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So the future of the Spectacular Spider-Man, now I can speculate, extrapolate based on the things Greg spoke about but when you get down to it I'm just guessing. And considering how many things I got wrong about season 3 of Young Justice, well...
Now normally I'd put this in spoilers but it being a show owned by Sony and the television rights to Spider-Man owned by Disney, the chances of a continuation are slim to none.

Greg mentioned that Season 3 was supposed to have The Scorpion, The Hobgoblin, Mister Negative, Hydro-Man, and Carnage which is pretty impressive list. We already saw the alter egos for Hydro-Man, Carnage and Hobgoblin plus Mac Gargan was mentioned in the last episode so their transformations into super villainy would be interesting.
-At the end of season 2 there was another power vacuum in the criminal underworld, if there was time to figure out what happened to Tombstone now would be it. But I think Hammerhead taking over could lead to some interesting stories, considering he and Spider-Man have only crossed paths once.
-Building off that, Silver Sable would return with a team of mercenaries, The Wild Pack, to take revenge against Hammerhead. And while Peter's happy that there's someone else working to dismantle Hammerhead's organization, their gung-ho, trigger happy methods endanger civilians, so he comes into conflict with them.
-Black Cat starts taking on more unscrupulous jobs and her encounters with Peter become openly hostile.
-Harry continues to manipulate Gwen into spending more time with him and less with Peter. Combined with his breakup with Liz, Peter's social status and self-esteem is at an all time low. So when he's not Spider-Man, Peter spends his time helping Aunt May with the new homeless shelter F.E.A.S.T. run by Martin Li.
-A new crime organization emerges from the shadows of Chinatown, The Inner Demons run by the mysterious Mister Negative who proves to be an even bigger threat than Hammerhead. He's skilled, smart and super powered, able to corrupt minds and make people his followers.
-Miles Warren takes over overseeing John Jameson's withdrawals, after a bad episode sends Jonah into a rage and he loudly proclaims how much he wants Spider-Man out of the picture. Warren gives him the idea to "send a freak to catch a freak" and Jameson finances the plan. Warren hypothesizes that Spider-Man got his powers from the genetically altered spiders, and decides to replicate the idea using genetically altered scorpions. He also uses Octavius' arm technology to make a working tail and Scorpion is born. Unfortunately Mac Gargan turns out to be a total monster and a horrified Jameson tries to back out. Warren blackmails Jameson though, threatening to not only reveal Jameson's part in creating Scorpion but to withhold treatments for John.
-Warren also has a hand in creating Hydro-Man who like Electro goes off the deep end after the loss of his humanity.
-Hobie eventually becomes the Prowler, for a bit of hilarity, Peter doesn't recognize his voice because he's rarely heard him speak.
-Wanting payback for being cheated out of half a billion dollars, Kingsley steals some of the Goblin tech and becomes the Hobgoblin. Alternatively, Osborne being outed as a super villain causes Oscorp's decline allowing him to buyout the company. Either way, he also makes use of his twin to take the fall but Peter, wise to the bait and switch method, remains skeptical.
-The Connors' continue their work in Florida but perhaps Kurt undergoes another Lizard transformation as a nod to his first appearance in the comics.
-Since Spider-Man doesn't have much in the way of friendly enemies, I'd like to see the Beetle as one. The two of them bantering about science and engineering while battling.
-Rand finally breaks up with Sally after she makes one too many cruel comments, maybe in reference to John's treatment.
-The Symbiote undergoes mitosis and creates the Carnage symbiote who finds its way to Kletus Cassidy. Making a villain far worse than Venom.
-Dr. Kafka becomes an ally to Spider-Man, possibly to help against Carnage. It'd be interesting if she developed an attraction to John as nod to their relationship in the MC2. Maybe even referencing the Florence Nightingale Effect.
-That couple that Spider-Man saved in Season 1 tie the knot and that one guy gets to thank Spider-Man properly. Though he doesn't remember the guy and just gives him a "Uh, sure thing buddy."

That's all I can think of for now. I'd love to hear any of your own theories.

Matthew
Insert Inspirational Quote Here:________

The 1981 Spider-Man cartoon (Not Amazing Friends) had a pretty faithful to the Romita era GG... no split personality, but he did have the recurring amnesia. I just re-watched that episode, and while I enjoyed it, I did snicker at the Memory Amplifier and the fact that no pumpkin bombs or finger blasts appeared in the episode.

The Amazing Friends Green Goblin... well, let's just say I don't think Dennis Marks should have been paid twice for a near identical script to the one above... sure there were some differences... the Goblin was something he physically transformed into and this was twenty years before the abomination that is the Ultimate Green Goblin...

... for the record, I hate that thing. But I pretty much hate anything with Ultimate in the title. Not a fan of Brian Michael Bendis' work (okay, I liked his Daredevil, but that's it)... or, while I'm here, Dan Slott.

BTW, I am not exageratting about two shows, one script: https://youtu.be/bLdNmLl702A

Yeah, this is a topic that I'm passionate about. But what can I say, Spider-Man is my favorite superhero and Green Goblin is my favorite supervillain (eat your heart out, Joker!) ;)

Greg Bishansky

Matthew> I mean the subject of your reviews is the first time (mostly) that Norman Osb9rn was shown to be a bad person even without the Goblin Formula in his veins. That said:

A. Despite the fact that his origin story did show moments of him being a bad person prior to being the Goblin (neglecting Harry and falsely accusing Stromm of criminal activity, he lack much in that department before regaining his memory.

The issue number escapes me, but he of all people genuinely chides Jameson for his continual obsession of Spider-Man.

B. And yeah prior to exposing himself to the Goblin formula in the 1st Raimi film, he does come off morally challenged as Norman Osborn in how he deals with Harry or trying to withhold data of how his lab rats exhibit violent tendencies.

Antiyonder

Man, I did not expect one line from review to spark so big a debate. Especially considering that my first exposure to the Osborne/Goblin persona came from the 90's series.
Matthew
Insert Inspirational Quote Here:________

Greg: In that case, I don't think we're disagreeing on anything beyond semantics. A lot of creators will try to burnish their own reps by claiming to have planned everything in advance, and I get annoyed at that. I also don't take any one person's word as definitive, especially for such an old memory. But... well, let's say that I don't think we can know "beyond a reasonable doubt," but you've convinced me that the "preponderance of the evidence" supports Ditko's claim. That said, I wish they'd done a better job setting up Norman in advance. Going two years with barely a line, and then appearing two issues before with a giant signpost saying "I'M EVIL AND UNTRUSTWORTHY, WONDER WHAT MY SECRETS ARE" is bad storytelling. My guess is Steve knew he was going to be leaving soon and wanted to make sure to establish Norman quickly before that happened.

"and I believe he did intentionally plan the GG's civilian identity in Jameson's club in those GG issues."

Fair enough, although Ditko's quote says he appeared in non-GG issues. I can't check that, though.

And like many, the 90's Spider-Man was my gateway into the world (that and the Maximum Carnage video game), but I'm not going to claim it was flawless. Semper did a pretty good job given his constraints, but that doesn't mean I wouldn't take Spectacular over it in a heartbeat. The main things that jumped out in the rewatch were how many episodes were padded to hell with flashbacks to previous episodes, saving some animation money. That, and I hated their version of Doc Ock- he had a pretty good first appearance but then immediately became a Kingpin flunky (they missed a golden opportunity- the Six Forgotten Warriors storyline with the Kingpin trying to get a superweapon to conquer the world would have been a perfect Doc Ock plot). As for GG, I'd say him talking to himself is an overly literal interpretation of Norman Osborn's messed up psyche, and possibly influenced by the Distinguished Competition's Two-Face being on Batman TAS.

"But I don't believe Stan and Steve split at all over anything Goblin related."

I suppose I'm not being clear, so to reiterate, I don't think the split was BECAUSE OF the Goblin issue, but I think they may have had incidental disagreements related to it. I'm just wondering why Stan chose to tell such a momentous story right after Steve left. You'd think he'd want a little time to get used to the new working relationship. Maybe he liked the idea but didn't think Steve would do it properly. Maybe he was insecure about whether he could write Spider-Man without Steve's help and wanted to prove it to himself by writing the one everyone had been waiting for. Bravado and self-aggrandizement are often a cover for insecurity, and I think Stan knew deep down how much he needed his artists, especially Kirby. Tons have been written about that particular working relationship, much of it in law journals. It's also kind of daring that they even tried to write a long-term mystery at a time when the book was still so experimental. Other than that, they wrote like they were running out of time, with most every issue being a complete story. Imagine if they hadn't made it to issue 40. If Spectacular Spider-Man had been canceled after Season one, we'd still have people arguing whether Norman or Harry was actually the Green Goblin (I know which side you'd be on).

Jurgan - [jurgan6 at yahoo dot com]

Thanks Todd, always appreciated. And I have to admit Greg, that my first exposure to the separate Goblin persona was from 90's Spider-Man.

Anyway, one thing that stands out to me is that unlike Season 1, there's not a lot of character origins this season. We have ones for Molten Man and Kraven, but people like Sable and Mysterio show up rather suddenly. I actually don't mind so much in this regards, having characters with their past already established like Silvermane helps balance out newly created ones like Sandman or Rhino. It helps make the world that the show takes place feel lived in. Greg would do something to a bigger degree with Young Justice.

I mentioned before that I wished we saw more of the "war" part of the gang war, there was a lot of build up but in the end the big conflict we saw was between the bosses. If it was me I would've gone from the Master Planner Arc straight to the Gang War Arc. But at the same time, I really wouldn't want to cut Venom's reemergence. I guess it goes to show that while it's easy to critique it's not as easy to rewrite.

The voice cast of the series is pretty stellar, I especially liked Eric Lopez as Mark/Molten Man. His change from quiet yet charming to cold and murderous in "Subtext" really shows off his acting skill. You can see why he was trusted to carry a lot of the acting load in Season 2 of Young Justice. Also have to credit Joshua LeBar, he may be my favorite incarnation of Flash Thompson in any Spider-Man media, how he went from bullying doofus, to a well-meaning and honest young man (who's still a bit of a doofus but trying not to be) was inspired. If Agent Venom was established around the time that the show was airing, I'd trust Greg to do right by the character.

To wrap up, it's funny to think about but after the show's cancellation there's been two new actors to take on the role of Peter Parker, two animated series that's followed and yet The Spectacular Spider-Man is still remembered as being the best Spider-Man series by those that remember it. But that's just it, since it's not shown in the mainstream it risks slipping away. So I would encourage those to keep sharing this amazing series.

Next time, I'll speculate on where I think the series might've gone.

Matthew
Insert Inspirational Quote Here:________

I'll freely admit, when the John Semper version was originally airing and we got to that scene where Norman is talking to the Goblin in the mirror, I distinctly remember my jaw dropping and saying out loud "what the hell are they doing?" (I hadn't been that disappointed with the show since MJ first appeared and I was appalled at her character design and voice actress) and at this time, in the comics, Norman was still dead... and I had re-read my reprints of 39 and 40 so often the covers fell off, plus other Spidey vs Goblin classic stories. I remember being annoyed when I saw it in the 2002 movie... I blame Avi Arad, who was a producer on the 90's show and the movie for that. I blame Avi Arad for a lot of things (I wonder if Movie Ock speaking to his arms was his idea, too?).

The Lizard, on the other hand... totally a different being inside Curt Connors... as long as we ignore that awful Paul Jenkins story. LOL.

As for what Ditko may or may not have planned for GG... I think you are being too literal. He probably planned for GG to be a rich guy, the lair, all the gear, the resources, and I believe he did intentionally plan the GG's civilian identity in Jameson's club in those GG issues. By the time Harry was introduced, I think Ditko (and maybe Stan, too) knew who the guy was.

But I don't believe Stan and Steve split at all over anything Goblin related. As Steve tells it, he thought Stan wasn't giving him enough credit at the time, and there was this interview Stan did where he kind of mouthed off a bit about Steve. I love Stan, but that interview wasn't his finest hour. I understand they did make peace years later, though.

Greg Bishansky

Jurgan> "This isn't true. "Day One" was ASM 14, but Norman didn't appear as even a non-speaking extra until #23. It's plausible that 23 was Ditko planting the culprit in plain view, or it's possible that they picked an extra out after the fact. But what would it mean to say "I know who it is?" Do we think Ditko had designed an entire character named Norman Osborn and waited nine months to start seeding him in?"

I mean while predating such if true, if not the first, the Claremont/Byrne era of X-Men is definitely a big case of hinting at certain story developments that wouldn't see follow ups until 20 issues or more later like:

1. Uncanny X-Men #104 where a fight between the team and Magneto lead to a prisoner on Muir Island being freed. That would be [SPOILER] Kevin MacTaggert/Proteus who we get a less clear glimpse of in #119 and we get his storyline in #125-128 [/SPOILER].

2. The mansion gets attacked in #110 by a man named Warhawk, and we find out he did so in #129 because [SPOILER] he was employed by the Hellfire Club to place a bug on Cerebro [/SPOILER].

Antiyonder

I'm not familiar enough with the Green Goblin outside of "The Spectacular Spider-Man" to be able to contribute much to this discussion, but the talk about Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde reminds me of how I recently reread Robert Louis Stevenson's story. One thought I came away with is that the audience nowadays is way ahead of most of the characters. Stevenson didn't reveal that Jekyll and Hyde were the same person until near the end, making it a sort of surprise twist; most of the story is told through the eyes of a friend of Jekyll's named Utterson who's trying to work out the mysterious connection between Jekyll and Hyde (things like Jekyll's will stating that he leaves all his property to Hyde in the event of his death or disappearance - the "disappearance" part makes Utterson particularly uneasy), and at one point vows "If he is Mr. Hyde, I shall be Mr. Seek". Of course, the reader knows what Utterson doesn't. It's up there with [SPOILER] "Rosebud" was Kane's sled [/SPOILER].
Todd Jensen

@KarrinBlue, in a separate comment so it doesn’t get lost in that wall of text: I’m planning on streaming either Wednesday or Thursday at 10:00 A.M. Mountain Time (noon eastern), doing 13 per week until we get done. I’ll post another link that day.
Jurgan

I've been wanting to have this discussion for a while, actually. I'm not going to die on this hill, as I'm not sure I'm right about all of it, but I'd like to dig in a little more.

"Well... *flips open Omnibus #2 and skims through #39 and #40... yeah, there's Norman's unreliable narrator dialogue along with the art showing us what happened... they were drifting apart long before the accident with the Goblin formula. What Osborn's telling us versus what's being shown to us... and he was neglectful at best, but was a jerk to his son prior to the accident."

This is the part I'm most shaky on. I had to sell my Essential Spider-Man books a few years back (can't remember what I needed the money for), so I can't look it up. I thought the flashbacks were portraying Norman's behavior since the accident, or at least the timeline on it was vague. But if you say it explicitly states those scenes took place before the explosion, then I believe you.

'What we did see in #37 was Norman railroading his business partner into prison so he could assume full control of the company... and again, before the accident. This is not the mark of "a good man".'

#37 showed that happening before the accident? I honestly don't remember, but I'm looking at some screencaps online and all it says is that he betrayed Stromm, not when it happened. It could have been the previous month for all I can tell. Also, I think the idea of a "Goblin Formula" that gave him superpowers wasn't in the original conception and only made canon when Roger Stern created the Hobgoblin. I guess he stole the glider and pumpkin bomb designs.

"Actually, it fits in with Ditko's objectivist beliefs quite well: Ditko's origin for Norman fits into the Randian paradigm of "moochers" and "looters;" it's heavily implied that Stromm was the engineering genius behind Osborn Industries and that Norman's Goblin gadgets are stuff Stromm created, which Norman took after forcing Stromm out of the business. Even after Ditko left, the origin Stan Lee and John Romita, Sr., created for Norman had elements of this: the Goblin serum that empowers him is Stromm's creation... just like how Norman stole the tech for the glider from Vulture in Spectacular."

Now that's very interesting, and makes a lot of sense. I've wondered often about how much of Spidey can be sourced to Ditko and, through him, Ayn Rand. I'd rather not think of my favorite superhero having DNA from a racist serial killer-groupie, but there's no denying Ditko was a true believer. I've read bits of The Question, Mr. A, and even (oh God) The Avenging Earth, and he was a fanatic at times. I frankly don't understand how an Objectivist superhero isn't an oxymoron- how can a character sacrifice himself for the good of others while believing a philosophy that says selfishness is a virtue? I'm sure an Objectivist would tell me I'm oversimplifying and should read Rand myself, but I like reading and don't want to learn to hate it (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_j56IiLqZ9U).

The best rebuttal to Ditko was Alan Moore portraying his version of The Question as an ultra-violent misogynist who routinely reads white supremacist literature. Sadly, many people still think Rorschach was the good guy.

"So what is Ditko's motivation to lie? It's obviously not monetary since he turned down chances to capitalize on Spider-Man when he had plenty of opportunities."

I'm not necessarily accusing him of lying (I'll admit I was being a bit hyperbolic with the Lucas comparison, since his story has changed frequently and is contradicted my many others). But memory is notoriously fallible. You can find numerous cases of people swearing with absolute certainty that something happened a certain way when there's rock solid evidence showing the opposite. An elderly man recounting things that happened almost fifty years ago could easily be remembering wrong. As a rule, when two people have conflicting stories I tend to think they both remember it differently, not that one is lying. Take this for example:

"I knew from Day One, from the first GG story, who the GG would be. I absolutely knew because I planted him in J. Jonah Jameson’s businessman's club, it was where JJJ and the GG could be seen together."

This isn't true. "Day One" was ASM 14, but Norman didn't appear as even a non-speaking extra until #23. It's plausible that 23 was Ditko planting the culprit in plain view, or it's possible that they picked an extra out after the fact. But what would it mean to say "I know who it is?" Do we think Ditko had designed an entire character named Norman Osborn and waited nine months to start seeding him in? That just seems like really bad storytelling. I imagine it was more gradual than that. Maybe they had the idea that it was a corrupt businessman early on and Ditko later designed a character model to go in the background. Perhaps I'm being overly literal with Ditko's statement, but it just seems more likely to me that the idea of Norman Osborn developed over time rather than being fully planned from the beginning, and the exact timeline is something he got mixed up in his head. A description of a decades old memory is simply not reliable evidence. I do consider it more likely than not that he did want Norman to be the Goblin (although Norman putting on a fake beard and sunglasses to spy on someone seems weirdly out of character). At the same time, I also think Lee had his ideas about how the Goblin mystery should be resolved, judging by the (admittedly circumstantial) evidence that he immediately resolved it once Ditko was no longer a factor.

"Ironically, I'd argue GB's interpretation of Norm is closer to RLS' original intent for Jekyll/Hyde. In the original novella, there's very little evidence Hyde is an autonomous personality with his own desires and ambitions independent of the "good" Doctor, or that Jekyll isn't entirely aware of and in control of Hyde's actions. Rather like SpecGobby, the title character treats Hyde largely as a disposable mask he can use to indulge his repressed urges without fear of it staining Jekyll's good name."

This is also a very good point. "Jekyll and Hyde" as two disjoint personas living in the same brain is a modern misrepresentation of that story, and Hyde as a secret identity created by a chemical procedure is pretty close to Spectacular's Goblin. An even greater irony is that what is now known as Dissociative Identity Disorder is a lot closer to the Lee/Romita story than the John Semper version. Some question whether DID even exists, but it's characterized more by blackouts and memory loss during which someone will act like a different person. That sounds pretty close to Norman's Goblin episodes in, for example, the drug storyline in 98ish. So I think where I come down is that "forgetting large portions of your life in which you were a criminal" is a lot closer to real "multiple personality disorder" than talking to yourself like Two-Face. Books like 1973's Sybil are largely responsible for the concept of two totally disjoint personas living in the same head, but they're not realistic ("the only thing more cliche than serial killers is multiple personalities." -Nicolas Cage, Adaptation). Semper took what was there- Norman acting like different people at different times- and reworked through a Hollywood lens to make it literally two different voices living in his head (maybe GG was a coping mechanism Norman created, but I just recently rewatched that series and I don't think a more sophisticated reading is valid). So I think the Lee/Romita version is a type of "multiple personalities," but not as clear cut as the later version. Ironic that I dinged Lee for his simplistic psychiatry, and yet his version is somewhat more accurate.

Okay, that was way too long. I need to go to bed.

Jurgan - [jurgan6 at yahoo dot com]

Ironically, I'd argue GB's interpretation of Norm is closer to RLS' original intent for Jekyll/Hyde. In the original novella, there's very little evidence Hyde is an autonomous personality with his own desires and ambitions independent of the "good" Doctor, or that Jekyll isn't entirely aware of and in control of Hyde's actions. Rather like SpecGobby, the title character treats Hyde largely as a disposable mask he can use to indulge his repressed urges without fear of it staining Jekyll's good name.
Algae
We must be brave.

JURGAN> "Greg, I at least somewhat disagree with your read of the Lee era Green Goblin, or at least think it's not the only valid interpretation. The core issue is simply that understanding of psychiatry was pretty simplistic in the 60's- lots of villains simply "went crazy" after an accident."

A lot of them did, but I recently purchased all of the ASM omnibuses of the Lee/Ditko/Romita run... and I've been doing a deep-dive re-read. I am standing firmly behind my previous post.

"I think it's a perfectly valid read of ASM 39-40 that Norman Osborn had a split personality and all his antisocial behavior was a result of his Goblin persona. I'm not saying I think this is the best way to read the character, but I think it fits what we were given at the time. We never meet Osborn before the GG becomes a villain, so we only have Harry's testimony and Norman's biased narration to attest to his prior character. And while I don't have a copy in front of me, I think it can be interpreted as Norman's accident creating an alternate persona that was also the reason why he and Harry were drifting apart."

Well... *flips open Omnibus #2 and skims through #39 and #40... yeah, there's Norman's unreliable narrator dialogue along with the art showing us what happened... they were drifting apart long before the accident with the Goblin formula. What Osborn's telling us versus what's being shown to us... and he was neglectful at best, but was a jerk to his son prior to the accident.

"In the Romita era, Norman was basically a nice father figure for a lot of it, and that could be because the Goblin persona was dormant. Again, this is not a realistic view of how pyschosis works, but it fits it with things like Doc Ock becoming a megalomaniac due to an explosion. Lee frankly didn't write particularly deep motives for the villains, at least early on, and they were given more depth over time."

Everybody became a little nicer once Romita came on the book... when Ditko left, everybody was at each other's throats.

"I don't really see much difference between "I have two different people inside me" and "I sometimes forget a large portion of my life and act differently when I remember it." At the least, I do think Lee saw him as "a good man gone bad" and not "a bad man gone nuts," and the latter is more of a post Clone Saga characterization.""

And I disagree with that reading quite a bit, I have the books open in front of me... I do think the post #40 characterization doesn't really gel with what we saw. What we did see in #37 was Norman railroading his business partner into prison so he could assume full control of the company... and again, before the accident. This is not the mark of "a good man".

"Also, I consider Ditko's claim that they always intended Norman to be the Goblin about as credible as Lucas saying he always knew Vader was Luke's father."

Stan is a storyteller and as much as we love him, let's be honest, he has a tendency to tell tall tales. Ditko doesn't have the same history of telling tall tales that Stan does... and he so rarely spoke that when he did, I don't see any reason not to take him at his word. We've caught Stan being less than honest; we've caught George Lucas being less than honest.

Here's the full quote: 'Now digest this: I knew from Day One, from the first GG story, who the GG would be. I absolutely knew because I planted him in J. Jonah Jameson’s businessman's club, it was where JJJ and the GG could be seen together. I planted them together in other stories where the GG would not appear in costume, action. I wanted JJJ’s and the GG’s lives to mix for later story drama involving more than just the two characters. I planted the GG’s son (same distinctive hair style) in the college issues for more dramatic involvement and storyline consequences. So how could there be any doubt, dispute, about who the GG had to turn out to be when unmasked?'

Actually, it fits in with Ditko's objectivist beliefs quite well: Ditko's origin for Norman fits into the Randian paradigm of "moochers" and "looters;" it's heavily implied that Stromm was the engineering genius behind Osborn Industries and that Norman's Goblin gadgets are stuff Stromm created, which Norman took after forcing Stromm out of the business. Even after Ditko left, the origin Stan Lee and John Romita, Sr., created for Norman had elements of this: the Goblin serum that empowers him is Stromm's creation... just like how Norman stole the tech for the glider from Vulture in Spectacular.

"Norman is a complete non-entity until two issues before he's unmasked, and even Harry is only introduced about half a year before. I find it hard to believe that "stripe-haired guy at Jonah's club" was being seeded as the answer to the biggest mystery for two years. I don't even think "stripe-haired guy" appears as a cameo before issue 25, almost a year after GG's first appearance. I think if that was the plan, they would have given at least a few clues here and there."

So what is Ditko's motivation to lie? It's obviously not monetary since he turned down chances to capitalize on Spider-Man when he had plenty of opportunities.

"Nevertheless, Lee's very first story after Ditko left was to unmask the GG, so I think there's a good chance they disagreed about how it should be handled even if they agreed on whodunnit."

Again, that falls into the accusation that Ditko was lying... and while I may raise an eyebrow at his Randian beliefs, every account I've heard of the guy says that he was principled to a fault. And the mystery man who we'd learn was Norman only ever popped up in Green Goblin stories. Was it the best way to write a mystery... no, but it's there and all of the evidence I see tells me that Ditko isn't lying... he had no motive to. And like I said before, we've caught Stan Lee and George Lucas being less than honest... We've never caught Ditko being less than honest, so I am not about to think he's lying about something when he has no motive to lie until I see some evidence.

And, honestly, I think the Jekyll and Hyde split-personality angle is stupid... it was never in those original comics, and again, I'm looking at those comics as I type this (I really should be working, LOL!) and I am all too happy to call it an invention of John Semper and/or Avi Arad.

Greg Bishansky

Greg, I at least somewhat disagree with your read of the Lee era Green Goblin, or at least think it's not the only valid interpretation. The core issue is simply that understanding of psychiatry was pretty simplistic in the 60's- lots of villains simply "went crazy" after an accident. I think it's a perfectly valid read of ASM 39-40 that Norman Osborn had a split personality and all his antisocial behavior was a result of his Goblin persona. I'm not saying I think this is the best way to read the character, but I think it fits what we were given at the time. We never meet Osborn before the GG becomes a villain, so we only have Harry's testimony and Norman's biased narration to attest to his prior character. And while I don't have a copy in front of me, I think it can be interpreted as Norman's accident creating an alternate persona that was also the reason why he and Harry were drifting apart. In the Romita era, Norman was basically a nice father figure for a lot of it, and that could be because the Goblin persona was dormant. Again, this is not a realistic view of how pyschosis works, but it fits it with things like Doc Ock becoming a megalomaniac due to an explosion. Lee frankly didn't write particularly deep motives for the villains, at least early on, and they were given more depth over time. I don't really see much difference between "I have two different people inside me" and "I sometimes forget a large portion of my life and act differently when I remember it." At the least, I do think Lee saw him as "a good man gone bad" and not "a bad man gone nuts," and the latter is more of a post Clone Saga characterization.

Also, I consider Ditko's claim that they always intended Norman to be the Goblin about as credible as Lucas saying he always knew Vader was Luke's father. Norman is a complete non-entity until two issues before he's unmasked, and even Harry is only introduced about half a year before. I find it hard to believe that "stripe-haired guy at Jonah's club" was being seeded as the answer to the biggest mystery for two years. I don't even think "stripe-haired guy" appears as a cameo before issue 25, almost a year after GG's first appearance. I think if that was the plan, they would have given at least a few clues here and there. It's a pretty lousy telling of a mystery to have the solution not even be a named character for so long. Did Lee and Ditko disagree over who the GG should be? Obviously we can't know that, and I certainly don't think it was the primary reason for the split. Such things are usually more complex, but it likely had to do with Lee getting all the credit for their joint work (Jameson's relationship to Peter basically sums up what Ditko thought of Lee as a boss, with an extra dash of Objectivist strawmanning). Nevertheless, Lee's very first story after Ditko left was to unmask the GG, so I think there's a good chance they disagreed about how it should be handled even if they agreed on whodunnit.

Jurgan - [jurgan6 at yahoo dot com]

Thanks for your review, Matthew.

I think it appropriate that Spiderman's biggest enemy (and the one he battles in the final episode) was the Green Goblin. As Bishansky's pointed out, Spiderman's a "trickster hero". (The trickster archetype must come naturally to spiders, in light of Anansi. Probably thanks to the webs they spin to catch prey.) And goblins have a traditional "trickster" tone themselves, making one a fitting adversary for a "trickster hero". (This episode definitely made clear just how much of a trickster the Green Goblin was, incidentally.)

The butler's casual acknowledgment of Spiderman which you mentioned in the quotes was one of my favorite moments in this episode, by the way.

Thanks for your reviews, Matthew, and I'm looking forward to your final commentaries.

Todd Jensen

"The Jekyll and Hyde nature of Norman's Green Goblin has been an integral part of his character for years and years, but not so here."

This is a myth.

In the Stan Lee and Steve Ditko run, there is no indication that the Goblin and later Osborn (when we finally meet him) have a Jekyll and Hyde thing going. None. And since Ditko came out in 2009 and confirmed Osborn was always planned to be the Green Goblin, we know that this urban legend of Lee and Ditko disagreeing about his identity is false.

During the Lee and Romita run, the Goblin kept being beaten with recurring amnesia so he would "forget" he was the Goblin and thus forget Peter's identity... I tend to think this is because they weren't sure how to write a recurring villain who knew the secret back in the Silver Age.

Finally, when Osborn returned in the 90s and to this day... no sign of a split personality or a Jekyll and Hyde thing of any kind.

So why is this such a popular misconception? It began with the 90's cartoon. Showrunner John Semper Jr either misinterpreted the amnesia (which really doesn't work in modern storytelling as Spider-Man 3 showed us) or decided to do his own thing. Then Executive Producer, Avi Arad also executive produced the Sam Raimi Trilogy... and sure enough, this misreading of Osborn and the Goblin ended up in there.

The "Spectacular Spider-Man" version of the Goblin and it's lack of a Jekyll and Hyde split is faithful to the original source material and isn't a change that Greg Weisman and his team made.

Greg Bishansky

All good things must come to end, some given a proper send off, and some cut off too soon.

Watched "Final Curtain" today, a sadly prophetic title. It's a shame that this Gargoyles, and for a time Young Justice were cancelled at the peak of story-telling. I've seen plenty of good shows, series and the like be prematurely ended in their prime while mediocre or bad products can continue on and on. But that's not what I'm here to talk about.

To start with, I'd like to go over the full details that went into keeping the Green Goblin's secret identity a...well secret. I really like not only the "reveal" of Harry in season 1, the fake out with Harry seemingly going back on the green in "Probable Cause", the possibility that Harry may have imagined his own kidnapping. It leaves the audience and the characters guessing and there isn't a proper reveal until the Goblin is properly unmasked. Gotta give credit to Norman though, he really planned around the narrative he created, which he only created through serendipitous chance. Even when he planned to kill Spidey at the Vault he still made sure to spirit Harry away in case a) he needed to do it himself and b) he managed to survive that. Plus there's the extensive use of Chameleon posing as him while he secures his criminal empire and even the faked attack that he only survived thanks to "miraculous" call from Menken.

As we saw in "The Uncertainty Principle" the Goblin is really good at planning traps to mitigate his inexperience in fighting. He managed to rig an entire steel mill into a "refinery of revulsion" just as a businessman and outlier in the criminal underworld. Here we see what he can do when he controls the criminal underworld, builds up his arsenal over the span of a week, booby traps entire city blocks, he even sends out prototype attack vehicles after our hero. This whole fight reminds of the last levels in video games when they start throwing everything at the player. And really, I find it rather appropriate that Peter once again uses Norman's own weapons to defeat him. Of course in the comics Norman ends up impaled on his own glider, in "The Uncertainty Principle" Peter slingshots one of his own pumpkin bombs to temporarily disable him and here he uses the razor bat/pumpkin bombs combo to damage his glider which sends him straight into water tower turret. It's a nice metaphor that in the end Norman's biggest enemy is himself.

Then there's the nature of his Goblin persona, or the lack thereof so to speak. The Jekyll and Hyde nature of Norman's Green Goblin has been an integral part of his character for years and years, but not so here. Here there's no indication that Norman's not fully aware of what he's doing while playing the Goblin and that makes him a far more frightening figure. Instead of manifesting a psychotic personality we have a sociopath taking on that identity as a red herring; someone who's willing to frame and injure his own son as a smokescreen, continue inhuman experiments even after he's no longer beholden to any crime lord and kill anyone who gets in his way. All with the biggest smirk on his face. I remember Greg comparing to Norman to Xanatos in one of his posts and the differences between the two truly become apparent this episode. Xanatos may have amoral goals but he at least recognizes the value of a good employee and eventually a good friend. Norman's willing to frame and possibly kill his right hand man if it means killing Spider-Man. Norman is what Xanatos would be if he didn't even have the semblance of decency.

The love dodecahedron also ends with nobody really getting what they want either, save Harry but that's another matter. I like the advice Aunt May gave at the beginning, that he needs to be honest with both Gwen and Liz and he needs to be honest with himself and who he wants be with. Still we get another case of why I ultimately think that Peter and Gwen wouldn't work, not to say the attraction between the two of them doesn't exist and that they don't care for one another. But we once again see Gwen's passiveness take hold, not just the fact that she decides not to break up with Harry (even when he's not-so subtly guilt tripping her) but it's not until Peter himself mentions how he feels before her spilling just how long she's been in love with him. Even if they did eventually get together I feel their relationship was more based on wanting rather than having.

And man, poor Liz. You know she and Flash went through some of the biggest arcs in this series, from the stuck-up, disinterested Queen Bee of the school to a remarkable mature and supportive character. And the last half of the season was pretty hard on her, dealing with the pressures of the stage (I remember what that was like and how important it was to have ANY kind of support), watching her brother not only backslide into bad habits but turn into a super villain and her unable to stop that. And finally knowing that her boyfriend, the same guy who helped turn her into a better person, deal with his own romantic tension and see him just end their relationship. I like to think that that little outburst she gave at lunch was her last attempt to recapture that person she used to be, only to break down in private because she knows she can't go back to that. She opened herself up to someone she knew was good and lost it.

One last thing, I wanted to talk about Harry and his own arc since season 1. It's funny to think that one of Peter's only friends in the beginning could turn so terrible. There's been this strong resentment brewing in him for some time, he relies heavily on Peter for academic help and the moment Peter's own life interferes he takes it as a personal affront. He throws around cash as an effort to be popular but doesn't really show much interest in his new "friends" any more than he did with his old ones. He gets upset that Flash spilled the beans about him playing juiced and costing the team the championship rather than acknowledge that he cheated his way in. By the end of the episode he's even directed his animosity towards Spider-Man over not "helping" his dad, completely overlooking just how much pain his father caused least of which trying to kill the hero. He's gone through a whole lot and maybe we would've seen his transformation into a full blown villain, but he definitely ended the series as an antagonist.

Some final thoughts: One thing I never noticed before that the photos at Gwen's house use the various character models she had during the series, that's a nice touch. I thought it was particularly clever that Harry managed to figure out that "Norman" was an impostor based on the fact that he apologized to Spider-Man, though it does bring to mind that Harry is more than aware of his father's less admirable qualities and still tries to emulate him. Kid not only needs to work through his issues but find a better role model too.

The Conners' hadn't had the easiest time the last few episodes either, watching their lab be taken away from them was pretty harsh, especially to someone like Dr. Warren. I can't help but think that if they knew what Warren was doing rather than what he insinuated what he was doing, their parental instincts would've told them to keep Peter and Gwen as far away from Warren as possible. It was a nice touch that they'd be heading to Florida, considering that's where Dr. Conners' first Lizard attack took place.

Favorite Lines:
Gwen: I believe you, but you need to tell this to your parents.
Peter and Harry: Welluuuummmm.....no.

Houseman: Mr. Osborn, Master Harry... Spider-Man.

Spider-Man: Ha! Not so fun when you're flying blind huh, Gobby?
Green Goblin: Too true. More fun to FIRE BLIND!

Spider-Man: I KNOW you're the Green Goblin!
Menken: I have no response to that.

Green Goblin: Spread a little knock-out gas and you fold like origami. I might just have to do...my happy dance!

"Norman": Harry, what are you doing?
Harry: Cowboying up!

Harry: If it's not me or you or Menken, then who's left who knew about the green? (gasps) You don't think, the Goblin could be...Mom?!
("Norman" shrugs)

Green Goblin: Awww, what's wrong Spider-Man? OFF YOUR GAME?!
Spider-Man: Nah, game's good Gobs. Just gettin' acquainted with the rules.
Green Goblin: Rule 1: Spidey must splat!
Spider-Man: Rule 2: Ignore rule 1!
Spider-Man: Rule 3. Make Gobby look goofy.

Peter: You framed your own son?!
Norman: I protected Harry! If I'd been sent to prison who'd made a man out of him? Just look what he's done today, I've never been prouder of the boy.
Peter: Oh who are you kiddin', you were saving your own sorry butt, not Harry's!
Norman: Potato pah-tah-to. Once you're out of the picture, I'll make everything right.
Peter: You wouldn't know right if it blew up your glider!

Peter/Spider-Man: Another banner episode in the life of Peter Parker. Harry's left with no father, and I'm left with no Gwen. At least the city's safe, the Green Goblin's gone forever.

Mr. Roman: Don't apologize, I never do.

Thanks for sticking with me. I'll cover season 2, the series as a whole and my own speculation for the future in later posts.

Matthew
Insert Inspirational Quote Here:________

Oh shoot, I missed that we were doing those. I can't join this week but I'll make an alert for next week. What time does stream start?
KarrinBlue

Last week's Gargoyles stream went pretty well, so we're doing it again. Anyone's welcome provided you observe the no spoiler rule, a lot of people haven't seen the show or it's been so long they don't remember.

https://trast.live/ScientistInsomniac1492

Jurgan - [jurgan6 at yahoo dot com]

Also, tell her Pinky's agent wanted too much money. If she gets the reference, start looking for rings.

(also, eighth)

Brainiac - [OSUBrainiac at gmail dot com]
There is balance in all things. Live in symmetry with the world around you. If you must blow things up and steal from those around you, THAT'S WHAT RPGS ARE FOR!

My advice is never spoil future episodes, let them discover things as they're revealed. The show takes a lot from the DC's comics, so if she's wondering why there's a villain that's a literal brain just let her know that comics weren't concerned about realism all the time.
Matthew
Insert Inspirational Quote Here:________

I have a more user (me) oriented question. When it comes to Young Justice, how much of the show should I discuss to a first time viewer? Like say I was going to show Young Justice to my girlfriend or someone, should I just nod my head win she hits me in the arm and says “WHAT!!! Bleep is a bleep, why didn’t YOU tell me??!??” Or maybe something smaller scale like “wait. There’s a DC comics villain literally called the Brain?” Stuff like that. How should I go about showing someone Young Justice is my question?
Warran Parks - [warran dot parks42 at gmail dot com]
Warran Parks

MASTERDRAMON - Thanks. I googled the phrase "into the mystic" last evening, and found a mention of that song, so it's most likely it.
Todd Jensen

Furies of Calderon, Academ's Fury, Cursor's Fury, Captain's Fury, Princeps' Fury, and First Lord's Fury!

Todd: Likely both are referencing the Van Morrison song:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Into_the_Mystic

Although given the age of the shop, in-universe it's likely Morrison was referencing it.

Masterdramon - [kmc12009 at mymail dot pomona dot edu]
"It feels like time is passing so quickly. Damn you, Einstein! Your science is crowding in on our kiss!" - Kurisu Makise

Fifth.

I was rereading yesterday a magazine about British history and landmarks; one of the articles in it, about Somerset and its links to myth and legend (such as King Arthur through Glastonbury) was titled "Into the mystic". I remembered that that was the name of Leo and Una's shop in London. While it's just possible that whoever named the article was a "Gargoyles" fan, the series still wasn't famous enough for most of the magazine's readers to get that allusion. So I wondered whether "Into the Mystic" in "Gargoyles" was itself an allusion and that the term had appeared before "Gargoyles" came out, in which case the magazine was presumably referring to a common source. I really ought to research that.

MATTHEW - Looking forward to your final pieces on "The Spectacular Spider-Man".

Todd Jensen

Fourth!
Matt

Third
VickyUK

Last review of Spectacular Spider-Man will come Tuesday or Wednesday. After that I'll cover season 2 as a whole, the series as a whole and then speculation about what the future might've been.
Matthew
Insert Inspirational Quote Here:________

First!
Phoenician
"The suspense is terrible, I hope it lasts" -- Willy Wonka