Know your supervillains: Green Goblin
I am writing this right off the top of my head as I have gone into a reflective mode after watching “Spider-Man: No Way Home,” on which I will do a proper movie review very soon, like only I can do. In the meantime, I feel my attention has been drawn to the original Green Goblin and how magnificently portrayed he was once more by veteran actor Willem Dafoe. Now this time, I am going the Marvel comic books route in this latest column of mine.
Green Goblin will always be the greatest supervillain that Spider-Man has ever faced because he was the one who killed Gwen Stacy who was Peter Parker’s first real love before he would end up falling for Mary Jane Watson.
That slow-moving overview camera shot in a scene wherein a damsel in distress is falling off the edge of a building or high-rise skyscraper repeatedly seen in movies and re-enacted again in “Spider-Man: No Way Home” was first seen and copied in the pages of an issue in “The Amazing Spider-Man,” wherein Gwen Stacy plunged to her death and forever changed the life of Peter Parker soon after.
For me, that was a moment in time for every Marvel comic book reader when we first saw what happened to Gwen Stacy because of the Green Goblin. You talk of legendary or in this case infamous moments in “The Amazing Spider-Man,” this one was the most tragic, disturbing and painful ever for the web-crawler to lose his most loved one.
But beyond that, there are a number of other reasons why the original Green Goblin is the greatest arch-nemesis of Spider-Man, which I will mention below.
The original Green Goblin was not only a physical and technological threat, but most of all, he was also a psychological threat to Spider-Man. He was very intelligent, cunning, deceptive and manipulative. Literally, he was ahead of Spider-Man when it comes to mental warfare because of those traits in their deadly feud.
Oftentimes, Peter Parker would question himself each time before he donned his spider-suit what the Green Goblin would try to do before their battles. The original Green Goblin was the master of villainy in every facet of it.
The original Green Goblin was as close to the equivalent of the Joker to a Batman in Spider-Man lore. Complete with his own iconic maniacal laugh! Although similar-sounding, they were totally different tonally.
The original Green Goblin has been long dead, in fact, for decades already in the Marvel comic books.
Yet, his infamy in the pages of “The Amazing Spider-Man” never waned nor was it completely forgotten over time. No matter how many times in recent memory they have tried to retcon or reimagine the Green Goblin to cater to the ever-changing tastes, views and times we have now in society, the original one, the one whose secret identity is Norman Osborn, can never be replaced, repeated or duplicated for his villainous ways.
When the late Stan Lee (founder of Marvel) alongside the late Steve Ditko created Green Goblin, they knew right there and then that their creation of the Green Goblin was the complete antithesis to Spider-Man. In every way, the values that made Spider-Man a symbol of everything that is good here was the Green Goblin on the other hand, who represented everything that is evil.
As a child, the original Green Goblin was the one supervillain of “The Amazing Spider-Man” in the Marvel comic books whose Halloween-esque comic book design always stood out to me. He was truly an embodiment of everything that is pictured to be evil in Marvel comic books in the manner he was designed. To this day, I still have in possession the Fleer Series 2 Marvel trading cards, and one of the rarest cards I own in my prized collection which are impossible to find now is the Original Green Goblin. Besides that, I do have only two of his appearances in “The Amazing Spider-Man” when the series run was being drawn by the legendary comic books artist John Romita Sr. during the Silver Age of Marvel Comic Books.
It is super expensive nowadays to buy any issues of “The Amazing Spider-Man” where the original Green Goblin is in during his initial run, during the 1960s in “The Amazing Spider-Man.” That is how much the green-colored elf is valued now in comic book circles, conventions and among collectors.
For someone who is remembered for doing evil deeds, the original Green Goblin is way up there among the rogues’ gallery of Spider-Man, and his infamy has only grown in the succeeding decades in various forms of media, and as clearly shown in “Spider-Man: No Way Home.”
For every superhero, there has always been a supervillain with whom he has always been associated or connected. In the case of Spider-Man, it has always been the original Green Goblin that will go down in history as Spider-Man’s greatest of arch enemies. Even in death, the original Green Goblin’s (Norman Osborn) evil presence will forever loom over Spider-Man (Peter Parker).