How Norman Osborn Figured Out (And Exploited) Peter Parker’s True Weakness

SPOILER WARNING: This article contains major spoilers for Amazing Spider-Man #800 by Dan Slott, Nick Bradshaw, Humberto Ramos, Giuseppe Camuncoli, Stuart Immonen, Marcos Martin, Victor Olazaba, Cam Smith, Wade von Grawbadger, Edgar Delgado, Java Tartaglia, Marte Gracia, Muntsa Vicente and VC’s Joe Caramagna, on sale now.

Amazing Spider-Man #800 features the long-awaited brawl between Peter Parker and the Red Goblin. Thanks to the an alliance with the Carnage symbiote, Norman Osborn has become the most dangerous foe Spdiey has ever faced. This new hybrid couldn't be detected by Peter's Spider-sense, nor is it susceptible to fire or sound. He is, basically, all strengths, no weaknesses.

As expected, the final battle between the two takes the mortal enemies from one side of New York to the other, punching each other through buildings and into the ground. But it's when the fight reached Times Square that the game changes entirely.

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Over the past few issues, Norman Osborn has gone about methodically attacking everyone Peter Parker cared about. He started by going after Harry Osborn (his own son) and his family, then he went after Spidey's allies -- Silk, Miles Morales and Johnny Storm. Norman's wave of terror continues in issue #800, when he finally attacks Aunt May and Mary Jane Watson.

Longtime fans know this is par for the course for the villain, who has gone after everyone Spider-Man cares about before (Gwen Stacy, for example). However, in the middle of Times Square, Osborn comes to a different kind of realization: Spider-Man's greatest weakness isn't really his loved ones. Rather, it's literally everyone.

Amazing Spider-Man 800 Red Goblin attacks

As soon as the Red Goblin gets back on his feet in Times Square, he doesn't hesitate to kill a Spider-Man impersonator who tells him to get lost. Peter arrives only a second too late, and Osborn tells him the man died as a direct result of Spidey's actions, because the punch sent him to this very spot.

The ensuing silence on Peter's end is all the supervillain needs to finally make the connection in his twisted mind -- now he knows the real truth about Spider-Man's greatest weakness. It was never just about the people he loved, his friends or his family. No, Peter truly cares about everyone, from the family of three on the sidewalk, to the Wall Street executive yelling on his phone -- their safety is Spider-Man's responsibility.

When the epiphany comes to him, the Goblin exploits this weakness to its fullest, unleashing utter chaos on Times Square. He deploys bomb after bomb upon anyone standing near them. Pedestrians, drivers, everyone -- no one is safe, and it takes everything Spidey has in him to save everyone.

Should other villains figure this out, Peter's superhero job would become a hell of a lot more complicated. After all, it's much easier to attack anyone in the vicinity than to waste time and resources attempting to hit a hero as nimble as Spider-Man. After 799 issues, Spider-Man's greatest foe has finally discovered that Peter Parker doesn't just care about Aunt May, Mary Jane and Harry -- it's probably a good thing the issue's end leaves him virtually incapacitated, or Spidey's future would look far less bright.

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