The news that the sequel to this year’s The Amazing Spider-Man has found its Harry Osborn is another sign that we’re going to see the Green Goblin in the rebooted movie continuity before too long. Are the movies selling the Spider-Man mythos by returning to the same bad guys?
While it’s, at best, naive to have thought that we weren’t headed towards Norman Osborn at some point in Marc Webb’s new Spider-Man movie continuity – Curt Connors was, after all, working for Oscorp, whose owner was dying and seeking a miracle cure for whatever his condition is; I believe that’s called foreshadowing these days – there’s nonetheless something underwhelming about the idea that Webb’s series is building up to the appearance of a character whose story is already so well-known to the mass audience. Haven’t we been through this before? Couldn’t we do something else, instead?
It’s not as if Spider-Man doesn’t have a ridiculously large rogues gallery to choose from, with only a handful of villains having already been used by the movies; why not use Kraven the Hunter, or the Vulture, or even the Kingpin, now that Marvel has all of the Daredevil rights back from Fox? (Presuming, of course, that Marvel would be willing to surrender the rights to Sony…) Why haven’t we seen a Mysterio appearance by now, or the Chameleon? Hell, I’d even be happy with a Mister Negative appearance, if it meant that we could stay away from bad guys that have already been seen – and definitively dealt with – before showing up in the movies.
Of course, there’s the possibility/probability that Webb et al would treat Norman Osborn in the same way that they treated the Spider-Man origin story – which is to say, giving us both what we expect and some things we didn’t (For example: Yes, spider bite, Uncle Ben dies, etc., but also the “What was Richard Parker up to?” subplot, and the entire Lizard backstory and confrontation). There are already rumors that Webb and partners are planning to go for the one/two punch of ASM‘s #121/122 storyline (No spoilers unless you click through), which would give Osborn and Spider-Man’s conflict a more personal dynamic that in the Raimi continuity, and we also have the whole “he’s apparently dying” thing to mix things up, but still…
Personally, I’m holding out for a complete swerve; what if Harry Osborn is the only Osborn that we’ll ever meet, and Norman is as dead as Peter’s parents? Just because we were told that the owner of Oscorp was sick doesn’t mean that it’s definitively Norman Osborn, after all… What if Webb plans to skip a generation altogether and give us a Harry that’s a flip side of Peter Parker in almost every way? Why, he could even become a Hobgoblin, instead of just another Green Goblin…
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