Norman Osborn (Green Goblin)

greengoblinfilmResponding to my first request, I’m going to speak today about Norman Osborn‘s primary identity in the comics, the Green Goblin. We already spoke of Norman in the Iron Patriot page, but we didn’t mention his green alter ego. He’s been portrayed in the original Sam Raimi‘s trilogy by Willem Dafoe, appearing as the main antagonist in the first film, and in visions and allucinations in the following movies. He also briefly appeared on a 3D poster in the last The Amazing Spider-Man: so, let’s see who is the nemesis of Spider-Man in the comics…

Norman was the son of Amberson Osborn, a business inventor who got swindled and lost his fortune and job when his son was just a child: Norman started to despise his own father, and decided that he could only rely upon himself for finantial issues, starting to work greengoblincomics1after school and saving everything he earned. Wanting to avoid his father’s path of failure, he grew up a determined and focused boy, and arrived to pay for his studies himself with the money he saved from the days of his childhood. He studied chemistry, electrical engineering, and business administration, becoming a scientific genius and developing a financier’s mind. While at college, he became friends with one of his teachers, Mendel Stromm, and the two, together, founded the Oscorp, a chemical company. Norman also married his college girlfriend, Emily, and the two had a son, Harry. Their marriage was a happy one, until the day Emily fell hill and died: as a reaction, Norman buried himself into work, leaving Harry to grow up on his own, and appearing in his life just the time needed to tell him he was a disappointment. More and more attached to his wealth and power, Osborn had Stromm arrested, framing him for embezzlment, thus becoming the only owner of Oscorp. As the CEO of his company, Norman became the man he always wanted to be, but power is something you’re never satisfied of: reading Stromm’s notes, he found out that his partner was working on a new formula, a special serum that, mimicking Abraham Erskine‘s version of the Super Soldier Serum, granted human beings superhuman powers. Eager to become more than a mortal man, Norman developed the serum, but, unkowingly to him, Harry switched the chemicals of the serum (in his mind it was an innocent joke to punish his father for his absenteeism). The result was quite explosive, literally: when Norman started working on the formula, the serum turned green and exploded in his face, sending him into a coma.
Norman woke up at the hospital a short time later, and found out that he was able to think more clearly than ever before; he was also stronger, faster and more durable, with his body being powered up as his mind. Seeking for even more power, Osborn decided he would have conquered the entire New York City, becoming the most powerful mob boss ever. As a demonstration of power, he decided to take on one of the newest superheroes in town, Spider-greengoblincomics2Man, and he hired the Headsman and the Scorcher to take him down; when the two were utterly defeated, Norman decided it was time to put his new abilities to a test. Remembering a monster that used to scare him as a child, a big green goblin that lived under his bed in his childhood fantasies, he created a horrifying costume, using his engineer skills to build a glider (at first shapen like a flying broom, later assuming his trademark bat appearance) and a real arsenal for himself, made of Pumpkin BombsFlying Razor Bats, and a lot of other Halloween-themed weapons that he kept in his Bag of Tricks. During his first battle against Spider-Man, the Green Goblin fought along with the Enforcers, but the fight was interrupted the moment the combatants inadvertently drew the attention of the Hulk, who was hiding nearby. Goblin escaped from another, much more powerful green monster, and even Spider-Man barely made it out alive. In the following years, Norman developed a true obsession with Spider-Man, and after every defeat, which he saw as many steps bringing him closer to his father’s destiny, he became more and more determined to destroy the hero. This wasn’t all Osborn’s fault: without him realizing it, the Goblin Formula was making him more and more insane, encreasing his intelligence, but undermining his mental health. When, eventually, Goblin found out Spider-Man’s true identity, he was able to destroy him in both his lives, as the web-slinger hero, and as the meek Peter Parker. He probably reached the apex of his nemesis career the night he killed Parker’s girlfriend, Gwen Stacy, right in front of him: from that moment, the war between Spider-Man and the Green Goblin became a personal matter.

Norman Osborn is an extremely intelligent person, a scientific genius and a skilled manager; under a personal point of view, he lives in the fear of becoming a failed man as his father was, and gives himself completely to his job (whatever it could be: CEO of Oscorp, king of the underground, director of H.A.M.M.E.R., leader of the Avengers and so on). He gladly sacrifices the relationship with his son to his “destiny”, firmly believing that being without a father-figure can fortify Harry, just as it did with himself. As the Green Goblin, he is one of the most dangerous and unpredictable foes for Spider-Man and the superhero community. To his powers (superhuman physical attributes and a useful healing factor) and a wide array of lethal gadgets, Goblin adds a cunning intelligence, only augmented by his madness: his determination and patience have made him able to wait even for years for his plans to have effect, but everytime they do, it’s hell on earth for whoever is involved.

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27 Comments

  1. […] avoid bullies like Flash Thompson…the usual things. The occasion of his life arrived when Norman Osborn, CEO of Oscorp, offered to young researchers a prestigious job in his company. Hammer competed […]

  2. […] care of Doris, and missed some important stories just to be with her (he even failed to respond to Norman Osborn‘s media attack, when the villain sued Urich for his book about him and the Green […]

  3. […] With the help of his nephew Phil, who worked for the Bugle as well, Urich found one of the new Green Goblin‘s lairs, and he also discovered that the lair in question had been used by Harry Osborn. […]

  4. […] Menken, portrayed on screen by Colm Feore. In the movie, Menken is a close cooperator of Norman Osborn, and when he dies, he welcomes Harry as the new CEO of Oscorp. He’s the one who covers up […]

  5. […] in jail by a mysterious figure, known only as “The Man in the Shadows“, who tells him Norman Osborn has got some plans in store for Peter Parker. The character’s identity has been a mystery […]

  6. […] brought him directly to Oscorp. When a policeman was assaulted near the main facility, Norman Osborn himself, CEO of Oscorp, called the Stacy brothers. The two arrived on the scene, but didn’t […]

  7. […] a scientist like his Ultimate counterpart, and his death is still shrouded into mystery, but Norman Osborn seems to be pretty much involved. In the second movie, he’s seen appearing on a monitor, in […]

  8. […] father, but then Kingpin kidnapped both George and Gwen, and it was up to Spider-Man (helped by Norman Osborn, who at the time had forgotten he was the Green Goblin) to save them. Thankful, Gwen was starting […]

  9. […] as a giant bullet against Void. At the end of the battle, Osborn was arrested and exposed as the Green Goblin, while Void was killed by Thor. Understanding her mistakes, Victoria didn’t resist […]

  10. […] Theopolis Osborn was the son of billionaire industrialist Norman Osborn and his beloved wife Emily. During the birth, Emily’s organism got very weak, and the woman […]

  11. […] Sinestro, nemesis of every Green Lantern. We will speak about him in two times, like we did for Norman Osborn, since his story is quite a long one, and the version of the character portrayed in the videogame […]

  12. […] Spider-Man entered the Avengers, saw his first love Gwen Stacy killed by his worst enemy, the Green Goblin, married the beautiful Mary Jane Watson, got cloned by the mad scientist Jackal and many other […]

  13. […] They can also be the same person, but not always: for example, Spider-Man‘s nemesis is Green Goblin, but his dark self is Venom; Superman‘s nemesis is Lex Luthor, but his dark self is […]

  14. […] the archenemy of Spider-Man: he is better known with the name of his maniac alter ego, the Green Goblin. In case you don’t know him, just ask me and I’ll write an article about him and his […]

  15. […] take a little bit of retrospective for a guy with two different incarnations, just as we did with Green Goblin/Iron Patriot or Bucky/Winter Soldier. In the movie, Ben Hardy will portray Warren Worthington […]

  16. […] joined forces with Reiss, a wheelchair-bound armorer who aided him in his quest. When businessman Norman Osborn was apparently killed by Spider-Man, The Punisher was among the ones hired to stop the […]

  17. […] up as Spider-Man was when the hero was publicly deemed a coward after escaping a battle with the Green Goblin: Flash, in his costume, faced three car thieves, hoping that the real hero would have showed up […]

  18. […] to sonic devices he uses to communicate with them; he moves with a hoovering glider similar to Green Goblin‘s one, and the wings of his costumes allow him to fly for short distances; he’s also a […]

  19. […] his name from all the charges regarding the deaths of Captain George Stacy and businessman Norman Osborn, starting a long-lasting friendship with the Wall-Crawler as a […]

  20. […] to be unexpectedly protective over his employees (such as when he risks his life refusing to give Green Goblin the name of Peter Parker). He even “appears” through a hilarious email in The Amazing […]

  21. […] her and her relationship with Peter when Gwen got killed in a battle between Spider-Man and the Green Goblin: knowing that Peter was Spider-Man, she understood better than anyone else how much his […]

  22. […] There was a new supercriminal in town, Hobgoblin, who shared M.O. and equipment with the original Green Goblin, and Jameson gave Leeds the task to investigate on him. The best way to do that for Ned was to […]

  23. […] he had learnt; he even managed to become a colleague of a rampant scientist and businessman, Norman Osborn, and he helped him running his company, Osborn Industries, in its first years. When he learnt […]

  24. […] scientist, who became some sort of father figure for him (Trainer, actually, was blackmailed by Norman Osborn to keep Ben Reilly in check). Trainer provided Ben with false references and credentials, allowing […]

  25. […] became unemployed…but not for long, as they were soon hired by another kingpin-wannabe, the Green Goblin, who employed them in a desert battle against Spider-Man. Montana and his teammates nearly obtained […]

  26. […] R. Roxxon to infiltrate into an OsCorp abandoned lab to steal whatever formula and machinery Norman Osborn had left behind; without his knowledge, a spider genetically enhanced with the Oz Formula entered […]

  27. […] everybody the hero would have come to his club, thus warning also disreputable people like Green Goblin, who showed up as well and attacked his nemesis. Enraptured, Charlie cheered for his hero along […]


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