Consultant at Ravencroft


At the conclusion of Absolute Carnage, Dylan Brock vaporized the Carnage symbiote and, seemingly, Norman Osborn along with it. But everyone knows Norman is not going out like that, being killed by some twelve year old kid, so his return was imminent. Sure enough, the original Green Goblin resurfaced shortly after with a new lease on life. In fact, his new role involved restoring something that he had a hand in destroying...the Ravencroft Institute for the Criminally Insane. 

For years Ravencroft Institute served as a rehabilitatiioin facility for some of Earth’s most dastardly villains. However, during the events of Absolute Carnage the institute was destroyed, literally left in rubble. Fortunately Ravencroft was rebuilt quickly, and is now a fully functioning state of the art facility, ready to serve society by reintegrating its worst members.

Misty Knight and John Jameson were assigned lead roles in the coordination of the activities carried out Ravencroft.  Jameson went to Wilson Fisk (aka the Kingpin aka the mayor of New York City) and asked for a position in the new facility.  Fisk rewarded Jameson by making him the head of security at Ravencroft, giving the former astronaut a shot at redemption. When the doors to Ravencroft opened and the likes of Doppelganger, Hyde and others began filing in, Misty and John realized that they were going to need some help.  A limosine then pulls up and out comes Norman Osborn...

Osborn makes a rather triumphant return at the conclusion of the one-shot Ruins of Ravencroft: Dracula. He snarkily informs Misty and John that he’s been given a “clean bill of health”, claiming that he was under mind control during the Absolute Carnage fiasco. 

According to Osborn he had been given a role as a consultant at the institute because of his history with Ravencroft and his work with the “those less fortunate.” Most likely he’s referring to his time as the Director of the Thunderbolts, but that’s not very clear. Suffice to say Misty and John and not happy to see Norman but that does not stop the original Green Goblin from strolling on in to Ravencroft....

Osborn’s role at Ravencroft Institute is further explored in Ravencroft #1, where the icy relationship between he and Misty Knight shows no sign of getting warmer. As part of the rehabilitation process, Misty holds round table discussions with the inmates, allowing them to openly discuss their struggles. John Jameson participates in these discussions as well, since he’s working to redeem and resolve some of the problems he caused as the mind-controlled Man-Wolf during Absolute Carnage. When Misty encourages John to share some of his thoughts, he struggles to answer and tries to defer. Osborn interrupts the discussion to defend Jameson and encourages him to talk only when he feels comfortable.

Jameson doesn’t appreciate Osborn’s help and he tells his father’s former friend that the only thing that makes him uncomfortable is Osborn putting his “grubby hands” on him. Misty could sense the discussion devolving so she immediately ends the meeting. As the inmates walk off, she corners Osborn and tells him not to show his face around Ravencroft anymore. Norman politely refuses and reminds her that the courts have cleared him of any wrongdoing and that Fisk had personally brought him in as consultant. Translation, Osborn is not going anywhere any time soon. Unfazed, Misty says she doesn’t care what the court says because she knows the truth about who he is and what he’s done. Osborn has the last laugh though, reminding her that there’s nothing she can do about any of it and that he’ll return tomorrow...with doughnuts.

Despite the fact that Ravencroft Institute has officially reopened, Wilson Fisk has kept many aspects of the facility private and away from the general public. At a media event when Fisk is pressed for information regarding the staff at Ravencroft, the mayor claims that he doesn’t want to compromise the safety of the staff by revealing their identity. However, he does introduce one staff member to the media...John Jameson. 

Its important to note that the secrecy around the staff even affects Misty Knight and John Jameson, who to this point have not met any other staff members other than Norman Osborn. But that all changed at the conclusion of Ravencroft #1 as Osborn gathers Misty and John and ushers them to a conference room to meet their fellow staff members. 

With Kingpin sitting at the head of the table he introduces the remainder of the staff which includes: Tony Masters (aka the Taskmaster), Mac Gargan (aka the Scorpion), Dr. Karla Sofen (aka Moonstone) and Roderick Kingslely (aka the Hobgoblin). No wonder he was keeping this crew under wraps!

The Kingpin is forced to negotiate with The Unwanted, deformed beings locked away in the basement of Ravencroft Institute, at the beginning of Ravencroft #2.  He’s the perfect mark for The Unwanted because years ago, while he was building his criminal empire, he used them to ‘dispose’ of various dead bodies. They’re blackmailing him now because of that past and to make matters worse they appear to be able to put Fisk under their mind control. They force Fisk to free them from their underground cell. 

Fisk continues to battle on multiple fronts, after returning to his office he’s confronted by John Jameson who demands answers as to why the Ravencoft staff is chock full of criminals. The Kingpin brushes off Jameson’s complaints citing that its part of his program to ‘give back’ and offer a second chance to folks with a criminal past. Fisk has leverage on Jameson, reminding the security guard that there’s footage of him terrorizing Ravencroft as the Man-Wolf (from Absolute Carnage). This forces Jameson to retreat. 

Soon after, Osborn tracks down Kingpin and tells him about an urgent matter that he must tend to, Fisk reluctantly follows. The two are greeted by a ghost of sorts...standing before them is the presumed dead former director of Ravencroft...Dr. Ashley Kafka!

The sudden and unexpected return of Dr. Kafka prompted an immediate investigation into the legitimacy of her claim. Norman spearheaded that process in Ravencroft #3 as he employed the services of yet another shady character operating out of the newly re-opened facility, Dr. Karl Malus. All of the exams performed by Malus suggested one thing, that this is indeed the one true Ashley Kafka!

Malus’ results were not surprising to Kafka, however she was surprised by the fact that everyone seemed dumbfounded that she was alive. John Jameson explained to her that she was killed by the villain Massacre (back in Superior Spider-Man #4), but Kafka had no memory of that incident. Osborn does not buy her naivete nor does he concur with Malus’ data, he is convinced that she is pulling off some sort of trick on the staff in order to infiltrate Ravencroft. Jameson then slams Osborn up against the wall and tells the original Green Goblin that even though he doesn’t understand what’s going on either, the fact that Norman doesn’t trust her is the best possible endorsement she could have.

The situation diffuses and the parties go their separate ways arriving no closer to answer as to how and why Ashley Kafka has seemingly ‘returned’ from the dead. 

As an interesting aside, Norman had Quasimoto perform background analyses on a number of nefarious characters at the onset of his Dark Reign. These analyses were collected in the one-shot, Dark Reign Files and Dr. Malus was one of the people investigated. Quasimoto suggested that Malus would be useful for Osborn by augmenting or creating ‘heroes’ for his usage. However, there was no evidence that Malus ever accomplished any of that for Osborn during his Dark Reign

Returning to Ravencroft #3, Wilson Fisk and his staff (namely Scorpion, Moonstone, Hobgoblin and Taskmaster) make their way to the lair of the Unwanted in order to eliminate the hoard. However, they are (unknowingly) out-maneuvered by the monsters who use an illusion in order to distract Kingpin and his cronies. Whilst Fisk’s team is occupied fighting air (they think they’re fighting a swarm of monsters), the real Unwanted legion is making their way to the main halls of Ravencroft!

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John Jameson cringes at Osborn's attempt to help him, as seen in Ravencroft #1

Misty Knight pushes back at Osborn, claiming she knows 'what' he is, as seen in Ravencroft #1

Fisk and Osborn race to the front gate to see what's causing all the commotion, as seen in Ravencroft #2

Dr. Ashley Kafka greets the staff at Ravencroft...she was believed to be dead, as seen in Ravencroft #2

Osborn's frustration with his inability to explain Kafka's return boils over, as seen in Ravencroft #3

Jameson stands up for Kafka, using Osborn's aggression as an excuse to attack him, as seen in Ravencroft #3

Kingpin and his security team are fooled by the Unwanted as they fight an illusion whilst the Unwanted make their way to main floor, as seen in Ravencroft #3