Evolution of Green Goblin

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Evolution of Green Goblin

VOICE OVER: Rebecca Brayton
This iconic Spider-Man villain has changed a lot! For this video, we're talking about the evolution of Green Goblin. This time around, we'll be looking at the origins of one of Spider-Man's greatest foes and seeing how this villain has shaped the webhead's story over the years.
Transcript

Evolution of Green Goblin


Welcome to WatchMojo, and today we’re talking about the evolution of Green Goblin.

This time around, we’ll be looking at the origins of one of Spider-Man’s greatest foes and seeing how this villain has shaped the webhead's story over the years.

Which version of Green Goblin is your favorite? Let us know in the comments.

Green Goblin's long and complex history began in “The Amazing Spider-Man Issue #14”. Instead of riding his iconic glider, this early version of the villain relied on something that looked like a cross between a broomstick and a vacuum cleaner to take to the skies. Green Goblin also recruited a group of villains known as the Enforcers to join his evil plot to end the wall crawler. His convoluted plan involved convincing a Hollywood executive to make a movie that starred the real Spider-man. Once all the pieces were in place, Green Goblin flew over to the wall crawler and made the hero a seemingly friendly offer.

After the villain told Spidey he could make a lot of money starring in a movie, the webhead swung over to the set. During the shoot, Green Goblin and the enforcers ambushed Spider-Man with weapons and fists. But the hero got away and was able to retreat into a cave. Although Spider-Man tried to stop the Green Goblin, a sudden Hulk cameo threw a wrench in their fight. The broomstick wielding villain was able to fly away scot-free and torment the hero another day. While we knew the Green Goblin didn’t like Spider-Man, fans didn't know who was underneath the mask for a while. It was eventually revealed that the father of one of Peter’s closest friends.

When Norman Osborn managed to capture Spider-Man, he explained how he came to be so evil. After losing his wife, the villain threw himself more into his work while being cold and distant to his son Harry. Norman eventually stumbled upon a secret formula that a former business partner had been working on. Unfortunately, the solution he created nearly took his life and permanently altered his brain. This formula also gave him increased intelligence and physical enhancements that allowed him to go toe-to-toe with Spider-Man. After trading in his broomstick for his now iconic glider, Norman discovered that the webhead was Peter Parker.

The two got into an extremely intense bout that could have cost one of them their lives. And by the time their epic fight began, Peter realized he was fighting his roommate's father Norman. Their clash ended when the Green Goblin fell into a group of wires. Although this incident caused Norman to lose some of his memories, he eventually remembered who Peter really was. The Green Goblin decided to take Revenge by kidnapping Gwen Stacy and holding her hostage on a bridge. During the fight, she fell from a great height. Unfortunately, Spider-Man failed to save her. The enraged hero then made it his mission to end the Green Goblin permanently. However, Spider-Man stops himself before landing the final blow. When Norman tries to hit the hero with the flying glider, the Webhead dodges and the villain is hit instead. Spider-Man thought nobody would learn about the truth of that night. Unfortunately for him, Harry Osborn saw his father’s demise and decided to get revenge as the new Green Goblin.

This tense situation only got worse when Harry learned that his friend Peter was Spider-Man. The new Goblin tried to use this knowledge to make the hero hurt. Harry targeted MJ, Flash Thompson and Aunt May while setting up bombs across the city. After Peter thwarted his former friend’s plans, the two had a climactic battle. Spider-Man once again defeated Green Goblin in a narrow victory. Although Harry was taken away by police, this wasn’t the end of the villain. Multiple people went on to wear the Green Goblin suit. And after trying to dismantle Peter's life from the shadows, Norman Osborn was revealed as alive and well. The OG Green Goblin would go on to recruit high-profile villains to go after Spider-Man. While Norman’s plans often failed, the antagonist still kept trying to defeat his foe in and out of his sinister costume.

Outside of the comics, the Green Goblin has become a popular villain in several mediums. He's appeared in a ton of animated episodes. The Green Goblin also appeared as the big antagonist of the first Spider-Man game before gliding into many other digital adventures. This villain really became a pop culture icon when Willem Dafoe played him in 2002. Sam Raimi’s version of the Green Goblin was unsettling, a little campy and extremely quotable. He was a fantastic foil to Tobey Maguire’s reserved and innocent Spider-Man. Although Dafoe’s Norman also perished in a glider accident, he made appearances in two more Raimi movies.

After Maguire's Trilogy ended, Dane DeHaan became the next live action Green Goblin in “The Amazing Spider-Man 2.” His portrayal was...less well received. Although Dahaan didn’t succeed in winning everybody over, he successfully helped recreate the infamous death of Gwen Stacy. After “The Amazing Spider-Man” series ended in 2014, the Green Goblin wasn’t seen in live action again for years. But that all changed when “Spider-Man: No Way Home” trailers revealed the notorious villain would be returning to theaters.

It's pretty safe to say that the Green Goblin has come a long way in the decades since his debut. He started out as a colorful villain riding a broomstick that wanted to hurt Spider-Man for petty reasons. Over time, Green Goblin became an incredibly complex antagonist with a cool glider and pumpkin bombs that could always keep Peter on his toes. And even if Norman is defeated, Harry Osborn and others are definitely willing to take up this villainous mantle. As long as Spider-Man stories continue to be told, we can expect Green Goblin to try and squash the bug-themed hero.
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