*** SPOILER ALERT ***
The events in this issue take place during and after those in SIEGE #4. If you have read it or don't care either way, continue. Otherwise, you have been warned.
Yesterday: At the conclusion of the attack on Asgard, the heroes have reassembled and defeated the Sentry. The remaining H.A.M.M.E.R. agents, Osborn's Avengers, the U-Foes, and other members of his "Black Ops" squad are lined up before Nick Fury. He states that they are all war criminals and will be shot on sight if they try anything.
Captain America (Rogers) arrives moments later and throws a defeated Norman Osborn to the ground in front of his team. His face has a green hue to it, signifying the presence of the Goblin. He tells everyone that Osborn will be tried and convicted in an American court for his actions. Both Moonstone and Bullseye attempt to escape. They are soon knocked out by Iron Man and Luke Cage, respectively.
Broxton, OK: Daken avoids the army dragnet looking for for any remaining H.A.M.M.E.R. agents. He catches one of them by surprise, kills him, and replaces him. As a parting gift, he pulls the grenade pins from a bandolier and throws it toward a civilian building. While the real military handle this latest surprise, Daken escapes for parts unknown in a stolen army jeep.
Avengers Tower: Fury brings Ares' son Alexander to the rooftop landing zone where they meet with Thor. It is Thor's responsibility to inform Alexander that his father died in battle. He must also - as is their custom - pass along his worldly possessions to his son. This consists of his helmet and battle axe. Thor passes along some wisdom to the emotionally distraught child: honor your father's life by living your own. With that Thor leaves.
Steve Rogers meets privately with Victoria Hand. He is aware of that Osborn sought to remake the world according to his philosophy and hand-picked dangerous individuals to help him achieve his goals. He understands why he chose to associate with known killers. What he doesn't understand is how she was selected.
Hand responds that she - like many other Americans - believed Osborn's promises of a better, safer world. She emphasizes that she tried to get him psychiatric help, but was unable to make someone like him see that he needed help.
Rogers understands her. He disagrees with everything that she did, but her intentions were to serve her country as best she could. He instructs her to take a long weekend and rest up. She will report to him Monday morning. Hand is shocked.
Today: Norman Osborn is taken to The Raft, escorted by Thor, Iron Man, and a complement of armed Federal agents. They are met by Captain Steve Rogers, who has been asked by the President to ensure that Osborn is locked away until his trial. He will be the only occupant in sub-basement level 7.
Once he is alone, he has a discussion with his "Goblin" persona. Osborn still clings to the belief that he was right. One of the loose cannons (a mutant, the Hulk, Punisher, the "heroes", Von Doom) will either directly or indirectly destroy the world. He wanted to prevent that from happening, but now will have to watch helplessly as it happens. He blames his inner Goblin for leading him astray.
Well I did get my wish.
If you re-read my comments from issue #1, I made the statement " 'Norman Osborn' and 'Avengers' should never appear in the same sentence unless separated by the words 'is being arrested by the'." This is exactly what happened in this issue. I wish I could say that I predicted this, but as it was a random statement, I can't really claim it.
While it's not clear what will happen to many of the characters that worked for Osborn, I think its safe to assume that a prison sentence will be involved. Victoria Hand was the only one that got a free pass. To his credit, Rogers knows she is not malevolent, she just lent her support to a charismatic lunatic. Giving her a second chance is somewhat unexpected and simultaneously encouraging. She's an entertaining character and I for one would hate to see her tossed away.
3.5 webs. A reasonable conclusion to a surprise hit series. To recap: