The Goblin Lives!
Script: Stan Lee
Illustration: Johnny Romita, Jimmy Mooney
Lettering: Sammy Rosen
Originally published: November 1968
The cover is a fucking sweet painting by Romita. Nice!
This starts off with a lecture by Captain Stacy about the Goblin. Norman Osborn is there and he doesn’t yet remember that he’s the Goblin. That means that at least the first part of this issue has to take place during or before Amazing Spider-Man #66. In fact, since Peter and Harry are hanging out with Norman, this must be before he disappeared, which happened sometime in Amazing Spider-Man #63.
It actually all fits together pretty well, because that’s also right around when Captain Stacy regained his memory and realized Peter wasn’t a bad guy – meaning there’s no reason he couldn’t be hanging out with Pete at the start of this issue. Cool. I love when stuff fits together.
Anyway, at that lecture, Norman Osborn has a bit of a freakout and needs to be taken to the hospital. A few pages later, Osborn finally does remember that he’s the Goblin in one really great, beautiful-looking page. Once he realizes this, he bolts out of his hospital room and takes off. This, you see, is the beginning of his disappearance that happens in issue #63. Osborn heads off to one of his old hideouts, gets in an old costume and vows almighty revenge on Spider-Man!
At this point we have to assume there’s a jump forward to my present point in the timeline. The Goblin has now remembered Spider-Man’s true identity as well and, though Peter wants a confrontation as soon as possible, the Goblin is biding his time. Osborn invites Harry, Peter, MJ and Gwen to a party. Without any plausible excuse Peter is forced to attend, even though he knows that he’s jeopardizing his secret identity and the lives of his friends.
Once at the party, Osborn toys with Peter. They both know each other’s identities, but Peter can’t reveal anything until the Goblin makes a move. When it becomes obvious that Osborn’s about to lose control of himself, Peter creates a smoke bomb to get his friends out and to safety. Furious, Osborn takes off to go attack Aunt May, knowing that Peter will follow.
When they converge again at May’s house, not only does the Goblin give Spidey a bit of a thrashing initially, he also decides to tell Aunt May about Peter’s secret identity. What’s Spider-Man to do? He can’t kill Osborn, but he can’t let Osborn live with his secret, either. He opts to just try to lure the Goblin away for the time being. The plan works, but then Osborn hits him with a “psychedelic pumpkin” and Spider-Man starts tripping like a motherfucker. After having a seriously bad trip for a couple pages, Spider-Man’s powers allow him to come out of the haze just in time!
Spider-Man comes back and beats the snot out of the Goblin. Unmasking his foe, Spider-Man goes with the only crazy-ass long-shot plan he has to keep the Goblin quiet about his secret: he exposes Osborn to one of his own psychedelic pumpkins. Aided by the hallucinogens, Peter basically hypnotizes Osborn into despising the very thought of the Green Goblin, and of Spider-Man. Somehow this works and Osborn disassociates himself from his evil alter-ego, ripping his costume from his body in disgust. It also somehow erases Osborn’s memory of Spider-Man’s true identity.
The question Spider-Man and I both have is: will it be permanent? (I know the answer though: no.)
This was a great Goblin story. I really liked this Spectacular Spider-Man Magazine but, unfortunately, this issue was it’s last! It’s kind of a shame, because I think the slightly different format gave Romita the chance to do some really awesome art and Stan Lee the ability to do longer, more interesting stories.