Last summer, Harry Osborn turned his back on the "American Son" armor his father gave him in Amazing Spider-Man, denying both the opportunity to be a famous superhero and the bank account that went along with it.
Beginning in May, the American Son armor is back in use, as writer Brian Reed and artist Philip Brionnes take a closer look at Harry's life after Siege in the four-issue mini-series Amazing Spider-Man Presents: American Son. But who is wearing the armor is a mystery, although all signs point to Harry.
As part of our "Monthly Webbing" series on Spider-Man, Newsarama talked to Reed about the mini-series and why he's been writing so much Spider-Man lately.
Newsarama: Brian, what story does Amazing Spider-Man Presents: American Son tell? Is this a Harry Osborn story?
Brian Reed: American Son focuses on where Harry Osborn is now in his life. He's in kind of a bad place after the events of "American Son" in Amazing Spider-Man. He's got no money left. He's popping pills. He's sharing an apartment. And things just go from bad to worse after Siege.
Nrama: How has he been affected by what's going on with Norman in Siege?
Reed: What's resulted is he's the focus of the attention of the press. Everything that happens with Norman Osborn at the end of Siege means every reporter on planet Earth wants Harry's comment on it. So he's being hounded night and day.
Nrama: Things are bad for Harry.
Reed: Very bad. And it just gets worse because in the middle of all this, he's got an FBI agent who shows up at the Coffee Bean and says, "I know what you're doing." And Harry says, "What do you mean? What do you know I'm doing?" And the agent says, "I know you stole the American Son armor out of Norman's lab."
That's what begins our story. The American Son armor has been stolen and it's being used. Harry's denying it like crazy, but we're seeing all kinds of signs that Harry might be moonlighting as a superhero. And it could be him. But even if it's not him, someone is in the American Son armor, and we don't know whether or not it's Harry Osborn.
Nrama: Who are some of the other characters that might show up in this story?
Reed: We'll see Harry. We'll see Mary Jane. And you'll see Gabriel Stacy get involved. And of course, we'll see Spidey and Pete. I'm writing a Spider-Man tie-in that actually has Spider-Man in it.
Nrama: How does Spider-Man get involved?
Reed: When Harry is wearing this armor and trying to do the superhero thing, or at least everybody thinks he is, Peter, being a friend, puts on the Spider-Man suit and goes to Harry to say, "Look, you need to knock this off."
Nrama: You recently did the Sinister Spider-Man story during "Dark Reign," which had a pretty dark feel to it. But since this is an Amazing Spider-Man title, does it have the same sort of tone as the regular Spidey comic?
Reed: Yeah. I mean, it's got some darkness to it, but it's not overall a dark book. I pitched it to [Spider-Man editor Steve] Wacker as being sort of a fourth-week Amazing Spider-Man, only this one stars Harry Osborn.
Nrama: Being a writer on the Ultimate Spider-Man game before you started at Marvel, and now doing so much Spider-Man-related work, how has it been for you to be so involved in how Spiedy's portrayed? You're a long-time fan of the character, aren't you?
Reed: Spider-Man was what I spent all my allowance on as a kid. It's why I wanted to write comics, was to write Spider-Man. I got into writing Spider-Man when I was co-writing the Ultimate Spider-Man, and that was my doorway into Marvel. I love writing this character. My favorite part of writing Spider-Man is when I get emails from readers saying, "Why aren't you writing Spider-Man full time?" And I think, "Yay! I did my job right!"
Nrama: Yet this is the first one you've done that really focused on Harry Osborn. How has it been writing him?
Reed: Harry is really interesting, particularly right now, because he's had his entire world taken away from him. He's always been the rich kid. Even though he stood up repeatedly to his dad and said, "I don't need you, Dad!" and "I'm walking away from you," he never really has. He's always had Dad's bank account, if nothing else.
Now that he's really started taking a stand, he's in a really messy place. He's popping Oxycontin all the time, he's got nothing to his name aside from the Coffee Bean itself. And that's part of what this series is about. It's helping him figure that out.