Friday, March 1, 2024


AIPT has a preview of the first issue of Spider-Man: Shadow of the Green Goblin and you can read all about the series (well, what we're willing to give away) by clicking this link. You can also check out some of Michael Sta. Maria's wonderful artwork (enhanced by Chris Sotomayor's gorgeous colors) above and below. These preview pages are unlettered, but I promise:  There will be words!

Spider-Man: Shadow of the Green Goblin will be out April 3rd!


  1. I like that you started with an old time radio/pulp reference.

    Those pages actually reminder of a story from one of my favorite events of all time...

    Of course, having read the solicitation, I can tell that it is not the same story...other than MAYBE the idea of having Peter Parker;s supporting characters take the lead.

    The solicit made me think it may have some thematic or even plot based connections to THIS story, which is (partial) by the same writer...

    Either way, you know it is about the History of Norman Osborn, which is interesting. The Joker is a character that people agree they don't want TOO much info on, and to keep his history "multiple choice." However, Norman seems to be a character people don't mind having new info on. Conversely, the multiple reveals of the true origin of the Hobgoblin always seemed anti-climactic, even when the story was written.

    Now, you could say both the Joker and Hobgoblin had their true identity as a mystery, at least initially and for a while. However, so was the Green Goblin.

    Maybe it is the personal connection between Norman and Peter, but that was created as a part of the reveal. Not to mention many writers have tried to build a personal connection between Joker and Batman, even if not with Bruce Wayne. Often saying they need each other, and that Joker is obsessed with Batman...according to Frank Miller, maybe even in love. At least in Dark Knight Returns.

    Not conclusion. Just an observation...


    1. t's always fun taking a deep dive into the dysfunction of the Osborn family, Jack. And you're right: We never want a definitive answer to who Joker is and how he came to be—but with Norman? There are always new depths to plumb.

    2. It is fun.

      Magneto and Dr. Doom would be nowhere near as great of villains if they were just mysterious pasts. The nuance is what makes them great. Hell, Magneto was just a powerful villain for his first 20 years, give or take, and only made it to A-list status when they gave him backstory.

      The difference in villain history is not even just a Marvel or DC thing. Lex Luthor has had some great stories that delve into his past. Even Batman, Two-Face has some great stories abut his past. Even Ra's al Ghul, who you would think should be secretive has had Deny O'Neil write an interesting graphic novel based on his origins.

      I believe it is Harry that makes Norman so interesting to delve into. Harry loved, feared, and hated his father, to get that jumbled up of a reaction there has to be more to the character. Right?

      Without Harry, I think he would have been more like the Hobgoblin in the 80s. The menace of someone being so good at organizing, and you having no idea who they are. Admittedly, I always had a theory that Roger Stern created teh Hobgoblin to tell the story of what he thought the Green Goblin was, before Norman was revealed.

      The truth is, many a supervillain forgotten to the sands of time tried for the mysterious Joker route. It would be interesting to know why it works for him.

      Personally, I could use a lot less Joker in comics in general...ever since Dark Knight, DC has been using him disproportionately. But, I guess that is the nature of the beast, as the kids say.

      However, that s not contempt for the character. Just a think he is over used.

      Any answer would seem unsatisfactory. I wonder why. The inhuman face, that is still human enough to seem wrong? The dehumanizing view of the mentally ill? Because with all his crazy schemes it seems too ridiculous for a person to actually be able to do all of those things, like...logistically? I don't know.


    3. I think some villains are more forces of nature than people...representations of a concept. In the Joker's case, the apparent random cruelty, absurdity and insanity, of life. He's also, in some ways, Batman's shadow self. The creature he'd become if he really crossed the line. But there are many interpretations to the Joker and that's one of the things that make him memorable.

      And that face, of course!

    4. But, most of Batman's rogues are shadows of him in some way. Two-Face is warping Batman's sense of justice/ how he deals with tragedy, The Riddler is his intellect and detective skills, The Penguin is the dark side of Bruce's fortune, even Ra's al Ghul is the shadow version of Bruce's desire to save the world.

      It is also worth noting that the idea of Joker being so much of Batman's opposite does not really come about until the 80s, along with him being a "force of nature."

      The idea was started by Frank Miller in Dark Knight Returns, when Joker comes out of the Coma. It was The Killing Joke that cemented the idea, with Joker the same month in a JLI annual acting like the more Bronze Age crazy guy trying amuse himself Bronze age style. With Jack Nicholson a year later playing that same type of Joker, which does not come off as a force of nature.

      But why? Well, maybe the face IS part of the reason.

      Partially because humans have a natural aversion to death, and the concept, and despite what racists tell you, there are not really a lot of white people. most of the time that refers to people in a varying shades of pink to olive. However, corpses DO look white, or whitish, when the life has been drained from them. Perhaps that is part of it.

      Then again, there is another "force of nature villain" with a seemingly white face....Michael Myers. Unlike the Joker, he may be silent, but in the same way he keeps coming back no matter what you do.
      John Carpenter said that the reason why he chose the all-white William Shatner mask..and yes, that is the mask...over a clown was because the blankness allowed people to project whatever they wanted onto him. After all, Joker is not that similar to a traditional clown, being far more toned down.

      HOWEVER, one of the reasons it is hypothesized so many people fear clowns, is because the humor comes from exaggerated features, which some brains process as being wrong, and unsettling. Something that becomes increasingly clear wen you get close and see the person;s true face. Joker may not look like a clown fully, but that smile is very exaggerated, and easily processed as wrong, or inhuman.

      The again, as we said, it was the 80s this started. A time when two villains, the Punishes and Deathstroke, became anti-heroes. This is despite how much they were portrayed to be bad people previously, so maybe there was an unconscious realization that if tehy went too far into a character's back story the Joker may be redeemed-sh as an anti-hero.

      or maybe it is just that because Batman is the world;s greatest detective...not really, you need a badge or license for that,...that a villain who he knows nothing about would be unsettling by that very nature. An unsolvable mystery.


    5. Of course what I focused on was the idea that Batman isn't a licensed detective. Now I want to see a story where he applies for a license and gets turned down.

  2. Looking forward as always to your incredible insights into the Osborn clan. Seeing Gwen interact with the Osborns has been the centrepiece of many lasting memories and moments in the lives of our favourite characters, it will be fascinating to see just how well a more adjusted Norman really knew the woman he was fated to kill.

    1. Thanks so much, Zarius. Hope you enjoy SHADOW. I'm having a great time working on it.