Real Name: Norman Osborn
First Appearance: Amazing Spider-man #14 (July, 1964)
Powers: Superhuman Strength, Increased Speed, Reflexes, and Endurance. Possesses a Healing Factor much like Wolverine, but not at that level. Enhanced Intelligence. Uses a ‘Goblin Glider’ and has ‘Pumpkin Bombs’ in his arsenal.
Affiliation: Thunderbolts, Cabal of Scrier, Dark Avengers
Enemies: Spider-Man, The Color Wheel
Did you know: Willem Dafoe portrayed the Green Goblin on the ‘Big Screen.’ He also portrayed Agent Paul Smecker in the Boondock Saints (which is a personal favourite of mine).
Secondly, Norman’s son Harry takes on the role of the Green Goblin as well.
A Little History
It has been said that money can’t buy Happiness, but those who know Norman Osborn, know differently. In the case of Norman, money may not be able to buy happiness, but it can buy a whole load of cool things.
- Strength Enhancing Serum – Check
- Flying Machine – Check
- Ammunition Like No Other – Check
- Dead Wife – Check
- Neglected Son – Double Check
Norman was the co-owner of a powerful firm called Osborn Industries. This firm was primarily involved in chemical manufacturing and robotics.
His wife, Emily, died just one short year after the birth of the son Harry. After the death of his wife, Norman would go on to do whatever it took to win the “Father of the Year” award.
- Become extremely stern
- Lose the family fortune
- Raise Harry without love
- Consistently belittle Harry for being below average academic scores and competitiveness
- Regain the family fortune
Even with the family fortune back in tow, Harry would continue to feel neglected.
I don’t know about you, but to me, it sounds like Harry got a dose of reality and couldn’t handle it. What was he going to do when his first and every other employer wouldn’t hold his hand through life?
Norman rose to power through aiding the villains in distracting the Superheroes so that they would not get involved in more important affairs. In one such ‘distraction’ he transformed an Osborn employee into a ‘Protogoblin’. Naturally, when you transform a person into something other than a person, the police become suspicious (not that I know this for certain). This would lead Norman to find and use this serum on himself. Little did he know, the chemicals were unstable and the serum exploded in his face leaving him in the hospital for a couple of weeks.
Upon awakening, he realized that he had received higher intelligence and superhuman strength as a by-product of the explosion.
Doing what any power-hungry person would do, he targeted those who could help build his reputation.
His first target?
Like every great villain and hero, he would create a costume, some high-tech weaponry, and a glider.
At this point, 2 questions come to mind:
- “How do every hero and villain know how to sew a costume?”
- “Why do most choose awful colours?”
After pondering those questions for a while, you might be wondering how a villain would be able to lure a hero such as Spider-Man into a trap so that he may best him in battle.
Well, let me explain.
His next attempt was at a Justin Bieber-like fan event, where Spider-Man was enjoying a ‘meet and greet’ with his fans. This attempt failed along with most other attempts failed.
Like an Internet date that stemmed from an inaccurate profile, Norman and Spider-Man would eventually find out who they really were. With this revelation in tow, the two battled once again. This time, like every other time, Spider-Man won, but not before Norman fell into a horde of live wires and chemicals, which left him with two personalities.
- Kind Norman
- Screwed up ‘Goblin’ Norman
In this issue, we find that Gwen Stacy (Peter Parker’s girlfriend) has been taken captive by Norman and taken atop the Brooklyn Bridge. In one of the most devastating depictions in comics, Norman launches Gwen off the top of the bridge. Spider-Man successfully attempted to save her with his web shooter, but when his web caught her and stopped her fall, it also snapped her neck. It was at this moment that comic book lovers everywhere shed a tear.
Lost with what had just happened, Norman took this opportunity to deliver the ‘final blow’ to Spider-Man. While remotely controlling his glider, he launched it in the direction of Spider-Man attempting to impale him. Luckily, Spider-Man came to his senses at the last possible moment leaving the glider to impale Norman instead.
You have probably guessed that he didn’t stay dead for long because no one stays dead in the comics.
Because the serum that he took also gave him regenerative powers, he survived the impalement.
Time would pass and the same things would happen:
After the events of Civil War, Norman offered up his services to the U.S. government. Provided with an injection that would give him a shock if he turned against the government, Norman was offered the role as leader of the government sponsored, Thunderbolts. His first mission was to round up the unwilling heroes who would not sign the registration act. He did this with the help of other villains who had “reformed.”
In the ultimate kick in the groin, he named his team the Avengers.
Ultimately, the power would go to his head and he would lead a failed invasion into Asgard, which would do two things:
- Prove not matter how high his intelligence was from the serum he took, he was still an idiot
- Exposed himself (not in the naked kind of way) to the world, leading to his removal from power.
- Wife died
- Neglects son
- Takes serum explosion in the face
- Wakes up smarter and stronger
- Begins to build a losing reputation against Spider-Man
- Falls into chemicals and wires leaving him with 2 personalities
- Kills Gwen Stacy
- Impaled by own glider
- Cheats death
- Leads Thunderbolts into Asgard