Spider-Man and the Green Goblin are iconic enemies who would never want to imitate each other’s actions. Still, there’s a little bit of a villain in every hero, and sometimes Spider-Man is more of his definitive enemy than he’d like to admit. This is usually true in minor ways, but there have been times when Peter Parker was practically indistinguishable from Norman Osborn.
Despite all their differences, Spider-Man has acted like the Green Goblin on a number of occasions. To make matters worse, Norman likes to push Peter to the limit and actively try to make Spider-Man act more like a person he despises. More often than not, Peter shows that he’s still a caring hero, unlike his nemesis, but these exceptions to that rule are worrisome.
8 Peter left Harry with to deal with an illness (The Amazing Spider-Man 2)
The Amazing Spider Man 2 revealed that Harry and Norman Osborn were not close. Norman sent Harry away and wasn’t even there on his son’s birthdays. However, on his deathbed, Norman told Harry that he had given him “retroviral hypodysplasia,” the same disease that killed him, and left Harry alone.
Harry asked Spider-Man for a blood sample to help him, but Spider-Man refused. Like Norman, Spider-Man left Harry to handle it on his own. However, Spider-Man only did it because he didn’t want to risk his own blood to turn Harry into something worse. Spider-Man had good intentions, while Norman took pleasure in leaving Harry alone with this terrible news, but the effects were still the same.
7 Their costumes bring out the funny sides of both men
Spider-Man’s witticisms are one of his signature traits. He has an unstoppable sense of humor that is easier to express when wearing a mask. Likewise, the Green Goblin also tells jokes, though he has a vicious edge akin to the Joker’s one-liners. However, like Peter, Norman has an easier time making jokes in costume than out.
Both Peter and Norman use their alter egos to express themselves in ways their civilian identities cannot. In a way, their masks ironically reveal more about who they really are. While Norman uses the Goblin to harm, Peter uses Spider-Man to help people, but neither can resist making jokes at the expense of others.
6 Peter Became the Goblin (Spider-Verse)
In an alternate reality, Peter killed the Green Goblin after Osborn killed Gwen Stacy. However, this had a profound effect on Peter’s psyche and he eventually assumed the former identity of his nemesis.
The Peter of this world basically became Norman and shared his evil and alias. Peter was efficient as The Goblin, showing that Spider-Man always had the potential to become the heir to the Green Goblin. But thanks to Spider-Gwen, this version of Peter eventually found himself and died a hero. As The Goblin, Peter fell from grace, but he also had the power to be a hero again.
5 Both Peter and Norman have been through divorces
In Spider-Man: The Animated SeriesWorld, Norman and his wife had an unhealthy relationship that ended in divorce. In Into the Spider-VerseThe tension of his work as Spider-Man led to the end of Peter B. Parker’s marriage to Mary Jane Watson.
While TheAnimated Series does not go into the details of Norman’s divorce, he is irresponsible and always passes his problems on to others. In In the Spider-Verse, Peter B. Parker makes bad decisions and runs away from the responsibility of having a child. In the end, however, Peter B. Parker shows real steadfastness and decides to give his marriage to Mary Jane another chance, proving that even at his worst, Peter is still a better man than Osborn.
4 Peter broke his own moral code (no way home)
In No way home, the Green Goblin mocks Peter for trying to act morally and help others. The Goblin then kills Peter’s aunt and pushes the boy closer to the darkness. Osborn even incites Peter to attempt to kill him, acting disturbingly like a father learning to trap his son.
Peter violently struck the Goblin and nearly killed him. In his anger, Peter willingly abandoned his morality to take revenge. In the end, Peter Norman decided to heal and chose not to follow the dark path of the Green Goblin, but the time had come.
3 Peter also hunted his villains (616 strips)
The Green Goblin is notorious for uncovering Spider-Man’s secret identity. With this act, the Goblin proved that he was not a simple trickster, but a cunning and dangerous villain. To this day, the Green Goblin still tampers with his nemesis’ mind and pushes Spider-Man to his moral limits.
Likewise, Spider-Man has been chasing the Green Goblin and other villains. When Spider-Man is angry, the hero also proves that he is not a simple prankster. He is a smart and formidable enemy, and his anger makes him dangerous. When really enraged, he can lose control of his superhuman strength and has had to force himself not to kill enemies like Vermin and even the Goblin himself.
2 Peter left Harry (616 strips)
Norman Osborn neglected his son Harry throughout his life. Harry grew up with a lot of unwarranted stress and no paternal love. He eventually turns to drugs as an escape.
After Gwen Stacy’s death, Peter watched Harry slide into a drug addiction. Harry begged Peter to stay with him, but Peter had a hard time after her friend’s murder and he left Harry alone. Peter and Norman both hurt Harry by abandoning him. That said, Norman didn’t really have an excuse for his neglect and Peter had to deal with his own anger and loss.
1 Peter and Norman both betrayed Harry’s trust (The Spectacular Spider-Man)
The spectacular Spider-Man is known for its twist that ends where Norman blames Harry for his crimes as the Green Goblin. As Norman terrorized the city, he tricked his own son into thinking he was the culprit and had lost his grip on reality.
Peter is rightly angry at Norman’s cruelty, but he has also betrayed Harry in his own way. Peter and Gwen Stacy started dating even though she was in a relationship with Harry. To his credit, Peter wanted to be above the board and tried to thread the needle between being honest with his friend and not being cruel. Norman’s betrayal was on a different level from Peter’s, not only because the consequences for Harry were worse, but also because he didn’t care what happened to his only child.
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