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|“||We all wear masks, Spider-Man. But which one is real? The one that hides your face, or the one that is your face?||„|
|~ The Green Goblin as he fights Spider-Man.|
Norman Osborn, better known as the Green Goblin, is one of the two main antagonists (the other is Tombstone) of the animated TV series The Spectacular Spider-Man. He also becomes Spider-Man's most personal enemy during the last few episodes.
He is a ruthless businessman, inventor, gifted chemist, the head of OsCorp Industries, and the father of Harry Osborn. After being exposed to a chemical formula, he turned to supervillainy as Green Goblin, terrorizing New York City to become one of Spider-Man's greatest archenemies along with Venom and Doctor Octopus. In Season 2, he usurps Tombstone as the Big Man of Crime but his reign is short-lived and is eventually defeated by Spider-Man.
As the Green Goblin, he was voiced by Steve Blum, who also voiced Vilgax, Starscream, and Smytus. As Norman Osborn, he was voiced by Alan Rachins, who also voiced Clock King in Batman: The Animated Series.
Norman is a sociopathic and ruthless businessman, inventor, gifted chemist, the head of OsCorp Industries, and the father of Harry Osborn. After being exposed to a chemical formula, gaining superhuman strength, agility, intellect, and regeneration. He turned to mega-villainy as Green Goblin, terrorizing New York City to become one of Spider-Man's greatest opponents along with Doctor Octopus and Venom.
He expresses disapproval and neglects his son Harry for not getting offered the ESU lab internship that was given to his friend Peter Parker and pushes his son very hard, often coming across as cruel. Bent on being the number one in weapons tech, Norman embezzled the designs of Adrian Toomes flight tech and later tipped off the crime boss known as the Big Man to the TRI-CORP technology shipment. In this incarnation, he has similar objectives to his comic counterpart of becoming the reigning crime boss in New York and killing Spider-Man.
Despite his abuse of Harry, he does have one scene that shows him act like a proper father figure by calling out Harry for blaming Peter for not helping him with studying. However, this along with taking him away onto a trip, was only a cover as Norman even broke Harry's leg to prevent anyone from knowing that he was the Goblin.
The Green Goblin appears as the Crime Lord in the background, controlling some events in the show.
Like many of his previous incarnations, the Green Goblin was always well-prepared for combat, usually rigging his surroundings with hidden pumpkin bombs and has secret hideouts. He rides on a bat-shaped "Goblin Glider" equipped with many deadly weapons, including razor-bats, electric gloves, knockout gas, Gob webs, and his signature Pumpkin Bombs to terrorize New York City and to kill Spider-Man.
Overall, this version of Norman is a heartless child abuser who would risk killing his son to get away with his crimes. Disregarding this, he is also a crime boss who funded several criminal operations even before he became the Goblin.
Norman appears to admire masks. During one of his meetings with Hammerhead, he holds up a Columbian mask and points out that he believes that the wearer actually takes on the personality of the mask. The same can be said with The Green Goblin, as Norman takes on the personality of the Green Goblin mask.
When Norman wears the Green Goblin costume, he becomes even more insane, sadistic, ruthless, psychotic, strong, violent, murderous, and dangerous. Norman states to Peter during their final battle that he invented Globulin Green, but he wasn't foolish to drink it. Small doses in gaseous form increase his strength, agility, and intelligence with no blackouts or loss of control. Also when Norman has the Goblin mask on, he uses a different and more frightening voice and Goblin's personality is somewhat different from Norman's normal and calmer personality. Despite that, Norman and Goblin are one and the same, unlike other versions where the Goblin and Norman are two separate entities.
In season one, Norman coldly disapproves and neglects Harry for not getting offered ESU lab's internship that's given to Peter Parker and lashes out at his son in fury, telling his son to 'man up'. Around this time, Norman also made "Globulin Green", a highly addictive performance enhancer. Bent on getting more power and money, Norman embezzled aerodynamics engineer Adrian Toomes's flight tech designs, tipped off Tombstone (aka the Big Man crime boss) to TRI-CORP's technology shipment, and engineers the creations of the Sandman and the Rhino as part of the Big Man's deal which makes Osborn more profit. The Green Goblin first appears threatening to overthrow the Big Man in order to be New York's reigning crime boss and tries to kill Spider-Man. Spider-Man initially suspects Norman is the Goblin as the villain returns to the Osborn residence, but Harry is seen in the Goblin suit after a fierce confrontation. Spider-Man and Norman conclude that Harry's theft and consumption of "Globulin Green" resulted in the Goblin persona to fight the Big Man. After Spider-Man agrees to keep Harry's secret on the condition that the villain never reappears, Norman embarks on a tour to Europe with Harry so his son can relax and forget about the addiction to the formula.
In season two, the Green Goblin later resurfaces as a crime lord and is responsible for many events that have occurred. He manipulates Hammerhead into arranging a conference between Tombstone, Silvio Manfredi and Doctor Octopus, resulting in Spider-Man eventually taking down all three crime lords. Now the reigning crime boss in New York, the Goblin once again tries to kill Spider-Man, first through the creation of Molten Man, and then by trapping Spider-Man in a prison intended for most of Spider-Man's many enemies. In the series finale, the Goblin has a final showdown with Spider-Man. The truth of the villain's identity is finally revealed: Norman was the man in question all along and even framed his own son earlier for personal gain but claimed that he was helping. Norman later hired the Chameleon to keep Spider-Man guessing and set up for a trap. Following a grueling battle across the city, Norman is believed to have been killed when Spider-Man damages his glider and sends him crashing into a stash of his own pumpkin bombs. However, Norman is shown to have survived, leaving the country under a false identity.
It is unknown what happened to Norman after this, but it is very possible he could've returned once more if the series would've continued with more seasons. Since the Hobgoblin was planned to appear in Season 3, it is unknown if there is any connection between him and the Green Goblin.
- Since the series was canceled before Season 3 was put in production, The Green Goblin/Norman Osborn is the final antagonist that Spider-Man fought in this series.
- The Green Goblin's personality and portrayal in this series are based on the original incarnation from the Ditko era.
- Out of all the cartoon incarnations of The Green Goblin, this version is considered to be the evilest of them all. In fact, he is more evil than the movie's version. He framed and neglected his own son Harry Osborn and is responsible for some of the events that happened in the series. For example, he is responsible for creating Sandman, Rhino, Doctor Octopus, and Molten Man. He is also responsible for the events that took place in the Gang War as he manipulates Hammerhead into arranging a conference between Tombstone, Silvio Manfredi, and Doctor Octopus, resulting in Spider-Man eventually taking down all three crime lords and thus making the Green Goblin become the new Big Man of Crime for a short time.
- This is the first version of the character, and so far only, to be truly faithful to the original comics. Spider-Man featured a version that was merely a petty crook and Norman Osborn never appeared. Spider-Man and Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends featured a Green Goblin that transformed unwillingly similar to Lizard. Green Goblin of Spider-Man: The Animated Series had split personalities who fought each other. Norman Osborn of Spider-Man: The New Animated Series never actually appeared, though he was based on the first Spider-Man film which ended with the death of Green Goblin. Green Goblin of Ultimate Spider-Man followed the Ultimate line where Norman transforms into a large creature.
- Though he shares the main antagonist role with Tombstone, The Green Goblin is the bigger bad of the two as he is responsible for many of the events of the series and has a personal connection with Spider-Man/Peter Parker, more so than Tombstone.
- Since the Green Goblin's reign as the Big Man of Crime was short-lived and Tombstone's chances of returning as the Big Man is very low, it is unknown if a new Crime Lord takes over New York. We will never know for sure.