Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Harry Osborn – Don’t Turn Out Like Your Father – Rol Hirst

Panel One.

Close on a newspaper. Frontline. The headline reads: Norman Osborn – Threat Or Menace? The subheading reads: Disgraced H.A.M.M.E.R. Director Escapes Custody Again.

The paper is being held by Harry Osborn. We only see his hand here.

CAP (Harry): I’ve always lived in my father’s shadow.

Panel Two.

Flashback. A young Harry (late teens) is on the floor, holding his face, crying. Norman towers over him, angry, having obviously just slapped him down.

Norman: You... you’re a disgrace to the name Osborn! I should have drowned you at birth, you pathetic, snivelling brat!

Panel Three.

Out of flashback. Harry walks down a busy New York street. Daytime. It’s a cold winter day and he’s bundled up in a big coat and a woolly hat. He’s carrying the newspaper under his arm.

CAP (Harry): Even when he wasn’t around, I kept trying to make him proud.

Panel Four.

Flashback. In a grim playback of the earlier flashback, here Harry stands over an unmasked Spider-Man. Pete's lying on the floor, clutching his chin after a good old-fashioned Goblin smackdown. Harry’s wearing the Green Goblin suit, holding his own mask in his hand.

Harry: Don’t you see, Pete? This is the way it has to be.

Harry: I am my father’s son.

Panel Five.

Out of flashback. Harry walks into a shop. We can’t make out quite what sort of shop it is… we’ll find out in the next panel. As he enters the shop, he pulls off his woolly hat.

CAP (Harry): That ends today.

Panel Six.

It’s a barber’s shop. Harry is sitting in the barber's chair, facing his own reflection in the mirror. The barber stands behind him holding a pair of clippers above that distinctive Osborn haircut.

Harry: Take it off. Take it all off.


  1. This page had some really nice build up to it, and when you get to that finally panel where Harry physically confronts himself in the mirror that is golden. Also that last piece of dialogue plays really well with the visuals too.

  2. Has Norman ever actually been so abusive to say he should have killed his kid at a younger age? I can't claim to be an expert on the Osborns by any means, but unless it's just Harry mis-interpreting his memories in the flashback, that line seems too harsh for Norman.

  3. Awesome page. The hair does make him Norman's son, and the shaving of it would be a very symbolic gesture - one I could totally see happening.

    @MK - Yup, Norman is that abusive as seen in countless flashbacks. Norman himself was treated that was as a child, and borderline tortured by his own father.

  4. I like the idea behind this page and the build to the last panel.

    I'm surprised this hasn't been done in the comics themselves actually.

  5. I agree with Dan. Now that I've read it, I can't believe that it hasn't come up before. This feels like a very natural evolution of the character. Well done.

  6. I like the end reveal but felt the built was misleading in tone for what is kind of a goofy payoff. Threw me completely off - and not in a good way.

    I would have got you to stick one way or the other. I think this page would work better with Harry walking down the street and then into the barber - maybe layer over some thoughts, etc.

  7. At risk of sounding like one of those dicks who can't take criticism, I think your comment casts more light on why I love Spidey and why he's perhaps never been a favourite of yours, Ryan.

    To me, the goofiness is essential to a character like Harry or Norman, it's integral to the Green Goblin character (and indeed, I believe it's integral to most of Spidey's rogues gallery). That goofiness stops the Goblin - or Doc Ock or whoever - from becoming too dark and psychotic, traits which never quite fit right in Spidey world. They're Stan's legacy and whenever the scent of goofiness is absent from Spidey villains (or Spidey stories) - even the most dramatic or serious, that's when the book fails.

    The most obvious example of this came in the 90s with "dark Spider-Man", Maximum Carnage et al.

    No matter how crazy and scary Norman or Harry become, they shouldn't ever lose that goofiness... or they become just another serial killing psycho. The best Spidey villains have a layer of goofy right the way through.

    This ain't Daredevil, y'know. ;-)

    (That said, Waid's DD has returned the character to his own brand of pre-Miller goofiness... and crazily enough, it's worked. But that's a debate for another day.)


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