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- You're an amazing creature, Spider-Man! You and I are not so different. Well, to each his own. I chose my path, you chose the way of the hero. And they found you amusing for a while, the people of this city. But the one thing they love more than a hero... is to see a hero fail, fall, die trying. In spite of everything you've done for them, eventually, they will hate you. Why bother?
Doctor Norman Osborn was a brilliant scientist and businessman/industrialist who was known for his contributions to nanotechnology. His son, Harry, resented his father's apparent favoritism toward his friend Peter Parker, who was a science whiz. Norman took an immediate liking to Peter when he was informed that Parker could understand his work, and later admired Peter's desire to make his own way into the world, rather than accepting his help. He was the head of Oscorp, a company that was contracted by the Unites States Military to create a new Super-Soldier. Osborn's colleague, Doctor Mendel Stromm, felt it important to reveal to the Military official who oversaw the project that some of the test subjects had gone insane. After the official heard that, Osborn was threatened with a tight deadline. Needing to prove his formula could succeed, Osborn experimented on himself and birthed the Green Goblin. The Green Goblin personality was a psychopathic murderer, and who killed Stromm. The Military decided to give the Super-Soldier contract to another company, Quest Aerospace, and in revenge, the Green Goblin killed several high-ranked military officers and the Quest Scientists who were present at the test. Although Quest Aerospace's prototype was destroyed, the company decided to expand and, in doing so, assumed control of Oscorp on the condition that Norman step down as CEO.
In retaliation, the Goblin killed the Board of Directors during a festival in Times Square, thus removed the last threat to his takeover of Oscorp, and inadvertently almost killed Mary Jane Watson. The Goblin's appearance at the festival also marked the beginning of his animosity towards Spider-Man. Instead of hating his new enemy, however, Norman viewed Spider-Man as the son that he always wanted, strong and intelligent, and attempted to recruit him to his side.
The Goblin next led an attack at the Daily Bugle to question J. Jonah Jameson for the identity of the photographer who took pictures of Spider-Man. Peter was at the office during the attack and showed up as Spider-Man. The Goblin gassed Spider-Man, took him to a rooftop, offered him a partnership, belittled his choice to become a hero, and warned that eventually the city would turn against him. That started to become true when the Bugle, in response to the attack, printed a story that claimed that the Green Goblin and Spider-Man were allies.
A few days later, the Goblin baited Spider-Man into a burning building and asked him if he had decided to join him. When Spider-Man refused, the Goblin attempted to kill him and eventually slipped way. Norman found out Spider-Man's true identity when he visited Harry (who was Peter's roommate) for Thanksgiving Day, he discovered that Peter had an identical wound to one he had inflicted on Spider-Man in the earlier fight. After he deduced Spider-Man's identity, Norman decided to leave, though Harry tried to stop him. Norman told Harry to do what he wanted with Mary Jane and then dump her fast, as he believed that she was only interested in money as his own wife was.
After he hallucinated that his other persona informed him to attack Spider-Man's heart, Norman attacked and seriously injured Aunt May, kidnapped Mary Jane, and told Spider-Man that he must either choose to save her or a group of children in a cable car. Both were thrown off the Queensboro Bridge, yet Spider-Man managed to save both the children and Mary Jane.
After he saved the children and Mary Jane, Spider-Man was lunged into an abandoned building. As the Goblin brutally beat on Spider-Man, he told him how he would kill M.J. slowly, and said that "MJ and I, we're gonna have a hell of a time," while he drew a trident. In a rage, Spider-Man attacked him, and gained the upper hand. After being defeated in their final battle and with his own personality apparently resurfaced, Norman removed his Goblin helmet to reveal himself to Spider-Man, and asked Spider-Man to forgive him and protect him from his Goblin persona. At the same time, however, the Goblin, still controlling Norman, secretly directed his glider to impale Spider-Man from behind. Norman stated that he was like a father to him and begged him to be a son to him, to which Peter resorted that he had a father: Benjamin Parker.
Spider-Man sensed the attack with his Spider-Sense and dodged, but the glider killed the Green Goblin by impalement. Just before he died, Norman plead to Peter to not tell Harry about his second identity. When Spider-Man took Norman's corpse back to his mansion, Harry saw him placing his father's dead body on a bed. Not knowing that his father was the Green Goblin's host, Harry held Spider-Man responsible for his death. At the funeral, Harry swore revenge on Spider-Man.
Two years later, Norman's death continued to drive Harry's desire for revenge. After Harry discovered Spider-Man's identity, the essence of the Green Goblin in Norman Osborn's form appeared to Harry in a large mirror. The Green Goblin asked Harry to avenge him, but Harry, had a change of heart since Peter was his best friend and could not do anything negative towards him, threw a knife at the mirror, shattered it, and drove away the essence. It was revealed that the Green Goblin equipment was stored behind the mirror, which prompted Harry's desire for revenge again.
Harry later lost that desire yet again upon getting amnesia. After Mary Jane refused to be Harry's girlfriend after she kissed him due to tension between her and Peter, his memories came back, as did the essence of the mirror (which was presumably replaced). The Green Goblin, in that final appearance, told Harry his game plan of "First, we attack his heart!".
He could lift 9 tons.
The Green Goblin piloted a high-tech Goblin Glider that was armed with heat-seeking missiles, machine guns, and razor-sharp spears. Norman also wore green armor that cybernetically connected him to his glider and his weapons. The Goblin was seen using three varieties of his signature "Pumpkin Bombs": one was a simple explosive, one that released a bright, radioactive flash that reduced people to skeletons, and one that split into flying, razor-sharp blades. Rather than carrying a shoulder "bag of tricks", the weapons were contained in the glider. His suit was armed with knockout gas that was released from the wrists. Norman's Suit was also linked to the Goblin Glider, which allowed him to control it remotely via a hidden wrist switch.
- Willem Dafoe portrayed Norman Osborn in each of the three films of the Spider-Man trilogy. Although his character was killed during the climax of the first film, Norman appeared in the other two films as a vision/hallucination to Harry.
- 10 Appearances of Norman Osborn (Earth-96283)
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- Character Gallery: Norman Osborn (Earth-96283)
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