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The Night the Green Goblin Died


by Steve Payne



Author's notes says, what if the direction of Marvel comics had been shaped by the love generation?

On June 1st 1973, the Silver Age of Comics ended when Marvel published the watershed June/July edition of the Amazing Spider-man. Click to watch the intro to the 1977 TV Series

In which the Romantic Age of Comics begins..

Issue #122 was entitled The Night the Green Goblin died, marking the beginning of the Romantic Age of Comics.

The signs had already been there for some time as the genre eased into its fifth decade as the dominant force in American comic books. Stan Lee and Jack Kirby's Marvel Universe had made a huge difference, born out of the optimistic glow of the Camelot/Kennedy era and introducing much needed human elements into the cardboard cutout milieu of the superhero.

Insane industrialist Norman Osborn adopted the bizarre identity of the Green Goblin, based on a monster he feared in his childhood, with the goal of becoming the boss of the city's organized crime. Click to watch Episode 31 - Enter the Green Goblin

Prior to Issue #122 Norman Osborn came down with amnesia, suspending his identity as the supervillain and most notably forgetting that Spider-Man and Peter Parker are the same person. Also, Harry Osborn, Peter's best friend and Norman's son, became addicted to drugs and was sequestered in the Osborn home for detoxification in order to keep a potentially embarrassing issue from becoming public and hurting Norman Osborn's business.

Peter, his girlfriend Gwen Stacy, and friend Mary Jane Watson visit Harry, who is in a sorry state. His father Norman is livid about Harry's condition, blames Peter, Gwen, and Mary Jane for Harry's drug abuse, and throws them out. When Norman hears that he is facing financial ruin, he suffers a breakdown, and suddenly remembers everything. Norman again becomes the Green Goblin and makes it his goal to kill Peter/Spider-Man for all the misery he imagines Spider-Man has caused him and his family.

The Green Goblin abducts Gwen Stacey and lures Spider-Man to the George Washington Bridge. Holding an unconscious Gwen, he gloats at Peter. The two fight, and just when Spider-Man seems to get hold of Gwen, Norman hurls her off the bridge. Peter managed to save Gwen by jumping after her rather than catching her with a web-line (in pretty much the same way he saved Mary-Jane in the Spider-Man film), allowing him to cushion her from the impact as they hit the water and subsequently give her CPR.

In the aftermath of this rescue, he proposed to Gwen after revealing his secret identity to her, and, in a subsequent confrontation with the Green Goblin, Norman Osborn finally fought off his evil side when Harry moved to protect him regardless of what he'd become.

Author's notes says, in OTL Issue #122 takes a cynical path in which Gwen Stacey dies and both Peter Parker and Norman Osborn become more sinister characters. The main source of this article is Wikipedia from where we have repurposed content in celebrating the author's genius.

Steve Payne

Editor of Today in Alternate History, a Daily Updating Blog of Important Events In History That Never Occurred Today.

Imagine what would be, if history had occurred a bit differently. Who says it didn't, somewhere? These fictional news items explore that possibility. Possibilities such as America becoming a Marxist superpower, aliens influencing human history in the 18th century and Teddy Roosevelt winning his 3rd term as president abound in this interesting fictional blog.


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