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Published August 22, 2019

Where in the World Is Norman Osborn?

Get a refresher on the Super Villain's recent whereabouts!

He may be mixing it up with symbiotes in ABSOLUTE CARNAGE these days, but everyone knows that Norman Osborn and Green Goblin have an inextricable connection.

Absolute Carnage (2019) #1 (of 5)
ABSOLUTE CARNAGE #1 cover by Ryan Stegman

That, however, wasn't the case in the early years of AMAZING SPIDER-MAN (1963) by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko! Let's go back to the beginning. The pumpkin-tossing villain debuted about two years before the man who would eventually be revealed under the mask. Green Goblin bowed in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN (1963) #14, using his scientific brilliance to create his monstrous look which helped wrangle the Enforces and also convince Spidey that they wanted to make a movie with him! Kept out of the spotlight by Lee and Ditko, the man behind the emerald mask remained a mystery...

The verdant villain would pop up several times thereafter, but in issue #37, another major part of the puzzle came into form with the debut of Norman Osborn. His son Harry first met Peter Parker a few issues prior in mag #31. The elder Osborn's old partner, Professor Mendel Stromm, then used a mind-controlled robot to attack an Oscorp facility. The Web-Head showed up to fight the drone, but was accused of causing the trouble when he jumped out of the flaming building.

The Amazing Spider-Man (1963) #37

The Amazing Spider-Man (1963) #37

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Norman and Harry showed up to check out the damage. While the son agreed with the general consensus about the Wall-Crawler, the father knew that someone else was behind the attack.

Stan made no bones about Norman's shadiness, though, as we could read his thoughts about how he'd cheated Stromm! The Marley to his Scrooge, Stromm sent another robot to capture Norman. This machine's rampage caught Spidey's attention and he jumped in to save his classmate's dad.

However, Osborn internally ruminated that it would be convenient if the 'bot took out the hero who had been getting in the way of some of his dirty dealings. The businessman even got the drop on Spider-Man and clocked him on the back of the head, hoping his attacker would take care of this larger problem!

When the Web-Slinger came to, he assumed he'd hit his head on debris. However, Osborn thought that the hero knew what he'd done, so he planned to kill his foe...

Jumping ahead to issues #39-40, the Goblin planned on discovering Spider-Man's secret identity to gain revenge and Harry noticed that his dad seemed upset. Thanks to his spider-sense-clouding gas, the villain managed to get close enough to see him change into Peter Parker! After the two fought, Osborn revealed himself as the Green Goblin, so they each knew each other's secrets.

The Amazing Spider-Man (1963) #39

The Amazing Spider-Man (1963) #39

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The tale ended with Spider-Man breaking free before another knock-down, drag-out battle. During the fracas, the hero kicked the villain into some live wires that caused him to lose his memories about not just Spidey's true identity, but his own time as the Goblin!

Since then, Norman and his alter-ego have gone on plenty of journeys, both together and separately. At the end of Dan Slott's epic run on AMAZING SPIDER-MAN, Norman bonded with the Carnage symbiote to become the Red Goblin. Osborn even managed to get his arch-enemy to give up the hero life, but only on the surface. Parker secretly worked on a successful plan to keep his loved ones sage and, at least temporarily, take Norman out of the game.

The Amazing Spider-Man (2015) #799

The Amazing Spider-Man (2015) #799

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Spider-Man's methods of stopping Red Goblin inadvertently led Norman to believe that he was actually Cletus Kasady and an indefinite stay at the Ravencroft Institute for the Criminally Insane. In ABSOLUTE CARNAGE #1 by Donny Cates and Ryan Stegman, word got out that Carnage was searching for former symbiote hosts to get pieces of a codex that would bring back the god Knull. Spider-Man and Venom intended to test a machine on Osborn, but the bloodthirsty maniac also showed up and Norman reunited with his old pal, becoming a new kind of Carnage. Keep reading the event to see how that works out for him!

Read these issues and more on Marvel Unlimited now! Then head to your local comic shop for ABSOLUTE CARNAGE #1 today and ABSOLUTE CARNAGE #2 next week!

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