Amazing Spider-Man #37
Issue(s): Amazing Spider-Man #37
Stromm is assassinated before he can be taken prisoner (actually Spider-Man saves Stromm from the shot but Stromm subsequently has a heart attack).
It's interesting to see that Lee and Ditko were leaving clues that Osborn was the Green Goblin. In this issue he attempts the assassination of Stromm from a window outside a skyscraper, which would have required someone with flying ability. It used to be the legend that Ditko was dead set against revealing that Osborn was the Green Goblin and that that's why he quit, but it's become apparent in subsequent years that that wasn't the case.
More generally, Osborn is already being set-up as being a little crazy and not a very good father.
We later see Norman punching Spider-Man out.
As he leaves, he thinks to himself, "If that blow didn't finish him off, I'll let the robot do the job." The question of whether or not the original Green Goblin had super-strength comes up occasionally, and the idea that Norman can punch out Spidey from behind and even think that he might have killed him here might be an argument that he does (thanks to irh13 in the comments for Amazing Spider-Man #176-180 pointing it out) .
I liked this opening shot...
...and the robot designs, and this scene of Spidey in a hat...
...but in general Ditko's art is looking a little rushed this issue.
Fredrick Foswell, aka the Big Man in Spidey's earlier issues, plays the role of a stool pigeon called Patch here.
Gwen Stacy drama continues.
Quality Rating: C-
Chronological Placement Considerations: N/A
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: Marvel Tales #176
Inbound References (5): show
1) Osborn doesn't kill Stromm, Stromm has a heart attack.
Posted by: Phil | December 25, 2013 12:24 AM
Thanks Phil. I've added a clarification on the first point. Regarding the second, it was muddled for me by the Green Goblin appearances and the fact that Norman had appeared in a number of continuity inserts already by this time. But i agree with you and i've upped the significance rating.
Posted by: fnord12 | December 25, 2013 12:46 AM
What was Ditko's end game for Osborn? Does anyone know? Even if he's not the Goblin, he's up to no good in all of his Ditko appearances anyway.
Posted by: MikeCheyne | August 11, 2014 10:44 AM
According to what Ditko has written in his self-published comics - which I haven't read personally, only seen quotes second-hand on the internet - he did intend for Norman to be the Green Goblin. He did use the long-form storytelling comics medium to insert Norman as one of JJJ's fellow club-members, and then introduce Norman's son as Peter's companion, and intended to build up to a great reveal.
Contrary to popular opinion, he'd already used the 'this villain is secretly a complete unknown' several times in "Spider-Man," starting with Electro and going on to include the Big Man and the later villains. I see no reason not to take Ditko at his word that he intended Norman to be the Goblin all along (or at least once he or Stan thought of the idea and realized it worked perfectly) and not repeat himself.
Basically, Ditko's end game for Osbourne wasn't much different from what actually happened, although the memory loss stuff probably wouldn't have happened. Comics being such a weird place to be in the late-60s, and Stan Lee being the only one who was there to say what happened, history gets re-written as Ditko wanting the Goblin to be a complete unknown, and he's not talking, so who is there to say otherwise?
But based on second or third-hand reports, he did intend Norman to be the Goblin, and set it up in advance.
Posted by: ChrisW | August 11, 2014 10:53 PM
And as we'll see when fnord finishes reviewing the Speedball series, he did the same thing with Nathan Boder.
Posted by: Michael | August 11, 2014 11:08 PM
A rifle was seen at the window. The rifleman's thoughts: "I can't take a chance of [Stromm] spilling the beans about me! There's too much at stake! I've too much to lose!" Next panel, the rifle is fired.
Spider-Man arrives at the window in two seconds, and shows us that the window was too high for any perpetrator to reach, and still get away in time, UNLESS the perpetrator had, for instance, a goblin glider.
Later we see Norman holding... a rifle.
All this, AFTER Norman had cold-cocked Spidey from behind. With his bare fist. Spider-Man. Knocked OUT COLD. One blow.
I'm convinced. Ditko was setting Norman up to be the Goblin.
Posted by: James Holt | September 2, 2016 5:21 PM
You can see a spider-tracer fall off the second robot in one of those scans, but if Ditko intended for that to be a plot point in this story it's never mentioned.
Posted by: s | September 18, 2016 3:24 PM
My guess is in the issue as first drawn the sniper did shoot Stromm, and that was changed to accommodate the Code. One of its rules was criminals couldn't get away with their crimes.
Posted by: Luke Blanchard | April 24, 2017 1:32 AM
FINALLY norman freakin osborn. Been waiting since forever to get him into the series!
Posted by: Roy Mattson | July 5, 2017 9:41 AM
On another topic: is that Joe 'Robbie" Robertson in the Daily Bugle office scene, front left?
Posted by: Haydn | December 16, 2017 6:53 PM
Feel free to speculate, but in terms of me listing the character, the original Marvel Handbook said that Robbie's first appearance was Amazing Spider-Man #52 and i'll stick with that unless there's some kind of official update (he's actually clearly in issue #51, but it's the same story arc).
Posted by: fnord12 | December 17, 2017 3:59 PM
The alternative to the Gobling being Ditko's big creative difference w/ Stan regards Peter's sex life, as has been suggested on the exhaustive dedicated series Dial B for Blog did over Ditko. The argument is that Ditko likes his characters to start of jackasses, learn from some trauma, then grow into examples of moral idealism (Dr. Strange, for instance), without too much distraction in their personal lives. This line of thought suggests Ditko preferred loner Peter, and that he might have objected to stuff like Peter not only going to college but having so much game as depicted here. But, knowing what we know about Ditko being a casual flirt around the Marvel offices, I'm not quite convinced. Who can say?
Posted by: squirrel_defeater | January 22, 2018 9:01 PM
I get the feeling had Stern stayed on ASM, he would’ve introduced Roderick Kingsley’s twin brother, Daniel on his own 2-3 issues prior to the Hobgoblin’s reveal just like Norman Osborn is introduced here just 2-3 issues prior to the Green Goblin’s unmasking. That’s essentially what happened in Hobgoblin Lives, disputing those who say Stern would’ve introduced Daniel earlier had he stayed on the title.
Posted by: bigdaddyk | June 13, 2018 9:17 AM
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