How Did Harry Osborn Become the Green Goblin?

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Harry’s transformation into the Green Goblin was one of the most dramatic moments revolving around Spider-Man’s story arc. Even though it was long-awaited and anticipated, there were mixed feelings when Harry emerged as Green Goblin in ‘Amazing Spider-Man #136’. The main reason for that was what it meant for his friendship with Peter. Harry struggled for a long time. He faced his inner demons and felt abandoned and alone. After losing his father, the only thing that kept him going forward was his desire for revenge. It all culminated in him becoming the new Green Goblin, and in this article, we reveal how.

Harry Osborn became the Green Goblin when he found his deceased father’s secret lair containing the Green Goblin equipment and the potent Goblin Formula. He was sure Spider-Man killed his father, so he wanted revenge. He visited the building where Spider-Man and Green Goblin (Norman) had their final battle, and there he found an entrance into the warehouse with all the Goblin’s equipment.

Harry finds the warehouse in ‘Amazing Spider-Man #135’ and confronts Spider-Man as Green Goblin for the first time in ‘Amazing Spider-Man #136’. There are also two slightly different iterations of how Harry became Green Goblin in the movies, and we will explain it in detail further in the article.

Harry Osborn found his father’s secret lair and became the Green Goblin

harry green goblin

Harry and Peter have been best friends for years. They had each other’s backs and eventually became roommates. Even though they knew almost everything about each other, there was one secret Peter was not willing to share – that he was Spider-Man.

Harry was born into a wealthy family. He was the son of Norman Osborn, a powerful businessman, and scientist. Of course, Norman was also the Green Goblin, but Harry did not know that – he knew him only as his father. Norman was never really there for Harry, at least not as much as Harry would’ve preferred. And even though Harry had money, wealth, and a couple of good friends, he wasn’t happy and struggled a lot.

The comics show Harry as a young man whose mental state gradually declines. Over the years, Harry started taking drugs, and they took their toll on his mind. Harry felt alone and abandoned, so he decided to dull his senses with drugs, most notably LSD. All of that caused the condition where he wasn’t sure what was real and what was not.


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The situation worsened after Spider-Man and Green Goblin had their final clash down. After Green Goblin killed Gwen Stacy, Spider-Man was determined to do the same to Goblin. The two of them faced each other at the top of the building. Goblin summoned his glider to crash into Spider-Man, but thanks to his spider sense, Peter managed to dodge, and the glider stumbled into Norman, killing him in the process.

Spider-Man was seen with Norman’s body, and because of it, Harry was sure that Spider-Man had killed his father. Harry became filled with rage and with a desire for revenge. His and Peter’s friendship suffered, and they rarely spent time together anymore. One day, Peter was in a hurry, leaving his Spider-Man costume in his room. Harry found the costume and realized that Peter was Spider-Man. He had his suspicions for some time, but now he was sure.

Harry wanted revenge and to find out exactly why Spider-Man killed his father. So he went where it all happened and found more than he expected. He entered the Green Goblin warehouse’s secret headquarters, and Harry’s transformation began there.

In ‘Spider-Man’ movies, all of it is depicted similarly. The only difference is that Harry finds Goblin’s secret lair in Norman’s house when he shatters the mirror with the dagger. In ‘The Amazing Spider-Man 2’, Harry becomes the Geen Goblin when injected with a serum hoping to cure his genetic disease, Retroviral Hyperplasia, the same disease his father had. But the serum did not cure him but turned him into a goblin-like creature.

Harry became the Green Goblin because he sought revenge for his father’s death

harry green goblin

When the original Green Goblin’s life ended, Harry determined that the main culprit was Spider-Man. Harry became obsessed and wanted to avenge his father. The ‘Spider-Man 2’ movie shows how Harry changed after his father died. His mentality changed. He became darker inside, indulged in alcohol, and estranged from his friends. All he wanted was to find out who Spider-Man was so he could hurt him.

Harry’s resentment toward Peter also grew larger. He was mad at Peter because he rather took pictures of Spider-Man, even though he knew how much Harry hated him. Harry also blamed Peter for stealing MJ from him and for stealing his father’s love.

He was delusional and did not know the real truth behind it all. Perhaps, if he knew that his father tried to kill Peter but accidentally killed himself, maybe he would act differently. Instead, Harry was led by grief and hatred.

In the comics, Harry was a wreck even before his father died, and everything that happened after just added more pressure and pain to his back. He was hurt even more when he discovered that his best friend, Peter was Spider-Man. He felt betrayed by the only person he thought he could rely on. That eventually led him to become the Green Goblin and one of Spider-Man’s most prominent enemies.


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In ‘Spider-Man 2’ movie, it is well depicted how Harry’s mental state is worsening as he becomes more obsessed and fueled with the need for revenge. He eventually starts to hear his father’s voice claiming that Harry needs to avenge him and make Spider-Man pay for what he did. In ‘Spider-Man 3’ he fully embraces the Green Goblin identity.

‘The Amazing Spider-Man 2’ movie shows Harry becoming Green Goblin, not because he seeks revenge against Spider-Man, but hoping to cure his disease. This storyline stands out from the original story arc presented in the comics but provides a fresh introduction to Harry’s character.

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