Norman Osborn: Spider-Man In Edge Of Spider-Geddon #4

by James Ferguson

Our journey through the multiverse continues as we check in on a lesser known universe. In this one, it’s Norman Osborn who is bitten by a radioactive spider, growing extra arms and changing the world as Spider-Man. Young scientist Peter Parker has this villainous madman figured out and does everything he can to stop him from within, even setting up his pal Harry with a green armored suit.

Edge of Spider-Geddon #4 is mainly told through a letter that Peter has written for Harry, to be delivered in the event of his death. Letterer Cory Petit makes these caption boxes look like scribbles ripped from a notepad. The shapes are jagged and rough. It’s a nice effect that is carried throughout the entire issue.
Peter cared deeply for Harry and saw how horrible his friend’s father was. It’s inspiring to read his words as they’re imbued with the concept of great power and great responsibility. In this world, Peter never got the former, but that didn’t stop him from holding on to the latter. This contrasts well with the cold nature of Norman as he watches a number of security cameras from a perch.

The design for this Spider-Man is chilling. Writer / artist Aaron Kuder makes Norman look sleek and powerful, yet inhuman and chilling. This is a monster, through and through. His six arms end in claws. To complete the package, he wears a helmet that hides most of his facial features. It replaces them with a number of eerie red eyes that stare forward without emotion.
Norman’s uniform is black with red highlights, giving him a more menacing appearance. It’s like a deadlier version of Spider-Man’s classic black costume. Colorist Andres Mossa does a great job with the reds, making Norman’s fists look as if they were just dipped in blood.

Although Norman is clearly a villain, his son, Harry in his goblin suit looks like a bad guy too. It’s a metallic suit with a sinister grin, almost like a grey version of the suit Willem Dafoe wore in the first Spider-Man movie, but with some added textures and accessories. Instead of a glider, he’s got these discs that he stands on which allow him to zip around the building.
While the other Spider characters we’ve seen so far have all embodied the overall nature of what makes Spider-Man a hero, this one is the opposite. Here you have Norman Osborn who has used his power for corporate greed and who knows what other atrocities. He’s pulled into the events of Spider-Geddon by the end of this issue, although I’m sure the other characters don’t know what’s really going on in that head of his.

The cover for this issue teased that Norman would play an integral part in Spider-Geddon. I have to wonder which side he’ll be on after reading this book. He represents a far darker side to the Spider Family, a cold one of manipulation, greed, and power. It will be interesting to see how he interacts with the other characters, particularly Spider-Punk.
Edge of Spider-Geddon #4 from Marvel Comics is currently available at your local comic shop and digitally through ComiXology and Amazon Kindle.

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