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Supervillain Origins: The Green Goblin


First introduced to comic book fans back in 1964, The Green Goblin was originally conceived as an ancient mythological monster that was freed from an Egyptian-like tomb. However, this oddly dressed villain was eventually revealed to be industrialist Norman Osborn, the father of Peter’s friend Harry. The head of OSCORP, a weapons manufacturer, his wicked transformation was the result of having personally tested a serum designed to enhance a soldier’s physical abilities, healing factor and intellect. While seemingly successful, it had the side effect of causing him to lose his sanity, forcing wild mood swings and hallucinations. Join http://WatchMojo.com as we explore the comic book origins of The Green Goblin.
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Supervillain Origins: The Green Goblin

He’s the weapons-industrialist who became the frightening and insane arch-nemesis of Spider-Man. Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we will explore the comic book origins of Norman Osborn, otherwise known as The Green Goblin.

As with most comic book characters, there are often re-imaginings and different versions to a character’s past. We have chosen to primarily follow the storyline that unfolded in “The Amazing Spider-Man” #14 and was expanded upon in issue #40.

First introduced to comic book fans back in 1964, The Green Goblin was originally conceived as an ancient mythological monster that was freed from an Egyptian-like tomb. However, this remained unofficial and never formerly alluded to in print.

Eventually, this oddly dressed villain not only exchanged his turbo-fan-powered broomstick for a bat-like Goblin Glider, but was revealed to be industrialist Norman Osborn. The father of Peter’s friend Harry, Norman was the head of OSCORP, a weapons manufacturer.

His wicked transformation was revealed to be the result of having personally tested a serum designed to enhance a soldier’s physical abilities, healing factor and intellect. While seemingly successful, it had the side effect of causing him to lose his sanity, causing him to fall victim to mood swings and hallucinations.

Soon after, Osborn modeled himself a Goblin costume, based on a fictitious monster that he feared from his childhood. Using it as a means to stir up fear and panic, he began aspiring to become the boss of all organized crime in the city.

During the course of one of his many battles with the city’s web-slinging protector, the Goblin managed to become the first ever foe to uncover his secret identity. This was due to having exposed Spidey to a gas that weakened his spider-sense, allowing him to be followed and studied.

Knocking Peter Parker out, the Goblin captured the hero. He then revealed himself to be Harry’s dad, the same man who Parker had seen as a father-like figure. Intent on a climatic battle, The Green Goblin was defeated when he was knocked into electrical wire. Burning his costume, it also resulted in amnesia.

Following this, Osborn slowly recovered from his injuries, once again becoming the kind-hearted man that Peter once knew. However, he soon became troubled by the emergence of repressed memories. At first he believed that the Green Goblin was nothing but a hallucination, however the persona soon restores itself when he viewed a police presentation on supervillains.

Returning to the skies on his glider, he sought out revenge on Parker by threatening to harm Peter’s Aunt May. Foiled once more, and exposed to one of his own “psychedelic bombs”, he again fell victim to amnesia.

Eventually, Norman would stumble upon his old Goblin hideout and continue his vendetta with Spider-Man. However, he once again lost his memory from the shock of discovering that his son had overdosed on drugs.

This reoccurring plot gimmick eventually came to a gripping conclusion when Norman took up the mantle of the Green Goblin one last time to throw Peter’s love, Gwen Stacey, from the tower of a bridge. Tragically, although Spider-Man was able to catch her with his web, the sudden jolt from being caught snapped Gwen's neck.

Not only feeling partially responsible for Gwen’s death, Spiderman was similarly denied revenge during his final battle with the Goblin. This was due to the villain having inadvertently been impaled by his own Glider.

Despite his apparent death in the original comic series, others have continued his legacy until his body eventually healed itself. These included his son Harry, and billionaire fashion designer Roderick Kingsley who found and retooled his suit and weapons to become the Hobgoblin.

A fan favorite, the Goblin is the most recognizable of Spider-Man’s foes, and has become iconic for his use of bizarre devices and weapons. These include his devastating pumpkin bombs, razor-edged throwing weapons, and gloves that discharge pulses of electricity.

Since his inception, the Green Goblin has gone on to cause deadly mischief in various media. The most notable of which is Sam Raimi’s “Spider-Man”, in which he was portrayed by actor Willem Dafoe.
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