The New Era of the Green Goblin (Contains Spoilers)



The minute that Dane DeHaan’s Harry Osborn pulls up to the Osborn mansion is iconic. Harry’s first annoyed expression as the window rolls down as the car comes to a stop encapsulates the classic attitude of the character us true believers all know and love. Even when he reaches the end of the hallway to his father’s bedroom, his lavish apparel and the way in which he removes his scarf with such poise, handing it over to Donald Menken, calls back to the preppy boarding school boy who, by this point, we know will play the role of Harry perfectly. The kicker is when Harry, after Donald Menken calls him by name, says “It’s Mr. Osborn…we’re not friends”. In this moment, he’s almost like an evil Tony Stark, and if we know anything about how his character is portrayed in film, Robert Downey Jr. does an outstanding job, which speaks volumes about Dane DeHaan, whose acting is impeccable in films like The Place Beyond The Pines and Chronicle. But, I digress…

The moment in which the new era of the Green Goblin begins when Harry interacts with his father. Harry walks up to his bedside where he lay terminally ill. Their backwards and corrupt relationship is something to admire in that it stays true to the comics. Norman says the disease he has is Retroviral Hyperplasia and that Harry’s childhood was sacrificed in search for a cure to this disease, which is ultimately now taking its toll on Harry since it’s genetic. When you really think about it, Chris Cooper appears as a legitimate Goblin, with his vomit-green skin and fungal-yellow talons as he passes the torch, so to speak, by giving Harry the “sum total” of all of his work. This gesture, as well as Norman Osborn’s death thereafter, is gratifying in that it makes the movie self-aware that, as a rebooted franchise, it is a testament to a new era of Spider-Man by making Harry Osborn the first and seemingly only Green Goblin.

Something that I did treasure, apart from the evil behind DeHaan’s pretentious Harry and sinister Goblin was his friendship with his best friend, Peter. Although it didn’t last long, I could tell that it was something special. We don’t see it, but Harry was there for Peter when his parents left him. The way they’re able to make fun of each other and laugh about it, catch up and talk about life. What made them the most relatable to each other, though, was, as Peter says, they “both got dumped” by their parents.

When it comes down to it, Harry inevitably discovers he needs Spider-Man’s blood, desperately and angrily badgering his best friend to ask Spider-Man and becoming even more frustrated when, as Spider-Man, Peter denies. With the help of Felicia, Harry discovers the “Special Projects”, one of which includes the “Max Dillon Experiment”. He further discovers Max was committed to Ravencroft under his name, which Donald Menken was behind. Harry, now even more enraged, infiltrates Ravencroft to seek Electro’s help considering they both were betrayed by Oscorp. Harry makes Electro an offer he can’t refuse: the power to all of NYC and Spider-Man in return for getting Harry into Oscorp. With security of Ravencroft en route, Harry tells Electro he needs him and that he know’s what it’s like to be thrown away. Electro, finally being sympathized with, becomes electricity and escapes to help Harry out. A nice touch to Harry’s villainy is what comes next, when Electro and Harry confront Donald Menken at Oscorp. Harry’s classic menacing dialogue, whistling the Jeopardy theme, and taking Menken hostage at gunpoint was a defining moment for the character he was meant to become.

Lastly, his transformation into the Green Goblin after Menken injects him with the spider venom was most horrifying…and I loved every second of it ’caused that’s what the Green Goblin has to be! When he arrives at the Oscorp power grid, his echoing laugh got me hyped! The cackling of the Green Goblin is a key defining factor of the character and this one made me forget Dafoe’s and embrace the insanity DeHaan was bringing to the table before he even appeared on-screen. When he did, he looked as repulsive as he should and his voice crackled with evil. He literally made me fear for my life when he grabbed Gwen and flew off with her. When Gwen and Peter try to reason with him Harry, he says “HARRY’S DEAD!”. Once he did, I was sold. It was true. Harry was dead. That voice was the voice of the Goblin…the voice that (I hope) will haunt The Amazing Spider-Man franchise in its sinister future.

Look out for my thoughts on MJ being cut from The Amazing Spider-Man 2 and the future of her character in the franchise and my own idea for the story of The Amazing Spider-Man 3. I also hope to report on recent installments of Spider-Man fan fiction on fanfiction.net so that fans’ stories, as well as my own, can be told.

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