Here we are, the fallout from last week! The Green Goblin took his mask off and revealed himself to be… Peter’s high-school bully’s friend’s dad. Not exactly a “No, I am your father” level revelation… well, not yet anyway…
Peter begins by slagging off Harry, even though they’re teetering more to being almost-friends at this point. Oh sure he’s stalling for time! But I suspect in-universe Peter regretted those words once he came to love Harry.
Reading some of these lines in the present day, knowing the rest of the story, you just gotta go
or is that just me?
Here’s baby Harry, wearing the Spider-Man colours to boot. Norman tells this story as if he was a perfectly good father temporarily sidetracked, and maybe that’s what Stan Lee planned back then, but in the modern day comics this is… very much not the case.
See that red bike there? That bike will many years later play a starring role in a story detailing Norman’s abuse of Harry during this period.
“I couldn’t be bothered with him” could be the tagline for a heavy book titled “Norman Osborn’s Guide To Parenting.”
Many years later it would be retconned so Harry was responsible for the explosion in question. Which makes his thought bubble here kinda make no sense, except for the “It’s all my fault” bit.
“How did someone like me ever have a sniveling weaking of a son like you?” is the other, probably even more accurate tagline for Norman Osborn’s Guide To Parenting.
Poor Harry. It feels like that nurse in the background is looking on like, “hmm maybe someone should intervene to help that kid.” (ur, yeah.)
Norman just casually designing his supervillain suit to match that one pink satchel he already has.
One fight later:
He has… AMNESIA! This would be a get-out-of-jail card deployed by Spidey writers for quite a while.
“It would break his heart!” Told you Peter was SUCH A LOVELY KID, he barely knows Harry at this point and his initial impressions were nothing but negative.
Okay so you know I’m obsessed with the Spider-Man trilogy right? Well it turns out they RELEASED A WHOLE NEW VERSION of Spider-Man 3 and I… didn’t know. I mean I was sort of aware there was a editor’s cut around but I didn’t think it changed the movie this much.
Instead, an alternate take of Ursula alerting Peter that MJ has been trying to reach him is used later in the film, and Peter apologizes for his symbiote-influenced behavior to Ursula.
In his human form, Flint watches his wife and daughter depart before the scene transitions to him accepting Venom’s offer to team up against Spider-Man. His emotional motivation for this agreement is now underscored by the restored scene.
Instead, after angrily sending Peter away, Harry spots a framed photograph of himself, Peter and Mary Jane from happier times with the glass broken. Contemplating his broken friendships, Harry decides completely on his own to reconcile with Peter without learning the truth about Spider-Man’s innocence in Norman’s death.
!!!!!!!!!!!!! My gosh this is almost enough to make up for the horrible anxiety-inducing thing going on in the comic right now.
Welcome back, true believers! Okay so the other day this happened in the spideycomicsverse and it reminded me to kick this little project back into gear.
So! Last post we met Harry for the very first time and he was, to be honest, incredibly meh. But only SO FAR! Because the man who would end up being the Big Bad of the Spiderverse is coming and Harry just so happens to be his son and heir.
But before any of that takes place, here’s ASM #34, in which Harry continues to be Flash Thompson’s rather uninteresting henchman.
Harry thinks Peter is a snob, which is kinda weird seeing as Harry is the son of a wealthy businessman and Peter is a broke orphan. You’d think it’d be the other way around. (I suppose he means intellectual snobbery.) Geez you’d never expect them to end up with one of the most enduring friendships in all Spider-Man media would you?
On to ASM #37 and this is the VERY FIRST TIME (I think) Norman Osborn is ever named. Humble beginnings and all that.
But first we meet Gwen’s Giant Hand.
Original Pre-Death Gwen is almost completely forgotten but she was hella cool. In amongst all the giggle-worthy Sixties slang you get the idea that geez it must really have sucked being a female science student in that era so no wonder she’s angry all the time.
And he’s a PRICK!
Even taking the very different approved fatherhood qualities of the ’60s into account Norman’s just a kinda a dick to his son here. Of course, we’ve barely scratched the surface of that yet, we have many issues and many increasingly disturbing modern-day retcons to go.
Now, in ASM #38 we’ve got Norman being more affable to his kid, and then dressing as the guy from Breaking Bad before Breaking Bad existed.
But this is primarily about Harry so what’s going on over at the college? Well, there’s a protest it seems.
This little scene remains a complete and utter mystery to me. What are they protesting about!? Based on the dialogue given to the student protestors Stan Lee does not seem to like them? For some reason? But there were SURE AS HELL things to protest about in the ’60s so this bit just comes off as really uncomfortable and Old Man Yells At Cloud.
(This is Lawrence Welk, by the way, and I don’t know what that insult is supposed to mean either.)
Man you sure can be clueless about a lot of history via comics! (No I’m not American.)
Anyway Harry in this issue is just a regular old weaselly coward, nothing’s changed there-
-but things are ABOUT TO! Stuff happens next issue which shaped ALL of Spider-Man comics to come!
So after making this post I thought, hey, why not make a little archive of all Harry’s comic book appearances? Obviously there’s an extent to which that might be IMPOSSIBLE, but years and years ago I did try and make a blog devoted to exactly that. It had like 6 followers after one year. So consider this the second shot I guess!
(I really doubt I’ll get further than like, the ’70s, but you never know I guess.)
SO! Come back with me to 1965, a time when I was not born, and let’s take a look at Harry’s VERY FIRST appearance in Spider-Man. Pre-Gwen’s death, pre-drug addiction, pre-Norman existing even!
It’s not much to write home about. Poor ‘ol Harry. He’s not good-looking, he’s as casually sexist as most of the Sixties were, and he wears a bow tie.
But hey this is also the first appearance of one Gwen Stacy, and pretty much the first detail we learn about either of them is that they’re friends! And this friendship will last a long time, including after death. (sob) Yet they’re not actually together romantically.
A frosh, apparently, is just another word for “college freshman” and not something incredibly insulting like I feared.
Doesn’t answer to a known school bully yelling “Hey c’mere?” CLEARLY they’re a HORRIBLE PERSON
Yeesh, Harry. Lay off the guy.
Man Harry is such a dick in his first appearance! He’s basically Flash 2.0. The sixties slang makes it more palatable though.
Okay so this is interesting because for a long time in Spider-Man canon (can’t remember if it’s still the case) the accident which turned Norman into Green Goblin was caused by a jealous, neglected Harry switching around his lab chemicals. So uh… whenever Harry is lashing out he turns to chemicals, one way or another.
Harry temporarily drops his mean shit for Gwen’s sake. That’s… nice I guess.
And so there ya go, Harry Osborn Version 1. He’s not a nice person and at this point one might think he would end up as nothing more than Flash’s henchman or a romantic rival for Gwen. But you would be wrong! VERY WRONG.
(Buckle up, there’s gonna be a LOT of comics to go through.)
Since today is Spider-Man day I decided to watch Spider-Man 3 for the first time in years, along with two spiders who came in to watch their hero.
Spider-Man 3 is VERY uneven, you can see all over the place where rewrites were hastily done. I would kill for a version of this film that was actually how Sam Raimi intended it, but it’s probably not coming. (despite my occasional pleas on social media)
I still like it though! I still really like it, because I love all the characters and always will.
Some thoughts! Bearing in mind the last time I saw the movie all the way through must’ve been at least five years ago. If you wanna read thoughts from the past (most of which are still my present thoughts) on this DUMB BEWILDERING BEAUTIFUL CHEESEFEST, check out the tag marked “raimispidey”!
-Rosemary Harris/Aunt May is the beating heart of this movie. She puts in such a good performance and god I hate how underrated May is in more recent Spidermovies. Why did you make a Spider-Man movie where Iron Man is more important than Aunt May and Uncle Ben put together, Disney. Why.
-Speaking of things Disney fucked up, Peter is poor in this movie, which is what Spider-Man is supposed to be. He doesn’t have immediate access to fancy tech, he lives in a crappy apartment, he can’t afford nice things. I hate the MCU’s thing where all the heroes have to be flashy and rich, gaaaah. It feels like such a betrayal of Spider-Man’s importance.
(I’ll shut up about the MCU Spideys now. My apologies.)
-Peter at the beginning of this movie is so obsessed with himself he’s basically this meme come to life:
-I like all the little subtler things this movie did to highlight Peter’s descent into darkness. One of the police reports Peter ignores in favour of pursuing Sandman is something about “an elderly man in the middle of the road” which is the same way Uncle Ben died…
-Mary Jane is a jealous, resentful, petty, overemotional mess of a human being and I LOVE HER SO MUCH.
-Harry Osborn is still one of my favourite fictional characters ever (Go read The Child Within or the Son of the Goblin collection) and oh MAN I wish he wasn’t played by James Franco, since James Franco is a massive creep and all. Sigh.
-I appreciate that this movie doesn’t actually retcon Peter being partly responsible for Uncle Ben’s death. If Peter hadn’t let Dennis Carradine escape Carradine wouldn’t have surprised Flint Marko and the gun wouldn’t have gone off. It still all leads back to him.
-Of course, if Marko hadn’t had to steal money in order to save his daughter’s life he wouldn’t have been there in the first place, so the biggest villain in all this is really the American healthcare system. (I’m not joking, I’m really not.)
-Peter cries A LOT in this movie, and I approve. Honestly he’s the first action-movie hero I can remember actually crying.
-How have I not mentioned Ursula yet? I love her and her five minutes of screentime. She is the most MINOR of minor characters but she is a MAIN CHARACTER IN MY HEART (and fanfiction)
-I also love her dad, I remember in Spider-Man 2 he seemed like kind of a seedy douche and I wrote him so in fanfics but in this one he’s just a nice wacky dude.
-You know when the cops are hunting Sandman in the sand truck? When that one cop thinks he’s found him he raises his shovel right up to strike and if he’d actually hit human-Sandman he would have probably killed him instantly. When I first saw this movie back in 2007 I remember thinking, “Wait that can’t be right, a cop wouldn’t aim to just casually kill someone like that.” Well. Sigh.
-Harry’s death scene is legit very sad. The music and the fact he dies just as the sun comes up, oh man my heart. It’s also taken pretty much directly from the comic:
(the kid is Harry’s kid, who has yet to make it into a movie)
-Gwen is so sweet and nice in this film. (She was much more bad-tempered in the comics, which no-one ever remembers.) She even apologises to MJ for something that wasn’t remotely her fault! Hey if you wanna see Raimiverse MJ and Gwen interact more you oughta read this fic I wrote.
All the creatives and stars of Avengers: Endgame joined in a massive social media campaign asking everyone to be decent human beings and #DontSpoilTheEndgame…for two weeks until Marvel Studios used MASSIVE spoilers for Endgame in their trailer for Spider-Man: Far From Home. It was clear they were seeking to use all the emotions flowing in the wake of Endgame to motivate advanced ticket sales for Far From Home. Marvel Studios was very direct about how Spider-Man: Far From Home served as the epilogue to Avengers: Endgame. I enjoyed the film but was – and remain – frustrated by a plot point with seriously troubling implications.
Note, this has spoilers for both Avengers: Endgame and Spider-Man: Far From Home (obvs.).
Before I begin the analysis I want to reiterate that I really did enjoy Spider-Man: Far From Home. It was light and fun, with all the sweet and goofy moments you expect when the MCU’s on point. I felt it was the perfect come down after the heavy emotional hit of Avengers: Endgame. Also, I’ve ALWAYS loved the Americans-travelling-in-Europe trope for setting up comedic hijinks and the high-school-Europe-trip subset is particularly entertaining. With this great cast and all that awkward (in a good way) chemistry, this film had everything I was looking for after Endgame.
But the central plot point on which the film turns illustrates a troubling direction/mindset for the MCU. It also makes absolutely no sense within the narrative of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
The film opens with the world mourning the death of Tony Stark and the other Avengers who fell in the battle with Thanos and his Black Order. Thankfully the tone isn’t heavy and school’s out for summer! Peter Parker (Tom Holland), Ned Leeds (Jacob Batalon), MJ (Zendaya), Betty Brant (Angourie Rice), Flash Thompson (Tony Revolori), and some of their classmates are off to Europe for a science trip under the supervision of Mr. Harrington (Martin Starr) and Mr. Dell (J.B. Smoove). Things don’t go as planned and soon giant Elementals are threatening the world as Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) and Maria Hill (Cobie Smoulders) are trying to pull Spider-Man into battle alongside the mysterious inter-dimensional traveler Quentin Beck/Mysterio (Jake Gyllenhaal).
But the question on which everything pivots is – Who is the next Iron Man? Who will follow in Tony Stark’s footsteps?
It is a question asked both in-universe and amongst MCU fans. With this first generation of the Marvel Cinematic Universe concluded, what will the next generation look like? What shape will it take? Who will form the core as the original Avengers – specifically Tony Stark’s Iron Man, Steve Roger’s Captain America, and the always criminally-underrated Natasha Romanoff’s Black Widow – did? The answer the film offers, both in-universe and to fans, is Spider-Man. And everything about this is a problem.
Sony is reportedly developing a new Spider-Man/Spider-Verse film that would unite Tom Holland with Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield with a twist. A source told We Got This Covered that the project, which is in early development stages, would see Holland team up with former Spider-Men Maguire and Garfield.
and it reminded me of how much I love, love, love that movie, and particularly this scene.
Throughout Spider-Mans 2 and 3 I’ve noticed Ursula serves as a sort of stand-in for how Peter treats women. I once did that PUBLISHED PIECE (aaaaaah) about how that much-maligned dance scene in Spider-Man 3 is actually Peter Parker straight up partaking in street harassment. He’s not trying to catch the attention of men, just women. Bothering them in a public place.
And throughout that whole infamous montage Peter mistreats Ursula, too, demanding she bring him stuff and generally being totally rude to her. He’s stopped being a gentleman and turned into an obnoxious, inconsiderate douche. Before, she brought him food because she clearly wanted to make a connection with him, and now he’s taking advantage of her good nature.
I know, I knoooooow. Spider-Man 3 is considered one of the worst films of all time, was disowned by its own director, etc etc etc. But I still really and truly love it for its “every mistreatment of women is UNEQUIVOCALLY WRONG” streak.
(Also because it’s the only good film adaption so far of Harry Osborn, BUT THAT’S ANOTHER STORY)
Anyway! I’ll be seeing Spider-Man: Far From Home this weekend, probably, but no matter how good it is I don’t think I’ll ever love a Spider-Man movie as much as Spider-Man 2. Does it have a chocolate cake scene? Does it have Ursula? Does it?!?!?
This started as a little pencil test for practice, but I got interested in the hair movement halfway through and wanted to see how it looks cleaned up, then decided I might as well finish the whole thing. Can’t wait for Spider-Man: Homecoming :)