Monday, May 18, 2009

marvel character - green goblin

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green goblin mainreal name: norman osborn

group affiliation: sinister twelve, hellfire club, cabal of scrier

first appearance: amazing spider-man #14 (1964)

abilities: super-human strength (lifting 9 tons under optimal conditions), increased speed, reflexes, endurance, and healing rate due to goblin formula

narrative profile
Ruthless industrialist Norman Osborn was the co-owner of a leading New York firm, Osborn Industries, which specialized in chemical manufacturing via Osborn Chemicals, as well as other areas of research and development, including robotics. His wife Emily died within a year after the birth of their son Harry, leaving Norman embittered. The product of an oppressively stern upbringing by an alcoholic father who lost the family fortune, Norman raised Harry dispassionately, often devoid of fatherly warmth, being chafed by Harry's failure to demonstrate academic excellence or a competitive drive. Despite living in reacquired opulence, Harry felt depressed and neglected by his father. Unbeknownst to Harry, Norman had risen in power by participating in a collusion enabling the creation of powerful opponents to challenge the super-hero community, thereby offering corrupt corporations a means to distract the heroes from probing into their affairs. One failure in this regard involved using Osborn Industries employee Nels Van Adder as a human test subject, transforming him into the disfigured "Protogoblin." Osborn dodged accusations of wrongdoing from his head of security, Arthur Stacy, and his brother Detective George Stacy. He discovered the notes of his business partner, Professor Mendel Stromm, for a strength-enhancing serum. Stromm was jailed after Norman had him arrested for embezzling funds, allowing Osborn to gain full control of the firm. Osborn tested the serum upon himself in his private lab, but the unstable concoction exploded in his face leaving him hospitalized for weeks. He emerged smarter and superhumanly strong, but at the cost of his sanity. (After Harry's death, Spider-Man discovered recordings in which Harry claimed to have been responsible for the serum exploding, bitter at being neglected by his father; however, Harry suffered mentally instability at the time of these recollection; the veracity of this claim is unknown.)

The amnesia proved to be only temporary however and Osborn relapsed into his Goblin persona twice more only to be defeated by Spider-Man each time. After helping rescue Peter Parker's girlfriend Gwen Stacy and her father, retired police captain George Stacy, from a kidnapping by the Kingpin, Osborn had a brief affair with Gwen which resulted in an unusually rapid pregnancy and secret birth of twins, Gabriel and Sarah. Though Gwen left the twins in the care of Osborn's people in France, Gwen refused to give Norman custody of the twins, fearing that the fate of Norman's son, Harry - mentally deteriorating and turning to illegal hallucinogenic drugs - would befall her own children. Osborn threatened Gwen, but she insisted that she would tell Peter the truth. Gwen believed Peter would marry her and raise the twins, trusting that Parker's love for her would oversee her failings. This prompted the third emergence of Norman's dark side, propelling what would be one of the darkest hours in Spider-Man's career. In a strike against both Gwen and Spider-Man, the Green Goblin kidnapped Gwen and took her to the top of the Brooklyn Bridge. In an act of brutality during a melee with Spider-Man, the Goblin threw Gwen from the bridge. Spider-Man attempted to save her but she had already died during the fall. Filled with rage, Spider-Man savagely attacked the Goblin nearly killing him.

He returned to his senses at the last minute however, while the Goblin took the opportunity to attempt one final play by remotely controlling his damaged goblin glider to impale the wall crawler. Spider-Man was able to dodge the glider which instead impaled the Goblin, seemingly killing him. The nightmare was over...or at least that's what Peter thought.

Harry Osborn, Norman's son, had witnessed the apparent death of his father at the hands of Spider-Man and removed the Goblin costume before the authorities could arrive, thus preserving his secret identity. He even bribed the coroner so that further autopsy reports would show no mention of the "goblin" formula in Norman's blood. And for many years, the world believed Norman Osborn to be dead.

green goblin
green goblin
green goblin


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