Norman Osborn was the son of the wealthy business man Amberson Osborn. He had a decent childhood until Amberson lost most of the family fortune after the failure of his invention company, which had Amberson becoming alcoholic and violent. Young Norman and his mother would often be the targets of physical and psychological abuse by Amberson to compensate for his failures. This abuse had Norman realize that only the strong survive and that he will never be weak. This realization caused him to kill the family's dog, seeing it as one less problem in his life.
On one stormy and thunderous night, in order to cure his son's fear of the dark, Amberson locked Norman alone in one of the family's dark empty houses where Norman encountered and feared a "green, goblin-like" monster stalking him. Alone in the dark, Norman feared the monster would eat him once the darkness is replaced by the light, so he came to grip with the darkness, wishing it would never leave him. That night, he realized that the Darkness is better than the light.
Encounters like these made Norman develop a need for power and wealth so he would not become a failure like his father. He sought to regain the wealth he once had and he would stop at nothing to reach his goal.
Norman attended Empire State University with a science scholarship and received degrees in chemistry and electrical engineering. While at ESU, he met and fell in love with a young woman named Emily. Despite his hunger for power and wealth, Emily was able to provide some balance in the young man and bring out the best in him. The two would marry and have a son, Harold Osborn. Norman loved Emily tremendously, but the good times would not last and Emily died shortly after Harry's birth. Norman is left a miserable, misguided, insane, single father. Without Emily there to give his life any light, he re-dedicates himself to wealth and power, neglecting Harry in the process.
After graduating in business and chemistry majors, Norman founded his own company, OsCorp, with his old science professor, Dr. Mendel Stromm. He would become successful and wealthy yet a ruthless businessman and always power hungry. When Stromm borrows money from the company accounts, Osborn seizes the opportunity and turns Stromm over to the police for embezzlement, leaving Norman, the sole owner of the company.
With Stromm now in jail, Osborn decides to continue working on the strength-enhancing formula Stromm had been working on in order to sell it to the highest bidder. Osborn tries to re-make the formula following Professor Stromm's notes. In order to perfect the formula, Osborn uses his employees as test subjects. One of those employees is Nels Van Adder, who went on a killing spree as the red, goblin-like monster called the "Proto-Goblin" who attempted to kill Osborn at his laboratory but was saved by Arthur Stacy and George Stacy. After the failed attack, Norman finds more of Stromm's notes in his old desk.
He is certain the new notes are the missing piece to the formula, however when Osborn uses the new information, the mixture turns bright green and explodes in his face. He is hospitalized, but recovers at an incredible, super-human rate. He realizes the explosion not only increased his strength, but also his intelligence. This pushes the megalomaniac Norman Osborn over the edge, and his sanity is lost.
Stan Lee had originally intended to have the Green Goblin an ancient mythological monster found in an Egypt-like sarcophagus. However, Steve Ditko re-imagined the Green Goblin and turned him into a human instead. The Green Goblin's whole conception was all Ditko's idea. The Green Goblin debuted in Amazing Spider-Man #14 and his secret identity wasn't known but he became instantly popular. Lee and Ditko disagreed on the character's alter-ego; Lee wanted it to be someone Spider-Man knew but Ditko preferred it be a new character to introduce a sense of realism to the stories. According to Ditko, he had intended to have Frederick Foswell be the Green Goblin. This disagreement may have led to Ditko leaving Spider-Man and in issue #31, the Green Goblin was finally revealed as Norman Osborn.
The Green Goblin first appeared as a villain determined to rule the underworld and in order to do that he needed to prove himself by defeating New York's newest hero, Spider-Man. The Goblin's secret identity wasn't shown at first and he made several appearances where he would prove himself as a worthy foe for Spider-Man. The Goblin first appeared using a jet powered flying broomstick which was later replaced with the now iconic Goblin Glider.
The Green Goblin became even a bigger villainous threat when he became the first villain to uncover Spider-Man's secret identity as Peter Parker. He was also revealed as Norman Osborn, the father of Peter's best friend Harry Osborn, further adding a sense of drama to the Spider-Man stories. However, he would lose the memory of being a super-villain and would often make appearances as Harry's kindhearted father but eventually, he would return to his villainous role.
Spider-Man's arch-enemy had always been Doctor Octopus until the Green Goblin killed Peter's girlfriend, Gwen Stacy, elevating the Goblin to the status of being Spider-Man arch-enemy who has hurt Spider-Man more than any other villain. After Gwen's death, Osborn would seemingly die as well and would disappear for the rest of the Silver Age from the Spider-Man comics.
During his absence, his son Harry would follow in his father's footsteps and become the Green Goblin himself. Also, Harry's psychiatrist Bart Hamilton would take up the mantle as well. By the end of the Silver Age and the beginning of the Modern Age, the Hobgoblin, a Green Goblin copycat, would become Spider-Man's arch-enemy. Osborn would return in the late 90's when it is revealed that he has been manipulating everyone from the start. His rivalry with Spider-Man becomes even more intense when he kills Ben Reilly, Peter's "brother". Norman would return to the role of "evil businessman" and would torture Peter with the fact of being one of the few people to know of his dual identity.
Further into the Modern Age, Osborn's insanity would be explored as well as his affinity and respect for Peter as an opponent. Norman's character would evolve to show that despite the mutual hatred he has with Spider-Man, he does possess a sense of respect and admiration for Spider-Man in his own twisted way. He would grow to consider Peter as his own son and attempts to have him carry on his legacy as the Goblin Heir. He later attempts to have Peter kill him in an epic battle after continuously provoking Peter and invading his life. Norman's attacks on Peter would become personal as he attacks Peter's friends and family, intensifying their mutual hatred.
During the Civil War, Norman becomes distant from Spider-Man when he becomes the Leader of the Thunderbolts and his role as leader becomes explored as well as his constant fight against his insanity. He would be portrayed as being considered by himself a hero doing the right thing and shaping a world in his own vision of righteousness and perfection. This portrayal is further explored in Dark Reign where Osborn becomes the leader of the world's main super-hero team and he tries to use his power to shape the world as he sees it fit and he truly believes that he deserves public adulation and he is annoyed that other so-called "heroes" are receiving it instead.
Major Story Arcs
Personnel Vendetta against Spider-Man and Amnesia spells
The insane Osborn sought to take over the criminal underworld and so, remembering his encounter with the terrifying green monster that had haunted his childhood nightmares, Norman decided to instill fear in the hearts of his enemies as the Green Goblin. In order to establish his reputation, the Goblin decided to kill Spider-Man. He sent two criminals, Scorcher and Headsman after the hero but they were swiftly defeated. This where Norman decided to take matters into his own hands and seek Spider-Man himself.
First, the Green Goblin arranges a meeting with the Enforcers, who are seeking revenge against the Web-Slinger for an earlier defeat. After intimidating the criminals, the Goblin promises them that they will have their revenge if they do what he says.
He arranges for Spider-Man to at a Hollywood movie studio where Spider-Man is ambushed by the Enforcers and the Goblin himself using a flying broomstick (which later becomes a Glider) and stun-bombs (which later become Pumpkin bombs). Despite interference by the Hulk, whose cave they had accidentally stumbled upon, Spider-Man manages to defeat the Enforcers but he was too tired to prevent the Goblin from escaping.
A few months later, the Green Goblin, using his new bat-shaped glider and pumpkin bombs, attacks the Web-Spinner at a Spider-Man fan-club, where the Human Torch also joins the fight. Spider-Man had the upper hand until he overhear Liz Allen's father talking about Aunt May having a heart attack. Once Spider-Man heard the news, he immediately left the battle, having the crowd turn against him and giving the Goblin an impressive reputation.
Later on, the Green Goblin assaults a big gang leader named Lucky Lobo's base in an attempt to take over his gang and become "The King of Crime". The Goblin then pretends to be helping the police in capturing Lobo, but he was stopped and defeated by Spider-Man when the Goblin was out of pumpkin bombs but still managed to escape because Spider-Man was out of web-fluid. In another attempt to take down Spider-Man, the Goblin teamed-up with the Crimemaster ending with the death of Crimemaster and the Goblin managed to escape yet again.
Discovering Spider-Man's secret identity and amnesia spells
After so many defeats at the hands of Spider-Man, the Green Goblin soon begins to view Spider-Man not just as an obstacle in
front of his controlling of the underworld but as a personal rival and becomes obsessed with the Web-Slinger. The Goblin stages a robbery in an effort to catch Spider-Man’s attention. During the fight with the robbers, Spider-Man is exposed to a gas, designed by the Green Goblin, to dull his Spider-Sense. This allows the Goblin to track Spider-Man and learn his identity as Peter Parker, becoming the first villain to ever discover Spider-Man's alter-ego.
The Goblin then confronts Spider-Man outside his home and he is able to subdue Spider-Man. Back at his waterfront hideout while Spider-Man is restrained, the Green Goblin reveals his true identity as Norman Osborn. The Goblin then frees Spider-Man because he feels it would be a hollow victory to defeat an impaired Spider-Man. The Goblin is confident because Spider-Man has yet to defeat him in battle. During the fight that follows, the Goblin is knocked unconscious by an “electro-chemical charge”. His exposure to the charge leaves with temporary amnesia and forgetting the last few years, including ever becoming the Green Goblin. Spider-Man changes out of the Green Goblin costume into his civilian clothing and the authorities believe the Green Goblin died in the fire.
Later, as Norman is living a Goblin-free life, Kraven the Hunter confronts him, since Kraven believes he is the Goblin’s messenger. Kraven claims the Green Goblin offered him $20,000 to kill Spider-Man and he wants an advance on the bounty. Unfortunately, Kraven cannot collect from the Goblin directly because he believes the Goblin is dead. Unable to locate Norman, Kraven tries to kidnap Harry Osborn, but is stopped by Spider-Man. Norman arrives during the fight and Kraven immediately attacks him. Kraven soon realizes he knows nothing about the Green Goblin nor the money owed to Kraven. Kraven leaves Norman unhurt.
Eventually, Norman’s memory starts to come back and he is troubled by visions of the Goblin and Spider-Man that he can’t totally explain. During a speech by Captain George Stacy on super-villains, Norman’s memory is sparked by images of the Green Goblin battling Spider-Man. He remembers that he is the Green Goblin and he’s ready to exact his revenge on Peter Parker. Norman holds a gathering for Harry and his friends in order to get Peter in a vulnerable situation. Peter creates a diversion and gets out of the Osborn’s home, but the Goblin has gone to Aunt May’s house. A fight ensues and Spider-Man is exposed to a psychedelic bomb, which the Goblin uses to render Spider-Man helpless. However, Spider-Man soon recovers and he uses the same psychedelic bomb on the Goblin, which induces another spell of amnesia.
Some time later, after watching Mary Jane Watson’s play, a door Norman sees in a back alley-way troubles him. The door turns out to be an old Goblin hideout and when he goes in; his memory is sparked and he again becomes the Green Goblin. Spider-Man confronts him, a fight ensues and the Goblin thinks he has left Spider-Man to fall to his death. Meanwhile, Harry Osborn overdoses on pills in an attempt to get over Mary Jane. Harry is taken to the hospital for treatment. A second battle between the Goblin and Spider-Man occurs and Spider-Man guides the Goblin on his glider to see Harry in the hospital. The vision of Harry causes Norman to have a psychological breakdown, causing him to once again forget he is the Green Goblin and Peter is Spider-Man.
Norman's death and return
The shock that caused Norman’s most recent amnesia was ultimately the stress that leads Norman to unleash the Goblin's fury again. Harry's drug addiction resurfaces and becomes bed ridden from overdosing on LSD. The final straw is news that his beloved company’s stock is down 13%. Norman loses control, and starts to have delusions involving Spider-Man. He eventually revert to the Green Goblin persona and once again plans to get revenge upon Spider-Man. This time Norman abducts Gwen Stacy who was at Peter’s home waiting for him. Spider-Man tracks the Goblin to the Brooklyn Bridge, where a fight ensues and the Goblin throws Gwen off the side of the bridge. In one of the most memorable comic panels of the Silver Age, Spider-Man shoots a web line to catch the falling Gwen, but the jolt from the sudden stop appears to snap Gwen's neck. To this day Peter still feels guilty for her death, in the same way he feels remorse for his Uncle Ben's death. Enraged by the Goblin's actions, Spider-Man continues fighting the Goblin on the bridge, But Spider-Man's fury blinds him, and he gets sloppy and a bridge cable knocks him out allowing the Goblin to escape. Peter eventually tracks down the Goblin at his hideout. In the subsequent fight, Spider-Man is able to pummel the Goblin in a fit of rage but manages to stop himself from delivering the killing blow. However, the Goblin sends his Goblin Glider to hit Spider-Man from behind. Spider-Man ducks to avoid the glider and it impales the Goblin, seemingly killing him. Peter does not feels a sense of justice in watching him die. There is a mysterious figure watching the events transpire, which is later revealed to be Harry Osborn.
While is believed to be dead, many people raid his Goblin hideouts and use his Goblin technology. Most notably was his son Harry Osborn, Harry's psychiatrist Bart Hamilton, Ben Urich's nephew Phil Urich and Roderick Kingsley.
We soon learn that Norman did not die, and in fact, the Green Goblin formula that gave him his powers, also empowered him with a healing factor which allowed him to avoid certain death. He awakens inside a morgue. He sees Harry bribing the mortician and decides to let Harry have a chance to be a man and take up the mantle of the Green Goblin. Norman leaves for Europe where he can move more freely and unnoticed. He also becomes the undisputed leader of the Scrier cabal, which he utilizes to carry out his revenge on Peter Parker. Norman starts to use mind games against Peter using clones. The pawns in his plan were Seward Trainer, Judas Traveller, the Jackal, and Mendel Stromm, who is now the cyborg-like Gaunt. It is this group of individuals who become crucial in fooling Peter during the infamous Clone Saga.
As the Clone Saga comes to an end, Peter Parker and Ben Reilly have accepted the “fact” that Peter is the clone and Ben is the original Spider-Man. Meanwhile Mary Jane is pregnant with Peter’s child. Norman Osborn kills Seward Trainer, a friend of Ben Reilly. Moreover, Norman is now returning from hiding and coming to confront Peter. Ben and Peter fight Gaunt and neutralize him, however during the fight Mary Jane goes into labor. Osborne kills Gaunt for his failure. Mary Jane is told that the baby did not survive the birthing process. Alison Mongrain, who was working for Norman, with the help of Doctor Folsome were responsible for lying to Mary Jane about the baby’s death and kidnapping it. Norman instructs Alison to make sure the baby is never seen again.
Peter comes to see Mary Jane in the hospital and when he gets there, Dr. Folsome informs him that there’s been a problem and sedates Peter. Meanwhile, J. Jonah Jameson, Flash Thompson, Liz Allan, and others have mysterious invitations to the Daily Bugle from different sources, and they soon realize that they have been trapped. When Peter awakes, Osborn reveals himself to Peter, explaining that he survived the glider incident with his healing factor, that he had been in hiding, and that he has returned because he was tired of Peter rebounding from all the things he’s thrown at him and he wants final revenge. He also tells Peter that Ben Reilly was the actual clone. Norman reveals himself as the mastermind behind the entire Clone Saga hoax. He then leads Peter to the Daily Bugle where he wants Peter to watch as Norman kills all those close to him, before he murders Peter.
However, Ben sneaks all the hostages out of the Daily Bugle, and makes his way to Peter. Ben is impaled by the Goblin’s Glider, he had stepped in front of the glider in an attempt to save Peter and is killed. Peter hurls a bag of pumpkin bombs at the Green Goblin, which explode when they hit him, and the Goblin vanishes out of sight. Ben Reilly dies and his body disintegrates, revealing him as the actual clone. Peter does not find Norman's body, but he knows that he has not seen the last of Osborn. The real significance of this era of Norman Osborn's life is that from the moment he awoke in the morgue he was aware he was the Green Goblin, and his amnesic episodes are over.
Norman distances himself from the Green Goblin
Neither Norman Osborn nor the Green Goblin was seen since those events. However Norman buys half of the Daily Bugle, and at the press conference states that he had been hiding in to avoid his enemies, which included Spider-Man. He also states that he came back because of the “smear campaign” against his family name by reporter Ben Urich. Urich had written a book called "The Legacy of Evil", which ousted Norman Osborn as the Green Goblin. Norman states, he has now dedicated himself to finding out who the real Green Goblin is. When Peter Parker returns to his ransacked home, he blames Osborn and goes to his apartment and beats him up. Unfortunately, the whole incident is caught on tape and the Daily Bugle puts a one million dollar reward on Spider-Man’s head.
During the Spider-Hunt saga, Dr. Jonas Meuller, (aka Dr. Angst), works with Osborn on a genetic construct that will stand in for the Green Goblin and prevent from further suspicion. Norman’s grandson, Normie Osborn, is kidnapped by this construct “Green Goblin” and Spider-Man amongst others, try to find Normie. Spider-Man tracks down the construct Goblin and the Construct “dies” in an explosion that occurred during the fight. Normie is returned to Norman by Override and Clarence Fielding. It is later revealed that Norman himself had arranged the kidnapping of Normie by the alternate Goblin in an effort to sway the public beliefs away from him being the Green Goblin.
The reward on Spider-Man's head rises to Five Million Dollars after he is suspected of murdering a thug named Joey Z. Peter retires his Spider-Man costume and chooses to don four new costume identities, which have been nick-named " The Slingers": The Hornet, Ricochet, Dusk, and Prodigy. As the Dusk persona, Peter aids the Trapster who also seeks revenge on Norman Osborn. The Trapster threatens to kill Osborn, but Dusk stops him, and Osborn gets away. The Trapster (real name Pete Petruski) publicly confesses to having killed Joey Z and exonerates Spider-Man. As the Prodigy persona, Peter battles with Conundrum and Jack O’Lantern to return Tabriaz Chaliz, the kidnapped daughter of the Sufindian ambassador (was behind that kidnapping as well). Prodigy exonerates Spider-Man by stating that it was either Conundrum or Jack O’Lantern who disguised themselves as Spider-Man and attacked Norman Osborn at his apartment. Spider-Man is no longer a wanted criminal, and the Identity Crisis story arc comes to an end.
Roderick Kingsley, who is in prison for his crimes as Hobgoblin, starts telling people that he has Osborn’s incriminating diary and can prove Norman Osborn is the true Green Goblin. This sets up the first battle between the original Green Goblin and the new Hobgoblin. While being transferred from prison, Roderick is abducted by the Construct Goblin and brought to Norman Osborn. Norman thinks Roderick is bluffing about having the diary, and takes over all of Roderick’s financial interests in Kingsley Ltd.
In an attempt to murder Norman Osborn and seize control of the New York City underworld, the Kingpin sends the assassin Nitro to blow up at the Daily Bugle building. After Nitro Detonates himself, Norman, Peter, Normie, and Betty Brant become trapped in the destroyed elevator. After some psychological provoking by Norman, Peter decides that saving Betty and Normie is worth the risk of revealing his identity to the public by displaying superhuman strength. Peter then returns to the elevator and saves Norman just in the nick of time. A decision Peter will rue, as would soon take up the mantle of the Green Goblin again to terrorize Peter and those close to him.
The Gathering of Five
Norman Osborn gathers five people together for the mysterious ritual of the Gathering of Five, in which each participant receives one of five possible gifts: power, immortality, knowledge, madness, or death. Each individual must choose to take part of the ritual with an open heart and conviction of purpose. The five participants were Madame Web, Martha “Matt” Franklin, Gregory Herd (aka Override), Morris Maxwell, and Norman himself. Meanwhile, Alison Mongrain, is making her way to Peter Parker to deliver some important information. She doesn’t reach Peter, but find Mary Jane and tell her that May Parker is still alive and at Norman’s hunting lodge upstate. Mary Jane tells Peter and he resolves to go after May, MJ tries to stop him, and tells Peter it could very possibly be just another of Norman’s traps. Meanwhile, after the Gathering of Five ritual, Osborn is convinced he has the gift of power.
Peter arrives at Norman’s hunting lodge and confronts Osborn, who is dressed as the Green Goblin. Norman claims he has grown tired of the personal vendetta he’s waged against Peter and their conflicts will soon come to an end. He also claims that he will release a “DNA bomb” to reshape the world in his image. A threat that appears very real when Peter hears reports that 50 people at Osborn Industry died when they “melted” out of their clothing. After neutralizing the Goblin, Spider-Man heads into the estate hoping to find his baby May, however, May Alison Mongrain misled MJ and was actually referring to Peter's deceased Aunt May.
Peter takes Aunt May to Reed Richards to run tests on her. Reed believes she is human and not a clone, but the only way to be sure would be a DNA sample. Peter finds an old blood sample of May’s and brings it to Richards. When Peter returns to the Baxter Building, Reed tells Peter someone implanted a device at the base of May’s skull and if it is not removed soon she will die. Peter confronts Norman to find out what purpose the device serves, and Norman gladly offers the information. Firstly, the device is the “trigger” for the worldwide DNA bomb, if removed the bomb will go off. Second, this is the real Aunt May and the person who died in Amazing Spider-Man #400 was an actress Norman hired and infused with May’s genetic matrix. Norman as the Green Goblin, then defeats Spider-Man and unmasks him publicly.
Norman Osborn’s True Gift
It is later revealed that this was Norman’s delusion and Spider-Man had actually defeated him. The Gathering of Five ritual had actually given Osborn the gift of madness. Reed Richards neutralizes the device in May’s skull and she is recuperating fine. Norman is taken to the Bellevue psychiatric ward where he is unmasked by the staff, they cry out, “his face,” but suddenly a group of Scriers take out the guards and doctors and kidnap Osborn claiming he “belongs to the Scriers”.
The Goblin Heir
Norman Osborn, dependent on drugs to sustain his sanity, is in a safe house with his friend, ally, and Osborn Industry employee Donald Menken, who is one of the Scriers who removed Osborn from the psychiatric ward. Meanwhile, Norman has fallen in love with his nurse, Kolina Frederickson who reminds of his deceased wife Emily. One day after she accidentally walks in on Norman in his Goblin costume, his first instinct is to throw a gas bomb, not knowing it was her and almost kills her. Osborne decides to come clean and reveal his life story to Kolina.
Norman also evaluates his recent battles with Spider-Man, and feels the time is perfect for another attack due to Mary Jane’s death and the loss of all Parker's savings. Norman disguises himself as a mailman and tampers with Peter and Randy Robertson’s mail. Norman creates a group known as the Order of the Goblin from those Scriers who remained loyal to him during his recent bout with insanity. Peter Parker is suffering from hallucinations induced by the toothpaste planted in his mail, which give Peter some Goblin-related visions. Norman’s plan is to make Peter the heir to the Osborn Legacy to become the next Green Goblin.
Norman then visits an old Osborn family estate and recalls the night his father made him stay there overnight to become a man, and met the Goblin for the first time. Peter hallucinations continue. Norman kidnaps Peter, and when Peter wakes up Norman is holding him hostage, determined to make Peter face the darkness and become an Osborn. Norman tortures Peter trying to break Peter’s spirit and get him to accept the darkness. He tells Peter, he realized Peter was the rightful heir while at the hospital visiting the birth of Normie Osborn and saw Peter was secretly visiting the hospital as well. Norman claims he has won, because for a brief moment during the torture, Peter “blinked” at the darkness, and Peter would no longer be able to maintain his altruistic facade. Peter eventually overcomes the mind games and rejects being the heir to the Osborn legacy.
A Death in the Family
The story begins with Norman visiting his son, Harry’s grave, and in Norman's introspection he states that he had reached out to Peter and that he had refused him, and that Norman can’t let things stand at that. Meanwhile, Peter is haunted by a dream and he has no one he can confide in, he attempts to confide in Mary Jane, but decides not to talk to her (she's in California and they aren’t together). As if drawn to each other, Spider-Man and the Green Goblin meet up in the middle of a rain storm, a fight ensues and Norman leaves Peter with an invitation to a family reunion... and it's going to be a funeral. The Green Goblin then appears on TV stating that it was Spider-Man who was responsible for the death of Gwen Stacy and that he had originally planned to catch her after her drop. Peter confronts Norman while Norman is with some clients and Norman tells Peter that one of them, either Peter or Norman, has to die. The Green Goblin than force feeds Flash Thompson, a recovering alcoholic, whiskey and then has him drive a truck that crashes into Midtown High. Due to the accident, Flash goes into a coma.
Norman offers to repair Midtown High since it was his company’s truck that crashed into the school. Later, Norman has Peter meet him at one of Osborn’s chemical companies. While there, Norman states that he plans to murder, Normie Osborn, his grandchild. The fight continues and Norman states that only one of them can leave there today and that he has operatives stationed all over the place and they are ready to kill those close to Peter at any moment. Peter Parker, who becomes quickly enraged, pummels the Green Goblin, beating him mercilessly, and it appears that the Green Goblin has given up. Just before delivering the final blow, Peter releases Norman and says that he can’t kill him. The two even share a laugh at this point. He then confides in Norman about his dream at which point Peter realizes the meaning of the dream. Everyday he refuses to hate Norman for what he did, Gwen lives, if he caves into the anger she dies. So he won’t cave into the anger. Peter calls Norman’s bluff concerning killing young Normie. As the story arc closes, the two rivals share a laugh, a scene that is a sort homage to the conclusion to Alan Moore’s Batman: The Killing Joke. It appears as though Norman set this whole thing up because he wanted Peter to kill him, that was the “death in the family”, Norman contemplates suicide at the conclusion. The ramifications from this story arc are numerous; however, one of the major results is Flash becoming paraplegic.
A reporter for the Daily Bugle, Terri Kidder, follows a lead she was given from a friend concerning missing people at Oscorp. Her friend is an employee at Oscorp. In an attempt to break the story, she tricks her way into the office of Norman Osborn to question him about the missing people. Her body is then found dead and mutilated in the reservoir on the east side of Central Park. Ben Urich puts the pieces together and eventually the police come to investigate Norman for the missing bodies, but when they arrive at Norman’s office they don’t find Norman, instead, they find the Green Goblin and hell breaks loose. Spider-Man intervenes and neutralizes the Goblin, who nearly kills both Ben Urich and Jessica Jones, who is Luke Cage’s girlfriend. Luke Cage, angered by the attacks on his girlfriend, goes after Norman after he had already surrendered to the authorities. To escape this attack Norman dons his Goblin apparel, but Luke subdues him. The story concludes with Osborn being confirmed publicly named as the Green Goblin and being placed in jail.
The Last Stand
This story arc picks up immediately after the events of The Pulse, where Spider-Man is now in the process of hunting down the Green Goblin. He succeeds and the Goblin is brought into prison, unfortunately for Peter, Norman is suing Spider-Man for aggravated assault charges due to the nature of which Spider-Man overpowered him. Peter returns home, he receives a phone call in the middle of the night that someone has defaced Uncle Ben’s grave. Peter goes to the grave site to see. Unfortunately, this was a decoy because his Aunt May was kidnapped from his home while he was gone. He confronts Norman in prison, thinking that he is to blame, and Norman plays mind games with Peter as to whether or not he is involved, basically providing no information for him. Interestingly, in the course of the conversation we learn that Norman's age is 55.
Later, Mac Gargan approaches Peter Parker, claiming to be the one responsible for kidnapping his Aunt May, and he says that he was working for Norman Osborn, but that this kidnapping is the “tip of the iceberg” for Norman’s plans. Gargan tells Peter the history of super-villains and that they were created in the forties when the “ruling class”, companies responsible for putting governments into office, desired to keep emerging super heroes at bay, and away from discovering the corruptness which this "ruling class" has been utilizing to prevail. This “divide and conquer” tactic led to contracted super villains, of which Norman Osborn was one of the favorites, until he went out of control with the Goblin persona. This corrupt administration is no longer operating but there were some famous names in the “original cabal”. Due to that Norman has become a target because he knows where “all the bodies are buried” and he is a sitting duck in prison. So Norman Osborn orchestrated the kidnapping of Aunt May in order to solicit Peter’s help to break him out of prison, he has to help him or Aunt May dies. Peter reluctantly decides to help break him out, and in the process of doing so he receives help from the Black Cat. Peter successfully breaks Norman out, but when he does, the Green Goblin has a surprise for him. The Green Goblin double crosses Peter and has the Sinister Twelve, a group composed of classic Spider-Man villains like the Rhino, Hydro-Man, Electro, amongst others waiting for him. Fortunately, Mary Jane called S.H.I.E.L.D. as well as the Avengers, Daredevil, and the Fantastic Four arrived to help neutralize them. The Green Goblin leaves to go kill Mary Jane, and Spider-Man then goes after him. They meet on what looks to be the George Washington Bridge. A mind controlled Doctor Octopus, who has been programmed to kill Norman Osborn, arrives at the scene. A lightning bolt strikes and hits the Goblin, who was holding his Goblin Glider in the air, as well as Doc Ock and sends both of them plunging into the water below. Peter finds his Aunt May buried alive in the grave site of his Uncle Ben, he had reached her just in time to save her life. The story concludes with a letter written from Norman to Peter thanking him for providing the intellectual and physical challenge as Spider-Man as they have provided his life with both structure and meaning.
This controversial story-arc begins with Peter receiving a letter in the mail, postmarked 2004 (the year of the story's publication), from Gwen Stacy. There is only one page in the letter and its clear information is missing. Peter takes the letter to Detective Lamont, who passes the letter on to forensics in order to figure out if something was written on the back side of the paper, which might possibly provide more insight into what is going on. While visiting Gwen’s grave, Peter is attacked by two unknown assailants, one male and one female. Lamont gives the letter back with what could be retrieved from the original letter and it is revealed that Gwen was pregnant with twins and that she had given birth to them, their names were Gabriel and Sarah. The two assailants were Gabriel and Sarah and they are determined to kill Peter Parker/Spider-Man because they are convinced that he is their father and that he abandoned them and killed their mother. Peter runs DNA tests on the letters to see if they really are Gwen’s kids, the tests confirm they are her kids.
Mary Jane tells Peter that she knows who the real father is and that Gwen confided in her in regards to an affair she had with Norman Osborn roughly 7 months before she died. She had given birth to the children in Europe, where they remained. This provides Peter the insight into some of Norman's prior motivations including why he chose Gwen of all people to kill and why he went Europe after his “death”. Also, Gwen would not let Norman have the children, which explains why Norman was so hungry for an heir and wanted Peter to fill that role. Gwen had wanted Peter to help raise the children. There was still the question as to why the children were as old as they were, the time line didn't make sense. The answer: Norman's exposure to the Goblin formula. Norman’s Goblin formula, which has integrated into his DNA and provides him with rapid regenerative capabilities, had been passed down to his offspring and explains their rapid aging. Unfortunately, the twins are now dying and need Peter’s help in order to stay alive. Norman, while in Europe, fed the children the false information that Peter was their father and that he was responsible for their mother’s death. At the Brooklyn Bridge, Peter tells Sarah and Gabriel that Norman is their father, Sarah believes him, Gabriel does not and in the ensuing fight Gabriel inadvertently shoots Sarah. Peter gives Sarah his blood to keep her alive, meanwhile Gabriel remembers instructions he was given by Osborn to find a Goblin hideout. When he arrives there, Norman has a prerecorded message for him and an enhancing formula that should have curbed this aging process. He then dons the Grey Goblin costume. The Grey Goblin attacks Peter in the hospital, but Sarah steps in to help, Gabriel is knocked into the water and he washes up on shore with temporary amnesia.
Osborn managed to survive his latest encounter with Spider-Man and escape to France but was captured by S.H.I.E.L.D agents and imprisoned. While in S.H.I.E.L.D. custody, Osborn watched in shock as Spider-Man publicly revealed his identity as Peter Parker, railing that Peter "broke the rules!". Parker also confirmed Osborn's identity as the Green Goblin and his role in the death of Gwen Stacy.
Norman is then approached by S.H.I.E.L.D. agents who are seeking his aid. The Goblin confronts and attacks Ben Urich in an alley, but S.H.I.E.L.D.'s nano-machines cause him to stop and collapse. In an attempt to encourage errant heroes to register with the government, S.H.I.E.L.D director Tony Stark decided to inject Osborn with nanites designed to keep him under control, and have him, as the Green Goblin, attack an Atlantean espionage ring in New York, in order to have the Atlanteans seem as a threat to the USA, and encourage more heroes to join the Super Human Registration Act. However, Osborn had made a deal with a shadowy figure who gave him a serum that overrides the nanites' control and as a result, he ended up killing and wounding many Atlanteans, even attempting to assassinate the Atlantean Ambassador but only succeeded in wounding him. He was then captured and imprisoned again by the police. However, Osborn was taken away from the police by operatives of the Commission of Super-Human Activities (CSA) whose role was to enforce the SHRA. After threatening the police, Osborn became increasingly scared and begged them to hold on to him, promising to tell them everything he knows.
Director of Thunderbolts
The CSA (an American government organization far from S.H.I.E.L.D's control) appointed Norman Osborn as the new director of the Thunderbolts after the collapse of the original roster and has been given pills in order to maintain his sanity. The new Thunderbolts roster now includes original members Songbird, Radioactive Man and Swordsman, as well as the addition of new members, including Moonstone, Venom, Penance and Bullseye. As the new team's leader, Osborn has alternately used diplomacy, force, and humiliation to keep the field team in line, and enjoys the status and power he has, as well as his criminal career being quietly swept under the carpet. Osborn's favorite members are Venom, Moonstone and Bullseye, and his most hated are Songbird, Penance and Swordsman. However, in an attempt to become team leader herself, Thunderbolt Moonstone influenced attendants to switch his medication with placebos on alternate days, hoping Osborn will go insane once again and gets fired but her plan backfired. He has also forced the super-villain Whirlwind and his allies to secretly work for him directly. As a Director for the Commission on Superhuman Activities, Osborn was present and involved in a joint CSA/UN tribunal against Tony Stark, being aggressively against him and clashing with witness Doc Samson.
When four telepaths try to destroy the Thunderbolts from the inside, they target Osborn with hallucinations of his Goblin mask, eventually causing him to break down completely in response to Swordsman going rogue. Driven to become the Green Goblin again, he brutally assaults and crucifies Swordsman before being telepathically nudged into murdering the entire Thunderbolt Mountain staff. He engages Songbird in battle, and both knock each other unconscious. When Bullseye murders the four telepaths in their cells, all of the Thunderbolts return to normal.
New Ways to Die
During the course of the One More Day storyline, which ended with the retcon of the previous two decades of Spider-Man continuity, the situation changes so that Norman's son, Harry, is revealed to be alive once more and no one (including Norman) knows Spider-Man's secret identity.
In this story, Mayoral candidate Randall Crowne, who was accused of running an illegal sweatshop by the Front Line, asks Norman's help in insuring his victory. But in return, Norman asks Crowne to use his contacts to arrange for the Thunderbolts to come to New York and hunt Spider-Man. First, he sent the team after the man who takes pictures of his long-time foe...Peter Parker. The Thunderbolts attacked Peter and attempt to force him into telling them where Spider-Man is. After he refused to co-operate, they ruined his apartment and left him with a warning. Norman also checked on his son Harry, who has bought the Coffee Bean, hoping to make it into a franchise, but this did not impress Norman at all.
Eventually, the Thunderbolts engaged Spider-Man and Eddie Brock got involved and has become Anti-Venom. As Norman watches the battle between Venom, Anti-Venom and Spider-Man, he is attacked and threatened by the new goblin, Menace, who tells him to stop interfering in politics and leave town, but Norman tells him that he's only interested in Spider-Man, angering Menace further, but Osborn defeated Menace by using a self-destruct mechanism on Menace's glider, which originally belonged to Osborn. After the battle which ended with the Venom symbiote badly injured, Osborn noticed Peter's camera, and re-engineered its homing device, allowing him to track Spider-Man's movement and location. He used this programming to form a special kind of tracer-bullets that only hits Spider-Man. He sent Bullseye and a group of Thunderbolts soldiers to capture the Wall Crawler but they failed.
Osborn also cured Gargan and his symbiote by building him a new special Scorpion suit armed with a very powerful poison able to kill Anti-Venom, derived from the villain Freak. When Spider-Man and Anti-Venom made their way to Oscorp, Gargan attacked and the poison proved to be effective against Anti-Venom, temporarily defeating him. As Spider-Man made his way to the main office, Osborn was now wearing his Green Goblin costume and ready to fight Spider-Man. A fight ensued with Spider-Man having the upper edge but stopped himself from finishing Norman off when the Goblin revealed that he had people hooked up to machines. As Spider-Man rushed to save those people, Osborn used the building's self-destruct mechanism. As the building crumbled, Spider-Man saved the people and Norman managed to escape. He was then seen giving a public speech and was still seen as a hero to the public.
Thunderbolt Mountain is being attacked by a Skrull Captain Marvel, but was convinced by Osborn to leave. The Skrulls have deactivated all Stark Technology, and since Norman's team was forced to use Oscorp Tech instead, the Thunderbolts were the only team that was able to reach and defend Washington D.C using its own technology. Norman leads the team along with the other heroes in the final battle against the Skrulls while personally joining the fight with a machine gun.
During the conflict, in a state of madness, Osborn slaughters many Skrull Spider-Man duplicates until finally, Norman delivers the killing shot against the Skrull Queen, ending the conflict.
The event was shown on live TV and Osborn and his Thunderbolts were seen as heroes for their efforts while Iron Man was seen as a coward. Osborn also intercepted data from the Skrull invasion fleet meant for Nick Fury by Deadpool.
His heroic status is exemplified when numerous TV cameras capture his gunshot killing the Skrull Queen Veranke and he is successfully able to manipulate the media in order to promote himself and his team as world heroes.
The President of the United States shuts down S.H.I.E.L.D. and Norman replaces Tony Stark in running the SHRA and the Avengers Initiative.
He is then seen arranging a meeting with his newly formed 'Cabal', consisting of Doctor Doom, Namor, Emma Frost, The Hood, and Loki. They have been pulling the strings to help Osborn and them gain enough power in order for them each to pursue their own agendas for the world. Norman seeks to change the world as we know it into his own warped vision of perfection. He introduces to them to a shadowy figure (which is later revealed to be the Void/ Sentry), as his secret weapon, threatening them of its wrath in case they plan to double-cross him. The "heroes" have lost, he has won, Dark Reign has begun...
Norman is seen as the earth's greatest hero and the most powerful man in America. Norman first shuts down S.H.I.E.L.D, claiming it to be too corrupt due to Skrull infiltration and replaces it with H.A.M.M.E.R as the new worldwide peace keeping organization, putting himself as director, with S.H.I.E.L.D. secretary Victoria Hand as his second in command. He then fires Tony Stark and declares him as a fugitive and the main reason for the Skrull invasion. However, Tony had placed a virus in the SHRA database, preventing Osborn from learning the identities of any registered heroes and downloading all the data into his brain patterns. Norman then shuts down the 50 State Initiative, claiming it to be one of Stark's failed programs and decides to form only one government-sponsored Avengers team, the Dark Avengers.
Next, Osborn turns the Thunderbolts team into his own black ops team with Yelena Belova as team leader. This team's goal is the elimination of all superhero threats to their plans. He also buys out and takes control of StarkTech, making it now Oscorp allowing him access to many classified documents and tech specs, along with Tony's Iron Man suits. Swordsman confronts Norman about shutting down the Thunderbolts program, so Norman murders him in a state of madness with his own sword and throws his body out of the window. Norman then realizes that his personality is not as stable as he thought.
The President calls Norman to meet with him on board of the Air Force One, where Doc Samson has footage of Osborn killing people in the Thunderbolts mountain during the telepaths attack. Norman accuses Samson of being involved and just before the footage is played, a person dressed in a Green Goblin costume attacks. Meanwhile, Doc Samson goes in a berserker state because of a Gamma Radiation emitter activated by Ant-Man and threaten the President. After using a knock out gas, Osborn, in an attempt to protect the president, fights this Goblin and throws him out of the Air Force One where it is revealed that the Goblin was actually Headsman, who was saved by the other Thunderbolts. The President places him in charge of the country's security.
Now in charge of the world's peace keeping taskforce, Osborn decides to show the world his image of heroism. First, he hires the Ghost to break into Iron Man's armory and steal on of the suits which he remodels and takes the mantle himself of the Iron Patriot. He chooses a group of people worthy of being called Avengers. He recruits Ares whom he tricks into thinking that he has the same role as he had with the Mighty Avengers. He also convinces the Sentry to join after promising to help him with his Void problem by giving him a serum similar to the one that originally gave him his powers. He gives former Thunderbolts new Bullseye and Venom new identities, Hawkeye and a black suited Spider-Man, respectively. He attempts to have Carol Danvers aka Ms. Marvel to join the team, but she refuses and goes rogue. Norman then visits Moonstone on Thunderbolts Island, and hands her an old Mr. Marvel costume. He also recruits Noh-Varr as the team's Captain Marvel, who doesn't know of Osborn and his fellow team-mates' status as old villains. Daken also joins the team as Wolverine, in order to annoy his father.
Now Osborn's team has assembled with him, as the Iron Patriot, as team leader. He reveals his Avengers to the public as Ms. Marvel, Captain Marvel, Wolverine, Hawkeye, Sentry and Ares. He promises his team fame and fortune as long as they follow what he and Ms. Hand say, including not talking to the media or the press.
Norman leads the Avengers on their first mission, saving Dr. Doom from Morgan Le Fey in Latveria. The battle is concluded when Osborn and Dr. Doom travel back in time and defeat Le Fey in her own time, by tossing her back into the prehistoric times. Upon getting back to Avengers Tower, Osborn gets word of Clint Barton's press conference where Barton accuses Osborn of being mentally unstable.
Later on, the Dark Avengers were attacked by the all powerful Molecule Man. Molecule Man showed Osborn hallucinations of Gwen and Spider-Man, and the entire team was left hopeless at his mercy, until the Sentry appeared and defeated Molecule Man and restored everything back to normal.
Norman appears to his son Harry and asks him to join his Avengers as the American Son but Harry laughs at his offer. Later on, a while Norman was in his limo, the roof was ripped off by webbing, and Osborn is captured by an enraged Spider-Man, who starts beating on Osborn all over the city, telling him to leave Harry alone but Osborn only expresses his disappointment for not seeing him snap. During the fight, Osborn answers his phone and to Spider-Man's shock, it's Harry who has reconsidered his father's offer. Norman then laughs in triumph as a frustrated Spider-Man leaves. However, it is revealed that Harry only accepted the offer because his girlfriend Lily Hollister, who is also the Menace, is pregnant, and Harry swore to do anything to provide what is necessary to his family. In front of the public, Norman welcomes Harry to the Dark Avengers and showed him his plans for him to use the American Son armor which can only be used by an Osborn. While Norman is showing Harry Stark Tower's many facilities, Spider-Man infiltrated the Tower, posing as Dark Spider-Man. Harry catches Spider-Man defeating Daken in the Tower and surprisingly, he tells Norman that it's not "his" Spider-Man instead of going along Spider-Man's bluff. Web-Head is shot in knees and captured by Bullseye.
Norman and Bullseye begin to mercilessly torture Spider-Man but still unable to remove his mask because it is made of unstable molecules. It is then revealed that Lily is pregnant with Norman's son and not Harry's. Norman was seeking a heir to his legacy in case Harry would not be worthy but because of the Goblin Formula, his children will suffer the same condition Gwen's children suffered from. So, he mated with Lily, who also had a Goblin Formula in her, which stabilizes the aging condition. Once Peter learned of this, he escaped Osborn's clutches and informed Harry the truth before collapsing. As Norman is beating on Spider-Man, an enraged Harry, using the American Son armor attack his father. After interference from both Spider-Man and Menace, Harry defeats his father, and just about he was going to finish him off, Spider-Man tells him that if he does kill him, he will be the son Norman always wanted so Harry leaves Norman battered and bloody.
Later on, Norman is seen with a pregnant Lily, telling his unborn child that Harry is failure and his "little Goblin Prince" will be much more worthy of the Goblin legacy.
Utopia: No More X-Men
After mutant riots break out in San Francisco, Norman Osborn turns his attention to the mutant "problem". First he has Charles Xavier and Beast arrested and put in holding cells. He then, after creating his own team of avengers, creates his own team of X-Men featuring Mimic as Angel, Mystique as Xavier, Dark Beast as Beast, Daken as Wolverine, Namor, and Weapon Omega, and Cloak and Dagger, while being lead by Emma Frost. During an encounter between X-Force, and the Dark X-Men, Emma and Namor show their true colors by taking out Daken and Mimic. When Osborn hears news of this, he is outraged, and promises he will kill Cyclops himself. During an ensuing battle on a far away mutant island called Utopia, Osborn engages Cyclops, and easily takes him down. However, instead of eliminating Scott, he takes the time to taunt the X-Leader. Before Osborn can finally move in for the kill, he sees the Sentry fly into space being pursued by the Void, and Moonstar taking down Ares. He begins to panic while Moonstone tells him they need to kill the X-Men to escape. Unfortunately for Norman, there are too many of them and he is forced to fall back with his Avengers and X-Men. He is later seen on the news spinning his version of events. Osborn tells the world that his forces won the epic battle (though he is aware they clearly lost) and Utopia is declared a mutant prison. Norman has made a list of obstacles standing in his way and needs to be taken out.
The List: Ronin and the New Avengers
Clint Barton publicly outed Osborn as a villain, so he decided to take him out along with the rest of the New Avengers.
However, not long after the events of Utopia, Clint Barton invaded Stark Tower in an attempt to assassinate Osborn. However, he failed because of Ares, who saved Osborn and placed Barton under arrest. Later on, Osborn had Barton tortured for information on the rest of the Avengers' location. Despite Clint refusing to co-operate, Osborn was still able to get the information he needed by using a telepath to enter his mind. Now knowing their location, Osborn sent a group of H.A.M.M.E.R agents to raid and destroy the Avengers' base, but none of them were there at the time. When Osborn and his Avengers were involved in the wrecking crew incident, he was able to arrest Luke Cage, and have him sent off into a H.A.M.M.E.R. prison/hospital since Cage suffered a heart attack. This facility was raided by the New Avengers, who ended up rescuing both Cage and Barton, infuriating Osborn.
The List: Punisher
During a public speech, Punisher attempted to assassinate Osborn but failed thanks to the Sentry, who stopped the bullet at the last second, millimeters in front of Norman's eyes. Seeing the Punisher as a threat, Norman hired the Hood and his gang to take him out, but they failed. In the end, he sent Daken to finish off Frank once and for all, a task Daken violently succeeded in.
The List: Spider-Man
Osborn has saved the best for last. For his final item on the list, he wants to kill the Amazing Spider-Man. He captures Spider-Man downloading a video of Osborn conducting horrible experiments in Stark Tower. Iron Patriot and Spider-Man fight in the streets but Peter manages to escape and changed into civilian clothes and download the video on the internet. Osborn threatened to kill him but Parker stood up to him and told him off. Osborn left to trace the video.
Ever since Norman gained control, he had a secret weapon. This was played out for months and months, finally it was revealed that his secret weapon was the Sentry's alter-ego, the Void. Sentry returned to New York, in a state of insanity, Osborn pleaded with him to control the Void, which finally he did, and Norman also saw this as his opportunity to have even more power. During a meeting with The Cabal, as Doctor Doom states he is leaving because Osborn wants to kill his ally Namor, Osborn gives the order for the Void to kill Doom. Void ends up throwing Doom through a wall but it turned out to be a Doom Bot that sent many bug-like machines to terrorize Stark Tower and the Avengers. The Sentry also told Norman of his wife having knowledge of Sentry's true origin but he refused to tell him what she knew, so Osborn gave Bullseye orders to kill Lindy Reynolds. And he does by chocking her, and throwing her out of a helicopter.
One night, Osborn was talking to his Goblin side who convinced him to attack Asgard to achieve ultimate power, and though at first reluctant, Osborn agrees. In his final quest for power, Norman Osborn sees Asgard and wants to run it and since Loki made himself a member of the Cabal, he would be able to become the ruler of Asgard. After being denied permission by the President, Loki sends out members of the Hood's Gang to Chicago where Volstagg is traveling to set up an incident (similar to the Stamford incident that sparked Civil War), thus giving him a reason to invade Asgard. The members engage Volstagg and end up blowing up Soldier Field, killing many civilians in the process. Osborn summons his Avengers as well as the entire Initiative to wage war against Asgard. Though the Avengers were unwilling at first, Norman tells them that if they join him, he will set them all free. His one problem is Ares. He is a descendant from Asgard and would never fight his brothers. Osborn lies and says Loki has gained control of Asgard, Ares agrees to go, but warns him that if he is lying, he will kill him. Asgard is caught off guard by Osborn's forces. Donald Blake is helping Tony Stark recuperate in a hospital while he sees fighter jets blanket the Oklahoma skies. He knows Osborn is out to destroy Asgard. He leaves and becomes Thor. Once Osborn sees Thor after him, he has a number of villains and The Sentry attack him and beat him mercilessly. This is watched by Steve Rodgers. As Norman's assault continues, Maria Hill launches a missile at him and seizes the opportunity to get Thor to safety in order for him to recover. As Ares is fighting, he realizes he was tricked, and goes after Norman.
The Sentry charges at him and the two battle, but the Sentry gains the upper hand, ripping Ares in half to the shock of everyone. Norman's assault was greeted by Captain America and the real Avengers arriving to help out the Asgardians. Tony Stark also recovered energy and joined the fray. He had Norman's armor shut off and Captain America breaks the armor revealing Osborn's face had begun to turn green resembling his Green Goblin mask. As the Sentry is battling Thor and completely annihilating Asgard, he pleads with Iron Man and Captain America that he was trying to save them from the Sentry's ultimate power level.
After the events of Siege, Osborn is later seen in prison, being seen by Steve Rogers who comments Osborn is where he belongs, behind bars. As Rogers leaves, Norman is confronted by a hallucination of his alter ego stating he will always be with Norman no matter what. Later after Luke Cage is appointed the leader of the new team of Thunderbolts, Osborn is seen as a new prisoner on the Raft, a prison made specifically to hold some of the most dangerous villains in the world.
The story starts at the Raft prison where Norman Osborn observes a spider in his cell and admires how it captures its prey. The authorities fear that Osborn might walk away free using a plea of insanity so to insure that the trial is executed carefully and without mistakes they keep Norman without charges and they transfer him to a privately operated facility called the Special Containment Center (SCC) that holds the world's most dangerous villains: Kingmaker, Xirdal, Carl "Carny" Rives, June Covington the Toxic Doxie, and Ai Apaec the Decapitator. Senator Morrison moves Norman to the SCC and seems to be conspiring with Father Coulmier, a priest who makes frequent visits to the SCC and is a member of the cult who worships the Green Goblin, having a Goblin tattoo on the back of his neck.
Upon hearing from the Senator of Norman's transfer, Father Coulmier immediately goes to visit him. Norman is placed in the facility's Third Wing where Coulmier, in a fake private therapy session, tells Norman about the growing Goblin Cult as he believes that Norman has a crucial role in bringing about a better world and offers to break him out of the facility to lead their cult. Although Norman is intrigued by the proposition, he refuses because as a political prisoner, escaping would hurt his cause. As Coulmier continues to try and convince Norman to escape with him, an alarm goes off and Norman uses this opportunity to kill two guards and begin his escape. With the alarm still going off, Ai Apaec kills a guard and Norman confront him and the other inmates and tells them that he will free them all as long as they follow his orders until they are free and threatens that he will kill them all if they don't. However, one of the inmates, Xirdal, refuses to follow a murderer and goes on her own path, and she is seemingly killed by flooding waters after she opened a hatch. Osborn thinks that she made a poor choice and continues on his path with Coulmier and the other inmates.
Meanwhile, at the Front Line offices, Norah Winters, after following the advice of Peter Parker, starts working on her paper concerning Norman Osborn since he's in jail but when one of her informants tell her that Norman has been removed from the Raft, she becomes afraid for her life, thinking that Norman will kill her if she publishes her paper so she decides to find his whereabouts. She receives a mysterious envelope from her informant telling her to meet him at Pier 84. There, he directs Norah to a submarine, taking her to the SCC.
Osborn and the remaining inmates of the Third Wing enter into the the main area of the prison, where a riot between the other prisoners is taking place. Here he quickly takes control of the rioters by targeting and taking out the strongest threat he can find. The rioters realize who he is and begin to chant his name while showing their Goblin tattoos. This is all observed by Norah Winters who has made her way to a guard post above the riot. Norman notices that someone is in the guard post and sends Ai Apaec to investigate. Upon seeing that it is Norah, he smiles and tells her that she is just in time to see him raise an army.
As that is going on, Sarah Saulsby, another reporter from the Daily Bugle is trying to track down Norah. She rings the police and says that she hasn't been able to contact her, and that she thinks it has something to with Norman Osborn and a meeting point on Pier 84. She says she has to get the message to Senator Sondra Muffoletto, who was mentioned in Norah notes. Once Sondra hears mention of Pier 84 she contacts Senator Morrison who denies any knowledge of anything to do with Osborn. Sondra realizes she is being set up to take the fall if the truth about Osborn comes out.
Norman then makes a speech about being the man of the people and that him and his fellow inmates were treated without a fair trial. Later, he questions Norah on how she got here and figured out that it was Senator Morrison's who is blackmailing Senator Muffoletto. Osborn then gets in touch with Muffoletto and tells her he will make all of this go away if she tells him how to escape. It turns out there is a submarine. While Norman sends his henchman to find the submarine, he has a talk with Father Coulmier about why exactly is he here. Coulmier explains that it's not because he worships him, but because he suspects him of being the anti-Christ. With that, Osborn gives him a task to complete while he escapes to the submarine. When he arrives, he is greeted by Carney Rives, the inmate with phasing abilities, and he was the one that brought Norah Winters down there. He uses his powers of intangibility to get Osborn, Norah, and the rest in the escape pod. Meanwhile Sen. Muffoletto than calls the pentagon notifying this issue, but before they can reach to the underwater prison, Coulmier, who was left behind, self-destructs the prison.
Thanks to The Decapitator ability, the submarine was able to survive the shockwave of the explosion. Three weeks after their escape, the group parted ways. Norman leaves out of a national bank and meets up with June Covington at a restaurant. Afterward, Osborn calls the police and turns himself in. When Norah hears that Osborn turned himself in, she quickly rushed over to the court to confront him before he's transferred back to the Raft. During their exchange, Osborn calls Norah a C-rated reporter and should quit.
Later, Senator Muffoletto visits Norman Osborn at the Raft. She asks why Osborn blew up the underwater prison. He replies that he was restoring the dignity of those incarcerated and that he was righteous, or in which Muffoletto sees it as mass murder by euthanasia. Afterward, she leaves and Osborn is greeted by his new doctor- June Covington.
Genius Intellect- Even before exposing himself to the Goblin serum, Norman Osborn was highly intelligent, with expertise in a variety of scientific fields. Evidence of this is seen in his creation of Goblin formulas. However, after his dosage of the formula, his intelligence increased even further. Osborn has been able to engineer multiple chemical compounds and mixtures, most notably his diverse variations of the Goblin formula. The most recent of his chemical engineering include the shape-shifting Menace formula and the serum that modifies the Venom symbiote's appearance. Norman has also been able to engineer a number of different electronic and mechanical inventions, including the Green Goblin equipment, the Iron Patriot armor, and the American Son program. Norman's intellect has also been sufficient to strategize his continued formation and direction of multiple teams to further his agenda, such as the Dark Avengers, Dark X-Men, Thunderbolts, and Dark Illuminati.
Superhuman Strength- Norman gained superhuman strength from the Goblin serum. His strength is sufficient for him to lift 9 tons under his own power, and he has thus been able to fight Spider-Man head to head on several occasions.
Superhuman Speed- Osborn also possesses superhuman speed to complement his strength.
Superhuman Reflexes- As Norman's speed has been augmented, he can also react at superhuman levels.
Superhuman Durability- The Goblin formula also gave Norman the ability to withstand greater physical damage than a normal human being. Although he is far from invulnerable and can be injured by conventional firearms and bladed weapons, he has been able to withstand powerful impact forces. Osborn has been able to withstand blows from Spider-Man in combat multiple times.
Superhuman Stamina- Norman can physically exert himself much longer than normal humans as his musculature produces significantly less fatigue toxins.
Accelerated Healing- Osborn has a moderate healing factor that was sufficient to save him from death when he was impaled by his own glider. He has also been able to recover from other severe injuries, such as the detonation of several of his own bombs.
Green Goblin Suit- Previously, Osborn utilized the Goblin suit. The tunic in the suit provided Norman some moderate protection from physical trauma.
Pumpkin Bombs- The Green Goblin's trademark weapons were pumpkin bombs. As their name suggests, these bombs were designed with the appearance of Jack-O'-Lanterns. These varied in function, from smoke bombs to traditional explosives.
Razor Bats- The Goblin also used bat-shaped, razor discs that could cut through very durable surfaces and materials.
Electricity Generation- The gloves of the Green Goblin uniform were fashioned with minuscule conductors that allowed for the release of electricity of an undetermined voltage. Norman would use this as a deadly weapon against Spider-Man in their battles.
Flying Broomstick- Originally, Osborn used a mechanical broomstick to fly through the air during his first few exploits as the Green Goblin.
Goblin Glider- The Flying Broomstick did not last long, however, and was improved upon, creating the Goblin Glider. The Goblin Glider was a more efficient flight system than Norman's Flying Broomstick. The Glider allowed the Goblin to carry other objects with him as he flew and had much greater speed and mobility than the Broomstick.
Iron Patriot Armor- Currently, Norman uses a suit of armor similar to Tony Stark's Iron Man Armor. It is patterned in a manner similar to Captain America's uniform. The armor grants Osborn the ability to lift 100 tons, fly at high speeds, and fire repulsor beams, very similar to the Iron Man armor. However, because Norman lacks the experience that Stark has, he has not used it as efficiently, and the Iron Patriot armor may not have some of the numerous upgrades that the Iron Man armor does.
Aside from the above listed powers, Norman Osborn possesses great skills in manipulation as he has showcased over the years, most notably in Dark Reign. He often manages to bend others to his will or direct them in ways which benefit him in the long run. The value he places in others is directly related to his personal opinion of their usefulness. Evidence of this is found in his long running feud with Spider-Man, who he once considered a worthy heir to his legacy, and who he sees as a worthy nemesis. On the flip-side, an example of his ruthlessness is seen in how he used his son Harry.
Feigning the role of a supportive father, Norman offered Harry a place on the Dark Avengers team as the new incarnation of Captain America. Bringing him in to the American Son project, Norman reunited him with his pregnant ex-fiance Lilly Hollister (who became Menace after exposure to a new goblin formula). The reality is that Norman had stolen the affection of Harry's girlfriend, and impregnated Lilly to create a worthy heir. He further 'treated' Lilly, adjusting her goblin form into one that was much more attractive and similar to the Osborn Green Goblin persona. The ultimate plan was to sacrifice Harry in the field (similar to the death of Steve Rogers) after building him a public following. Norman destroyed his son's life and would murder him to get an increase in public sympathy and support.
Aside from his ability to manipulate others, Norman is a skilled combatant and is proficient in the use of a number of different forms of weaponry. Most notably, his own personally designed Goblin weapons, and glider.
- Mental Instability: Although a scientific genius, Osborn's mental condition is unstable. The Goblin formula greatly increased his intelligence but cost him his sanity, resulting in excessive arrogance and delusions of grandeur. Thus, it can lead him to make irrational decisions. His insanity worsened after the Gathering of the Five, making him lose more perspective on reality.
- Pride: Osborn's insanity has weakened his overall thought processes and views on reality. He believes that he cannot be defeated and often underestimates his opponents. An example of this is when Osborn captured Spider-Man, he revealed that he knew that Spider-Man was planning to escape. However, to prove his superiority, he decided to allow Spider-Man to escape so that Norman could fight him head to head. This ultimately resulted in Osborn's defeat.
- Height: 5'11"; 6'4" (in armor)
- Weight: 185 lbs.; 385 lbs. (in armor)
- Eyes: Blue
- Hair: Reddish-Brown
Earth 295: Age of Apocalypse
Osborn was a member of the Marauders (Human Terrorist enhanced by Apocalypse), along with teammates Arcade, Owl, and Red (this universe's version of Kingpin). The four villains were sent by Apocalypse to destroy the land of Wakanda, where there are human refugee camps. Though they were able to murder Black Panther and destroy much of the land, Osborn´s life was cut short by Hawkeye, who reduced him to ashes with a fire blast.
Osborn, as in the regular Marvel 616 universe, had a genius level I.Q. and is depicted as a stateside financier. He also was equipped with wrist weapons and "air-steppers", boot attachments that allowed him near-flight.
Marvel Noir (Earth-90214)
In Spider-Man Noir (part of Marvel Noir), Osborn is depicted as the crime-lord "Goblin." He is responsible for the deaths of both Ben Parker and the reporter Ben Urich along with many other innocent victims. His gang is composed of Ox, Fancy Dan, Montana and a number of ex-carni's such as Kraven, Chameleon, and Vulture. He also has a powerful community influence within the government and media. He manages to kidnap J. Jonah Jameson and Felicia Hardy. In the end of the series, Parker finds out that Osborn has also been a carni freak the whole time when Osborn's face falls off revealing a goblin beneath.
Norman Osborn (played by Willem Dafoe) appears in the 2002 movie as the prime antagonist. He is the head of and lead researcher in a super solider and weapons R&D program at Oscorp. After a lab accident with the performance enhancers, Osborn goes on a revenge spree killing his own board of directors, a competing company's project, and then tries to get Spider-Man to join his crusade. Norman dies in the final battle near the Brooklyn Bridge by being impaled on his own glider, reminiscent of his demise in the comics. His final words were: "Peter? Don't tell Harry."
Norman Osborn appears at the end of the movie as a hallucination in Harry's mind goading him to take revenge for his death after Harry finds out Peter Parker is Spider-Man.
Norman Osborn again appears as a series of hallucinations for Harry.
The Amazing Spider-Man
While Oscorp is the main focus in the film, Norman was only mentioned as the head of the company but was never seen in the film.
The Amazing Spider-Man 2
Norman Osborn is played by Chris Cooper
Green Goblin appears in the 1960's animated series vocied by Lee Carlson. He is mostly a robber who is obsessed with the supernatural and magic. He appears in the episodes "The Witching Hour", "Magic Malice", and "To Catch a Spider".
Green Goblin appears for a single episode in the 1980's animated series. The episode is dubbed "The Revenge of the Green Goblin" and involves Osborn escaping a mental hospital. His depiction is similar to he Lizard where he has uncontrollable fits of rage and then transforms into the Green Goblin.
Spider-Man and his Amazing Friends
Green Goblin appears voiced by Neil Harris as Osborn and Dennis Marks as Green Goblin.
Spider-Man: The Animated Series
Osborn is once again voiced by Neil Harris who uses a higher pitched voice for the Goblin persona. Instead of Norman developing any mental disorders, he suffers from multiple personality disorder with the Green Goblin surfacing after Norman's life goes out of control. Also, he is a responsible businessman; he is only corrupt because of having problems in paying debts to the Kingpin. Instead of abusing Harry like in the comics, this version of Osborn cares for him. In his final appearance Osborn kidnaps Mary Jane and holds her hostage over the Brooklyn Bride, but gets sucked into another dimension when his glider pushes him into the rift caused by the Spot's invention. An Alternate version of this Goblin later appears working for Kingpin and Spider-Carnage alongside Hobgoblin.
A Counter Earth version of the Green Goblin appears voiced by Rino Romano. His identity is never officially revealed.
The Spectacular Spider-Man
Norman Osborn originally appears to be one of the brains behind the super-villains in New York City alongside Hammerhead, Tombstone, and Doctor Octopus. Osborn himself is involved in the creation of Rhino, Sandman, and Vulture. When the Green Goblin first appears he seems to be Harry Osborn though is later revealed to be Norman framing his son for the deeds.
Norman Osborn appears in the show and is voiced by Steven Weber. Appearing in multiple episodes, Norman Osborn works behind the scenes attempting to capture Spider-Man in an attempt to make Super-Soldiers with his Power-Set, with the help of Doctor Octopus. Otherwise, he is very similar to other incarnations, having a relatively cold demeanor to son Harry, and taking interest in Peter's scientific knowledge.
After allowing the defeat of Doctor Octopus, who also suffered crippling injuries due to an accident cause by him earlier, the latter captured him and subjected to be injected with Venom and Spider-Man's blood, turning him into the Green Goblin. Unlike other animated incarnations, the GG bears more of a physical appearance to the Ult Green Goblin, and is at first savage and unintelligent. He soon manages to break control from Doctor Octopus' control, and easily beats Peter and his friends, though Peter puts up a sustained fight. He later appears, regaining his intelligence, and using his iconic glider. He tries to get Harry Osborn to accept the Venom Symbiote. After Harry rejects it, he leaves, but not before destroying the Shield Hellicarrier and nearly killing Spider-Man.
An Atari 2600 video game where Spider-Man has to defuse bombs around the city that were planted by Norman Osborn.
Spider-Man: The Video Game
A 1991 Sega arcade title, Norman Osborn appears as a level boss. He takes a backseat as Dr. Doom is the final boss in the game
In the 2000 Dreamcast, Playstation, and Nintendo 64 title, Spider-Man can find a secret area with a crane that his a picture of a pumpkin on it. Once inside Spider-Man finds a Goblin Glider, Pumpkin Bombs, and a Green Goblin poster.
Norman Osborn appears reprising his role from the 2002 movie and is voiced by William Dafoe. He tries to get Spider-Man to partner up with him. When Spider-Man refuses Goblin hires Kraven the Hunter to go after him. Green Goblin is the final boss of the game on the Brooklyn Bridge after he abducts Mary Jane. Once the game has been beaten you can play as Harry Osborn using the Green Goblin armor and glider.
The "Ultimate" version of Norman Osborn appears as a boss of sorts during the game. He is freed by Ultimate Beetle from the Triskelion to serve as a distraction for Spider-Man. After an extensive chase throughout the city, Spider-Man battles Goblin and defeats him. Sharon Carter and SHIELD show up and take him back into custody without thanking Spider-Man, which upsets the hero. Green Goblin is voice be Peter Lurie.
Ultimate Spider-Man: Total Mayhem
Norman Osborn's "Ultimate" incarnation appears in this iOS title.
Spider-Man: Friend or Foe
The movie version of the Green Goblin appears as a boss and then playable character. He was brainwashed alongside the other villains to serve as Mysterio's henchmen.
Spider-Man: Web of Shadows
Norman Osborn as the Green Goblin appears solely in the Nintendo DS version of the game. He is invloved in one of the moral choices Spider-Man can make in the game. Osborn is setting up bombs in an attempt to destroy the symbiotes while Nightcrawler is aiding the evacuation.
Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2
Norman Osborn as the Green Goblin appears as one of the playable characters. During story mode he was captured and subjected to the nanites to force him to the Pro-Registration side of the conflict. When Iron-Man force the Anti-Registration heroes into an ambush aboard an oil rig, the villains including Osborn rebelled against the Pro-Registration side. Osborn and Mac Gargan as Venom blew up the plant though the hero characters were saved by Nick Fury. Goblin and Venom teamed up again to attack the Black Panther's palace in Wakanda where they were defeated and then stripped of their nanites. After that both are playable in story mode. he is voiced by Armin Shimerman. In the PSP and PS2 version the heroes battle Goblin and Scorpion as a boss battle
Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions
The Noir version of Norman Osborn appears in the final act of the Noir Spider-Man's story. While not having any powers in the comics, Osborn gains powers similar to his "Ultimate" counterpart thanks to the fragment of the Tablet of Order and Chaos. He battles Spider-Man through the Carnival where he stared in the freak show. Spider-Man eventually defeats all his thugs and Osborn himself under the big top with a combination of stealth and combat. In game he is served by the Enforcers, Hammerhead, and Vulture.
Marvel vs Capcom 3
While not appearing directly, Norman Osborn's Iron Patriot Armor appears as a downloadable costume for Iron-Man, who mentions he can smell Osborn's hair gel. Similarly Firebrand has an alternate costume based of the Green Goblin costume.
Marvel Super-Hero Squad Online
Norman Osborn as the Iron Patriot appears as a playable character.