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Spider-Man: Son of the Goblin Paperback – July 28, 2004

3.8 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Series: Spider-Man
  • Paperback: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Marvel Comics (July 28, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0785115633
  • ISBN-13: 978-0785115632
  • Product Dimensions: 6.6 x 0.3 x 10.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #719,072 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Anyone interested in Harry Osborn's career as The Green Goblin should get this collection. This collection (published in 2004):

- 1974: Amazing Spider-Man #136-137
- 1989: Amazing Spider-Man #312 (Todd McFarlane, artist)
- 1992: Spectacular Spider-Man #189
- 1993: Spectacular Spider-Man #200

The first two are of Harry taking on the evil mantle of his father, Norman, about a year and a half after Norman murdered Gwen Stacy and he accidentally kills himself trying to kill SM. The third covers Harry battling the recently demonized Hobgoblin. The fourth has Harry, insane, battling SM. The fifth is Harry battling his insanity, plotting to kill SM, then saving SM, Mary Jane, and Harry's son, before he dies (due to taking a reformulated super-strength chemical originally developed by Norman).

This story is both extremely sad and tragic, made all the worse because Harry is Peter's best friend and former boyfriend to Mary Jane. They all go way back and (eventually) know each other in their regular and altered identities. Watching Harry's epic struggle between his inner good and altered bad sides is painful. Rightfully so. The battles between Harry as GG and Peter as SM always seem so difficult for both, as neither really wants to fight and both (often) pull their punches. Peter knows Harry as GG is not himself and Harry as GG knows Peter is someone he loved even when he hates him. And the sub-plots with Harry's wife, Liz, who is in denial about Harry and in shock about what he does, as well as how Harry's influence is altering Harry's son to hate SM, make the stories all the more agonizing for the reader, who both wants to see the GG in action (else why read at all?) and watch Harry overcome his inner demons and return to his benign state.
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Format: Paperback
The Green Goblin has to be the most iconic Spider-man villain, and there was a long stretch between Norman Osborn's death (in Death of the Stacys) and inevitable resurrection when Harry Osborn became the Goblin. In many ways he was a more interesting foe than his father, since he was psychologically tormented and always torn between his long friendship with Peter Parker and his need to live up to his father's legacy. This paperback (now out of print?) collects the beginning and end of Harry Osborn's Green Goblin career to show his arc. It's a good thought, but it ends up coming off as disjointed with too much missing in the middle.

The first two issues collected, Amazing Spider-man 136 & 137, are the first Harry Osborn Green Goblin tale, by Gerry Conway. It's some real old-fashioned superhero stuff, with references to previous issues, overly verbose commentary, a needlessly complicated plot by the villain complete with a cackling explanation to the hero... it's kind of fun, but pretty dated and cheesy, and unless you have a taste for that style, it suffers in comparison to the rest of the book.

Next is Amazing Spider-man 312, in which Green Goblin doesn't remember his villainous history, and fights the Hobgoblin. It's a good issue, but is part of a larger narrative which isn't in this book, and so is a bit confusing. In particular it has foreshadowing for the huge Inferno story which has nothing to do with Harry Osborn. It does have sweet Todd Macfarlane art, but I'm not sure why it was included in this book.

Finally is the real reason to buy the book, Spectacular Spider-man 189 & 200 ("The Osborn Legacy" and "Best of Enemies"), two super-sized issues that track the final collapse of Harry Osborn. Written by JM DeMatteis and drawn by Sal Buscema, they're both superb.
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Format: Paperback
At least two volumes, I should say. When Marvel solicited this collection, I bought it without even considering what it collected exactly. It was an unexpected collection considering it focuses on Harry Osborn as the second Green Goblin (arguably, the less popular one). I always found the stories involving Harry as the Green Goblin to be some of the best Spider-Man stories of that time period and given my age, the original Green Goblin was already a thing of the past. Harry as the Green Goblin, was MY Green Goblin. The idea that your worst enemy is also your best friend and may or may not know your secret identity, well to me that's classic Spider-Man ethos. So while I admire what this collection attempted, I felt it was ultimately incomplete.

The first two issues collected in this trade were Amazing Spider-Man #136 and 137. A great place to start but the jump from those issues to Amazing #312, and then straight to Spectacular #189 and #200 (where Harry dies) was a definite misstep on Marvel's part. It would have been better had they collected additional issues of Spectacular Spider-Man like #180-184. Maybe not all of them, but some, just to chronicle Harry's journey and his persona as the second Green Goblin. I would also argue that certain issues from Web Of Spider-Man were good candidates for inclusion (#66-67) because while the art wasn't the best, those stories dealt with Harry trying to use the Green Goblin persona for GOOD.

That's what is missing from this collection, the true capturing of how Harry went between sane and insane. From good to evil and back again (and then back AGAIN).
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