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YMMV: Norman Osborn

  • Complete Monster: Following his resurrection in the nineties. Once a Tragic Villain who suffered from a Split Personality that forced him to become the Green Goblin, Norman was apparently slain after he threw Spider-Man's girlfriend, Gwen Stacy off a bridge, in what many fans saw as his Moral Event Horizon. Brought Back from the Dead in the nineties, Norman revealed that he had been the mastermind behind the Clone Saga, buried Aunt May alive and killed Peter's clone, Ben Reilly, while gloating that he could now remember all the crimes he'd committed as the Goblin and was proud of them. Since then, he has gone on to be a major player in the Marvelverse, masterminding the creation of the Dark Avengers. During this time period, he kept the Sentry in line via drug addiction (then had his wife killed), planned to have the captured Songbird decapitated (so that he could mount her head on the wall and masturbate to it), and deliberately triggered a war with Asgard by having the U-Foes attack Agardian warrior Volstaag in a football stadium, resulting in thousands of casualties. During this time, he also seduced and impregnated his son Harry's girlfriend, then plotted to have Harry killed, because he thought Harry's tragic death would earn him public sympathy. These, by the way, are all actions committed by the Norman Osborn persona; the Green Goblin persona remains an Axe Crazy Mad Bomber who regularly endangers/kills hundreds of civillians during his battles with Spider-Man, and, in commemoration of Gwen Stacy's death, tried to recreate the tragedy with Mary-Jane Watson, Peter's then Love Interest, as the victim. As Norman Osborn he's a cold-blooded, calculating psychopath who treats everyone as a means to an end. As the Green Goblin he's a violent lunatic who threatens every person in the vicinity.
  • Fridge Brilliance: Goblins are known in fiction as a Proud Merchant Race and good with technology. Norman is a rich businessman and Gadgeteer Genius supervillain.
  • Foe Yay: At uncomfortable levels with Peter.
  • Magnificent Bastard: Sometimes portrayed this way, particularly in The Spectacular Spider-Man TV series which was written by Greg Weisman, the same guy who wrote David Xanatos.
  • Moral Event Horizon: The murder of Gwen Stacy is almost universally agreed to be when Norman crossed it, and perhaps the second most infamous murder in Spidey's history (following Uncle Ben's demise). It was extremely jarring to readers at the time because it was the permanent death of a main character.
  • Newer Than They Think: Thematic example. In Revenge of the Green Goblin Osborn, his son Harry then long dead, started to realize that Peter himself was everything he ever wanted in a son and heir- smart, resourceful, tough, and able to live through everything life throws at him. This was since retconned out of existence (partly because Harry is back, partly because Norman no longer knows who Spidey is), but it was well received and became an integral part of his character in other media, such as the movie and the Spectacular Spider-Man cartoon. Even Ultimate Spider-Man uses it to great effect (and when Norman's around, the series really forgets it's a comedy). So successful some more recent fans thought it was always an integral part of the character.
  • Rooting for the Empire: In some cases, people are willing to root for Osborn in spite of him being an utter asshole, a case in point being Superior Spider-Man.


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