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Norman Osborn's Gold Goblin Just Suffered His Most Karmic Defeat

Spoilers ahead for "Gold Goblin" #5 by Marvel Comics

Norman Osborn's new journey as a hero ends with an unfortunately familiar moment for the former villain, as his battles with the Queen Goblin in "Gold Goblin" #5 from Marvel Comics feature the longtime "Spider-Man" character getting impaled with his glider. However, unlike the most famous iterations of Norman hurting himself with his weapon, this time is more karmic. Osborn can't escape his dark past, no matter how hard he tries; but his new, heroic turn helps save the day.

Norman is in the midst of one of his most transformative times in the pages of Marvel Comics, as he's made a concerted effort to leave behind his former life of crime as the Green Goblin and his dark history with Spider-Man. Osborn was cleansed of his sins by the Sin-Eater in the previous arc of "The Amazing Spider-Man," leading him to help the web-slinger and provide him with new tech and the resources he needed as a hero. Then, Norman took his path to heroism a step further and equipped himself in an all-new gold and white costume and a gold glider, becoming the Gold Goblin. But no matter how hard Osborn tries to begin a new normal away from villainy, he simply can't. And Norman finds out why after battling the Queen Goblin and getting seriously injured in the fight.

Gold Goblin is trying his best to shed his past

Norman Osborn becoming a hero has proven to be a challenging but rewarding venture thus far for the former Green Goblin. Osborn really tried to do the right thing as the Gold Goblin, including helping the new Jack O'Lantern come off his villainous path. But unfortunately, his pitch failed, and Jack O'Lantern was murdered by the villain Queen Goblin, whose use of pumpkin bombs and a glider has made Norman unable to forget his own twisted history.

In "Gold Goblin" #5 by Christopher Cantwell, Lan Medina, Antonio Fabela, and Joe Sabino from Marvel Comics, Osborn deals with the Queen Goblin. The villain is the living manifestation of all of Norman's sins, eager to return them to him. Queen Goblin reveals she used Jack O'Lantern to show Norman how much he is hated and how little he could do as a hero. However, before the villain can use her goblin gaze to return Norman's sins, he knocks her to the ground and finds Peter Parker for help. After teaming up with Spider-Man, the pair go after Queen Goblin for the last time, and they exchange blows with the villain. Sadly, when Queen Goblin gets the upper hand against Norman and gets him off his glider, she uses her own glider to impale the newly turned hero. The sight is quite familiar to longtime fans of the "Spider-Man" franchise.

Norman Osborn has a history of getting impaled by his glider

Norman Osborn being impaled by his glider is one of the most iconic images in both the pages of Marvel Comics and in the original "Spider-Man" film franchise.

In "Amazing Spider-Man" #122 by Gerry Conway, Gil Kane, John Romita Sr., and Tony Mortellaro from Marvel Comics, following the tragic murder of Gwen Stacy, Spider-Man finally corners an injured Green Goblin, telling him he's taking him to jail where he belongs. However, when Norman Osborn tries to send his glider at the unsuspecting hero, Spider-Man's Spider-Sense feels it coming as he dodges the high-speed weapon, resulting in the villain impaling himself. Ultimately, the Green Goblin accidentally kills himself — which would remain the status quo for more than 20 years until he's retconned to actually being alive before spearheading Marvel's infamous "Clone Saga."

The iconic death of Norman Osborn would get the live-action treatment in "Spider-Man," starring Tobey Maguire and Willem Dafoe. His death scene there is nearly identical to his fate in comics — the Green Goblin dies after impaling himself while trying to take down the hero. Dafoe reprises his role as the Green Goblin in the MCU nearly 15 years after his last appearance in the original "Spider-Man" trilogy, once again sporting his iconic glider as the main antagonist of "Spider-Man: No Way Home."

Norman Osborn's attempt at redemption hits a familiar place

In "Gold Goblin" #5, Norman Osborn's being impaled by a glider doesn't result in his death. Instead, he is karmically rewarded for his efforts to become a hero. He pulls the sharp edges of the glider from his stomach and uses his remaining strength to stop Queen Goblin from implanting his sins onto Spider-Man. In the end,  he chokes her with the chains from her mace, saving Spider-Man's life but being forced to realize he's killed once again.

Killing Queen Goblin sends Norman Osborn down a dark spiral as he sits over her human form and tries to convince himself that he had no choice but to do it. The comic ends with Norman feeling guilt over what he did — hinting that his sins could begin to plague him once again. So while Norman is still the Gold Goblin by the issue's final pages, killing Queen Goblin might be the key ingredient in his heroic turn soon coming to an end, as the return of Green Goblin seems inevitable. But Norman will continue fighting to ensure his dark past doesn't become his present.

"Gold Goblin" #5 by Marvel Comics is available in comic book stores, as it is the last issue of the miniseries from Marvel Comics. Readers can see Norman Osborn's next chapter in the current "Amazing Spider-Man" ongoing title.