X-Men in their mini-series.
SM was last in ASM #608-611 (Who Was Ben Reilly?) and Peter Parker #1-4 (The Private Life of PP). His cast Harry Osborn, Robbie Robertson, Ben Urich and Norah Winters appeared in various of those issues.

At the end of the issue Peter Parker congratulates himself on being the cause of the downfall of Norman Osborn's Dark Reign. But this isn't why DR ends (see some little thing called Siege). And as far as I know this video isn't mentioned again in Spider-Man's own comics. But it does get referenced in Mighty Avengers #32. It's probably 1 of those news items that's big for a few days then forgotten about once the next big thing hits - maybe Siege?

Spidey and his cast will continue into further issues of ASM, starting with #612-614 the 1st arc of The Gauntlet pitting SM against old foes, in this case Electro.
Meanwhile NO and VH move on to Mighty Avengers #32-33.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Dark Reign: The List - Amazing Spider-Man #1 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
Spider-Man swings through town wondering how on Earth Norman Osborn, the Green Goblin, got into power. And as usual he blames himself - he didn't do enough to stop him.

He goes to work as Peter Parker at Front Line where he has a conference with Ben Urich, Robbie Robertson and Norah Winters about tackling Osborn. There are angles that Norman has successfully blocked off. He's officially psychologically cured of being the Goblin. His control of law enforcement means that he can hide evidence of most of his criminal activities. He was experimenting with Prometheus X-90 on immigrants but the evidence for that got buried in a collapsed building in Amazing SM #573, the illegal immigrants won't testify and anyway Norman blamed his son Harry. Norah nearly got the dirt on Norman turning son Harry Osborn into the American Son (a dark Captain America to complement his Iron Patriot) but Osborn foiled her. (Actually she got frightened off in ASM#599.)

Norah tells them that Osborn has surveillance cameras everywhere - he's probably got videos of all that dodgy stuff. Robbie thinks his ego will make him think he's safe to keep them. Peter suspects the security in Avengers Tower will be even tighter since the recent break-ins. (I guess he's referring to Ronin in Dark Reign: The List - Avengers and Nick Fury in DRL - Secret Warriors.) But Norah managed to smuggle out secret blueprints of OsCorp HQ which show rooms not on the official copies.

Later NO (in the Iron Patriot armour) is taking his right-hand woman Victoria Hand to 1 of these secret rooms, which he says contains his latest anti-Spider-Man projects. (Spidey is #8 on his List, saving the best to last.) But when they enter they find SM finishing downloading video of Norman personally injecting a subject with a mixture of the Goblin formula and Cap's super-soldier serum - and performing an autopsy on the resulting corpse. (And probably other stuff too.)

Spider-Man exits through a window with the USB stick, and Iron Patriot follows. His repulsor blasts don't care what they hit. But even after Spidey saves some bystanders from falling masonry they still cheer Osborn. IP then fires his chest uni-beam in tracking mode, so it hits its target full-on. SM falls and gets beaten up by an angry mob. Until Osborn steps in to order them off so he can 'arrest' the vigilante.

As the fight resumes it's being televised. We see various reactions:- The Front Line staff abandoning journalistic impartiality to cheer Spidey on. People in a cyber-café supporting Patriot. Disowned Harry Osborn, probably in the storeroom of the Coffee Bean where he's working, rooting for SM. Ms Hand wondering how she can hush *this* up.

Osborn gloats as he holds up a beaten Spider-Man. He warns him that he's going to fry his brain with a magnetic burst from the uni-beam. But Peter noticed earlier that Iron Patriot's uni-beam isn't as strong as Iron Man's used to be. He noted that Norman has replaced Tony Stark's circle or polygon design with a star-shaped version to fit his patriotic look. Now he aims a kick at the device, cracking it slightly. He figures that the obscuring indents of the star have been causing a heat build-up. And now when IP fires it his armour starts to smoulder internally.

Spidey takes the chance to escape. But then Patriot finds he's ditched his costume. And he can't tell who he is in the crowd. He deduces that his foe will want to upload the video as soon as possible, so he enters a nearby cyber-café (which looks like the 1 we saw 2 paragraphs ago). Norman also considers the possibility that SM passed the USB to 1 of his pals - and spots Peter Parker at a terminal.

Parker delays IP by pointing him out to all his fans in the room. Who mob him for pictures and autographs. And Peter sends the email to his complete contacts list, and all the terminals in the café.

Patriot zaps the screens and then prepares to shoot Parker, claiming that he faked the footage. But Peter points out that he's *not* a costumed vigilante, he's a law-abiding American citizen. If the video was fake then he can take him to a civil court. Or maybe Osborn will shoot him, or send him to the Negative Zone prison. But is he going to do that to all the people here?

Norman says he's added Peter Parker to his List. And he leaves, contacting Hand to tell her to suppress that video. And this time the crowd cheer Peter.

On the way out Peter gets a call from Robbie to say the Front Line is putting the video up on its website. And in the background there's a scream from Norah who's found that Betty Brant beat them to it at the Daily Bugle.

This issue includes a reprint of Pulse #5 where Norman Osborn was exposed as Green Goblin by Spider-Man, Luke Cage and the Daily Bugle.

Adam Kubert
Mark Morales
Dean White
Adam Kubert (Cover Penciler)
Adam Kubert (Cover Inker)
Dean White (Cover Colorist)
Letterer: Joe Caramagna.
Editor: Steve Wacker. Editor-in-chief: Joe Quesada.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Iron Patriot
Iron Patriot

(Norman Osborn)

(Peter Parker)

Plus: Harry Osborn, Norah Winters, Robbie Robertson (Joe Robertson), Victoria Hand.

> Dark Reign: The List - Amazing Spider-Man: Book info and issue index

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