Of all the costumed nutjobs in Spider-Man's rogues gallery, none have caused him as much pain as the original Green Goblin. He's attacked him with explosive pumpkin bombs, harassed him with maniacal laughter, and taken the lives of those close to him. Every evil deed has just increased the Goblin's legacy, so much so that a number of successors and imitators have donned the green rubber mask. The Green Goblin doesn't mess around when it comes to spider-torment… except for maybe in his first appearance.
Norman Osborn's original Green Goblin first appeared 50 years ago this month in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #14 by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko. The villain that would come to be known for his diabolical plans got off to a slow start in this classic issue. His first misstep: hiring the Enforcers, a group of snappily dressed criminals that had already been defeated by Spidey once.
In order to ensnare Spider-Man in his trap, Gobby convinced a Hollywood big shot – B.J. Cosmos! – to greenlight a motion picture starring the real Spider-Man. G.G. got Spidey's attention and told him about B.J.'s offer.
With a $50,000 payday dangled in front of him, Spider-Man traveled to Middle of Nowhere, New Mexico with Cosmos, a film crew, and fellow "actors" playing the Green Goblin and the Enforcers. After sneaking away to rehearse, the Goblin sprang his trap.
If not for Spidey's chest expanding power, he would have been ensnared in Montana's lasso!
Things went from bad to worse when Spider-Man sought refuge in a cave, one that just so happened to be the Hulk's hiding spot.
Spidey's skirmish with the Hulk tired him out, but it also provided him with enough of a distraction to slip past his original tormentors. Now out of the cave, Spider-Man made a final play against the Green Goblin by leaping onto his flying "broomstick."
Realizing that he didn't have the strength to properly deal with the flying menace, the web-slinger abandoned "broomstick," allowing Gobby to escape. This decision haunted Peter as he returned to New York City, fully aware that the masked menace could be lurking around any corner.
The Goblin's identity, so blatantly hidden in this final page, would not be revealed until years later in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #39. From that point on, comic book fans knew to fear the name Norman Osborn!
For more Goblin action, check out SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN on Marvel Unlimited!