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'Red Goblin' #1 continues to explore Marvel's rich goblin character history
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‘Red Goblin’ #1 continues to explore Marvel’s rich goblin character history

‘Red Goblin’ #1 sets up a Normie Osborn hero we deserve.

It’s been in the works for years, and the Red Goblin is getting a comic series this week. From the creation of Red Goblin in Amazing Spider-Man to Web of Venom: The Good Son setting up Dylan and Normie as friends to the first-ever appearance in Venom #15, the character has slowly but surely gained our full attention. Can Normie Osborn be the hero we deserve, given his troubled ancestry? Given the history and unique approach to Normie and his Symbiote, Alex Paknadel and Jan Bazaldua may have a hit on their hands.

For those who don’t know, Red Goblin is centered on Normie Osborn, the son of Hobgoblin and grandson of Green Goblin, and the benefactor of a Symbiote, thanks to Venom’s son Dylan. There are a lot of influences on Red Goblin right out of the gate: evil supervillain, reformed supervillain, and everything in between. Throw in the fact that Normie is relatively young, and Paknadel has a lot to work with. Not only does this character touch on a rich history tied to Spider-Man, but Normie is young enough that the sky is the limit for characterization and direction for the character.

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Right out of the gate, Red Goblin #1 sets up Normie and the immediate threat to him and his grandfather. Blessed with a Symbiote, there’s a goblin gang running amok who doesn’t take kindly to fakers, and they think that Normie is a faker in his new suit. This interaction, which you can read in the preview, reveals a major defining element of Red Goblin: Goblin mode. It’s an interesting concept. As we learn, the Symbiote is very young and yet to understand the world like Venom or Carnage. It also doesn’t yet have a symbiosis with Normie, so if it feels threatened, it’ll strike out and not listen to Normie as it kills or maims.

'Red Goblin' #1 review

The Red Goblin design is pretty darn cool.
Credit: Marvel

This allows Paknadel to lean into the new-hero formula while lifting up Normie as the true motivator and hero for the Symbiote. It’s on him to guide it while also dealing with harsh memories and an overbearing grandfather. All told, it’s an intriguing introduction to a character that feels new and exciting.

Bazaldua captures the Symbiote’s unique properties well. More demon-like in the face, Red Goblin has a long tail with fewer tendrils flying off him. He’s sleek and a little more like an animal. There’s a great moment where we see the Symbiote hiding under the bed, arms crossed, and it looks smug as heck. Not an easy thing to pull off.

One thing that didn’t quite work at times was the voice of Normie. He says things that don’t quite seem right for a ten-year-old. It’s a bit of slang, like “hold up..” that might sound more natural from a teenager. It’s only the case in a few spots, but it made me second-guess how old he was in certain scenes.

The goblin gang leader is buried underneath the character work, who makes two appearances in this issue. Once again, this is where Paknadel and Bazaldua seem to be playing with Spider-Man’s rich history. I won’t spoil it, but if you thought Gold Goblin was adding to the already rich tapestry of goblin characters at Marvel, don’t miss this.

Red Goblin #1 is shaping up to be a great introduction to a new kind of hero. Not only is he super young, but he’s also embroiled in one of the most complex and exciting family dynamics at Marvel Comics. Buckle up, Red Goblin will make you go goblin mode for a new kind of hero.

'Red Goblin' #1 continues to explore Marvel's rich goblin character history
‘Red Goblin’ #1 continues to explore Marvel’s rich goblin character history
Red Goblin #1
Red Goblin #1 is shaping up to be a great introduction to a new kind of hero. Not only is he super young, but he's also embroiled in one of the most complex and exciting family dynamics at Marvel Comics. Buckle up, will make you go goblin mode for a new kind of hero.
Reader Rating0 Votes
0
For fans of goblin history at Marvel this is a great treat
Red Goblin design looks slick
Interesting set up for a new, very young, hero
Sometimes Normie's dialogue seems off for such a young kid
8.5
Great
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