I have a feeling this story won’t age particularly well. This was set during the Dark Reign, a time where Spider-Man’s prime arch-foe Norman Osborn, also known as the Green Goblin, inexplicably became the top law enforcer of the United States as fallout from the Secret Invasion. This was also Spider-Man in his Brand New Day reboot, which restored his secret identity and a controversial annulment from his wife.
This story would be difficult to follow if you are not updated with current Marvel Comics editorial direction. I’m not even a regular buyer of their monthly titles, but I do keep track of the latest news from comics news websites.
The Brand New Day direction has resulted in what I believe the best Spider-Man stories these past five years. This new outlook is helped by a competent editorial influence and a brain trust of the best and up and coming writers in the comic book business.
One of these editorial decisions was to streamline the Spider-Man line from three books to one main title, Amazing Spider-Man which shipped three times a month. This resulted in a stronger and coherent Spider-Man voice, which distinguishes itself from the team books the character appears monthly. This accelerated shipping schedule necessitated a rotating art team. Fortunately, the four artists involved in this story arc have similar art styles so the art change in every chapter is not jarring. The coloring team also helps in ensuring a uniform look.
This story was about Harry Osborn, who has been both a disappointing son and friend to Norman Osborn and Peter Parker, Spider-Man’s alter ego. This character has been, in various stages, a drug dependent, super-villain and dead. He returned in Brand New Day and cleaned up his act. He has been sober and an entrepreneur. He has had his troubles lately, with his failing coffee shop and a relationship that did not end particularly well. Parker feared that his friend may succumb to the lure of drugs since he doubted his resolve. Even his father continued to view his son with contempt and undeserving of his name. With that kind of baggage the writing team managed to develop a nuanced character. They gave him a backbone and in this storyline, Harry confronted his father and Spider-Man. He made a decision here that advanced his development as a character and an integral part of the Spider-man supporting cast.