Goblin Mysteries Solved!

or

Why did Norman Osborn become the Green Goblin?

Anyway, while Norman is Spider-Man's greatest foe, dating back to his debut in Amazing Spider-Man #14 as the Goblin, and in Amazing #37 in his civilian identity (Oh, and that's Volume 1 - thanks to the reboot buffoonery I have to make that distinction now), there is actually very little known about Norman Osborn, the man behind the mask, particularly since he was absent from the comics for over 20 years until revived to bail out the Clone Saga in 1996. Apparently, after all this time, Roger Stern is going to finally provide some of the answers, but I just can't help but try to take a stab at it myself, and then seeing how close I came to the truth. So bear with me as I put Spidey's greatest foe on the couch.

What kind of kid was Norman Osborn?

You probably won't believe this - but as a child, Norman Osborn was very much like the rest of us! Well, at least those of us read and/or participate in the creation of Hero Realm. As the panels from this conversation he has with Peter in Peter Parker #96 during the midst of "The Gathering of Five" storyline demonstrate, we learn that the evil industrialist Norman Osborn, who later became the Green Goblin and murdered Gwen Stacy, grew up reading comic books! And he also wanted to be a writer! Yikes! So, it's clear that Norman Osborn was a fairly imaginative and inventive child.

Even John Byrne, in his irresponsible rampage through Spidey's early history, actually contributed some worthwhile background on Spidey's greatest foe, and validated Norman's comments. In Chapter One #7-8, we find out that Norman owned a movie studio - Osborn Studios - which employed one Quentin Beck (aka Mysterio) - and also arranged for the first meeting between Spider-Man and the Green Goblin in the southwestern desert under the pretenses of making a film. But while Spidey and Mysterio are trading fisticuffs at the studio, we see all kinds of odd characters in costume in the background as Osborn is filming what? A sci-fi movie, of course. Owning a movie studio would probably have been like a toy to him. Many rich people own sports teams for the same reasons.

In addition to being creative and a lover of sci-fi, we also know that Norman loved science itself. Witness this exchange between Norman Osborn and a very young Peter Parker in the flashback issue Peter Parker -1:

Through this meeting, we learn that at one time, there may not have been a whole lot of difference between Norman Osborn and Peter Parker. But it's clear that for Norman, something went horribly wrong that took him on a path completely divergent from Peter's. And unfortunately, it began at home.

What was Norman's childhood like?

Miserable. In Spectacular Spider-Man Annual #14 J.M. DeMatteis, who tended to specialize in giving old Spidey villains a lot of personal demons, gives us our first and thus far best look at Norman's childhood. The reason that we see a small Peter Parker in these scenes rather than Norman is that Spidey has found a device in an old Osborn hideout that allows him to personally experience the memories that Harry has recorded on a computer disc in this story.

We already knew that Norman Osborn was an abusive parent, and now, we know, as is too often the case in real life, that abusive parents were more often than not abused children themselves. Much of Amberson Osborn's berating of his son Norman sounds like Norman's abuse towards Harry. It is apparent through these panels that Amberson Osborn was a failed businessman, and after his failure the Osborn family was broke. It's likely that Norman's creative pursuits were ridiculed and disparaged by his father, who would have seen absolutely no worth or financial gain whatsoever in them. As Norman's statement "now I am all business" in an earlier panel indicates, he abandoned his creative pursuits to focus soley on making money.

There are other hints that Norman was not a blueblood in the traditional sense, of having been a part of old money. For one, we learn in Untold Tales of Spider-Man #25 that Norman was an almunus of good ole Empire State University. If Norman had been a rich kid, why would he have gone to a public university? Especially since it is obvious that Osborn is consumed with status and all of its trappings - why wouldn't he have gone to a far more prestigious school where he could have been much better contacts? Simple - he couldn't afford it. Remember what Norman told Peter and Mary Jane in Peter Parker #95? (and I've enclosed it here just in case your memory is a little spotty in places true believer). So, how did he afford to go to school at all? Well, he probably worked during college - but I'll be willing to bet that Norman Osborn went to ESU on a science scholarship - just like someone else we know.

Additionally, this is consistent with Amazing Spider-Man #40, the second part of that classic two-part tale in which we first learn the secret identity of the Green Goblin, and conversely, the Goblin learns Spider-Man's secret identity for the first time. These events mark the turn the adversarial conflict between Spider-Man and the Green Goblin from merely one of the hero standing in the way of the villain's designs for personal enrichment and power, to a deep-seated blood fued that has already claimed several lives (Gwen Stacy, Harry Osborn, Ben Reilly). Osborn explains to Peter the genesis of the Green Goblin, including how Norman failed to give the proper attention to his son. He explains "I had a business to take care of. Money was the most important thing of all! I had to get rich! I needed wealth...for that was the key to power!" So, it's apparent that Norman didn't always have money.

And why did Amberson Osborn's business fail? Well, according to his ranting and ravings, he claims that his business failed because he was robbed, cheated, and that "they stole my invention." Maybe true, maybe not, but this event likely explains Norman's own motivations for later stealing the inventions and other ideas of his former partner, Mendell Stromm, and railroading him to jail. Considering that it had been done to his own father, Norman was not only determined that it would never happen to him, but probably felt that it was fair and justified that he do it to someone else. Therefore, we see why Norman chose to become a crook in addition to a successful businessman.

However, no one can escape their past. When we flash forward to Amazing Spider-Man #121-122 (that's right, the famous Death of Gwen Stacy and well, temporarily the Green Goblin's Last Stand), we find how the events of the past have caught up to Norman Osborn and he is about to come full circle. It is interesting that the two things that occur that prompt Osborn's last break with sanity (he never is not fully aware of being the Goblin after these events - to this day)are (1) Harry's latest drug overdose and (2) his own impending business failure. In one panel, a nervous Osborn says on the phone "Down another 13%? You know what this means - I'll be wiped out!" Soon after that, Norman's veneer of sanity completely shatters, setting the stage for the tragic events that follow as he becomes the Green Goblin for what then was the last time.

What ultimately happened to Osborn's parents? I speculate that what happened later was that Amberson Osborn killed himself, leaving Norman and his mother to fend for themselves. Broken in more ways than one, the life of Norman's mother was probably cut short as well, likely right before Norman entered college. This would be additional support for why Osborn loathes weakness, and always berated Harry for allegedly being spineless and weak. He believed that his own parents were weak, contributing to their untimely ends, and no doubt feared that either he or his own son would travel down that path themselves.

But that's still a long way from going from crooked businessman to psychotic supervillain. There must have been something more. Indeed there was.

Why would an already rich, successful, powerful businessman dress up in a ridiculous Halloween costume?

Good question. As cool as super villains are, they ultimately have no credibility because of their predisposition towards garish costumes that typically look so ridiculous that when they are dramatized on TV or in the movies, the costumes are either seriously toned down, or abandoned altogether. Anyway, many super villains are pretty intelligent people, have a high degree of scientific or business acumen, and could usually get where they want to be legitimately - so why become a super villain and dress like an overgrown trick or treater (but then again, in real life, a lot of people who are crooks are very intelligent people who could probably make money legitimately - but either the lure of easy money or the sheer thrill of criminal activity win out)? As Roderick Kingsley (aka the first Hobgoblin) pointed out in Amazing Spider-Man #238 Norman Osborn really had to be nuts because he would have made infinitely more money by legitimately patenting his inventions than using them in acts of larceny. And another thing - why go up against someone as powerful as Spider-Man and risk being exposed and losing everything that you have in your legitimate lifestyle? Of course, Norman was crazy - but that's too easy of a justification, and ultimately, it's lazy writing.

So why become the Green Goblin, when you're already in the process of becoming rich on your own legitimate and illegitimate efforts (remember, super powers or no, Norman was still a crook).

It just wasn't about the money. Remember, money was only the means to Norman's ultimate objective - which was power. Being an abused child probably made Norman feel powerless, which can be a horrible, overwhelming feeling. Therefore, Norman was determined that he would never feel powerless or at the mercy of another again. In addition to his craving for money and power, it also made Norman a control freak, who had to control and dominate everything and everyone he came in touch with.

Unfortunately, when one becomes a successful businessman, particularly in an industry which involves a lot of chemicals and other manufactured items in which the toxic byproducts have to disposed of - you can't help but conduct business with those fine folks in charge of "waste management." As Rodney Dangerfield said in the movie Back to School when discussing business with his by-the-book professor "...and then there's the matter of waste disposal - and I don't know if you're aware who runs that business - but I assure you it's not the boy scouts!"

Being dependent on maintaining a good relationship with the underworld in order to accomplish his objectives would not be something that gave Norman a warm fuzzy. In fact, he would have resented this dependence, as well as the other intrusions they would no doubt try to make into his affairs. So, in his mind, he had to take control of the mob as well - but how could he take control of the underworld, move freely about in those circles,and yet maintain his position in the legitimate business community?

While being vexed with this very question, the wild card courtesy of the Goblin formula came into play. Now, he had raw, naked, physical power. For an abused child still suffering from the pain and humiliation of those times, receiving super powers would have seemed like a divine gift. I can almost see Osborn hanging out on the seedy side of town after hours, roaming the streets and picking fights in order to try out his powers, and taking a demonic joy in literally beating the hell out of people.

However, he realized that businessman and community leader Norman Osborn couldn't do such things. And then, it came to him that he could accomplish two objectives: (1) demonstrative control of the underworld and (2) the thrill of exercising his super powers - by one means - assuming a new, albeit costumed identity.

This probably also had roots in Norman's early childhood. Considering that we already know about his love of sci-fi and comic books, he probably loved Halloween (only the desire to avoid the obvious precludes me from saying he trick or treated as a goblin) because he could dress up as any number of his favorite characters. And later, the fact that he owned a movie studio, with access to all sorts of costumes, make-up, prosthetics, and special effects gadgets - well - the rest becomes obvious. I've always found it odd in the comics than whenever anyone gets super powers, they always happen to have just the right stuff on hand to make themselves a snazzy costume. Now, if I got super powers, I'd probably wear a paper bag on my head and wear tennis shoes and sweats in my battles against crime because there is no way in hell I'd be able to make a form fitting costume with all sorts of neat designs on it. And Norman certainly couldn't just order one from QVC, or walk into the local seamstress' business and ask to have made a green and purple goblin costume without someone getting suspicious. But for a rich man who owned a movie studio as a lark, and was sufficiently talented and creative enough on his own to imagine and design a costume and other tools of the supervillain trade - this becomes more plausible (for comic book logic, that is).

But I also think that we have been shown that Osborn has beliefs in spirituality and mysticism. The Cabal of Scrier, for example, while it allowed Osborn to expand his criminal empire in Europe, also gave this predisposition to ritual and magic free reign as he could dress up as a living ghost and wear the various other trinkets that went with the territory (but don't hold your breath for any expose called "Norman was a Freemason." I'm not touching that one.) The Gathering of Five ritual, with the long red robes and the hocus pocus involved in that ceremony, was also an extension of this. So, really, dressing up and saying boo is nothing new to Osborn. If he doesn't do it as the Green Goblin, he does it as something else.

What happened to Osborn's wife? And is her fate a clue to his apparent hatred of women?

Interestingly, for as long as both Norman and Harry Osborn have been part of the Spider-Man mythos, we know absolutely nothing about Norman's wife and Harry's mother - not even her name, and she has never been represented in any way, shape, or form in the comics. The first mention of her is in Amazing Spider-Man #40 as Norman is recounting the origin of the Green Goblin to a captive Peter Parker, when he mentions that Harry's mother died while Harry was still a baby, and that he had to raise the boy alone. This is slightly contradicted by Spectacular Spider-Man Annual #14 which implies that Harry's mother died when he was older, but still obviously a little boy. We are also never told how she died. All we know about her is what is mentioned in this panel, that her death devastated Norman - or at least that's what Harry believes.

First of all, I believe that Osborn met his wife while both were attending ESU as undergraduate students. I believe by this time that with both of Norman's parents dead, he was a lonely young man with few, if any friends, was probably even more of a studious, aloof, student than Peter Parker ever was (being Spider-Man gave Peter a lot of confidence and loosened him up). Having been able to go to school only by virtue of a science scholarship, he probably didn't have a dime to his name - and was probably working more than one job in order to accumulate some seed money for his future business endeavors. The woman he fell in love with would have been a simple girl who admired Norman's raw intelligence and his tireless work ethic, believing that he'd go far even though he had nothing to show for it at the moment. She probably also had the rare ability to see beyond the public persona that he presented and reach into that part of him that was still human, still compassionate. Conversely, Norman loved her with all his heart, soul, and mind, since Norman never does anything without it being all-consuming for him. At this time, he probably thought of little else but giving her the best of everything, although she would have settled for a "comfortable" home life with children, backyard barbeques, and the white picket fence.

However, even with her presence, Norman was still a very angry, bitter young man who lived with demons. While his wife was probably able to keep some of those demons at bay for a limited period of time, there was too much to hold back forever. Norman's obssession with succeeding at business also guaranteed that he was always at the office, or on a business trip, and after a time his marriage deteriorated. Considering that we've already seen that his father was a domestic abuser, Norman was already at a high risk for turning out to being the same way, since that kind of madness unfortunately seems to have a way of passing from generation to generation like many a genetic disorder. The stress of Norman's attempting to succeed in his business, combined with the demons he already had, and probably the additional stress of having a child (Norman doesn't seem like the kind who was really suited to parenthood) turned him into an abuser as well.

He probably always apologized the next day after striking her, and he probably was sincere, even to the point of tears. He probably also lavished her with expensive gifts the day after, or even after concluding one of his long business trips where she would much rather him simply call her every night and talk to her than buy her something. More than once, she probably threatened to leave him, more than once he probably begged her to stay, and more than once, she came back.

It would be more romantic and tragic for Norman's wife to have died in a car accident or prolonged disease. For example, we could say that she died while giving birth to Harry. Osborn does tell Peter that Harry's mother died when he was just a baby, which would thus explain some of Norman's antagonism towards Harry, that his birth deprived him of the woman he loved. We could then say that she was his only link to sanity, and that when she died, he was hopelessly shattered, and her death turned his rage against the world. But that's too Harlequin-esque for what we already know about Norman.

My guess is that after one particularly nasty moment, whether after more of the same from Norman, or as the result of having an affair, Norman's wife would not come back, and she took Harry with her. This time, none of Norman's pleading would work, and the more she refused him, the angrier he got. And he began to threaten her, and she still wouldn't come back. His ego already seriously wounded by her humiliation of him (since I doubt that he ever begged anyone for anything in his entire life - before or since), he found her - and in his rage, he made the biggest mistake of his life.

Smart enough and by this time probably beginning to make some money, Norman was able to cover it up. But the price he paid was high - it was whatever little humanity he had left.

I have long thought the origin story that the chemical explosion that gave Osborn his powers also destroyed his sanity was lame. In the old days (are the 60's now really the "old days"? Yeesh.) when the Marvel and DC superheroes were first created, heroes were heroes because although they may have been motivated by revenge (Batman) or guilt (Spidey) they still ultimately believed in truth, justice and the American way. On the other hand, villains were villains because the heroes had to have someone to fight, and sometimes the villains became villains for ridiculous reasons. For example, one of the reasons Lex Luthor originally turned against Superman was because by using his superbreath in a chemical fire Lex was trapped by, Supes caused all of Lex's hair to fall out. Memo to Lex: Buy a rug. And so, old Marvel villains became villains either out of sheer mercenary, or because circumstances beyond their control accidentally turned them into villains. Of course, back in the 1960's America didn't want to believe that many of its social problems could be traced to things like poverty, broken homes, and mental illness, so naturally those motivations didn't make it to into the popular fiction of the time, either.

But now, we can be more open about these things. And after all, Harry Osborn went over the edge and became the Green Goblin even before he ingested the Goblin forumla. So, it's also reasonable to suggest that Norman Osborn had begun to go insane even before the explosion that actually turned him into the Goblin. The guilt of accidentally killing the person he loved most in the world would have been enough to permanently unhinge his already fragile grip on reality. Not only that, but it would have cheapened the lives of everyone else around him, since he grew to have few compunctions about killing anyone else. It also would have contributed toward the antagonism he displayed toward his own son. Seeing Harry would constantly remind Norman of his greatest crime and deepest guilt.

The disintegration of his relationship with, and ultimately the death of, his wife would forever poison Norman's relationship with other women.

Think about it. Osborn is almost like a monk. Even pudgy old Doctor Octopus has seen more action than Norman. Doc Ock has had three relationships that we know of during the course of the comics (Aunt May, Stunner, and Carolyn Trainer), and this doesn't include at least one relationship (Mary Alice Burke) that was ruined by Octopus' domineering mother before the events of Amazing Spider-Man #3 took place. While there was no implication that either the Carolyn Trainer, or even the other relationships, were sexual in nature - Ock still apparently was more than comfortable in the company of adoring women. Roddy Kingsley, even after he became the Hobgoblin, still craved the attention of beautiful young women. And considering how wealth and power are certified babe magnets, Osborn would have had his pick. However, the fact that Osborn's wife, the one true love of his life, fell in love with him and married him when he was poor made him forever suspicious of any possible relationship after he became wealthy. In his own twisted mind, any prospective companion would merely be after his money. Plus, he has long passed the point of being able to trust anyone.

But I also think that Osborn's problems with women go back even further, to his own mother. After all, isn't that why all of us guys have problems, because of our mothers (heh, heh - sorry, Mom, couldn't resist)? Admittedly, "blame it on mom" is pretty well worn out as a motivation. We already know that was at the root of a lot of Doctor Octopus' problems. However, I think some of Osborn's actions support this.

First of all, the Green Goblin hits women. Think about that. We have never seen the Goblin belt any man who was not directly threatening him, and he has been more verbally threatening and intimidating against other men (such as Harry, Jonah, or even Peter - I don't think Norman has ever landed a haymaker on Peter Parker when the latter has been out of costume - we do know that Norman hit Harry as a child - but again, that was in a different context. We never saw him strike Harry when the latter was an adult) than physically threatening. Considering the paucity of female crimelords, supervillains, or even superheroines that have crossed paths with the Goblin there's no reason for the Goblin to hit women. But, in Peter Parker #75, the final chapter of "Revelations" he backhands Liz Osborn for alledgedly coddling Harry and making him weak. Ben Urich, who was also in that room, wrote a damning book about Osborn which publicly exposed him as the Green Goblin, but the Goblin didn't single him out for a good whacking. Also, in Spectacular Spider-Man #263, the second part of "The Final Chapter," he lets Aunt May have one right across the face, which when you think about it, is just plain ridiculous. When you're a super-powered being, even if you are crazy, what point is there in striking an old woman? Unless, of course - you're really lashing out at someone else. Osborn could have felt smothered or coddled by his own mother, which would also explain why Norman was so determined that Harry grow up and be a man. However, that ground has already been covered with Doc Ock (oh sure, Norman could have felt it too, it's not unique - but it is lazy from a dramatic standpoint). I tend to feel that while Osborn loved and adored his mother, he deeply resented her for not standing up to the abuse that she took from his father, and even resented her for not successfully protecting him from the same. Of course it's not logical, but these things seldom are.

How did Osborn make the acquaintence of one Miles Warren?

This is actually one of the easiest questions to answer, since it was established that Norman was an alumni of ESU and a large contributor. He was probably a frequent presence on campus, routinely sponsoring science fairs, career fairs, and other activities. With his own scientific acumen, as well as being the chief executive and founder of a major chemical company, Osborn probably had almost unlimited access to ESU's scientific facilities, as well as its faculty. More than likely, several members of said faculty would be performing reseach under grants from Osborn's corporations. Therefore, he would have been very familiar with both the work and the personality of one Professor Miles Warren.

But how could Osborn possibly know that Warren was obsessed with Gwen Stacy? Would any self-respecting college professor intent on keeping his job confess to sexual feelings for one of his students, particularly one young enough to be his daughter? No, but let's not forget Osborn's keen powers of observation and initution. Osborn is the time type of person who, once he met someone, would be mentally calculating ways of getting "an edge" on that person - both from a professional and a personal perspective. Plus, Osborn was already familiar with Gwen Stacy since she was the daughter of a friend of his (the relationship between Osborn and George Stacy is established in the Spectacular Spider-Man flashback story), as well as a close friend of his son's (not to mention the love of his greatest enemy - although we must assume that Norman did not remember that during his periods of amnesia). It wouldn't have taken much, probably only Warren's eyes glazing over during a conversation with Osborn as Gwen passed by, to have triggered a mental note in Norman's mind that this was something worth knowing a little more about. And who's to say that Warren's interest in Gwen Stacy was entirely sexual? A lonely man who had lost his family in an accident - Warren could also simply have been attracted to Gwen because she reminded him of his late wife - and he was drawn to her in a fatherly way because of her sweetness and vulnerability. Whatever - Warren tipped off Osborn in some way - and Norman filed it away to use to his future advantage.

There are a lot of unanswered questions involving the relationship between Norman Osborn and Miles Warren, which would ultimately make for some good stories. I'd love to see the Jackal and the Green Goblin mix it up in a serious free for all someday - but that would probably happen off-panel, so it would be a waste anyway.

Why did Osborn come up with that incredibly stupid and lame DNA Bomb thing during "The Final Chapter"? Wasn't that so unlike him?

Ugh. This is where if I had any sense I'd say I ran out of time and couldn't answer this. Yeah - the Jackal should have sued Osborn for Destruction of the World Gimmick infringement for ripping off the Carrion Virus. You gotta love Marvel sometimes. Just because a plot device is a complete and utter failure doesn't mean that it can't be revived in much the same form to much the same ridiculous result two years later.

Yes - it was out of character for Norman to come up with an End of the World Gimmick. For someone who's ambitions were previously down to earth, the DNA Bomb was clearly from left field. But, as I learned long ago while reading the creative endeavors of a lady by the name of Leslie Thompson who wrote for the now defunct Best of Trek magazine and book series, you should't entirely dismiss either a coincidence or carelessness out of hand because you might be able to make an interesting plot point out of it. So, here goes:

First of all, Norman's hyperbole aside (and you can't be a good supervillain without a tendency towards healthy overstatement - it's a requirement for getting your SuperVillain Union Card, good for discounts on costumes and gadgets at SuperVillain Surplus Stores), the DNA Bomb probably would not have reduced everyone to genetic soup. More likely, it would have been much more selective in its depopulation - specifically, it probably would have targeted superhuman beings and anyone else that Norman considered a threat (it would take a lot more time and effort than I have currently to come up with an explanation just how Norman would have tinkered with said virus to make it so selective - but just bear with me). My guess is that Norman certainly would have provided immunity to his cronies in the Cabal of Scrier so that he would have had an oligarchy with which to rule the world - and therein lies where I'm leading. Remember in the simply dreadful Peter Parker Annual-1999, when the real Scrier showed up to take control of the minions (before shipping Spidey to all these ridiculous parallel worlds and then engaging in a weird debate with the spirit of mankind who was inhabiting the Man-Thing? Don't ask for more details - it's not worth it)? Remember what he did to one particularly loud-mouthed flunky who challenged him? He didn't kill him - but he reduced him to a primal, gaseous state "from which he begin evolution anew. In millions of years, he will again attain human form." Sound familiar?

Remember, the gifts from the Gathering of Five were not all that they seemed. I'll venture that Norman actually did get the power he so desperately craved - but that it had side effects in which he had not anticipated - notably - that he came under the control of the real Scrier.

After all, considering how powerful a being that Scrier is made out to be, do you think that he was unaware of the fact that Norman had been running his namesake organization? I am not intimately familiar with Scrier, since he apparently has appeared elsewhere rather than simply Spider-Man comics - but I will venture that until he was ready to "walk the earth" again from whatever else he had been doing, he allowed Osborn free reign to run his Cabal - since apparently it was on the verge of failure until Osborn took over, funded it, and gave it the strong leadership it needed (see the Rose's dissertation in Amazing Spider-Man #417). He did say in the annual that "I have always kept to the shadows, always worked through earthly agents, some of them unconscious that they were being guided by my hand."

Therefore, once Scrier took control of Osborn, it was he who implanted in Osborn's mind the idea of the DNA Bomb (even if you are an almost godlike being - why do the heavy lifting if you can get some other schmuck to do it for you?) to reduce humanity to its basic components - and it would not have been Osborn - but Scrier himself who would have reconstituted mankind into anyway he saw fit.

This explanation meets several objectives - one, it connects two apparently unrelated events (the DNA Bomb and Scrier's own use of his power), it explains why Osborn acted so completely out of character initially, it provides an easy answer to the question "Where was the real Scrier when Osborn was running his Cabal?", and it also provides Norman the means of regaining his sanity. In other words, Scrier relinquishing his control of Osborn would cure Norman of being the Green Goofball he had become at the end of "The Final Chapter." Letting Osborn live would be Scrier's way of saying "thanks for rebuilding my organization, now go the hell away or I'll really do something nasty to you" and would successfully wedge Norman out from that organization (conjured solely to close all the loose ends of the Clone Saga -therefore this would break that link and allow us to put another aspect of that "Saga" behind us) and get him back to New York mucking up the world of high finance and Peter Parker's like on a full-time basis.

What did the doctors see when they removed the mask from the Goblin at the end of "The Final Chapter"?

At the very end of "The Final Chapter" storyline in Peter Parker #98, the Green Goblin is cackling madly while in a straight-jacket in the bowels of the Vault (driven mad, not by the Gathering of Five ritual, but by the fact that his titanic battle with Spider-Man that took out a good chunk of New York City happened entirely off-panel). When the doctors and guards remove his mask - they are aghast at what they see.

Just before the relaunch Howard Mackie stated that Norman would indeed be back after a significant rest - but that he would be changed the next time we see him. So, what did the guards and doctors see? There are three possibilities:

Hey - we're at the end of this article. I'm anxiously awaiting the official answers to see how well I known my Goblins.

The next few months are going to be a real treat for Goblin fans as Revenge of the Green Goblin leads into Amazing #25 and Peter Parker #25 AND Norman takes a pivotal role in the new Ultimate Spider-Man series. Not only that, but we should find out before too long who is going to play the Green Goblin in the upcoming Spider-Man movie.

Even Kermit would find it easy being green in these upcoming months.


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Copyright 1998-2007 by J.R. Fettinger. All rights reserved. All original content is the exclusive property of J.R. Fettinger. Spider-Man, the Green Goblin, and everyone else who appears in the Spider-Man comics is the property of Marvel Entertainment, and are used in these articles for the purpose of analysis and commentary.