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'Spider-Man: Shadow of the Green Goblin' #3 has masterful character writing
Marvel

Comic Books

‘Spider-Man: Shadow of the Green Goblin’ #3 has masterful character writing

‘Spider-Man: Shadow of the Green Goblin’ #3 sets up Proto-Goblin’s next move.

J. M. DeMatteis has breathed new life into an earlier time for Spider-Man with Spider-Man: Shadow of the Green Goblin. The first two issues are in canon but build on Peter’s earlier rage surrounding the loss of Uncle Ben while also fleshing out Norman Osborn as the psychotic he was before he even became the Green Goblin. In the third issue, Proto-Goblin gets a new order, and Spider-Man continues to not hold back on his rage.

Spider-Man: Shadow of the Green Goblin #3 does a few things well, starting with the ongoing melodrama of all the characters in this story. That includes Aunt May, Gwen Stacy, Gwen’s dad, and Spider-Man. DeMatteis’s handling of these characters is excellent, with a particularly good look at Norman’s inner rage. A scene stealer involves Aunt May, who is angry and lashes out due to Ben’s loss. In some respects, this issue shows the very realistic emotions the characters are going through, grounding them more than ever.

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There’s also Spider-Man action to be had, although it’s limited in this issue. It’s rendered well by Michael Sta. Maria. Spider-Man: Shadow of the Green Goblin #3 opens with Spider-Man stopping two robbers, and he’s not pulling his punches…much. The action is intense, and every punch has a great sense of strength. Later, there’s a good shot of Spider-Man swinging past a bridge, but the art really sells the character acting, which this issue focuses on.

'Spider-Man: Shadow of the Green Goblin' #3 review

Spider-Man is not holding back.
Credit: Marvel

Every character is handled with care, and nobody is pure evil, not even Norman. A key moment with him shows the trauma he felt as a child. It’s also nice to see Norman’s wife point out that Proto-Goblin is a monster on the outside, but Norman is a monster on the inside. DeMatteis also reminds us Norman and his wife are children of alcoholics, which isn’t something typically brought up in Spider-Man comics.

One aspect of this issue that doesn’t work is the captions, which are well-written but run way too long. There are some pages with so many captions, but it’s prose. On one page, there are eighteen caption boxes. In a few cases, it’s necessary, but some feel overly done or could have been reduced.

Spider-Man: Shadow of the Green Goblin continues to be a masterclass in understanding these characters and plumbing them for new truths, even though this is a prequel. There are, without a doubt, too many captions on some pages, but overall, this is one of the finest Spider-Man comics you’ll read all year.

'Spider-Man: Shadow of the Green Goblin' #3 has masterful character writing
‘Spider-Man: Shadow of the Green Goblin’ #3 has masterful character writing
Spider-Man: Shadow of the Green Goblin #3
Spider-Man: Shadow of the Green Goblin continues to be a masterclass in understanding these characters and plumbing them for new truths, even though this is a prequel. There are, without a doubt, too many captions on some pages, but overall, this is one of the finest Spider-Man comics you'll read all year. 
Reader Rating0 Votes
0
Some of the best writing of these characters in some time
Everyone is human, even Norman, which makes this book easy to relate to
Art is solid, particularly the facial expressions
There are way too many captions at times, with up to 18 on some pages
Lacks action
8
Good
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