–And Now, The Goblin!
Story: Stan Lee
Art: Gil Kane, John Romita
Lettering: Artie Simek
Originally published: May 1971
Back in New York, Pete is broke. Harry calls him a jerk and forces him to take Norman Osborn up on his job offer.
Later, Pete is going to see MJ in her new off-broadway show. He runs into Aunt May and Anna Watson on their way to see Hair (ha!). When a cop car screams by, Pete quickly changes into Spidey to follow it and finds some dude on a roof “stoned right out of his mind”! Man this issue’s awesome! The kid, thinking he can fly, leaps off the roof. Spidey is forced to save him and reveal himself in front of a boatload of cops. With the kid safe, the cops look the other way as Spidey takes off.
Returning to the theatre, Pete finds the gang. Much to Harry’s chagrin, MJ starts flirting with Peter right in front of everyone! She keeps this up all night. What a ho. Then Randy shows up and starts flipping out at Norman Osborn about the drug scene and how Osborn has a responsibility because of his money and influence. Awkward! Norman gets all riled up, which is exactly what he’s not supposed to do according to his doctor.
With the show going splendidly, the gang reconvenes at intermission. Suddenly, Norman Osborn breaks into a cold sweat and Peter’s spider sense starts acting up. The whole incident remains a mystery for awhile, but Peter and Osborn’s attention are both focused on a particular door in the theatre. Now, we learned earlier that Osborn used to own the theatre, so we can only suspect that it was perhaps one of his Goblin hideouts.
With everyone cleared out, both Peter and Norman Osborn head back to the theatre to check out the mysterious door of mystery. Osborn beats Spider-Man inside, and by the time Spidey gets there — he has indeed returned to his role as the Green Goblin!
Absolutely fantastic issue. The way Spider-Man caught the falling stoner was great foreshadowing for Gwen’s upcoming death, and MJ’s interest in Peter was a nice hint at the future (even if it was a bit strong). Norman Osborn is always a great character to have around, too. I also love the whole drug thing, which I believe the Comics Code actually didn’t allow – those Marvel guys were getting pretty ballsy I guess, but it was obviously for a good cause. The whole thing was really well written and had some pretty nice art to boot.