Goblin (Marvel Comics)

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Two of the most recurring Goblins, Green Goblin and Hobgoblin, battling each other in the cover photo of The Superior Spider-Man #26. Art by Ryan Stegman and Jason Howard
Publisher Marvel Comics
First appearance The Amazing Spider-Man #14 (July 1964)
Created by Stan Lee
Steve Ditko
Characters Green Goblin
Grey Goblin

Goblins are goblin-themed fictional characters appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. They are usually depicted as supervillains and enemies of Spider-Man.


They all started with the Green Goblin (Norman Osborn). They are usually people in a goblin costume terrorizing New York City with pumpkin bombs and a glider or have been transformed by using the Goblin Formula developed by Osborn and his former professor and business partner Mendel Stromm.

Known Goblins[edit]


In a retcon, it was revealed that after Norman Osborn had Mendel Stromm arrested for embezzlement. He had found only a portion of the notes detailing his partner's serum. Norman tests the incomplete version of the serum on Oscorp employee Nels Van Adder, driving Van Adder insane and causing him to transform into a red, demon-like being known as the "Proto-Goblin". Killing several people and blaming Norman for his condition, Adder harasses and later attempts to kill him before being knocked out an Oscorp window by Chief of Security Arthur Stacy and his brother Detective George Stacy. In order to escape conviction for what he had done to Van Adder, Norman convinces the police that Van Adder had been experimenting on himself and that he had been trying to help him. Van Adder was last seen fleeing into the wilderness and his current fate is unknown.[1] As well as endowing Adder with super strength and agility, the prototypical Goblin Serum gave him claws, talons, fangs, glowing green eyes, and near impenetrable red skin that is capable of withstanding several close range bullet shots.

Green Goblin[edit]



Grey Goblin[edit]

The Grey Goblin is the alias of two fictional characters that appears in comic books published by Marvel Comics that are enemies of Spider-Man. The overall persona's concept resembles the Green Goblin.

Gabriel Stacy, the twin brother of Sarah Stacy and son of Norman Osborn and Gwen Stacy, appeared as the first Grey Goblin in The Amazing Spider-Man. He also appeared in The Spectacular Spider-Man and Amazing Spider-Man presents: American Son.

Lily Hollister, Harry Osborn's ex-fiancé, first appeared in The Amazing Spider-Man #545 and had her first appearance as Menace (also known as the second Grey Goblin) is in The Amazing Spider-Man #549.

Goblin King[edit]

The Goblin King was the name of the leader of the Goblin Underground.

  • Norman Osborn under the alias of Mason Banks was the first person to go by Goblin King at the time when he fought the Superior Spider-Man (Doctor Octopus' mind in Peter Parker's body). When Peter Parker's conscious regained his body, he defeated Goblin King.
  • Former Hobgoblin and Goblin Knight Phil Urich later became the second Goblin King.


After being abducted by Menace, Carlie Cooper was exposed to the Goblin Formula by Goblin King which turned her into Monster.

War Goblins[edit]

General Mwenye of Nadua allied with Norman Osborn who provided Pumpkin Bombs, Razor Bats, and Goblin Gliders to General Mwenye which he used to equip his soldiers where they were dubbed War Goblins. When the War Goblins attacked a Naduan village, Spider-Man fought them off.[2]

Characters exposed to the goblin formula[edit]

Mendel Stromm[edit]

The creator of the Goblin Formula, Mendel Stromm subjected himself to the earliest known version of it. While Stromm's concoction failed to imbue him with overt superhuman abilities, it did cause him to enter a recuperative state of suspended animation after his apparent death at the hands of Norman Osborn who later revived Stromm as Gaunt.[3]

Lefty Donovan[edit]

Lefty Donovan was used as a test subject to Roderick Kingsley as the Hobgoblin to test out the goblin formula. Kingsley later killed him after figuring out the formula.


An Oscorp employee named Doctor David Patrick Lowell worked in the Osborn Chemical Company division, where his main project was a "super fertilizer" that could increase the solar absorption and growth rate of flora. After being passed over for a promotion, an irritated Lowell showed Osborn his work, and Osborn, noticing Lowell's chemical was uncannily similar to the Goblin Formula, immediately fired him and ordered all his work terminated. As his life's work was being destroyed by Oscorp employees, an enraged Lowell tried to fight them off, only to become drenched in his formula, and knocked into a wall of solar lamps. The combination of the Goblin Serum-esque chemical and the electricity caused Lowell to mutate into a light-based being dubbed "Sundown". After going on a rampage through New York, Sundown was defeated and imprisoned by Spider-Man and several other heroes. After being incarcerated for ten years, Sundown was released from prison, but was blackmailed back into supervillainy shortly afterward by mob boss Lucky Lobo. Eventually turning against Lobo, Sundown, with Spider-Man's help, was able to expose his crimes. Afterward, Sundown declined Spider-Man's offer of becoming a superhero in favor of a normal life.[4]

In other media[edit]


  • Green Goblin and Hobgoblin appear in the 1994 Spider-Man TV series.
  • Both versions of Green Goblin appear in Ultimate Spider-Man. In addition to the two different Green Goblins, the two-part episode "HYDRA Attacks" featured the HYDRA Goblins that were created by Doctor Octopus where he used the Goblin Formula on some HYDRA Agents.


In the film The Amazing Spider-Man, Van Adder was originally reported as the character that Irrfan Khan would play until he was revealed to be portraying Dr. Ratha.[5][6]

Video games[edit]


  1. ^ Peter Parker: Spider-Man #-1
  2. ^ The Amazing Spider-Man vol. 4 #4
  3. ^ Glenn Greenberg (w), Kyle Hotz (p), Al Kyle Hotz, Al Milgrom, and Jerome Moore (i), Mark Bernardo (col), Comicraft (let), Ralph Macchio (ed). "The Osborn Journals" Spider-Man: The Osborn Journals #1 (February 1997), United States: Marvel Comics
  4. ^ Untold Tales of Spider-Man 1997 Annual
  5. ^ "'Amazing Spider-Man' Website Is Crawling With Plot Details". TheWrap.com. December 15, 2011. Retrieved June 26, 2015. 
  6. ^ Kit, Borys (June 6, 2015). "EXCLUSIVE: Spider-Man Gets a Set of Parents and Another Villain". The Hollywood Reporter. Nielsen Company. Retrieved December 6, 2010.