Osborn, Emily

 In: Characters
 Posted: Oct 2010
 Staff: Keith Moore (E-Mail)
File Photo








Known Relatives:

Norman Osborn (husband), Harry Osborn (son)


"Revenge of the Green Goblin"

A rather significant matriarch of the Spiderverse, Emily Osborn, the deceased wife of Norman Osborn and mother to Harry Osborn, has remained rather mysterious over the years. The kind, loving, optimistic woman fell in love with Norman when he was still trying to reclaim his family's name and wealth. It is unclear as to whether or not Norman met her while he was a student at E.S.U. because Norman (or anyone else for that matter) has never explicitly stated how he met Emily.

There is very little known about Emily and she has only been used during flashbacks within stories. When Harry was teetering on the brink of insanity and experiencing ghost-like apparitions of his father, he found comfort in perusing old family photos. Emily was in the album and she's seen carrying an infant Harry and taking him to a local carnival. Unfortunately, that is the extent of Harry's account, a mother sharing a good time with her young son.

But the good times did not last, Emily died when Harry was very young (less than a year old). Norman implicated Harry's birth as a possible cause of her death, but no specific details as to the exact cause of her death are mentioned. One thing is clear, Norman loved Emily greatly. He says that they had "such plans [together]" and that he never felt "as whole--as balanced--as when he was with her." And when she passed away, Norman states that losing her was not worth gaining an heir in Harry. Emily's death is most likely at the core of Norman's resentment toward his son. Her death changed everything for Norman, and he began to refocus on his goal of obtaining wealth and restoring the Osborn family name when he lost her.

Later, when Norman was recovering from the insanity induced by participating in the Gathering of Five ritual, he was placed under the care of a swedish nurse named Kolina Frederickson. Norman noticed an immense amount of similarities between Kolina and Emily, specifically when his nurse suggested to him that he shouldn't brood so much. That comparison is a tremendous honor because Norman has stated that Emily was the best woman he'd ever known. The similarity saved Kolina later on when Norman was going through a fit of blind rage and was about to attack his nurse. Seeing Emily in Kolina caused Norman to turn on his cohort Donald Menken, who was about to harm Kolina.

”Shadow of the Goblin”

Emily showed up when Harry was in high school and wanted her son back. She stayed away from him but coerced Nels Van Adder into kidnapping him. He was a lonely man after his forced transformation into a kind of Proto Goblin and wanted to see his family. Van Adder failed due to the interference of the very inexperienced Spider-Man. Back at his makeshift home, Emily scolded him for his failure and said Norman would increase security after the botched kidnapping. He promised not to fail. (Spider-Man: Shadow of the Green Goblin #1)

Emily was unimpressed by Nels’s self pity and wanted him to bring Harry to her. She promised that he could trust her and they would both get revenge on Norman. He threatened to kill her if she lied but he was interrupted by his body mutating further. Proto-Goblin brought her Harry and as she watched him sleep, her face went from softness to fury. (Spider-Man: Shadow of the Green Goblin #2)

As Harry lay unconscious in bed, Emily told him about how his father had been confident and charismatic in college. She wondered in hindsight if it was all an act but regardless, she had loved him immensely. They bonded over the fact that they both had alcoholic fathers and both were poor. (Emily’s family never had money while Norman’s father lost the family company.) She saw warning signs, like when he would go to a bar and brood over things that he wouldn’t share. She confronted him once and she saw so much rage that she thought he’d hit her. He didn’t and promised it wouldn’t happen again. They got married when Emily was twenty and initially things were great, until Norman obsessed over surpassing his father’s wealth and power.

When Harry was born they were both happy but as always it never lasted. Norman belittled her, told her that her family was beneath him. She wanted to leave but her parents were dead and she didn’t have friends. Norman didn’t let her have them. Norman’s cruelty only worsened and she asked him for a divorce. He threatened to destroy her life if she left him and took Harry. In desperation she faked her death after taking a spa vacation in Switzerland. She set up a fiery car accident with a body from a local medical school, burned beyond recognition. She missed her son and knew she’d be back but was sorry it had taken so long.

Nels had been listening to the story and sympathized. She told him that he had the looks of a monster but Norman had the heart of one. She promised to finally cure his condition as soon as Norman was dead. (Shadow of the Green Goblin #3)


Cover Date Appearance Information
Sep 1991 FB, 1st: Spectacular Spider-Man (Vol. 1) #180
  picture in Harry's photo album
Oct 2000 FB: Spider-Man: Revenge of the Green Goblin #1
  Norman recalls memories of his deceased wife
Nov 2000 FB: Spider-Man: Revenge of the Green Goblin #2
Dec 2000 FB: Spider-Man: Revenge of the Green Goblin #3
 In: Characters
 Posted: Oct 2010
 Staff: Keith Moore (E-Mail)