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Spider-Man Shadow of the Green Goblin #1 – A Fresh Look Back at the Begining


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I’m going to be honest – I did not like Shadow of the Green Goblin my first time reading through the issue.

It starts off feeling like another Peter Parker retread with him retracing his “Year One” past, learning to fight crime and taking things back to when he was bitten by the radioactive spider.

BUT as you continue reading the issue, you see this is a very, very fresh take on that time period and you get to see things from a different perspective.

J.M. DeMatteis has a real talent for the flow of the story and throwing in surprising twists in a very unassuming manner.

Credit: Marvel Ent

Peter is 15 again but the story is being narrated by a much more seasoned Parker in the future. A defeatest Parker, who looks back on the beginning of his crime fighting ways.

We also explore the thread early on that dealt with a young kid with powers trying to make money and capitalize on his new gifts.

We even get the comic relief of Spider-Man getting paid to crash a bday party.

A New (OLD) Goblin

Another side story that’s fresh is we meet a Green Goblin prototype of sorts.

A man Norman Osborn used to test out the formula, who has been turned into a red rage monster with goblin features.

Yet this man wants desperately to get back to his family and lead a normal life once again.

He’s also got a surprising benefactor, who wants to use him to kidnap Harry Osborn, but we’ll get to that in just a bit.

As mentioned prior, we get Harry and Gwen Stacy’s perspectives as well, something not explored as much as Spider-Man fans would have liked in the past.

Sure we know all about Spider-Gwen, we also know about Gwen’s death in the 616 at the hands of the Goblin, but this is the Gwen and Harry in high school and long before they met Peter.

It’s smart because if you think about it, we never learn about people until they enter the hero’s life in the comics.

Here, they are oblivious to Peter and for the most part Spider-Man.

A New Puppet Master

As mentioned before the original Goblin is looking to take Harry for his master.

And that woman is … Harry’s mother?!?! Wait, what.

Yet again, a person not explored in the earlier comics as it was always about Norman.

Goblin, goblin, goblin … but what about Harry’s mother?

While you have a young Peter trying to learn the ropes and figure out his new life, you have friends he hasn’t met yet heading for a collision course with our young hero.

But you also have a third, much more nefarious group in the Goblin and Harry’s mother that will also enter the fray pretty soon.

Final Thoughts – 8/10

I think this is a strong first book in the series with a lot of potential.

Will we examine more of Norman’s past? Will we continue to dig into Gwen and Harry and their lives before Spider-Man?

And what will we learn about Peter that fans don’t already know?!?

That’s the real question – power and responsibility folks … power and responsibility!

Michael Rothman
Michael Rothman
Better known as “SuperheroTok” on TikTok, Michael is an Emmy Award winning entertainment reporter spending over a decade at ABC & Good Morning America, hosting shows like Inside Marvel! Michael brings his unique vision and passion to TikTok, where he also hosts “Shortboxed Presents,” a series focused on everything fans need to know about buying and selling comics in the grading age. He’s also a proud husband, and father to a little golden retriever.

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