What the Green Goblin’s big return means for Spider-Man

Amazing Spider-Man is now officially released, and as promised, it marks the all too tragic return of Norman Osborn‘s Green Goblin persona – and it also sets the stage for Peter Parker’s transformation into the so-called Spider-Goblin that’s been teased by Marvel.

But how does it all go down? What tragic twist does fate hold for both Peter and Norman as they both take on the terrifying mantle of the Goblin? We’ll reveal all right now.

Spoilers ahead for Amazing Spider-Man #50

Amazing Spider-Man #50 marks a rare milestone for Marvel these days (an ongoing series hitting 50 issues, that is). And to mark the occasion, writer Zeb Wells, artist Ed McGuinness, inker Mark Farmer, colorists Marcio Menyz and Erick Arciniega, and letterer Joe Caramagna are pulling out all the stops with a massive throwdown between Spider-Man and the rebirthed Green Goblin.

For several years now, Norman has been a kind and repentant ally to Peter Parker/Spider-Man, since the purging of his metaphysical dark side (AKA the Green Goblin) from his psyche. But as Peter finds out in Amazing Spider-Man #50, those days are seemingly over. 

For while the Norman part seems to be just as terrified of his villainous alter ego as Peter, the Goblin side is back, and ready to enact his latest twisted scheme on Spider-Man.

(Image credit: Marvel Comics)

Norman’s latest transformation all goes back to the spear which once held the essence of his “sins,” which was once wielded by Queen Goblin and Kraven the Hunter. Peter was stabbed by the spear, infecting him with Norman’s dark side and causing him to go on a violent rampage.

But he was eventually saved by Osborn, who put it all back in the spear before burying it in Kraven’s empty grave.

As it turns out, Norman went back and dug up the spear, and presumably stabbed himself with it to reabsorb his “sins” – reviving the Green Goblin in the process. However, Norman has mostly had the Goblin under lockdown in his psyche. That is, until Peter utters a secret code phrase given to him by the Living Brain, which, unbeknownst to Peter, will unlock Norman’s Green Goblin side.

With the Goblin unleashed, Norman dons his Green Goblin gear and chases Peter through OsCorp, all the way to Peter’s lab, where he’s prepared a contingency plan for exactly this turn of events, the return of the Green Goblin. There, the Goblin falls right into Peter’s trap, getting dosed with a gas that Peter says will neutralize the effects of Osborn’s Goblin Serum, taking away his super strength. 

(Image credit: Marvel Comics)

But the Goblin has a contingency plan of his own. As it turns out, he apparently used the brainwashing Winkler Device on Peter back in Amazing Spider-Man #48/#942, secretly implanting a villainous, Goblin-style persona in Peter’s mind. 

And with yet another code phrase, the Green Goblin turns Peter from Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man into citywide menace the Spider-Goblin, as foretold in teasers for upcoming issues.

But fear not, for the Living Brain, who gave Peter the codeword to expose Norman’s Goblin side also apparently knows about Peter’s Spider-Goblin problem, and has assembled itself a new physical body to lead the charge to set things right.

(Image credit: Marvel Comics)

And that’s where things leave off going into June 5’s Amazing Spider-Man #51, with the threat of the reassembled Sinister Six still also looming on the horizon.

Norman Osborn/Green Goblin is one of the best Spider-Man villains of all time.

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