5 Marvel Resurrections Done Right And 5 That Sucked

4. Norman Osborn

The death of Norman Osborn, aka the Green Goblin, aka Spider-Man€™s deadliest villain, is considered a seminal moment in comic book history. Fresh off of killing Peter Parker€™s girlfriend Gwen Stacy (and ending the €œSilver Age€ of comics in the 1970s), the Goblin then inadvertently kills himself when he is impaled by his own glider. Norman stays dead for decades, though his legacy carried on through his son Harry who becomes the second Green Goblin. Osborn also inspired other copycat villains, such as the Hobgoblin. But there was never any inkling that Norman would return until the final installments of the reviled €œClone Saga€ arc in the mid-1990s. Osborn shows his face for the first time in a comic book at the end of Amazing Spider-Man #418 and then dons the Goblin costume again for an epic showdown in Peter Parker Spider-Man #75. That€™s when we learn that Norman faked his own death (and has the glider scar on his chest to prove it) and was the mastermind behind the often frustrating €œClone Saga.€ So, how could I possibly defend his inclusion as a resurrection done right? Because the explanation the creators provided makes enough sense (he survived these wounds due to his enhanced strength from the Goblin Serum); the issue where he confronts Spider-Man for the first time as the Green Goblin again is one of the better Spidey comics from the 90s; and, Norman would go on to be the focal point of many other classic stories involving Spider-Man and the Avengers in the years that followed. In his second go-round, the character was written more as a Lex Luthor-esque world dominator, which helped Norman appeal to a broader audience and star in company-wide events like Dark Reign.
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Mark is a professional writer living in Brooklyn and is the founder of the Chasing Amazing Blog, which documents his quest to collect every issue of Amazing Spider-Man, and the Superior Spider-Talk podcast. He also pens the "Gimmick or Good?" column at Comics Should Be Good blog.