Every superhero has their nemesis, and for Spider-Man, that's Norman Osborn, aka, the Green Goblin. Ever since his debut in The Amazing Spider-Man #14, the Green Goblin has been one of the web-slinger's greatest foes in movies and comic books. He's learned his secret identity, used it against him and killed the woman he loved. This is a man who continuously threatens and upends Peter Parker's life, but he doesn't just stick to screwing over the Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man, Osborn has elevated himself to become one of the biggest antagonists in all of Marvel Comics.
Like Doctor Doom, the Green Goblin's influence and villainy has seeped into other heroes' lives, and he's become something of a Lex Luthor for the Marvel Universe. Since he's been around since the early 1960s, you can bet there are tons of great stories, graphic novels, trade paperbacks, comic book issues, story arcs, storylines, and one-shots centered on the Green Goblin.
This list compiles the 20 best Green Goblin storylines to ever see publication, but which is the best of them all? Check them out below, and don't forget to vote up your favorite to see which of Green Goblin's greatest stories rises to the top!
- 173 VOTES
Story Found In: Amazing Spider-Man #121-122
The most significant impact the Green Goblin has had on Peter Parker's life played out in issues 121 and 122. The story, "The Night Gwen Stacy Died" says all you need to know about what took place in the pages of these books, and the event would continue to haunt Parker for the rest of his days.
Knowing that Spider-Man was his son's buddy, Norman orchestrated a means of destroying his nemesis by attacking him at his core. He kidnapped Gwen Stacy and took her to the top of the Brooklyn Bridge. When she was thrown off, Spider-Man shot webbing to stop her fall, and while this should have saved her, the pull of the chord caused her neck to snap. She died instantly, and Peter swore vengeance upon his enemy.
It's one of the most harrowing and life-changing issues of any comic book, and that also makes it one of the greatest Green Goblin stories ever told. It's also considered to be the storyline that brought an end to the Silver Age of Comics.
- 255 VOTES
Story Found In: Spectacular Spider-Man #178-184, 189-190, & 200
"The Child Within" was a long-running (nearly two year) storyline within the pages of The Spectacular Spider-Man, which helped to flesh out the descent of Harry Osborn into the same sort of madness that claimed his father to become the Green Goblin.
The story is compelling, and it offers up a truly character-driven storyline, which was crafted by legendary scribe J.M. DeMatteis. In the story, Harry is seen slowly succumbing to the madness that turns him into the Green Goblin while being haunted by the ghost of his father.
Ultimately, he succumbs, but he winds up saving his family and dying while holding his best friend's hand... seemingly earning a reprieve for his misdeeds as he passes. It's a difficult series of panels to get through, and it's one of the saddest and most heartbreaking moments to come out of The Spectacular Spider-Man.
- 349 VOTES
Story Found In: Amazing Spider-Man #136-137
Comics have never been good at leaving a deceased character in the dirt. Sooner or later, someone previously believed dead will pop up unrepentantly, or their guise as a superhero or villain will show up with a new person behind the mask. The latter happened with the Green Goblin in the pages of The Amazing Spider-Man #136 and #137.
In the story, "The Return Of The Green Goblin," Gerry Conway introduced a new person to take the place of Spider-Man's greatest foe: Norman Osborn's son, Harry! Not only was Harry Peter's best friend, but he ultimately became his next greatest enemy, and it all started in the pages of these books.
When a new character takes on an old villain, they are rarely as good or equal to their predecessor, but that couldn't be said of Harry's Green Goblin. He was just as dangerous, threatening, and sadly comparable to his dad, and he would remain a villain for some time.
- 451 VOTES
Story Found In: Siege #1-4 & Siege: Cabal
In many ways, the "Siege" storyline is more of a Norman Osborn tale than it is a Green Goblin story, but seeing as the two are one and the same, it fits the criteria of this list. "Siege" was the culmination of the"Dark Reign" storyline, which saw Norman Osborn elevated to the position of United States Primary Defense Officer in charge of H.A.M.M.E.R.
He also set forth upon the world a group of evil Avengers, supervillains who took on the guise/role of the previous Avengers, but they were used for his own evil plans. Ultimately, it was Loki who was pulling the strings, but that hardly matters seeing as "Siege" dealt with Osborn's all-out assault on Asgard, which was located within the United States at the time.