How Did Green Goblin Survive Being Impaled in the Heart?

In Death is Not the End, we spotlight the outlandish explanations for comic book characters (mostly super-villains) surviving seeming certain death.

Today we look at a death that we previously spotlighted in "Abandoned an' Forsaked," but now that we have this feature, it belongs here, as well.

After fighting Spider-Man for years, Norman "Green Goblin" Osborn finally went one step too far in his battle with Spider-Man when he killed Spider-Man's girlfriend, Gwen Stacy in "Amazing Spider-Man" #121 (by Gerry Conway, Gil Kane, John Romita and Tony Mortellaro).

In #122 (by the same creative team), he and Spider-Man have what appeared to be their final battle...


That is why this one stands out. You don't get much deader than that. The glider impaled his heart!

The mysterious fellow removes Green Goblin's costume, so the next issue it looks like Spidey killed just plain ol' Nroman Osborn...

And the issue after that, Spidey notes how much that costume removal messed him over...

Once again, though, Osborn is EXPLICITLY dead. Like, there's no question about it. He's as dead as dead can be.

In "Amazing Spider-Man" #136 (by Gerry Conway, Ross Andru, Frank Giacoia and Dave Hunt), Harry Osborn takes over as Green Goblin (temporarily) and explains that it was HE who removed the costume...


Norman Osborn was dead for years. Not only was he dead, but his death becomes an almost important aspect of the series, especially how the Hobgoblin is introduced as a new villain using Norman Osborn's unused hideouts (and his Goblin serum).

However, in the late 1990s, Norman Osborn was revealed to still be alive and in fact was behind the Clone Saga, all as a way just to mess with Peter.

In the pages of the one-shot Osborn Journal (written by Glenn Greenberg), we learn how he survived his seeming death...

As far as these things go, that's really not that bad.

If you have a suggestion for a particularly outlandish way that a comic book character was revealed to have cheated certain death, drop me a line at brianc@cbr.com!

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