If Green Goblin Shows Up In The MCU, Here's What Could Happen

When most people think of Norman Osborn, they think of the Green Goblin, one of Spider-Man’s all-time greatest foes. However, regular readers of Marvel Comics will know, as of late, Osborn has grown beyond the bounds of Spidey’s rogues’ gallery to become a true “big bad” of the Marvel Universe. It says a lot that, to many, the name “Norman Osborn” strikes more fear than “Green Goblin” ever did. Osborn has come a long way, but it seems the journey he needs to undergo to join the Marvel Cinematic Universe might be a long one. We've already seen Osborn appear in two Spider-Man franchises in the past two decades, but there are certainly crazier fan-theories out there, so anything is possible. 

When Marvel Studios made a deal with Sony to use Spider-Man in the MCU, they didn't just obtain the rights to Spidey - they got all of his villains, too. The Vulture and The Shocker have already appeared in Spider-Man: Homecoming, so there’s no reason Osborn himself couldn’t appear in a sequel. Given his recent comic book history, it seems likely Spidey will find himself facing the man, rather than the Goblin, this time around.


  • Norman Osborn Becomes More Than Just A Spider-Man Villain With His Dark Reign Over The Marvel Universe

    By the time Marvel Comics began their Dark Reign event, Norman Osborn had reached a significantly higher station than “Spider-Man bad guy.” The former Green Goblin climbs the social ladder first as the leader of a government-sponsored team of ex-supervillains, The Thunderbolts, and then by proving crucial to Earth’s victory over the Skrulls in Secret Invasion. Osborn lands the killshot on the Skrull Queen, and suddenly he is thrust into a position of prominence as - with Nick Fury in hiding and Tony Stark disgraced - he’s named director of SHIELD, which he promptly renames “HAMMER.” With Stormin’ Norman running the most powerful organization in the world, the Dark Reign had only just begun.

  • Osborn Even Runs His Own Team Of Dark Avengers

    Soon after taking the reigns of HAMMER, Norman Osborn forms his own team of Avengers, colloquially known as the Dark Avengers. Each of the members is a supervillain masquerading as a hero, including Bullseye as Hawkeye, Venom as Spider-Man, and Moonstone as Ms. Marvel. For his own heroic twist, Osborn paints a Captain America color scheme onto an old Iron Man suit, becoming the Iron Patriot. Publicly, Osborn and his Dark Avengers portray themselves as the “real heroes,” but behind the scenes they’re just as wicked as they were before.

  • He Uses The Dark Avengers Like A Hit Squad To Take Out Several Prominent Heroes

    Early on in his Dark Reign, Norman Osborn writes a list. On this list are a number of “problems” he would like taken care of, and most of these problems come in the form of various superheroes. Using his Dark Avengers and other less scrupulous characters, Osborn sets out to incapacitate, incarcerate, or even eliminate some of his most perplexing enemies. He is unable to get his hands on Spider-Man, but he does manage to imprison some prominent names, including Clint Barton. The most extreme result of “The List” is undoubtedly the brutal murder of Frank Castle, The Punisher, at the claws of Daken, son of Wolverine.

  • Osborn Forms A Cabal Of The Marvel Universe’s Most Influential Villains

    Osborn isn’t satisfied with simply forming his own dark versions of the Avengers, X-Men, and Thunderbolts. He also forms an evil version of the Illuminati, an organization started by Reed Richards, Tony Stark, and others to solve the ills of the Marvel Universes. Osborn’s Cabal, which includes members like Doctor Doom, Loki, and Emma Frost, has significantly less altruistic goals in mind - namely, how they can extend Osborn’s Dark Reign as long as possible and benefit from it without upsetting the delicate power structure he has created. Of course, villains of this caliber can only stomach one another for so long, and the Cabal inevitably breaks apart.

  • The Dark Reign Finally Ends When Osborn Unsuccessfully Lays Siege To Asgard

    Osborn’s Dark Reign as the head honcho of the Marvel Universe lasts a couple of years, both in-universe and in the real world. Predictably, it is ultimately Osborn’s own hubris that proves to be his downfall, as he announces an ambitious plan to lay siege to Asgard, which had recently been relocated to Broxton, OK. Norman leads his Dark Avengers and the bulk of the US military against Asgard, without presidential approval. Fortunately, the real Avengers are able to defeat him, led by the recently-returned Captain America, Thor, and a redemption-seeking Loki. Once again, Norman Osborn finds himself behind bars.

  • Osborn Escapes Imprisonment And Becomes A Super-Adaptoid

    Like many of his previous incarcerations, Osborn’s time in prison after his failed siege would prove to be short. Using the connections he established as the head of HAMMER, Osborn orchestrates not just an escape from prison, but a serious power upgrade for himself, to boot. He turns himself into a “Super-Adaptoid,” giving himself the ability to absorb the powers of multiple superheroes at once. Super-Osborn then recruits a new squad of Dark Avengers, but he’s ultimately unable to reinstate his Dark Reign, and ends up beaten into a coma after a lengthy battle with the re-formed Avengers.