For those of us born after 1966, or at least reading Amazing Spider-Man after issue #40, when Jazzy John Romita Senior showed us the identity of the Green Goblin, we have always accepted the fact that the original Green Goblin was Norman Osborn.

But to those fans of Ditko's Spider-Man run, #1-38, there was quite a different story being planned.

For example, since Harry's father Norman wasn't introduced until very  late in this run, it suggests that he wasn't the original target for the identity of the Goblin.


Many sources have claimed that Steve Ditko was plotting Spider-man and that he was intending the goblin to be an unknown, someone never seen or ID'd in the strip before.

But others claim that Ditko was aiming at another villian in the Daily Bugle, under JJJameson's nose.


Stan Lee objected, saying they already had the Big Man revealed as Fredrick Foswell, and that another criminal would be unbelievable. (HA! after all, it's a comic book...)

And Lee wanted it to be someone already introduced for great dramatic tension, reveal...


Since Lee was editor, he won. Ditko walked.  But that's a tale for another day.


I originally learned of the theory that NedLeads was going to be the Green Goblin back in a Fantaco publication that preceded the Official Marvel Comics Guides...  The Chronicle suggested that the most obvious clue was when Parker beats up a manequin in an alleyway, because the grinning dummy reminded him of Ned Leeds, who was in the process of taking Betty Brant away from Petey.

But sharp-eyed fans also got the visual reference to the grin of the Green Goblin... a not so subtle message that Ned was the Goblin due to the identical grins...and if Petey had just calmed down, he would have seen the connection also.


One can only imagine how different the world of Spider-Man would have evolved, had Ditko not walked out or if Ned WAS the Green Goblin...


But I'm more interested in the Normal Osborn resolution.  Over the next two years or so, it was frequently a subplot that Norman Osborn was having flashbacks and returning memory that he was linked to the Green Goblin and Spider-Man.  In fact, he DOES remember he was the green goblin  (what issued was this, guys?) and hides from Harry while in costume in his factory.  The story thread leads to a two issue pilot for the Spectacular Spider-Man...where the goblin returns in issue #2...but suffers another convenient memory loss at the hands of his own Psyco-pumpkin bomb....(read, drugs).

What I want to know is when did this story take place?  That is, between what issues of the main title, ASM, did Spectacular Spidey #2 take place.   I know the subplot was being teased and developed for quite a while, but just where does it blossom?   Also, was the full-color story ever reprinted or broken up into two parts and reprinted?  I have a vague memory of it being run as an annual or as a two-parter fill-in or flashback.


Can anyone confirm this?

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"Steve Rogers"


Stan wasn't even working at Marvel yet when he debuted!!!

I know that... but it fits the pattern of OTHER creators with a different naming convention other than double initials...
There's a good question.  It's accepted that Joe Simon designed Captain America's costume (no doubt on orders of Martin Goodman, who may have asked for a "Shield" knock-off-- and came close to being sued over it!).  But who named Steve Rogers-- Joe, of Jack Kirby, who was the real writer of the two? (And artist, when it comes to that, but never mind...)

You know what stinks more than discovering a hole in your collection?

Rushing out to buy a replacement to fill that hole, only to discover that you didn't have a hole after all.

They changed the cover to the Marvel Masterworks Volume 22 variant cover, so that instead of displaying ASM #41 inside the frame, reprints apparantly have ASM #50 inside the frame.


I've now got TWO copies of Volume 22 on my shelf.  Grrrrrrr.....

Before the SA Marvel site went down, I was spending a lot of time expanding the "Reprints" pages to include, among other things, every single version of every Masterworks and Essential book I could find.



Meanwhile, last week I discovered to my surprise that, apparently, back in the mid-80's, I DID actually fill all the holes in my 4W collection (except for JIMMY OLSEN #133-134).  Which means, since 2003, I've had every one of those, and didn't realize it.

I like The Big Bang Theory episode where Raj annoys Stan Lee by reminding him of the long list of Marvel characters that have alliterative names.

Stan even wears Fantastic Four pyjamas ... :-)

Kirk G said:

Anyone who can't remember Bruce Banner's name, or Peter Parker.   Stan always favored repeating constantent names, and you can tell when someone else named someone.  JJJameson, Betty Bryant, Sue Storm, Reed Richards, Matt Murdock... the list goes on and on.   He admitted that Dr. Don Blake must have come from Larry Leiber.  I suspect Tony Stark, Hank Pym and Steve Rogers all slipped in from others.

Regarding the Goblin's identity and Ditko's intentions, I've one of his very few interviews and in it he mentions that he introduced the character who would later be named Norman Osborne shortly after the first Green Goblin story -- he was a member of J.J.J.'s men's club.  Apparently when he and Stan were still talking, he pointed out the guy with the weird hair and said, in effect, "that's the Green Goblin."  Ditko gave the strongest clues to that in his next to last Spider-Man story -- artwise, Norman is portrayed as an unpleasant and unscrupulous businesman, and he took a shot at Spidey, then vanished with the only way out a window very high up on the wall.  Maybe Ditko was providing false clues but they were very visual and they were there in the art, not just the dialogue.  Remember, Ditko was still plotting his stories without much if any consultation from Lee, although it was apparently Lee's idea to have Peter graduate from high school and start college.  Lot of complexities in the creative process and we can only speculate about how Ditko would actually have resolved the mystery of the Green Goblin if he had stayed on even a year longer.  But then fans would have had to wait even longer to get the first full view of a gorgeous Mary Jane telling Peter, "face it, Tiger, you just hit the jackpot."

Hmmm, anyone think Romita fell in love with his own introductory rendition of Mary Jane and decided then and there that she was the girl for Pete, no matter what else Stan had in mind?

When the Jackal first appeared I thought he was Gloria Grant because they had identical grins.
Henry R. Kujawa on September 20, 2011 at 9:03pm

Typically, Marvel's cover dates were 3 months ahead of release date. So a book that came out in July might have Oct on the cover.

Henry J. Kujawa said:

Typically, Marvel's cover dates were 3 months ahead of release date. So a book that came out in July might have Oct on the cover.

However, there were about 4 books that until late 1972 were about a month off (AVENGERS, X-MEN, DAREDEVIL... and I forget the other one). When I did my re-reading project, I took this into account, and it actually made a few cross-over details WORK better! When Marvel went all-25c, they changed the cover dates of those books to match all the others, so it was consistent from then on. It looked like they skipped a month by the cover dates, but they didn't.

I remember when they went to the direct market they changed the gap to two months. I'm pretty sure the fourth book would have been Thor, since it was exactly 100 issues higher than Avengers both before and after the skip. And they skipped them the month Marvel went to 25 cents for 48 pages. Very interesting that Marvel dropped the 48 pages comics after one month while DC kept them for over a year. It was right after DC went to 32 pages for 15 cents that Stan announced Marvel had pulled ahead of DC and was now #1. I've heard Marvel did that deliberately, announcing the change so DC would copy them then changing right back. If so it worked.

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