How Norman Osborn’s Comedic Inaccuracies Saved His Character

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Since 2002 Spider Man, Norman Osborn was a staple in creating a layered but truly terrifying comic book villain. Indeed, when he reappeared in Spider-Man: No Coming Home, this concept solidified as it quickly stole the show from the last ten years of equally interesting enemies, but despite everything it did, it’s hard to believe this iteration of Norman Osborn wasn’t in actually not true to its comic book counterpart. Rather than it embarrassing him, it was his differences that made Norman so iconic.


In the comics, Norman Osborn was always the shrewd businessman that audiences knew. He also rarely showed genuine affection towards his son, and although he suffered from the goblin personality, his own ego never let it rule him entirely. In short, the Norman comic was much colder than Willem Dafoe’s version. Even still, these qualities appeared to some extent throughout his film appearance and enhanced the character that was introduced.

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For starters, there was a bigger parallel between Peter and Norman. Not only did Norman become a father figure to Peter in his young adult years, but he also shared his origin with him. In fact, both characters experienced their rebirth in Spider-Man and the Green Goblin on the same night. Although the two characters never shared a connection when they were created, this small change helped show the change the world would go through with the appearance of Spider-Man. It also offered a narrative connection that showed how crucial the Goblin was to Peter’s development.


Another change that worked for the best in both Spider Man and Spider-Man: No Coming Home was how Norman and the Green Goblin were completely separate entities. In the comics, even without the Goblin on his mind, Norman Osborn was a dangerous man. Because of this, his goblin persona acted more as a way for him to embrace the chaos and destruction in his mind and allowed him to go wild. However, in the movies, the Goblin was more of a Mr. Hyde which revealed how Norman really was just a man who saw his status as a strength and felt weak without him. It humanized him in a way that helped show how Peter went from vengeful to forgiving.


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While Norman was mentally ill in the comics and movies, the movies helped explain this better by playing on the distinction between him and the Green Goblin. Then in No coming home, we saw his remorse when he couldn’t find his son and how he regretted everything he had done, even when he was healed. It showed that sometimes even the coldest people aren’t soulless, and weakness can often turn them into someone they wouldn’t be proud of.

The movie version of Norman Osborn was just as much of a victim as anyone he attacked as the Green Goblin. Although it was a departure from the comics, it was one that really showed why Peter’s heroism matters in any universe. Through them, audiences could learn that even someone who might be utterly vile deserved at least a chance at redemption, a Normann never made it into the Peter 2 timeline, but he may have had one. . No coming home. As a result, some character changes may work better than inspiration.


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