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Harry Osborn is a fictional character, a supporting character of Spider-Man in the . In addition to being Peter Parker's best friend, Harry was the second Green Goblin and is the son of the first, Norman Osborn. Harry Osborn first appeared in The Amazing Spider-Man #31 (December 1965), and was created by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko.

Publication history

Harry Osborn first appeared in The Amazing Spider-Man #31 (December 1965), and was created by writer Stan Lee and artist Steve Ditko.

Harry Osborn received an entry in the Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe Update '89 #5.

Fictional character biography

Harry is the son of industrialist Norman Osborn and his wife Emily. Unfortunately, the circumstances of Harry's birth weakened Emily, and she died after several years of illness. Heartbroken, Norman becomes a cold and unloving father; he either contemptuously dismisses Harry, or lashes out at him in fury. Harry spends much of his life trying desperately to earn his father's approval.

Upon graduating from high school, he enrolls in Empire State University. Among the wealthiest students in the school, Harry soon becomes one of the most popular as well, despite his aloof manner. He has a clique of rich, popular students around him; one of these is the lovely Gwen Stacy. Gwen is intrigued by a new student: bookish, studious and painfully-shy Peter Parker. Harry takes a dislike to Parker; he resents the attention Gwen gives to Peter, and he assumes that Peter's standoffishness is snobbery. After confronting Parker, Harry realizes that Peter is merely shy, and is also worried about his ailing aunt, May. Despite this rocky start, Harry and Peter became friends, eventually sharing an apartment.

Harry does not realize that Peter is the superhero Spider-Man. Harry's father became the Green Goblin in an accident while attempting to create a super-serum. Spider-Man and the Goblin had already battled twice when Peter and Harry become friends. In a later battle, the Goblin discovers Spider-Man's identity and captures him, revealing his own identity in the process. Horrified that his greatest enemy is also his best friend's father, Peter's loyalties are torn. When the Goblin falls onto an electric transformer during the resulting fight, the shock removes all memory of being the Green Goblin from Norman Osborn's mind. Spider-Man removes the Goblin's costume and equipment, hoping it will be the end of the Goblin menace, that Mr. Osborn will return to normal, and that no one else, especially Harry, will ever need to know the truth.

However, Norman's Green Goblin persona resurfaces from time to time; he then battles with Spider-Man, only to become Norman Osborn again when the fight is over. These are difficult times for Harry, as his father's periodic episodes are unexplainable. He had experimented with drugs in his teens, but he escalates his usage, as well as trying ever-harder substances. This affects his mental stability and his relationships with his friends. Spider-Man uses this to his advantage during one battle with the Green Goblin; he is able to stop the fight by showing Norman his son's emaciated condition, brought on by an accidental cocaine overdose. The sight shocks Norman so much that it brings him back to sanity for what is to be the last time.

It wasn't long after, though, that stress caused Norman to become the Green Goblin again. Harry's life had fallen apart. His relationship with Peter's friend Mary Jane Watson had come to an end when she dumped him, fed up with his self-destructive lifestyle. A disconsolate Harry turned to drugs and suffered an LSD overdose. He survived, but this tragedy, compounded by imminent bankruptcy, drove the Green Goblin over the edge. He kidnapped Gwen as bait for Spider-Man, and then threw her off the George Washington Bridgemarker. When Peter pulled her back up with his webbing, she was dead. A vicious battle between Spider-Man and the Green Goblin ensued, with Peter barely able to control himself from killing the villain. The Goblin then directed his goblin glider to impale Spider-Man, but the wall-crawler jumped out of the way, and the Goblin was impaled through the chest himself, and seemingly killed. Peter was wracked with guilt and sorrow, but took comfort in the fact that the Green Goblin was finally gone.

The Second Goblin

However, Harry had secretly witnessed the battle. Wanting to protect his father's identity, he stripped Norman's body of the Green Goblin costume and hid it. Blaming Spider-Man for his father's "murder," Harry swore vengeance. Having inherited his father's company, Harry managed to get the business back in shape as he planned his revenge. One day, to his shock, he found a Spider-Man costume in Peter's apartment, and realized that his best friend was the man he blamed for his father's death. Using his father's old equipment, Harry confronted Peter as the new Green Goblin.

Not wanting to hurt Harry, Peter avoided fighting his old friend. Eventually, Harry was knocked unconscious and taken into police custody. There, he raved that he was the true Green Goblin and Peter Parker was Spider-Man, but was dismissed as a lunatic. He was put in the care of criminal psychologist Dr. Bart Hamilton, who extracted the secrets of the Green Goblin from Harry through hypnosis, and buried the knowledge deep with Harry's mind. However, this was not altruistic on Hamilton's part - he then raided one of Harry's hideouts and became the third Green Goblin, hoping to become the new boss of the underworld. However, his power was no match for his enthusiasm - he never even bothered to use the strength-enhancing formulas on himself, seemingly believing that just being the Green Goblin would enable him to defeat Spider-Man, and, despite an elaborate plot to kill Silvermane, the power-mad psychologist was killed by a bomb he had planted for Spider-Man. Although he suffered a brief setback during the confrontation with Hamilton, Harry was released and considered cured, sustaining a concussion that made him forget his knowledge of Spider-Man's identity, and he and Peter rekindled their friendship.

For a while, Harry's life seemed back on track; his company began turning profits once more, and he developed a romance with Liz Allan, whom he met at the wedding of Betty Brant and Ned Leeds. Not long after, the two were married, and eventually they had a son, whom Harry named Normie in memory of the boy's grandfather. Harry also gave his blessing to the marriage of Peter and Mary Jane. However, Harry started regaining his memories when he was being blackmailed by the original Hobgoblin, who mailed him a package which contained evidence that his father was the original Green Goblin. When the Hobgoblin learned he had raided all of Norman's hideouts, he left Harry alone, knowing he had nothing more to offer him. Later, Harry was forced to act as the Green Goblin a few times, once to defeat Jason Macendale, the second Hobgoblin. Macendale sought the Goblin formula that gave the Green Goblin superhuman strength; Harry was able to defeat Macendale by doubling back during an aerial chase and emptying his entire supply of pumpkin bombs onto the Hobgoblin. Harry even wondered if he could use the Goblin persona for a career as a superhero, but Peter convinced him that the Goblin had too much baggage for such a role, and Harry buried the Goblin menace within his mind once more, and focused on his business and family.


The death of Harry Osborn.
This tranquility was shattered when the aftereffects of the Inferno crisis sundered the barrier between Harry's conscious and subconscious minds. Once again, he remembered being the Green Goblin - and his irrational hatred of Spider-Man (Harry had now convinced himself that Peter resented the Osborns' "stable family life" due to never having been wanted by his own parents or guardians, when in fact it was the complete opposite). His sanity shattered, he declared that their next confrontation would be their final one, and only one of them would be alive at the end. To ensure that he was the victor, Harry researched his father's chemical notes, hoping to recreate the original Goblin's superhuman strength. Harry made his own modifications to the formula, and upon ingesting it, it proved better than he had dreamed. The Green Goblin II formula had made him stronger than both Spider-Man and his father. Now a physical match for Spider-Man, Harry planned his final revenge.

Harry took to stalking Peter Parker on his Goblin Glider, claiming that there was no law against just soaring around town in a colorful costume, and taunting Peter that someday he would destroy him, but he relished keeping Peter in suspense in the meantime. After weeks of this, Peter finally lost his nerve and struck at Harry, only to be sent flying when Harry hit back, demonstrating his new strength. He then rocketed away, taunting Spider-Man's inability to stop him.

Not long after, Harry held a prestigious dinner at his townhouse, inviting many of his father's old business associates. However, it was actually a trap, and Harry had planted explosives throughout the townhouse, which he planned to detonate, thus destroying everybody who had slighted the Osborns.

Spider-Man, worrying the most, dropped in to investigate, only to be confronted by Harry as the Goblin. The two former friends engaged in a dangerous battle, which ended when Harry injected Peter with a drug that left him immobile, but still alive. However, even as he celebrated over his victory, he realized that Mary Jane and his son Normie were also in the townhouse, and that the explosives would detonate in thirty seconds. Despite protestations that he was not a hero, Peter convinced Harry to use his damaged glider to get the two to safety. After rescuing Normie and Mary Jane, Harry finally returns to his senses and realized that he had left Peter to die. Harry rescued Peter from the explosion just in time. However, as his friends thanked him, he suddenly collapsed. The Goblin Formula was damaged by the explosion, and while it had increased his strength, it was also lethally poisoning him. Paramedics were called, but Harry died at the end of the route to the hospital. With his final words, he apologized to Peter, and confirmed that despite everything, they were still, and would always be, best friends.


Sometime before his death, Harry had created a computer system with copies of his and Norman Osborn's minds programmed into it; after Harry's death, the computer system activates and abducts Normie Osborn with the intent of subjecting him to the Goblin serum (the same one that that caused Harry's death) and making him the newest Green Goblin. This computer facsimile of Harry and its robotic drones (which resemble female versions of the Green Goblin) are all destroyed by Spider-Man and the Molten Man, who manage to save Normie from it.

However, Harry had one last trick up his sleeve. Sometime before his final confrontation with Spider-Man, Harry had employed the Chameleon to construct Life Model Decoys of Peter's parents to play with his emotions. The plot ended with both constructs revealed to be fake when both "died," shattering Peter's mind. After nearly killing the Chameleon, Peter found a tape Harry had left before he died, revealing his role in the plot and mocking Peter. Peter went temporarily insane from the shock, which proved that Harry could be as manipulative and cruel as his father ever was when gripped by insanity; Peter even briefly rejected his identity as Peter Parker, until the return of his clone Ben Reilly snapped him out of his "mood"

Planned Return

Towards the end of the Clone Saga, the writers of the Spider-Man books planned to end the series by reviving Harry Osborn, who would be revealed to be the semi-zombified cyborg known as "Gaunt". Gaunt was a late entry towards the controversial storyline, created mainly as a plot device to return Harry to life, as the plan for the character included Harry regaining his humanity, taking credit for tricking Peter Parker into thinking he was a clone, and resuming his identity as the Green Goblin fulltime. However, the plotline was nixed by newly promoted Editor-In-Chief Bob Harras, who disliked Harry Osborn and instead demanded that the plotline be aborted and Norman Osborn resurrected instead as the mastermind of the Clone Saga.

As a result, Gaunt was revealed to be Mendel Stromm- the man who originally created the Goblin formula before becoming the villain known as the Robot Master- and Norman Osborn was the real main villain. Norman would reveal, upon his return, that he had in fact died when the glider impaled him, but the unexpected healing factor effect of the goblin formula regrew his internal organs and reanimated him. After killing someone with a similar body-type to be buried in his place, Norman fled to Europe, hoping to give Harry a chance to prove himself after seeing him trying on the Green Goblin costume. A year after Harry's death, Norman returned to America, nearly driving Spider-Man insane with the Clone Saga (where Osborn tried to convince Peter that he was his own clone to make Peter lose the will to live) and regaining the mantle of the Green Goblin when he finally revealed himself as the mastermind, shortly before the death of Ben Reilly (the real clone).

Post-One More Day

Following the events of One More Day, Peter and Mary Jane's decision to accept Mephisto's offer to erase their marriage from history (and all knowledge of it) in exchange for Aunt May's life, has seemingly resulted in the alteration of the timeline to an undetermined degree. Among the changes was the warping of the timestream to erase Harry Osborn's death and resurrect him.

In this new, altered reality (Brand New Day), Harry's death was faked by Mysterio and his father Norman Osborn, who spirited his son away to Europe where he was held prisoner in several "rehab" clinics. The reason given was Norman's belief that his son had relapsed into drug addiction, due to his brief return to wearing the Green Goblin costume.

At some point, in the altered timeline, Harry was let go from rehab and reunited with his friends. However, due to his time imprisoned by his father as well as Peter's deal with Mephisto, Harry no longer remembers that Peter Parker is Spider-Man. His marriage to Liz Allan also disintegrated, leading to the two divorcing and Harry responding to his break-up by engaging in a string of relationships with other women, of which several of them ended with Harry marrying and divorcing them in rapid fashion. He is currently engaged in a relationship with Lily Hollister. Harry has tried to help Lily's father run for Mayor of New York, funding her father's campaign with his dwindling finances.

Harry is also one of the leading suspects of the secret identity of Menace, a new Green Goblin-themed villain. In the "New Ways to Die" story arc, Menace battled Norman Osborn and was infuriated by Norman stating that all he cared about was killing Spider-Man. New Ways to Die has Norman put back on the Green Goblin costume, Norman mentions that Harry has been in the Goblin's Lair. Norman calls Harry, who recognizes from Norman's distorted voice that Norman is wearing the Goblin suit, which horrifies and disgusts Harry. Harry vows to stop his father. Harry angrily confronts his father who wants Harry to follow in his legacy and become a greater man. The confused Harry is saved by Spider-Man. Spider-Man, wanting to beat Norman senseless, stops when he sees an area of Human Testing. Harry is claimed to be the one responsible for the atrocious acts although he attempts to plead innocence. Harry later states that he wants to talk to Peter who moments earlier was kissed by Lily, while seen leaving with a mysterious canister labelled "Prometheus X-90".

It has since been revealed that Prometheus X-90 was developed as a a successful cure for Mark Raxton's condition as Molten Man. Furthermore, the only human test subject was Charlie Weiderman, the short-lived second Molten Man, and the only person whom the serum could be tested on. After the cure is administered, Liz finally forgives Harry, and gives him back the wedding ring, which she originally claimed she lost.

Following the events of Secret Invasion, Norman Osborn is placed in charge of the H.A.M.M.E.R. organization, and forms his own team of Avengers.

Renting out all of Liberty Island, Harry takes Lily to the island. On top of the Statue of Liberty, he gets down on one knee and appears to propose to her. Lily however rejected Harry's proposal as she is not sure as to where their relationship will lead, which has surprised Harry by her answer. Harry later went to Lily's place to check up on her, and as he enters the room he was surprised to discover Lily wearing what appears to be clothes belonging to Menace.

She found a hidden door in his closet and found an old journal of his. She begins giving him a hard time about whining so much about his father. Harry thinks her behavior is because she's sick. She continues to tell him she uncovered one of Norman's secret room in the journal. This explains why she kissed Peter after the Thunderbolts attacked, he almost found the secret trigger to open the room. When she had first gone in, she found all of the Goblin's equipment along with some experiments. Knocking over some chemicals, she absorbed them and is now able to transform at will. She explains that she discovered Menace's attacks against her father gave him more public support. She also tells him that she accepts his marriage proposal. After their talk, Harry enters one of his father's weapons caches, taking a glider, a pair of Goblin gloves, and a dart gun containing an unknown chemical. In the midst of a battle between Menace and Spider-man, he confronts and shoots her with that chemical, which is a type of antidote that reverts her back to her human form. He saves Spider-Man from the crowd and leaves. Lily is incarcerated, but later escapes, leaving Harry her ring and a note. This causes Harry to sink back into alcoholism, during which he is helped by Carlie Cooper.

Dark Reign

Norman approaches Harry with the offer of a job within his organization. Harry declines, but after getting a visit from Lily, who revealed to him that she was pregnant, he accepts. Norman welcomes him into Avengers Tower, wanting to make his son part of the "American Son" project. However, Harry is shown to have an ulterior motive, based on his need to protect Lily and his child, disabling the camera in his room and sneaking off. He finds a cure for Lilly's Goblin Serum that would be safe for her and the baby, but she pushes him away, revealing that it was all a ruse to make Harry become American Son, whom Norman would eventually have die in a tragedy to increase sympathy for Norman and the Dark Avengers. She also reveals that the baby is not Harry's but in fact Norman's. In retalliation to this news, Harry dons the American Son armor and fights against his father.

During the battle, Norman declares that Harry is no longer his son, and that he has bred a better child to replace the failure Harry. After further taunts from Norman, Harry lashes out and defeats his father, declaring "I was never your son!" When Harry has the option to kill Norman, Spider-Man goads him to decapitate Norman, as his healing factor may repair a blow to the head. Spider-Man states that by killing Norman, he would "become the son Norman always wanted." Harry backs down, and walks away from Norman Osborn forever.

We last see Harry in a psychiatrist's office, claiming he is getting over the effects of a medical treatment he received. The doctor offers to prescribe him oxycodone, a nod to Harry's past drug abuse, but it is not revealed if Harry takes the prescription.

After the events of American Son, he's moved out from his penthouse apartment, and is currently staying in Peter Parker's old room at Aunt May's. His is also secretly dating Peter's cousin, Ames.

Powers and abilities

For most of his life, Osborn had no superhuman abilities. However, when he takes the reins of the second Green Goblin, he becomes exposed to the Goblin formula, causing Harry to become much stronger, cunning, and agile. The glider he carries has swords, along with usual Goblin technology.

American Son

While Harry is temporarily the American Son, he has access to the American Son armor and formula (The American Son formula had been created by combining the Super-Soldier Serum and Goblin Serum).

Other versions

Ultimate Harry Osborn

In the Ultimate Marvel universe, Harry Osborn is the rich son of Norman Osborn who meets and befriends Peter Parker. Norman eventually subjects himself to the Oz Formula, and he becomes the Green Goblin. He kills his wife, and attempts to kill Harry. Harry is placed into the custody of his uncle, but he eventually returned to his father and brainwashed by Miles Warren to forget the previous events. During another battle with Spider-Man, Harry stops his father, and he is taken into S.H.I.E.L.D.'s custody. He is later used as a bargaining piece to negotiate with Norman. Harry begins to blame everyone around him for the situation, and a second personality introduced by his father after many years of hypnotic therapy, Shaw, begins to take control. He eventually consumes the serum and becomes the Hobgoblin. Harry tries to stop himself during a battle with Spider-Man, but Shaw takes over and he is wounded by S.H.I.E.L.D. He is once again used by S.H.I.E.L.D. to attract his father, but the two end up doing battle, which leaves Harry dead. Norman is then "killed" by S.H.I.E.L.D. soldiers at his own request. Peter later honors Harry with a speech about him being a good friend and a true hero.

Marvel Zombies

In Marvel Zombies: Return #1, Zombie Spiderman is taken to an alternate relality where it's the past and Peter is still in college, Harry and Gwen are alive, etc. Harry is shown hanging out (with a mustache) with Peter, MJ and Gwen. However he is later shown being eaten by a Zombiefied Sinister Six.

In other media


  • Harry is first mentioned 1981 Spider-Man cartoon as Peter's friend and roommate.

  • Harry Osborn appears in Spider-Man: The Animated Series voiced by Gary Imhoff. At the start of the series, he and Peter aren't well-acquainted with each other, something Peter points out when Harry asks him to be his college roommate so as to please his father, though they eventually become best friends. Harry's father, as the Green Goblin, becomes trapped in the Negative Zone and appears to Harry. Harry then becomes the Green Goblin under a promise to see his father again, though after many failures to kill Spider-Man, he learns that his father is the Green Goblin. This soon leads to Harry slowly becoming insane. After continuing his villainy, he attempts to ruin the wedding of Peter and Mary Jane, though Liz Allan is able to calm him down, allowing him to leave peacefully and seek help in the Ravencroft mental institution.

  • Harry Osborn appears in the The Spectacular Spider-Man voiced by James Arnold Taylor. Whereas Harry and Peter didn't meet until college in the comic books, in the cartoon, he is Peter's classmate in high school. While constantly trying to appease his father, he takes the "Globulin Green" serum to boost his physical abilities, but this causes the development of a second personality, one which symbolizes Harry's notion of "the man his father wanted to be". Learning of this, Norman uses his son as a scrapegoat for his own alter ego, the Green Goblin. Believing Harry to be the Green Goblin, Spider-Man allowed Norman to look after him as Harry is taken away on a European tour to help him break his addiction to the serum. Harry returned from his trip. After Flash exposed the addiction to league administrators, losing the trophy their team won as a result, Harry destroys the remaining vials of Globulin Green he kept hidden. Soon after, Harry attempts to have a relationship with Gwen, though expressed some anger when he overheard her talking about breaking up with him to Peter. It was later that Harry learned the truth of his father being the real Green Goblin as he witnesses his fight with Spider-Man up to his father's supposed death. Attending the funeral soon after, using his father's death to have Gwen stay with him out of guilt, Harry expresses intent to have revenge against Spider-Man (similar to the movie).


In the Spider-Man film series, Harry, played by James Franco, is Peter Parker's closest friend. He constantly tries to appeal to his father, who is very invested in his work, and he is jealous of Peter's intelligence. He dates Mary Jane Watson during the first film, though she eventually falls for Peter, and he manages to somewhat reconcile his feelings with his father. After his father's death as the Green Goblin, Harry believes that his father was murdered by Spider-Man and seeks revenge.

Harry takes over Oscorp in Spider-Man 2, forming an alliance with Doctor Octopus to get his revenge. Though it fails, he learns that Peter is Spider-Man. Afterwards, he begins to hallucinate, seeing his father's image in a mirror, demanding that Harry avenge him. He smashes the mirror, and finds a hidden room with the Green Goblin equipment and serum behind it, realizing that his father was the infamous Green Goblin.

Becoming the New Goblin in Spider-Man 3, he attempts to take revenge, which eventually leads to a symbiote-possessed Spider-Man throwing a pumpkin bomb at him, which scars the right side of his face. However, after learning the truth of his father's death from his butler Bernard, he helps Spider-Man save Mary Jane from Venom and Sandman, although he is mortally wounded by Venom in the ensuing fight after sacrificing himself to save Peter. He dies with Peter and Mary Jane at his side, just after he and Peter reconcile their friendship with each other at last. Peter and Mary-Jane attend Harry's funeral together, heartbroken.

Video games

  • Harry appears in the Spider-Man: The Movie video game, where he was voiced by Josh Keaton. Though he doesn't play a major part in the main plot, it features a bonus story mode where Harry takes on the role of the Green Goblin and investigates a plan to take over Oscorp.
  • Harry appears in the Spider-Man 2 video game, again voiced by Josh Keaton. Here, like in the movie, he's obsessed with killing Spider-Man for the presumed murder of his father, going as far as to ask Doctor Octopus to capture Spider-Man for him.
  • Harry appears in Spider-Man 3 with James Franco reprising his role. He assumes the identity of the New Goblin to take out Peter as a boss and later assists Peter in dealing with Sandman and Venom as a playable character. He is also a downloadable character on Xbox 360. In the limited edition of the game for the Playstation 3 he is unlockable, he is now downloadable for the normal version as well.
  • Harry in his New Goblin alias appears in Spider-Man: Friend or Foe, where Josh Keaton reprised the role. Similar to Spider-Man, Green Goblin I, and Doctor Octopus, he resembles his movie counterpart, especially his look as the New Goblin in Spider-Man 3. He assists Spider-Man early in the game and is the last unlockable character when the game is completed for the first time.


  1. Amazing Spider-Man #136
  2. Spider-Man: Legacy Of Evil
  3. Amazing Spider-Man #581
  4. Amazing Spider-Man #582
  5. Amazing Spider-Man #583
  6. Amazing Spider-Man #586
  7. Amazing Spider-Man #588
  8. Amazing Spider-Man #591
  9. Amazing Spider-Man #595
  10. Amazing Spider-Man #596
  11. Amazing Spider-Man #598
  12. Amazing Spider-Man #599
  13. Amazing Spider-Man #604
  14. Amazing Spider-Man #605

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