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I will destroy your family like you destroyed mine!! I will kill everyone you know!!
~ The Green Goblin to Spider-Man.
It was I who made you who you are today, young man! You and Peter Parker! Therefore, you will respect me, Miles Morales!!!! You will respect your creator!!!
~ Green Goblin
In the Ultimate Comics, the Green Goblin has a similar, but slightly different role. Norman Osborn was actually the man responsible for the creation of Spider-Man. Oscorp created a mutagen known as OZ. It was part of their research into super soldiers for S.H.I.E.L.D.
Instead of wearing a costume that resembles the Green Goblin, Norman Osborn was mutated into a giant Hulk-like Goblin.
Becoming the Goblin
Norman Osborn was a corrupt industrialist and scientist who tried to perfect the Super-Soldier drug for S.H.I.E.L.D.. He neglected his wife Martha Osborn and son Harry Osborn. After an OZ-injected spider bit Peter Parker during a field trip at Oscorp, Norman theorized that since the OZ combined with spider DNA gave Parker the abilities of a spider, if Norman were receive OZ combined with his own DNA he could become a heightened version of himself. The experiment went horribly wrong and an explosion occurred, affecting Harry and Dr. Otto Octavius, and Norman was transformed into a grotesque monster.
In an attempt to destroy all evidence of his existence, the monster killed Martha but Harry managed to escape while the house was burning down. The next day, the Green Goblin attacked Harry's school but was stopped by Spider-Man. During the fight, he plummeted off into the river, seemingly dead.
Delusions of Importance
However, Norman Osborn survived his fall and believed that he had "evolved". He could control his transformations into an intelligent incarnation of the Green Goblin via OZ injections. Due to overdosing on OZ, he suffered hallucinations. These included seeing everything through a blood-red filter, objects such as the spider on Spider-Man's chest moving around, and creatures called "plasmids" tormenting him.
Taking Harry Osborn back, Norman moved back into the city, blaming rival Justin Hammer for the explosion. He revealed himself to Parker, telling him that he must give up his life as Spider-Man and work for him, or he and his loved ones would die. Osborn told Parker to kill S.H.I.E.L.D. leader Nick Fury. When Parker refused, the Green Goblin kidnapped Mary Jane Watson and attempted to kill her. Spider-Man and S.H.I.E.L.D. attacked Green Goblin. Harry jammed a shattered windowpane into his father's back, reverting him to his human self.
Norman Osborn and his old assistant Dr. Otto Octavius devised a plan to escape from prison which used Norman's new ability to transform into the Green Goblin at will. They kidnapped Spider-Man and forced him to join them. Norman considered Peter Parker to be his 'true' son and believed the boy belonged with him. In a battle between the Ultimate Six and the Ultimates at the White House, Harry Osborn was used as a trump card by Nick Fury. Harry pleaded with his father to stop. While Captain America convinces Spider-Man of Norman's lies, the Green Goblin was about to change back when Iron Man blasted him from behind, severely altering his genes and causing him to lash out at the S.H.I.E.L.D. personnel before being shot down, to Harry's horror. He was taken back into custody.
Father vs. Son
Norman Osborn was imprisoned in S.H.I.E.L.D.'s Triskelion for some time, and was kept in a high security cell with other superhuman prisoners. When contacted by Colonel Carol Danvers, Norman stated that he would answer only to Nick Fury; he then transformed into the Green Goblin, and broke away from security measures, as the OZ in his system had re-worked his body in a further process of what he referred to as 'Evolution'. In his breakout, he enlisted the promised help of Electro as payback for freeing him; other supervillains that escaped included Omega Red, Kraven the Hunter, and the duplicate of Gwen Stacy (then serving as the host for Carnage).
His stratagem upon escape was simple; Norman then appeared on a talk show, claiming that Fury held him in a prison against his will, just as he was on the brink of creating a drug to solve America's military problems.
When confronting Peter Parker in his home, he saw a TV broadcast of a (staged) S.H.I.E.L.D. press conference with his son Harry Osborn declaring that his father was evil and had killed Harry's mother (the press conference in fact was held aboard the S.H.I.E.L.D. Helicarrier and only transmitted to the TV Norman was watching). This enraged Norman, turning him into the Green Goblin. He assaulted the Helicarrier. Harry manifested his own goblin form, but lost the resultant melee and was beaten to death when he reverted back to his human form. With both the S.H.I.E.L.D. troops and horrified at what he had done, he dwindled to his own human form, turned around and asked to be killed which Danvers personally obliged.
Death of Spider-Man
Months later, Norman Osborn, however, was discovered to have actually survived his shooting by Carol Danvers, and was again kept imprisoned at the Triskelion. Apparently, Osborn hadn't manifested any of his powers and it was presumed by S.H.I.E.L.D. that he had lost the ability to change back into the Green Goblin. Unfortunately, Osborn did retain his powers and was able to easily breakout along with the other S.H.I.E.L.D. inmates, the former members of the Ultimate Six plus Vulture. Osborn and the inmates escaped by hijacking a helicopter and took shelter inside a penthouse in Manhattan. There they learned from watching the news that the Ultimates were embroiled in a fight with Nick Fury's Avengers, and then realizing that this conflict would allow the criminals a head start; which Osborn was intent to use for killing Peter Parker.
However, Osborn's intention was objected by Otto Octavius and, although he was grateful that Norman freed him from prison, the doctor decided that he had no grudge against Parker and wanted to continue his career as a scientist, and that the two should be proud that they created Spider-Man together. Angered, Osborn transformed into the Green Goblin and attacked Octavius, overpowering and killing him.
Osborn and his remaining teammates headed toward Queens to the Parker residence, where they met Johnny Storm and Bobby Drake. Disappointed that Peter wasn't there, the Six began to fight the two of them. Electro swiftly defeated Bobby, while Johnny eventually overpowered the Green Goblin and they knocked each other unconscious. After Peter arrived, Aunt May shot Electro, knocking out Kraven, Vulture and Sandman in the process, due to stray electrical discharge. While awaiting the paramedics for Peter, Green Goblin regained consciousness and attacked Peter, May and Gwen Stacy.
After Peter swung May and Gwen away from the battle, Peter and Green Goblin began trading blows. Peter then woke Johnny up and got him to help him defeat Green Goblin. When using his nova flame, Green Goblin used his fire-based powers to absorb the fire and strengthen himself even further while knocking Johnny unconscious again. Peter then attacked Green Goblin from behind and doused his fire out with an open fire hydrant. Although weakened, Green Goblin proved to be too strong against the severely wounded young man. As he was about to deliver the killing blow, Mary Jane Watson drove a truck into him. Peter threw MJ out of harm's way and slammed the truck onto him twice, which then exploded on him and in Peter's face. After Peter finally succumbed to his wounds, Osborn reverted to his human form with a smile on his face as he seemingly died, knowing he finally killed Spider-Man.
Norman Osborn was revealed to be alive and under S.H.I.E.L.D. custody in Washington. After the organization shut down following the arrival of Galactus, he was being transferred to another facility. En route, Osborn escaped by transforming into the Green Goblin. He got to the ruins of Osborn Industries, where he stayed until the FBI raided the building, prompting him to flee, but not before slaughtering the agents. He arrived to the front yard of Peter Parker's house, where he encountered Miles Morales. Forced away by the combined forces of a revived Peter Parker and this new Spider-Man, coupled with being hit by Morales' Venom Blast, he was forced to retreat.
Infiltrating the home of John Jonah Jameson, he forced him to give an interview on the record while he was powered down from his Goblin form, revealing that not only was the Venom Blast enough to re-balance his mind, but also that he believed that the OZ Formula had made both himself and Parker immortal. When he showed grief at the death of Harry Osborn, Jameson questioned him on whether or not he was going to continue his killings. Admitting that he did not plan to stop fighting anyone, legal or not, until every other person who he blamed for his problems in his life were dead, he was summarily shot three times by a hidden revolver Jameson had on his person. Surviving, but seemingly reverted back to insanity and having murdered Jameson in revenge, Osborn returned to the Parker residence in full Goblin form, facing off against Morales alone. Faced with the venom blast once more, and reverted back to his human form, he was taken into NYPD custody by Maria Hill, revealing to Morales that he knew the true identity of the new Spider-Man's father.
When Miles questioned him about this, claiming he was lying, Osborn insisted that he had never lied to him before. He then went on about how he found the key to immortality, as neither he nor Peter Parker can die thanks to the OZ Formula. Because Miles had it in him as well, Osborn said he would live forever; declaring it to be a gift from him. He then inquired about both of them being played for puppets, with Osborn's son dead and Miles' dad missing, and asked him if he wanted to know who his father was. He then transformed back into his Goblin form, declaring himself to be Miles' surrogate father. As Maria Hill and Peter arrived, Osborn unleashed a wave of flame that sent both Spider-Men flying; whilst quoting a variation of Bill Cosby's line: "As I have created you, I can just easily destroy you!!"
As he continued to battle Morales, he once again reiterated his immortality; only to be cut off by Hill firing three bullets into his face. This allowed Miles to get in close and zap Osborn with another Venom Blast so powerful it lit up the sky. Frightened, Osborn attempted to retreat, but Miles and Peter stopped him and proceeded to keep beating him until he was forced to revert to human form. He tried to transform back, but due to all the physical abuse his body had taken, along with over-exertion of his powers, Osborn burned through all the OZ in his system. Without the OZ Formula to keep him alive, Osborn finally dropped to the ground dead. Maria Hill then shot Osborn three more times, before setting his corpse on fire, as the police arrived. She then bid him farewell from this world, hoping that he burns in Hell.
Following the temporary destruction of the entire universe, and its eventual restoration, The returned Green Goblin fought against Spider-man of his universe once again, stating again he can't be killed.
Powers and Abilities
Norman, after injecting the OZ Formula, became super-humanly strong; and could easily overpower humans by lifting them up with one hand or by hurling them around. He could also lift extremely heavy objects, crush and break through wood panels and templates, bend metal, and punch through glass without injury. The serum also heightened his equilibrium and gave him superhuman speed; being fast enough to outrun cars. His stamina was also heightened and he could operate or maintain his movements for prolonged periods of time without getting tired or weary in the process. The Goblin could generate fiery bolts of energy from his hands, which he used as weapons which could explode like bombs.
The OZ Formula also fortified all of Osborn's bodily tissues, making them far tougher and more resistant to injury than normal humans. While Osborn could be injured by something along the lines of a knife or small conventional bullets composed of conventional material, he was very resistant to great impact forces and blunt trauma. He could withstand powerful impacts, such as falling from several stories or being repeatedly struck by a superhuman enemy, that would severely injure or kill a normal human with little to no harm to himself. If The Goblin did sustain injury, his body's increased metabolism allowed him to heal damaged tissue much faster and more extensively than a normal human is capable of. He could heal from injuries that would prove lethal to an ordinary human.
The Goblin's agility, balance, reflexes, and bodily coordination were enhanced to levels beyond the natural physical limits of the finest human athlete.
Norman is also revealed to be immortal, as a result of a side effect from the OZ Formula, and claims that every time he dies, he comes back. This explains how he survived gun shots, explosions and others lethal attacks.