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!
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.
Story Found In: Superior Spider-Man #27-31
When Doctor Ock took over Peter Parker's body to become the Superior Spider-Man, he went about mucking up the web-slinger's life in a fairly chaotic and interesting way. He finished his doctoral studies, killed some bad guys Peter would have simply had arrested, and he crafted some ingenious and useful tech.
The story features an empowered Green Goblin who has taken control of the city's underworld, and it's all thanks to Ock's inability to stop him as the Superior Spider-Man. This was the story that started the ultimate downfall for Otto, and the fight between the so-called "Goblin Nation" and the Superior Spider-Man is truly epic.
While the Superior Spider-Man was superior in a number of ways, he never could match up to Peter's greatest foe, the Green Goblin. Ultimately, Peter's consciousness would return, and he would take control of his body. When this finally happens, it's clear that the Goblin is pleased/freaked out since there truly was no match for their rivalry until the OG players returned.
The Green Goblin has been a supervillain since he was first introduced, but Norman and Harry Osborn are dead... so, who is wearing the mask now? "Green Goblin: A Lighter Shade Of Green" tells the tale of Phil Urich's descent to become the new Green Goblin, but before he turns himself into a supervillain, he tries his hand at being a superhero!
In this book, the Goblin runs afoul with the likes of the Rhino, Arcade, Ricko the Cicko, Steel Slammer, Salt & Pepper, and the Sentinels! It also features guest stars including Daredevil, Scarlet Spider, and the New Warriors.
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.