The Red Goblin


At the conclusion of The Osborn Identity, Norman Osborn realized that in order to defeat Spider-Man he needs the madness that comes with his Green Goblin persona.  However, since his body had been rid of the Goblin Formula (via the nanites Spidey injected in his body during The Goblin Nation finale) the madness was gone as well.  Since then, Osborn has embarked on a desperate search to regain his powers and make himself “whole again.”  He tried everything from surgical to mystical, all to no avail.  Left with few options, Osborn was about to try something a little outside the box…

Osborn’s quest for a new source of power began deep beneath the Atlantic Ocean in Amazing Spider-Man #794.  At the ocean’s floor was a secret S.H.I.E.L.D. storage facility known as the Lock Box, which houses “dangerous, extranormal artifacts.”  Two recently hired S.H.I.E.L.D. agents, named Krane and Coleman, approach the Lock Box in their submersible vehicle with a package that is to be stored at the facility.  However, once the two agents are inside the facility, the Zodiac Key (a different artifact already under containment) begins sending out massive energy fluctuations.  This causes Commander Hicks to trigger a lockdown protocol. 

The fear of a lockdown prompts Agents Krane and Coleman to break their cover and attack Hicks and the rest of the S.H.I.E.L.D. agents.  Their weapon of choice is a crate full of pumpkin bombs!  Krane and Coleman are in search of a different artifact stored somewhere in the Lock Box and after neutralizing Hicks and his men they look to acquire their target.  Clearly they’re in the employ of Norman Osborn…

A short time later, Krane and Coleman arrive at Osborn’s residence with the target they were paid to obtain.  After Norman expresses gratitude with their work, he sends the two double agents off so that he can be alone with “his new friend.”  Norman Osborn had just acquired the Carnage symbiote…

The story continues in Amazing Spider-Man #795 as Osborn laments his inability to make himself “whole again.”  He states that nothing on Earth has been able to fix him and that he requires an unearthly solution…enter the storage container housing the Carnage symbiote.  Norman cleverly refers to the sealed system as “madness in a jar.”  At that moment Norman opens the unit and invites the symbiote to meet his new master, but the symbiote has plans of its own.  Osborn’s fixation on Spider-Man is not enough for Carnage who wants to kill the entire world, not just the wall-crawler.  The former Green Goblin and the symbiote are in immediate conflict as Norman explains that he wants “an empire!  A world to rule…”  Osborn struggles to control the symbiote as Carnage boasts “…Green’s out!  There’s only red!...we’re making everything red!...And we are Carnage!”

Unfortunately for the web-slinger, Norman is not the only Goblin fixing to cause problems.  In Amazing Spider-Man #796 Phil Urich, the self-dubbed Goblin King, arrives on the scene of an Alchemax tech demonstration with a horde of Goblins in tow.  The Goblin King’s plan is to steal the precious metal ‘tritium’ responsible for powering Alchemax’s revolutionary new energy-providing technology.  Peter Parker and Flash Thompson, the newly minted Agent Anti-Venom, happen to be at the demonstration albeit for different reasons (Peter to report as the science editor of the Daily Bugle and Flash hired as extra security by Liz Allan).  The two shift to their heroic alter egos and attempt to thwart the Goblin King and his minions.  However they are unable to detain the Goblin King, who manages to narrowly escape with a chunk of the tritium metal. 

Meanwhile, the Osborn/Carnage bonding process begins to take a critical step forward.  As both Krane and Coleman stand guard outside Norman’s private study, the commotion inside the room causes the two Osborn-loyalists to check in on their boss.  When they open the door, they’re greeted by the Carnage-bound-Osborn and receive the all-too-common treatment of Osborn confidantes…a very grim death.  Norman tried to persuade Carnage to not kill them, but it was too little too late.

With Krane and Coleman’s dead bodies sprawled on the floor, Carnage could not help but recognize a different feeling resulting from those kills.  He was able to savor their screams and their pain more so than usual, and his new host Norman Osborn must have caused that difference.  The former Green Goblin seizes the opportunity to coax the alien symbiote into submitting to his control.  Norman says, “I can show you new levels of destruction…All crafted by the unparalleled imagination of Norman Osborn…”  Carnage relinquishes control to Norman.

With Osborn at the helm, he commands the symbiote to initiate two major physical changes.  First, Carnage repairs Osborn’s deteriorating face and in no time Osborn was looking like his old self.  Second, the symbiote expels the Goblin Formula-dampening nanites that had long been suppressing Osborn’s Goblin powers.  The rejuvenated Osborn was ready to re-introduce the Goblin Formula into his system…this time with Carnage symbiote onboard as well. 

Norman’s attack on Spider-Man kicks into gear in Amazing Spider-Man #797 and, in doing so, he invokes a bit of nostalgia.  Osborn returns to his old gentlemen’s club on the Upper East Side (it is not explicitly stated whether this old dilapidated suite is the infamous Century Club, but it is strongly implied to be one in the same).  Norman is not alone; he has a gagged and blindfolded captive along with him.  After threatening to “make a game” out of killing his prisoner, Osborn removes the gag from the victim and presents the reason for their abduction.  Since the captive is “very close” to Spider-Man, Norman wants the person to tell him who he is and where to find him.

The story then flashes back to four hours earlier in the day at the apartment of Mary Jane Watson.  After she explains to Peter that there is no way for them to be together again, Spidey leaves her apartment through the window.  Osborn observes the web-slinger’s departure from the streets below.  This sets the stage that perhaps MJ was the one abducted by Norman. 

Back at the present time, Osborn continues to pressure his hostage into sharing details around Spider-Man’s whereabouts.  In a bizarre scene, Osborn uses his Carnage symbiote to bite the head off of a rat in order to coax his prisoner to spill the information.

Returning to earlier in the day, the scene shifts over to the Daily Bugle where the staff is discussing Phil Urich’s latest crime as the Goblin King.  Peter is pulled from the discussion after receiving a phone call from J. Jonah Jameson.  The former Daily Bugle editor demands that Peter provide him with details (for his blog) around the escaped Goblin King, Peter dodges the request.

The story then shifts yet again to the present moment at the gentlemen’s club where Osborn ruminates over the connection of Spider-Man to the Daily Bugle, hoping his commentary will entice his prisoner to squeal.  Norman has a giant corkboard littered with pictures and clippings that connects folks associated with Spider-Man.  As Norman runs down the list of those in this web (Flash, Liz, Harry, MJ, etc) he claims his captive will help him figure out who is Spider-Man.  

It’s worth mentioning that noticeably absent from Norman’s board is Peter Parker, which would be the most obvious person connected to Spider-Man (is that the mindwipe in action?).  Also worth mentioning is that Norman refers to Liz Allan as the “mother to my grandchildren”, technically she’s only the mother to Normie (see here for more details on the actual family tree). 

Once again moving back four hours in to the past, Liz Allan and her step-brother Mark Raxton (aka the Molten Man) greet Flash Thompson at Alchemax HQ.  Liz, using her knowledge of Flash’s Agent Anti-Venom alter ego as leverage, requests that Flash track down Urich and the tritium (which he stole from Alchemax in Amazing Spider-Man #796).  Flash reluctantly complies.  Meanwhile, Harry (Osborn) Lyman is with Stanley and Normie at Central Park alongside their nanny Emma.  A seemingly frightened Emma notices a skulking Norman Osborn off in the distance.  Its clear Norman has been keeping tabs on his family, suggesting that perhaps Harry or Liz could be his captive at the gentlemen’s club.

The story then shifts back to Norman and his prisoner as the former Green Goblin begins to divulge Emma’s role in his sinister plot, but he stops himself before he gives away too much information.  Osborn’s coy remarks are interrupted by a noise coming from one of his secret Goblin cache, it appears another looter has arrived. 

Indeed, the Goblin King has decided to pillage another Goblin stockpile and Norman was ready to intervene.  He greets the Goblin King and calmly explains his disappointment in him.  Norman states that he “took [him] under his wing…made [him] [his] Goblin Knight.”  And that this was no way to repay him for doing so.  A frustrated Urich prepares to attack Osborn with his flaming sword, but with a simple reach of his arm Norman impales Urich.  After tearing through Urich’s chest cavity Osborn explains why Urich never made a name for himself, “It’s your heart, Phil.  It just wasn’t in it.”  Its clear the Carnage symbiote has greatly enhanced the Green Goblin.  Osborn then returns to his prisoner.

Norman’s captive becomes more defiant as Osborn begins to adorn himself in his Goblin attire.  The prisoner explains that the Green Goblin is a loser and that Spider-Man always emerges victorious no matter what Norman throws at him.  The prisoner goes on to say that “[Norman] threw his girl off a bridge!  And he still fought his way back!”  That line from the hostage triggered a memory in Norman as the Goblin pauses and thinks to himself.  “His girl.  Off a bridge.”  Norman then looks his hostage straight in the eye and exclaims, “Peter Parker is Spider-Man!”  Osborn rejoices in his newfound insight and his prisoner, who is revealed to be none other than J. Jonah Jameson appears terrified as to what Norman plans to do with this knowledge…

Click here for a brief history on the Norman/J. Jonah relationship.  Its no coincidence why the Osborn would have chose Jameson as a target.

Also, back in Amazing Spider-Man #673, Dr. Strange explains to Peter that his mindwipe spell (the one that erased the knowledge of Peter Parker’s alter ego as Spider-Man from the world) was weakened due to his unmasking during the events of Spider-Island.  So it’s not at all improbable that Norman would be able to reach this conclusion without literally seeing Spidey unmask (which was the original stipulation of the spell).

Things begin to heat up in Amazing Spider-Man #798 as Peter Parker leads his Daily Bugle science staff in an effort to track down the missing tritium.  The team’s repurposed Doppler Radar suggests that the tritium is headed toward the Daily Bugle, but Peter dismisses the notion since his Spider-sense hadn’t been set off.  Seconds later, the Green Goblin comes crashing in through the window, sending the surprised staff running for cover.

The Goblin’s demands are simple, he wants Peter Parker, who is “friends with the bug,” to bring Spider-Man to the Daily Bugle.  It appears as though the Green Goblin has decided not to blow Peter’s cover in front of his friends and colleagues at the Daily Bugle.  Joe Robertson insists Peter meet the Goblin’s request, so Peter leaves to ‘find’ Spider-Man.

As the remaining staff and the Green Goblin wait for Spidey’s arrival, Osborn takes the opportunity to threaten the various staff members including Betty Brant and Ben Urich.  The Goblin tossing threats at Urich, Brant and the others employed at the Daily Bugle is oddly reminiscent of times past (see here for a walk down memory lane).  Norman’s final threat is a hefty one (literally), he tosses a bag at Urich with a statue’s head attached to the tritium bomb, which was wired to explode in a ten minutes and counting.  Luckily for Urich and the others, Spider-Man arrives and attacks the Green Goblin. 

Meanwhile, Flash Thompson using a tracking device from Alchemax follows the trail of the tritium to the doorsteps of the infamous gentlemen’s club in Upper East Side (aka The Century Club).  Thompson was not able to locate the tritium but he did find the captive J. Jonah Jameson as well as the deceased Phil Urich.  Jameson tells Thompson that the Green Goblin is back and that they must warn the others.

Some of those ‘others’ include Norman’s own son Harry and his family.  At that moment, Harry, Liz, Mark Raxton and the two boys Normie and Stanley were sharing some quality family time at Liz’s apartment.  Liz receives an urgent call from Flash telling her that Norman is back in town.  Just as they are preparing to head off to Alchemax (in order to use the security forces there for protection), the nanny Emma stops them and says, “I have to take the children.”  Before the adults could even process what she was talking about, Emma hits them all with tranquilizer darts, knocking them out.  She then absconds with the children.

Back at the Daily Bugle the evacuation of the building is in full swing as Joe Robertson leads his colleagues safe exit from the building.  Spider-Man keeps the Green Goblin occupied, which enables the escape of the Daily Bugle employees.  With seconds remaining on the detonation device, Spider-Man shoots a web cocoon around the device in order to help contain the blast.  The web-slinger then seals himself in his own web cocoon, leaving the Goblin out to dry (err…explode)!  The bomb explodes, annihilating the Daily Bugle. 

A short time later, Spider-Man wakes up amongst the rubble of the building…he was able to survive the explosion.  As the web-slinger prepares to help innocent bystanders, he hears his named called, “Parker…”

Peter turns to see the Norman Osborn impaled upon the rubble of the destroyed Daily Bugle.  Parker is shocked not only by the Goblin’s dire position but also the fact that he knew his identity.  As Spidey inquires as to how long Norman has known, Osborn dismisses the question and instead initiates what would appear to be a heart-to-heart moment as he lay there dying.   Osborn tells Peter, “I’ve always been driven, but you pushed me on, more than anyone could.  Thank you…” 

As Peter laments his inability to save his long-time enemy, Osborn quickly turns the tables on their emotional moment…and the Carnage symbiote emerges, bonding with the dying Green Goblin.  And the Red Goblin is born!

As the Red Goblin, Norman immediately attacks Spidey sending him reeling in defense.  Realizing that he is completely outgunned, Spidey places a Spider-tracer on the Goblin and takes off.  But the Red Goblin was not going to let him off the hook that easily.  Osborn unleashes his newest weapon…Carnage bombs!  They’re a perfect marriage of Goblin weaponry and Symbiote psychosis, which don’t set off Peter’s Spider-sense (plus they can giggle and bite)! 

One of the bombs latches on to Spidey’s leg and explodes, sending the web-slinger crashing into an abandoned building.  The Red Goblin is in hot pursuit and begins searching the building for the wall-crawler.  As Osborn is unable to locate Peter he offers him a deal.  The Goblin claims that he is “not interested in [Peter]…it’s always been the Spider that’s gotten in [his] way.”

So Norman offers him a deal…that if Peter ceases to be Spider-Man, he will let him and everyone he cares about live.  But if Peter violates that rule (and becomes Spider-Man again), the Red Goblin will hunt down and kill anyone he has ever loved.  The Goblin then asks Peter to show him that he understands.  Spider-Man shows his compliance by setting his costume ablaze in the form of a surrender flag.

Amazing Spider-Man #799 opens with Peter on full alert, sweeping the city for any signs of the Red Goblin.  He is not alone though, he has the help of a few trusted allies, namely the Human Torch, Silk and Miles Morales.  Each of Spidey’s friends is keeping watch over the people close to Peter (e.g. Aunt May, MJ, his Daily Bugle colleagues).  Peter is coordinating the effort from an abandoned Oscorp building, his badly injured leg is limiting his ability to contribute physically.  A shadowy figure (presumably Osborn) is shown watching Aunt May’s apartment from a distance.

Peter recruits a few more allies to his cause, both Agent Anti-Venom (aka Flash Thompson) and Clash (aka Clayton Cole) agree to help stop Osborn.  Agent Anti-Venom had just rescued J. Jonah Jameson, but the former publisher of the Daily Bugle is able to slip away from Flash.  Jameson headed back to his apartment so that he can warn Peter that Osborn is coming for him.  He’s able to reach to Peter and he apologizes for slipping up and giving Osborn his secret identity.  Peter is visibly upset, he doesn’t say anything and simply hangs up on his former boss.  Jameson mutters to himself, “I’ll make this right.”

Meanwhile, Liz, Harry and Mark Raxton are finally waking up from the tranquilizers they were tagged with by their nanny, Emma.  Fortunately for the trio, Liz had the kids “chipped” (i.e. tagged with digital tracers) so that she could track them down if she ever lost them.  The group follows the signal and eventually catches up to Emma and the kids at the Port Authority.   After Liz confronts Emma, the nanny retorts, “I’m trying to get the boys as far away from here as possible!  …You might have led him right to us!”  Before they could process what Emma was saying, the shadowy figure emerged as the Red Goblin!  Osborn takes out their security with one shot and as he delivers a mind-boggling revelation.  Norman points out that Harry and Liz’s nanny is none other than Emily (Lyman) Osborn, Harry’s supposedly-deceased mother!

Before Norman could inflict any bodily harm to his family, the Human Torch and Clash arrive on the scene and pummel Osborn with a combination of fire and sound.  Typically, sound waves and heat create havoc for symbiotes but their combined blast has no effect on the Red Goblin.  Osborn tells the two heroes, that the Goblin Formula and the symbiote are the ultimate combination with “all of the strengths and none of the weaknesses.”  He then fires some spikes at them, rendering them useless.

Silk and Miles Morales then arrive at the scene and despite Peter’s command to the contrary, the duo attempt to defeat the Red Goblin.  Norman quickly dismantles them as well.  As Osborn prepares to kill the fallen heroes, Agent Anti-Venom crashes the party and attacks the Red Goblin.  The destructive affect of Anti-Venom on the symbiote catches Norman off-guard (which is surprising because Norman and his Thunderbolts were attacked the original Anti Venom), this gives Flash the upper hand.  Flash uses the healing power of Anti-Venom to help his fallen comrades, unfortunately for him this returns the advantage to Osborn who lashes out (literally!) wounding the preoccupied Thompson. 

Despite Peter’s request that Flash keep his guard up against the Red Goblin, Agent Anti-Venom uses the healing power to save the other heroes.  This allows Osborn to deliver a blow to Flash that knocks him unconscious.  However, all the battling against Spidey’s allies allowed Harry and his family to escape Norman, so the Red Goblin goes on the hunt for his family.  Peter arrives on the scene, fully garbed as Spider-Man, and Flash uses the healing power of Anti-Venom on Spidey, fully healing his leg. 

The Red Goblin catches up to his family and taunts them with the importance Osborn Legacy, whilst doing so he snatches Normie Osborn.  He tells Normie the Osborn Legacy is especially meaningful for him, Norman than uses his Red Goblin tail to knock the rest of the family out of the way.  Harry pleads for Norman to return his son, but its too late…Osborn uses the Carnage symbiote to convert Normie into a Red Goblin as well…

Spider-Man has returned to his beaten and battered allies at the beginning of Amazing Spider-Man #800.  After confirming that his friends survived the Goblin’s attack, he reminds them that due to their current physical state they are not coming with him when he brings the fight to the Red Goblin.  Spidey then quickly leaves them behind and makes a bee-line for Harry Osborn and his family. 

When Spider-Man reaches them, Harry explains what Norman did to Normie.  They all quickly realize that the acquistion of Alchemax (Liz’s company that had absorbed Oscorp) is Norman’s endgame and that he plans to use Normie as a bartering chip.  Spidey suggests that they use Alchemax’s supply of artificial Anti-Venom against Osborn, since Flash had used that effectively against the Red Goblin.  Mark Raxton tells Peter that Alchemax stores the substance at the former Horizon building, the web slinger leaves to retrieve it.

Meanwhile, J. Jonah Jameson’s, who had resolved to help Peter fight Osborn, sits inside his apartment struggling to find a way to contribute.  He decides to contact Eddie Brock (aka Venom) and convinces him to join the fight against the Red Goblin.  Jameson is able to convince Brock fairly easily because he threatens to expose Brock for selling he pictures of Venom that he (Brock) has taken…the old Peter Parker trick.  Brock obliges Jameson.

When Peter reaches Alchemax’s Anti-Venom storage facility he’s greeted with some bad news…Osborn had already destroyed their supply (and killed three security guards in the process).  The Red Goblin also left a surprise for Spider-Man inside the containment unit, a trio of Carnage bombs!  Interestingly (and creepily!), Norman is able to communicate through the bombs and he warns Peter that he broke their deal (ie, donning the Spider-Man threads) so now he’s going after MJ and Aunt May.  Then, of course, he detonates the Carnage bombs nearly blowing the web slinger into pieces.

Over at Stark Tower, Mary Jane is on her way home for the evening when she’s greeted by Venom.  Thinking that Venom is Osborn, she activates the Stark Tower security system, trapping Venom is a sonic-filled inferno.  Unfortunately for MJ, Venom was there to protect her (at the behest of Jonah)…and the Red Goblin decides to pay her a visit.  As Venom struggles with the symbiote-geared defenses of Stark Tower, he urges MJ to turn them off so that he can face the Red Goblin.  Mary Jane obliges, albeit relunctantly, allowing Brock and Osborn to battle toe to toe.

As promised by Norman, both MJ and Aunt May were going to pay for Peter’s transgressions, so whilst Osborn was tied up Brock he sent his grandchild to attack May.  While Aunt May is busy cleaning the dishes at her apartment, she hears a knock at her door and it is Normie Osborn.  The young Osborn claims that he’s lost, so Aunt May brings him inside her home.  The newly Carnage-bound Osborn quickly attacks Aunt May, luckily Doctor Octopus emerges from out of the blue to fend of Normie’s attack.  Ock and the Goblin Childe engage in battle…


Peter joins Venom in his fight against the Red Goblin.  Mary Jane, armed with one of Iron Man’s repulsor gloves, contributes to the fight against Osborn as well.  Unfortunately the repulsor blast hurt Spidey and Venom more than Osborn, allowing the Red Goblin to land clean blow on Spidey.  He then turns and shoots MJ with Carnage-shrapnel, knocking her to the ground as he takes off into the night.  His last words to Peter are taunts that he’s sent Normie for Aunt May.  Realizing that his options are limited, Peter agrees to Brock’s suggestion of bonding with Venom symbiote…and a new version of the black-costume Spider-Man is born!

Back at Aunt May’s apartment the Goblin Childe is beginning to get the upper hand on Doc Ock, however J. Jonah joins the fray remotely via one of Marla’s old Spider-Slayers.  Jonah is able to neutralize the young Red Goblin, that is, until Grandpa Red Goblin joins the fight.  Norman makes quick work dismantling both Jonah’s Spider-Slayer and the Superior Octopus leaving only Aunt May to stand and fight.  The Goblin fires a blast of Carnage-shrapnel at her as well, but the Superior Octopus jumps in front of the onslaught absorbing the shrapnel and sparing Aunt May.  Peter arrives on the scene as Norman and his grandson are leaving the wreckage, he immediately heads toward May and Ock.  Otto explains his act of altruism as the result of Peter’s memories lingering inside his head, guiding him with a sense of right and wrong.  Inspired by Otto’s heroic act, Peter heads off to settle the score with Norman.

Meanwhile, the two Red Goblins make their way over to Alchemax headquarters where they are greeted by Liz Allan and Mark Raxton.  Liz knows that Norman is trying to extort the company away from her control using Normie as the leverage to do so, but she confirms there’s no way for her to legally hand Alchemax over to her even if she wanted.  But Osborn recalls his days as Mason Banks (back during Goblin Nation) when he was intimately involved in the company’s structuring, he knows that Alchemax goes to Normie as part of a beneficiary clause.  Technically it would go to Normie and his legal guardian…which would presumably be Norman if Liz and the others are dead.  Thus, Norman attacks Mark and Liz, but Harry joins the fray atop a Goblin Glider and flanked by the humanitrons! 

Harry swoops in to grab Normie, who then converts to the Goblin Childe and resists his father.  In a rather emotional scene, the Goblin Childe screams for his father to release him, claiming that, “…You left!  You never wanted me!  Go back to the son you love!...”.  Harry promises to never leave Normie again, but his preoccupation with his son opens the door for the Red Goblin to continue his attack on Liz.  Norman grabs her by the throat and throws her through the window.  Luckily, Spider-Man swoops in with perfect timing to catch Liz and bring her to safety. 

The traumatic event of watching his mother nearly dying jars Normie, causing him to question who is the actual bad guy in this scenario.  The Goblin Childe resolves to attack the Red Goblin, but his grandfather quickly deflects his attack and poises for kill a shot.  Once again, Spidey is in the right place at the right time and is able to prevent Normie’s murder.  This allows Harry fly his Goblin Glider right in to the chest of his father (certainly reminiscent of a classic event from the past).  With the Red Goblin temporarily out of commission, Liz, Harry and Normie share a family hug and plan to never leave each other again. 

The action then turns to the highly anticipated one on one match up between Spider-Man and the Red Goblin.  Spidey’s first move is to lure the Goblin away from his friends as their commences in the air between the skyscrapers.  When the web-slinger baits Osborn by saying this evil plan has not panned out, the Goblin retorts unveiling his master plan.  The Carnage-shrapnel that he landed in Spidey’s friends and allies is actually a secret weapon that will migrate into their pain centers and cause the most painful death possible.  Peter asks Osborn why he would do such a thing and his response: 

Spidey pleads that Norman reconsider this but the Goblin does no such thing and as he snaps his finger, initiating the torture…but nothing happens.  Suddenly Flash Thompson appears and he explains how he recognized the Carnage-shrapnel in his fallen comrades and he removed them from all the victims.  Flash also acknowledges that he was able to piece together Peter’s alter ego as Spider-Man and the two share a brief moment of bonding.  However, an enraged Osborn attacks the duo sending his demonized-Goblin Glider after Spider-Man, allowing him to isolate Thompson. 

The Red Goblin goes in for the kill, but the Anti-Venom suit once again erodes away Osborn’s Carnage symbiote.  However, since Flash had used so much of the Anti-Venom suit’s healing power to save all those around (ie, Peter, Clash, Silk, etc), he only has a limited amount of the suit remaining.  Norman is able to take advantage of the less-effect Anti-Venom symbiote and even uses his old Goblin weaponry, namely his infamous electro-blast gloves.  The defenseless is forced to absorb the Goblin’s onslaught without any means of fighting back, luckily Spider-Man invokes the “Monster Venom” phase of the symbiote as he attacks Osborn.  With one punch Peter sends the Red Goblin careening through buildings, freeing up Flash. 

Sadly, Flash had taken on too much damage from the Goblin and Peter offers up the Venom symbiote to bond (and thus save) Flash, the former military man refuses the help.  Flash was concerned that the Venom symbiote would die as well, leaving Peter no weapon against the Red Goblin.  Then, tragically, Flash Thompson dies upon a rooftop.

Meanwhile the Red Goblin lands in the middle of Times Square and he soon decides that if he can’t kill everyone close to Spider-Man he’ll do the next best thing…kill as many innocent people as possible.  When Peter finally tracks down Osborn, the Red Goblin claims that he can hurt Peter just as bad by killing innocent people…so he unleashes a flurry of his Carnage bombs!  In the havoc that ensues, Peter rushes to save as many people as possible.  While Spider-Man is distracted with saving lives, the Red Goblin uses the opportunity to pounce on him (recall that the Carnage symbiote does not set off his Spider-Sense).  Soon the Goblin has Spidey dead-to-rights, the fire from the Carnage bombs are not helping him either since his symbiote is sensitive to heat while the Red Goblin’s is not. 

Whilst the Goblin’s strangling Spidey’s neck, the webslinger has an important realization:  Norman’s ego is his only vulnerability as the Red Goblin.  So Peter attempts to exploit that angle.  He tells Norman that no one will give him the credit for killing Spider-Man, instead everyone will credit the symbiote and Cletus Kasaday.  This notion throws Norman for a loop and relinquishes Spidey from his grip.  The two shed their symbiotes and go at it the old fashioned way, Goblin vs Spider!

Spidey lands the first punch and gains the upper hand but when a damaged car explodes nearby, he’s nearly knocked out from the explosion.  The Green Goblin then begins to pummel the webslinger.  As the Goblin taunts Peter suggesting that there is no one left to save him, Spider-Man has a sudden burst of energy as he is inspired by all of his lost loved ones.  Spidey lands a final haymaker, knocking the Goblin to the ground and says, “That was for Flash.”  

In a final attempt to defeat Spider-Man, Norman tries desperately to merge with the Carnage symbiote, but Peter acts quickly throws the symbiote toward a car gas tank, forcing an explosion that neutralizes the alien.  The bond between Norman and the alien was so strong that pain from the fire that Carnage symbiote felt was also felt by Norman…frying his brain in the process.   Suddenly, J. Jonah arrives at the scene determined to end things for good…he pulls out a gun and aims at the vulnerable Norman Osborn.  He pulls the trigger as Spidey pleads for him to reconsider, the webslinger is forced to jump in front of the bullet saving Osborn in the process.  The dumbfounded Jameson asks why he would do such a thing and Spidey claims that, “with great power must also come great responsibility.  To everyone.  Even the worst of us.”  Jameson runs off ashamed at what he had done. 

Soon after, Spider-Man, with the help of John Jameson, visits Norman Osborn at Ravencroft.  The former Goblin has clearly become detached from reality and when Spidey asks if Norman is going to keep his secret, Norman retorts:

Peter leaves Ravencroft knowing that the secret Osborn had uncovered is safe for now…

Young Normie Osborn is treated for his bonding with the Carnage symbiote at the Alchemax R&D labs in upstate New York.  Harry decides to change his name back to Harry Osborn do something good with the family legacy.  He does not fully accept the nanny “Emily”  as his mom, but he does understand why she left he and his father all those years ago.  Things appeared to be on the right track for Harry his family, but as Normie is shown hugging his father it appears as though the Carnage symbiote is still in his system…

 

Some parting thoughts.... 

1.)  The Osborn/Carnage hybrid is not the first "red" Goblin to enter the Spider-verse, let's not forget Nels Van Adder as the ProtoGoblin.  For more on Van Adder, see here.


2.)  This is not the first time J. Jonah ever pulled a gun on Norman Osborn with the intent to kill.   He did a very similar thing back during the Gathering of Five.  For more on that, see here


3.)  The return of Emily Osborn raises more questions than answers, one of which is how was she aware of Norman's pending attack (and thus to come in to protect the children)?  But perhaps the biggest questions are how she was able to fake her death so convincingly and why she would leave her innocent child alone to be raised by Norman?  Only time will tell I suppose...


3.)  In the panel below, the Red Goblin claims that he "couldn't care less about the man" and that it has "always been the spider that's gotten in [his] way."  But that stands in contradiction with the established motivations behind their relationship, check out the second panel below from Peter Parker Spider-Man #75 (aka the "return" of Norman Osborn).  Osborn makes it pretty clear in that panel what matters to him.  This is a bit of shortcoming in this Red Goblin arc...he should never forget what matters!



4.)  Technically speaking, this is not the first time that Carnage and the Green Goblin have teamed up against Spider-Man.  In the prose novel Goblin's Revenge, the Chameleon (aka Dmitri Smerdyakov) posed as the Green Goblin and enlisted Carnage to help carry out his plot against Peter Parker.  For more on that, check here.  



4.)  As far as Norman Osborn combining with a symbiote, you have to look at an alternate universe to see an example of that.  In Amazing Spider-Girl #29, a resurrected Norman Osborn combines with the Venom symbiote to form the Goblin God.  For more on that, check out the alternate universe Green Goblin/Norman Osborn page.






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Osborn's operatives Krane and Coleman provide him the Carnage symbiote, as seen in Amazing Spider-Man #794


After bonding with the Carnage symbiote, Osborn kills Krane and Coleman, as seen in Amazing Spider-Man #796


Step for Osborn and Carnage: restore Norman's highly damaged face, , as seen in Amazing Spider-Man #796


Step two for Osborn and Carnage: remove the nanites circulating his system, as seen in Amazing Spider-Man #796


Osborn and his captive discuss the details around his main target: Spider-Man, as seen in Amazing Spider-Man #797


As Osborn prepares to don the Goblin attire, his captive tips him off as to Spider-Man's secret identity, as seen in Amazing Spider-Man #797


Norman finally recalls the secret behind Spider-Man's alter ego, as seen in Amazing Spider-Man #797


Norman's hostage at the Century Club and the person responsible for tipping Osborn off regarding Spider-Man's identity is revealed to be J. Jonah Jameson, as seen in Amazing Spider-Man #797


After the events of Spider-Island, Doctor Strange informs Spider-Man that the spell protecting his unmasking has been weakened.  This is ultimately allowed Osborn to figure out Spider-Man's identity without literally watching him unmask, as seen in Amazing Spider-Man #673


Norman Osborn, as the Green Goblin, crashes into the Daily Bugle looking for Peter Parker, as seen in Amazing Spider-Man #798


Flash Thompson rescues J. Jonah Jameson, as seen in Amazing Spider-Man #798


Liz Allan's nanny Emma, abducts her children after tranquilizing the adults, as seen in Amazing Spider-Man #798


Joe Robertson and Betty Brant help rush the Daily Bugle workforce from the building, as seen in Amazing Spider-Man #798


As the bomb approaches detonation, Spider-Man prepares a web-cocoon to shield him from the blast, as seen in Amazing Spider-Man #798


Spider-Man observes an impaled Green Goblin after the explosion, as seen in Amazing Spider-Man #798


Carnage and the Green Goblin bond and the official debut of the Red Goblin is witnessed by Spider-Man, as seen in Amazing Spider-Man #798


The Red Goblin hurls Carnage bombs as Spider-Man speeds off, as seen in Amazing Spider-Man #798


Spider-Man's closest allies keep watch over his loved ones whilst Osborn observes from a distance, as seen in Amazing Spider-Man #799


As the Red Goblin, Norman Osborn confronts his family, as seen in Amazing Spider-Man #799


The Human Torch and Clash team up to attack the Red Goblin, to no avail, as seen in Amazing Spider-Man #799


Top panel:  When the Red Goblin clashes with Anti-Venom, Osborn is surprised that the Anti-Venom suit can dissolve his Carnage symbiote, as seen in Amazing Spider-Man #799

Bottom panel:  Osborn should not be surprised about the capabilities of the Anti-Venom symbiote, he studied it when it first came into fruition during New Ways to Die, as seen in Amazing Spider-Man #572


Mary Jane reluctantly removes the restraints on Venom in order for him to fight the Green Goblin, as seen in Amazing Spider-Man #800


MJ, Spider-Man and Venom work together to neutralize the Red Goblin, as seen in Amazing Spider-Man #800


Eddie Brock suggests Spider-Man take on the Venom symbiote in order to combat Osborn, as seen in Amazing Spider-Man #800


J. Jonah, using a Spider-Slayer, joins the fray against the Goblin Childe, as seen in Amazing Spider-Man #800


The Superior Octopus, Otto Octavius, explains that Peter's memories still left in his brain are the reason for his altruistic act, as seen in Amazing Spider-Man #800


Norman and Normie arrive at Alchemax HQ to initiate their hostile takeover of the company, he even flashes a little Mason Banks in the process, as seen in Amazing Spider-Man #800


Harry and the humanitrons prepare for battle against the Red Goblin and the Goblin Childe, as seen in Amazing Spider-Man #800


Normie screams at his father for leaving him and loving Stanley more, Harry explains to the Goblin Childe that he will never leave him again, as seen in Amazing Spider-Man #800


The Red Goblin tosses Liz Allan from the window of the Alchemax building, certainly reminiscent of Gwen Stacy, as seen in Amazing Spider-Man #800


Seeing his mother nearly killed causes Normie to emerge from the control of Norman and the Carnage symbiote, as seen in Amazing Spider-Man #800


Norman uses a combination of the Carnage symbiote and the Green Goblin's Electro-Blast gloves to kill Flash Thompson, as seen in Amazing Spider-Man #800


Flash dies on the rooftop after telling Spidey that the world needs him, as seen in Amazing Spider-Man #800


The Red Goblin kills an innocent bystander (dressed as Spider-Man) as he continues to wreak havoc throughout Times Square, as seen in Amazing Spider-Man #800


Peter antagonizes Osborn by telling him that it is Cletus Kasady who will get the credit for killing Spider-Man, not him, as seen in Amazing Spider-Man #800


Spider-Man destroys the Carnage Symbiote by tossing it into a fire created by an exploding car, as seen in Amazing Spider-Man #800


Top panel:  J. Jonah Jameson decides to take action in to his own hands and he pulls a gun on Norman Osborn with the intent of killing him and ending his cycle of villainy, as seen in Amazing Spider-Man #800

Bottom panel:  Eerily similar to the above panel, J. Jonah Jameson pulls a gun on Norman Osborn with the intent of killing him in order to end his reign of terror, as seen in Peter Parker Spider-Man #96


Spider-Man jumps in front of the bullet meant for the Green Goblin, which was fired by J. Jonah Jameson, as seen in Amazing Spider-Man #800


The Carnage symbiote is removed from Normie Osborn at an Alchemax R&D facility, as seen in Amazing Spider-Man #800


A trace amount of the Carnage symbiote is shown in Normie's left eye, as seen in Amazing Spider-Man #800