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Capes On the Couch - Where Comics Get Counseling

Oct 31, 2018

It's our Halloween episode all about the Green Goblin, Norman Osborn. Then again, Anthony would rather be in Kamchatka than celebrate Halloween, but he managed anyway. Listen now!



  • Introduction

  • Background (10:56)

    • Created by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko in Amazing Spider-Man #14 (July 1964)

    • Head of Oscorp, a chemical company – discovered a secret formula created by his former business partner Mendell Stromm – attempted to recreate it, but it exploded in his face, driving him insane

    • He decided to become a crime boss in NYC, and chose Spider-Man as his nemesis – unsuccessful in several attempts to defeat him

    • Learns that Spider-Man is Peter Parker, a classmate of his son Harry, and attacks him – in the ensuing battle, Norman gets hit with electrical wires, giving him amnesia – Peter destroys the costume and uses this opportunity to start again

    • Norman regains his memories and kidnaps Gwen Stacy – during the rescue attempt, Gwen dies, and Peter, driven by rage, nearly beats Norman to death, but he is impaled by his own glider

    • Goblin formula gives him healing factor, so he breaks out of morgue – went to Europe to be with his illegitimate children he fathered with Gwen Stacy before he killed her (ugh)

    • Orchestrates Clone Saga (ugh again)

    • Returns to public eye and control of Oscorp – buys the Bugle and proceeds to torment Jameson, Ben Urich, and Peter Parker – uses a stand-in as the Goblin for a period

    • Joined a cult, the Gathering of Five – received “gift” of Insanity, and defeated by Spider-Man again

    • Went after Jessica Jones after she helped reveal that Osborn was the Goblin again – he was defeated this time by Luke Cage

    • Masterminded a plan while in prison to go after Spider-Man, and created a team of villains, but was countered by SHIELD and other heroes

    • Civil War – Osborn put in charge of Thunderbolts, a team of reformed villains who have to bring in unregistered heroes – uses them to go after Spider-Man

    • Secret Invasion – kills the Skrull queen Veranke, and uses this to gain control of HAMMER – creates Dark Avengers, until that falls apart

    • Seige – Osborn (under the influence of Loki) attacks Asgard (floating over Oklahoma) – manipulates Sentry into his lackey, except Sentry turns into Void, who destroys Asgard – Osborn driven mad by this

    • Becomes Goblin King – builds army to attack Superior Spider-Man, but is defeated by Peter Parker (after given control of his body back by Otto)

    • Later steals Carnage symbiote and becomes Red Goblin – defeated by Spider-Man once again, and driven insane so that he believes that Spider-Man was Norman Osborn and he was Cletus Kasady


  • Issues (23:47)

    • Early on, treats Peter Parker as surrogate son and distances himself from Harry

    • Insanity caused by Goblin formula – driven to constantly attack Spider-Man – Dissociative identity disorder

    • How does he keep getting positions of authority even with his history?

  • Treatment (48:02)

    • In-universe

    • Out of universe

  • Skit (57:15)

  • Ending


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