Comics : Amazing Spider-Man (Vol. 1) #96

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This story is part of an Arc: "Green Goblin Reborn! (Drug Issues)"
     Part 1 / Part 2 / Part 3

This review was first published on: 2004.

In Detail...

"..And Now, The Goblin!"
Amazing Spider-Man (Vol. 1) #96
May 1971 : SMURF 096.500 : SM Title
Summary: No Comics Code
Arc: Part 1 of "Green Goblin Reborn! (Drug Issues)"
Editor:  Stan Lee
Writer:  Stan Lee
Pencils:  Gil Kane
Inker:  John Romita, Sr.
Cover Art:  Gil Kane
Staff Only
 Reprinted In: Amazing Spider-Man (Fireside)
 Reprinted In: Marvel Tales #191
 Reprinted In: Marvel Tales #77
 Reprinted In: Marvel Visionaries, Stan Lee
 Reprinted In: Essential Spider-Man #5
 Reprinted In: Death of Gwen Stacy (TPB)
 Reprinted In: Amazing Spider-Man Fights Substance Abuse
 Reprinted In: Spider-Man vs. Green Goblin (TPB)
Articles: Watson, Anna, Aunt May Parker, Betty Brant, Green Goblin I (Norman Osborn), Mary Jane Watson-Parker, Robertson, Joe "Robbie"

When Peter Parker's lack of funds prevents him from going to Mary Jane Watson's opening night performance, his best friend Harry Osborn suggests it's time Peter accepted reality. "My dad's job offer is still open to you, Pete. You're a jerk not to take it." Peter agrees to consider it. And the job offer does requires some serious consideration, for, unbeknownst to Harry (but, as Stan Lee would say, knownst to us), Harry's father is really: the Green Goblin! "The only living man who knows my real identity! Just as I know his!" Peter recalls the times they fought before, including their last battle after which Norman Osborn developed amnesia. With no indication that Osborn's psychotic alter ego will ever return, Peter decides to take the job. In return, Norman Osborn invites him to Mary Jane's opening as a guest of the Osborns.

Seeing a crowd gathering in the street, Peter suits up as Spider-Man and webs over for a look. On the roof of a building a young man staggers about, declaring he can fly. "The poor guy's stoned right out of his mind," thinks Spidey. When the man flings himself off the building with the drug-induced idea of walking on air, Spider-Man snatches him up and delivers him to the watching police. Once he is assured of the young man's safety, Spider-Man swings off. "I thought he was wanted," one officer remarks. "Maybe so--" another replies, "but I'd turn in my badge before I'd bust 'im -- after this."

Reflecting that he'd "rather face a hundred super-villains" than throw his life away on hard drugs, Peter hurries to meet his friends before Mary Jane's opening. The meeting proves to be fraught with unexpected problems. Mary Jane greets Peter far too warmly, causing her boyfriend Harry to become suspicious and short-tempered. Then Randy Robinson arrives, his mind on the rescue Spider-Man just performed. He and Norman Osborn exchange sharp words over who is responsible for fighting the drug problem.

Although he enjoys the play, during intermission Norman Osborn's attention becomes riveted upon a closed door, one that gives a slight warning tingle when Peter passes it. After the show ends and the crowd leaves, Mr. Osborn returns. "Ever since I saw that door, I've had this strange, haunting sensation -- a feeling that keeps drawing me back -- back -- I can't resist it! I can't even try! I must know -- what's inside that room!"

On the rooftop, Peter Parker makes the transformation into Spider-Man, determined to find out what set off his spider sense. Seeing Osborn ahead of him, he kicks down doors trying to intercept him. But: "Oh, no! I'm too late! It was always rumored he had hide-outs where he could change identities! But -- I didn't think -- it would happen -- so fast!"

"Parker!" says a snarling voice. "You dare come here? Well, I can promise you this -- you'll never leave alive!"

And Spider-Man finds himself face to face with -- The Green Goblin!