A Troubled History
Harry eventually discovered his roommate Peter’s costume and secret identity. When Peter and Mary Jane returned from a date to Peter’s apartment, Harry had rigged the door to explode, hospitalizing Mary Jane. Insane with hatred, Harry donned his father’s Goblin costume. At Norman’s secret warehouse downtown, Spider-Man and the new Green Goblin clashed. The Goblin lost his advantage and fled. Soon after, the Goblin stole a bomb, kidnapped and separated Peter’s Aunt May, Flash, and Mary Jane, and told Spider-Man the one he loved most would explode. Spider-Man chose correctly, saving his aunt. With no superhuman powers, Harry was quickly defeated. Spider-Man removed the Goblin costume and paraphernalia from Harry before Harry was taken into custody. The police did not believe Harry’s ravings that he was the Green Goblin since he looked too young, and therefore also dismissed Harry’s accusations that Peter was Spider-Man.
Harry was sent into psychiatric care under Dr. Barton Hamilton. Hamilton successfully stabilized Harry’s mind and induced him into forgetting about his life as the Goblin, and hence his knowledge of Spider-Man’s secret identity. Harry returned home and was reunited with his friends. He met Liz Allan, Peter’s friend from Midtown High. The two began dating, but Liz left for a short time, ashamed that Harry would not want to be with her after she was caught stealing for the sake of her stepbrother, Mark Raxton, AKA Molten Man, who was trying to manage his unique metallic skin condition. Harry, however, accepted her wholeheartedly when she returned to him.
Under hypnosis Harry had revealed everything about the Green Goblin to Dr. Hamilton. Coveting the Goblin’s power, Hamilton eventually became the Green Goblin himself. Taking Harry prisoner, Hamilton infiltrated New York’s criminal underworld as the Goblin and subsequently encountered Spider-Man. Harry escaped captivity and assumed the identity of the Goblin. Hamilton knocked Harry unconscious, but was then killed by the explosion from a bomb with which he had tried to kill both Harry and Spider-Man. Upon reviving, Harry was unable to remember being the Green Goblin, or Spider-Man’s secret identity.
Harry became the successor to his father as president of Osborn Industries. He eloped with Liz Allan and moved first to Long Island before settling in Englewood Cliffs, seeking a peaceful life. Harry and Peter drifted apart during this time but were reunited by the return of the Molten Man and rise of Hobgoblin, threatening the Osborn family with demands for his father’s strength-enhancing serum. After a difficult labor brought on by the trauma of facing the Hobgoblin, Liz gave birth to a son, Norman Harold “Normie” Osborn, and asked Peter and Mary Jane to be the godparents. Later, when the Parkers were evicted from their apartment, Harry and Liz took them in as tenants.
The Hobgoblin attempted to steal a ledger from Wilson Fisk, AKA Kingpin, to sell to European mobsters, but was nearly killed. Poisoning Harry, the Hobgoblin blackmailed Spider-Man to complete his mission. Spider-Man, also poisoned, obtained the ledger. Unable to find an antitoxin, Spider-Man instead offered the ledger back to the Kingpin with the location of the Hobgoblin in exchange for the antidote. Harry and Spider-Man were saved, but the Hobgoblin escaped. After Kingsley retired from being a costumed criminal, mercenary Jason Macendale became the new Hobgoblin and pressured Harry for the Goblin formula. To defend his family, Harry (mentally stable and unaware of Spider-Man’s identity) resumed his role as the Green Goblin as a force for good. The Green Goblin and Hobgoblin battled until Harry convinced the Hobgoblin that the formula had been destroyed. Harry hired Mark Raxton—trying to put his criminal past as the Molten Man behind him — to work at an Osborn Chemical Company plant in Upper Manhattan. Philadelphia gangster Lonnie Lincoln, AKA Tombstone, pressured Raxton to steal an agricultural chemical preservative called Diox-3 from Osborn Chemical for his cocaine reserves. The Molten Man sought Spider-Man’s help with his dilemma. When Tombstone and his men arrived to pick up the Diox-3, Molten Man led them into a trap. The Green Goblin also arrived to assist the heroes. Tombstone, meanwhile, attempted to acquire the Diox-3, but was exposed to the chemical after being shot by his classmate, Joe Robertson, making the mobster’s skin nearly invulnerable. After Tombstone escaped, Spider-Man pursued the Green Goblin to convince him that life as a costumed crime-fighter did not befit an inexperienced family man. Harry scoffed at Spider-Man’s concerns. Worried that Harry may soon remember Spider-Man’s secret identity, Peter investigated Harry’s apartment, finding an invoice leading to Harry’s secret Green Goblin headquarters built underneath the Brooklyn Bridge. As Spider-Man and the Green Goblin clashed at the headquarters, Spider-Man again tried to reason with Harry. Defeated and faced with a photo of his wife and son, Harry conceded to quit super heroics, while under his breath revealing he remembered Spider-Man’s identity.
Harry’s mental instability increased, as he experienced hallucinations of his father and Peter arguing with him. Returning to his Green Goblin identity, he confronted Spider-Man and provoked an attack, calling him “Peter” out in the open. The Green Goblin released hallucinogenic gas upon Spider-Man, forcing the hero into an intense paranoid state facing imaginary phantoms of his deceased loved ones blaming him for their deaths. Spider-Man fled to Dr. Ashley Kafka, who guided him as the gas wore off. Kafka’s patient, Edward Whelan, AKA Vermin, had escaped captivity and headed home to Scarsdale to kill his abusive father. While Spider-Man tried to stop Vermin, the Goblin joined the fight, wanting to kill Spider-Man before Vermin did. While Vermin was apprehended, the Green Goblin nearly killed Spider-Man despite Peter’s pleas for Harry to come to reason. Though consumed with rage, Harry ultimately could not kill his friend to his own astonishment and departed with menacing threats. With Liz in denial about her husband’s condition, living in the apartment below the Osborns became very uncomfortable for the Parkers.
Embracing the Osborn Legacy, Harry immersed himself into a revised version of the Goblin formula, granting him superhuman strength but driving him totally insane. Harry played mind games with Peter, sending him an exploding Spider-Man effigy and Goblin-faced jack-in-the-box. Knocking out Liz, Normie, and the Molten Man, the Green Goblin kidnapped his family, taking them to his old home in Englewood Cliffs to celebrate a new beginning for the family. Spider-Man located the Osborns and, with the Molten Man, battled the Goblin, while careful of young Normie. Though the Goblin toyed with revealing Spider-Man’s secret identity, the hero refused to be threatened and manipulated by his friend anymore, and defeated him. Before Harry was sent to the Vault prison in Colorado, Dr. Kafka talked fruitlessly to him. Meanwhile, young Normie, witness to his father’s downfall, grew bitter at Spider-Man. Though incarcerated, Harry prearranged for Aleksei Sytsevich, AKA Rhino, to rough up Peter, taunting him that he knew his secret. The Rhino confessed his ignorance, after being beaten by Spider-Man. Liz visited Harry at the Vault, informing her husband that she would not testify against him. Harry was happy to learn that Peter’s deceased parents had somehow resurfaced; Harry had secretly funded Dmitri Kravinoff, AKA Chameleon, to create life-models of Peter’s parents that would ultimately turn on Peter. These replicas were so realistic that they fooled Peter and his Aunt May.
With a skillful lawyer and without testimony from his family, Harry was released from the Vault with all charges dropped. Initially acting as if everything was fine, Harry became feverish from the Goblin formula. The Green Goblin kidnapped Mary Jane, taking her to the top of the Brooklyn Bridge where Gwen had died. Mary Jane refused to beg for her life, startling Harry into remembering the love he felt for her; Harry promised she and Aunt May would be kept safe in his war with Spider-Man. While following Peter everywhere he traveled, the Goblin visited J. Jonah Jameson, announcing the establishment of a philanthropic Norman Osborn Foundation to polish his father’s tarnished name. However, Harry secretly plotted revenge against those who had betrayed his father. Harry spent weeks preparing for a gala to kick off the Foundation, inviting his father’s former associates together in a townhouse secretly wired to explode. Before the gala took place, Mary Jane appealed to Harry at the townhouse for a new beginning. Rejecting Mary Jane’s care, the Green Goblin and Spider-Man battled viciously within the townhouse. Harry recognized the futility of fighting Spider-Man and activated the explosive’s timer to kill them both, stabbing Spider-Man with a paralyzing chemical. Once the Goblin remembered Mary Jane and Normie were inside the townhouse, Harry raced to save them. With moments to spare, he returned for Spider-Man and rescued him before the building exploded. However, the new formula was seemingly poisoning him. In what appeared to be his final moments, Harry reverted to being Peter’s friend, and appeared to pass away. In fact, Harry was taken by his father to Europe, where the Goblin formula which made him ill also restored him. Hiring master illusionist Quentin Beck, AKA Mysterio, Norman allowed the world to believe Harry had died, feigning sentiments for his deceased son, and arranging for a genetic duplicate of Harry to be placed in his son’s coffin. During Harry’s recuperation, Harry was conditioned to believe his memories of being the Green Goblin were drug-induced hallucinations.
Spider-Man was emotionally devastated to discover the truth about his resurfaced parents being replicants, a remnant of Harry’s manipulations. Later, Spider-Man found within an abandoned Goblin warehouse a device that projected Harry’s recorded memories into Peter’s mind whereupon he saw himself playing the roles of young Norman Osborn facing an abusive father as Harry had envisioned it, as well as recollections from Harry’s youth. According to these recorded memories, unbeknownst to Norman, Harry had sabotaged the original Goblin formula, bitter at his father for consistently prioritizing work over his son. Since the Goblin formula had proven to be explosive without interference from Harry, the effect Harry’s possible meddling had is unrevealed.
A holographic construct of Harry was created by a renegade faction of the Cabal of Scrier under the leadership of Matthew DeRoma, a young man Spider-Man dubbed “Scrier Junior,” wishing to restore the organization back to the ancient ways in retaliation against Norman Osborn’s influence on the group. Created by DeRoma’s top computer technology experts, the animated holographic Harry Osborn was equipped with artificial intelligence intended to turn kidnapped Normie Osborn against his grandfather. However, possessing a reconstruction of Harry Osborn’s memories, the hologram protected his “son” and rebelled against DeRoma, providing Spider-Man with the key to victory via short-circuiting DeRoma’s gauntlets. DeRoma was killed, possibly by Norman Osborn, and Normie was rescued. The hologram has not been seen since.
Young Normie was kidnapped again, this time by three robotic “Goblinettes” preprogrammed, apparently by either Harry or Norman, to immerse his son into the Goblin formula and perpetuate the Green Goblin’s legacy. Spider-Man, Molten Man, and Daily Bugle reporter Ben Urich acted as detectives. Harry’s body was exhumed to eliminate the possibility that Harry was directly orchestrating the kidnapping. Harry’s genetic duplicate fooled the investigators. After the three discerned that Liz Osborn had been brainwashed to summon the androids, they rescued Normie. Ben Urich chronicled the history of the Green Goblin in his book “Legacy of Evil.”
After Spider-Man accepted an offer from Mephisto, saving his Aunt May’s in exchange for eliminating his marriage from history, Harry returned to New York, revealing his survival. Divorced from Liz and two others, he claimed to have just completed a year-long stay in a European rehab. Through unrevealed means, Harry, like the rest of the world, lost the knowledge of Spider-Man’s secret identity. Upon his return, Harry sought to live a better life and make amends for the suffering he caused Liz and Normie. He took charge of Oscorp, focusing their research and development on finding a cure for Mark Raxton, who’s condition had deteriorated. Using petrified “Molten Man” Charlie Weiderman as a human test subject, Harry’s research, the Promethean Trials, produced a cure, Prometheus X-90.
When Harry had learned of Weiderman’s destruction of the Parker family home, Harry surprised the Parkers by rebuilding their house. Harry left Oscorp to find new fortunes as the owner of a Manhattan café based on his old college hangout, the Coffee Bean. He began dating Lily Hollister, daughter of New York District Attorney Bill Hollister. Harry helped finance Bill’s campaign for mayor, assuring Bill that he was motivated by his love for Lily. Though Lily stumbled across Harry’s private journal, leading her to find Norman’s secret lair in an Oscorp facility where she accidentally shattered a vial of an experimental Goblin serum. Absorbing it, she gained an ability to transform into a super-powerful monstrous form and fashioning a costume, she secretly became the terrorist Menace, motivated by her desire to help further her father’s political career and hoping to win his approval.
When Peter, desperate for money, became a well-paid paparazzi for the Daily Bugle under new editor-in-chief Dexter Bennett, Harry expressed his contempt for his friend’s occupation, all too familiar with being hounded by scandal-hungry photographers. Peter reconsidered and was fired by Bennett; Harry and Peter reconciled.
When the alien Skrulls launched a worldwide invasion, Harry and Lily were chased by a Super-Skrull; Lily, as Menace, decapitated the threatening Skrull. During a Thunderbolts visit to New York City to arrest Spider-Man, Norman (as Thunderbolts’ director) derided Harry for his meager business success, despite Harry’s efforts to franchise the Coffee Bean café. Hunting Spider-Man, Bullseye and the Thunderbolts forces destroyed much of Harry’s store, nearly killing Harry and Lily. Furious, Harry confronted his father at Oscorp in Jersey City. Seeing his father in a Goblin costume helped Harry remember that he was once the Green Goblin too. As Norman patronized Harry, Spider-Man and Anti-Venom attacked the Thunderbolts within Oscorp, revealing experiments being performed upon imprisoned illegal aliens. Though Harry appeared horrified, Norman intimated that this was part of the Promethean Trials. Norman detonated the building. Later, Lily and Peter returned to help Harry sift through the wreckage for a secret file (regarding the X-90). Peter almost stumbled upon Norman’s hidden passage to his Green Goblin gear that was previously raided by Menace, but Lily distracted him with a kiss.
Though family life with Liz and Normie was strained, Harry, with unwelcome help from Spider-Man, cured the Molten Man with the X-90. Grateful, Liz returned her engagement ring to Harry. During that trip, Harry shared all his secrets with Peter. Harry proposed to Lily in an extravagant display at the Statue of Liberty; Lily withheld a reply. Swinging last minute votes towards her father, Menace beat Spider-Man, enabling his arrest. Harry later discovered Lily in Menace’s costume and became frightened of Lily’s hostility and instability. When Spider-Man broke out of jail and rejoined Menace in combat, Harry, using Green Goblin gear, tranquilized Menace, which reverted her to her human form and exposed her secret publicly. Menace was arrested and delivered to Norman who was the director of the superhuman security agency HAMMER.
Harry next encountered Lily when she was pregnant. She convinced him the child was his, that the serum was causing her to mutate uncontrollably, and that Norman was holding her captive in Avengers Tower. Hoping to free her, Harry accepted a support position with the Avengers, and later full membership as the armored American Son. Showing initiative, he ransacks Norman’s notes to create a permanent antidote to the Goblin serum. He attempted to give the antidote to Lily but she angrily slapped it away and transformed into her new Menace form. She revealed the child was Norman’s. Enraged, Harry fought his father using his American Son weaponry and suffered repeated taunts and abuse from his father. Harry then takes a stand against his father and declares that he was never his son and about to kill him, he instead leaves him alive, thanks to a warning from Spider-Man who thought killing him would make him the man Norman always wanted to be. Menace also tried to intervene, but Spider-Man drove her off. Afterward, Harry cut off all contact with Lily and his father. He started seeing a psychiatrist who prescribed him oxycodone.
Cutting off his father also meant that his finances were cut off, so he moved in with Peter’s Aunt May, though she kicked him out after Martin Li, AKA Mr. Negative, corrupts her with his darkforce powers. He then moved in with Mary Jane. Meanwhile someone steals the American Son armor. Harry is then shot by Gabriel Stacy (later the Grey Goblin) and subsequently saved by American Son and safely delivered to a hospital. Recovering from his wounds, he investigated with help from Frontline reporter Norah. When he visited his father in prison and questioned him about Gabriel, he found him to be completely mad and unresponsive. Just before Harry and Norah left, Norman became lucid and revealed that Gabriel was in fact his son and Harry’s half-brother.
Shortly thereafter, Harry is followed by the FBI who revealed to him that Gabriel stole the American Son armor and had been using it. Harry set a trap to capture Gabriel using Norah as bait which worked like a charm and allowed Harry to confront Gabriel. He got Norah to safety and attempted to convince him that following in his father’s footsteps was a mistake. Their battle leaves the building around them in flames, and they are saved by Spider-Man. Harry and Norah drank coffee and when she noticed the oxycodone in Harry’s possession, she assumed he had a problem and decided to help him.
Shortly thereafter, Harry met up with Mary Jane at a coffee shop and they were joined by Carlie Cooper and a late Peter Parker. Suddenly, Lily crashed through the window on a glider, pregnant and screaming in pain. Harry offered to help but Spider-Man jumped in only to be disabled temporarily by Super Villains Herman Schultz, AKA Shocker, and Lonnie Lincoln, AKA Tombstone. Spider-Man continued to fight the villains while Harry, Mary Jane, and Carlie helped deliver Lily’s baby. They were soon interrupted by the arrival of Dr. Otto Octavius, AKA Doctor Octopus. Harry tried to stop him, but Doc Ock used his tentacles to keep him and everyone else back while he delivered a baby boy and congratulated Lily. After much-ado about a baby, Spider-Man rescued Lily’s baby from the villains and feeling terrible for the menace that she is, Lily abandoned her child for fear that Osborn’s men would be after her, her baby, and her friends. Spider-Man then performed a blood test and to everyone’s surprise, Harry was actually the baby’s father. Harry named the baby Stanley and Spider-Man encouraged him to leave New York to start a new life with his son. While at his own going away party, he meets a NYPD officer named Vin Gonzales who relayed a message from Norman to which Harry tases him and beats him up. With Stanley, Harry moved to Seattle, Washington where they lived in hiding and used his mother’s maiden name Lyman.
When his father, the Goblin King, suffered a defeat, Harry felt safe to return to his life and got a job heading Parker Industries’ New York office. When superhumans started to disappear at the hands of the superhuman known as Regent, Harry investigated with Mary Jane and Betty Brant. Harry connected that a logo worn by Regent was the same one as Augustus Roman’s company. But Augustus felt threatened and kidnapped Betty. Harry tried to save Betty himself but contacted Spider-Man who came at his call.
When his father returned as the villain known as Red Goblin, replete with the Carnage symbiote, and his mother turned out to be alive, Harry resolved to be a better father to his sons Stanley and Normie than his father was to him.