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Member Since: Sun Sep 03, 2017

Kindred is delivered into the hands of Norman Osborn and Wilson Fisk, Norman still has a clear conscience but makes use of his usual manipulative charm to woo Fisk into letting him have custody of Kindred where he can begin to rebuild his bond with his son. Meantime, we learn from flashbacks Mary Jane was fine and helped Norman spring his trap on Kindred. Meantime, Carlie and Overdrive head off for a dinner date and Aunt May runs into Martin Li, the former Mister Negative.

My thoughts:

Overall, this is a strong character piece for Norman, we get to see him rely on old tricks, and we also don't quite believe he's 'all there' as it pertains to going fully straight. It's certainly a new dimension for the character, and neither reader or even writer I feel knows which way the wind ought to blow for Norman. This does feel like seat-of-your-pants worthy stuff, but somehow it manages to engage you even as the promise of answers continues to diminish and dwindle.

The comics' fresh format of gradually bleeding into one epic event story after another proves exhausting in a positive way, taking you on a rollercoaster with no sign of slowing down, taking Peter and his friends straight through a harrowing aftermath that could unravel even more between them once they stop for a breather.

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Member Since: Sun Apr 19, 2020
Posts: 22

I'm totally ok with Kingpin and his men not storming in on Peter unmasked
To all comic book writers, please stop with identity reveals unless you're going to pay the story off in a realistic way.

I'm totally fine with the 'twist' that Kingpin has seemingly captured Kindred.

And now it turns out that Last Remains was only designed to be first chapter of a rollercoaster ride, it allows one to be more sympathetic. I know I believed it to be the end of the Kindred storyline.

So far this new arc is well played and it will be interesting to see Mr. Negative back.

Does Peter change his costume because May dies?

"Where your treasure is, so there is your heart." "It's nice to be important but it's more important to be nice."
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Member Since: Sat Oct 08, 2016

I am concerned that Norman will have a sudden moment where he becomes his old self again. Its a scary thought that his sins are out there and if they bump into him.... brutal.
It would be more interesting if he did become his old self again, but not fully. Still evil but not so flat out reprehensible. Norman has become almost unusable as a character for development because there is NO good in him. Even villains need a good side.
Hell even Joker has had this treatment in White Knight, so its not unprecedented. I love the White Knight series by the way, all the characterisation in it is brill!

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Member Since: Sun Apr 19, 2020
Posts: 22

I *really* liked Norman in Thunderbolts and Dark Avengers because it felt as if he was moving somewhere. Siege brought it all down but that felt like an ending.

Then he became the Goblin King - one of the worst, lazy and uninspired reveals for a mystery I've ever read. It just felt played out.

Since then I've felt quite exhausted with his ongoing presence. Like a lot of Marvel characters, he feels overdone and mined dry. Returning to fight Peter feels like just that... a return. A regression. Not a progression. Peter doesn't need Norman as his big bad anymore. He's got plenty of other rogues.

It's a shame that comics hit a creative stagnation in the late 90's when all the characters got stuck in a status quo and weren't allowed to develop. Even those that do, were often developed in a way that just seemed... weird and unattached to their previous developments. Like Spidey joining the Avengers was done in such a way that it ignored all of his previous reasons for not doing so. I'm not saying he shouldn't have joined them, just that the way it came together cr*pped on years of previous characterisation because the current at the time team of editors or writers wanted to jump somewhere for a cheap pop without allowing the stories to develop naturally. I will say this for Spencer but his stories DO feel as if he's working to a place. He seems to know where he's going. But 20 years of Marvel writers and editors seem to have been lost in event mania and it's ruined logical character progression by ignoring the fact these are SERIAL characters, not self contained Elseworlds.

Also, death lost meaning to the degree now the X-Men can all die every week and it's part of the story. So where's the risk? I know Peter will never die. And if he does he'll come back with a bullc*rap explanation...

So I'd say Norman should die to give some developmental closure but I don't even have faith in that answer being worth it.

"Where your treasure is, so there is your heart." "It's nice to be important but it's more important to be nice."
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Member Since: Sat Oct 08, 2016

Killing Norman would be a shame I think, and he is fated to be what he is and always was, a cold wicked personality. There seems to be a lack of self-awareness though that has made him boring to read at times in recent years.
IF the Sin Eater experience allows Norman to still be the same old SOB as usual but while having him genuinely concerned for Harry, then there will be more to play with.

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Member Since: Sun Apr 19, 2020
Posts: 22

Totally respect that, but this is the thing... Norman should have *always* been concerned, albeit disappointed, with Harry. Just having that character wrinkle immediately adds texture to him. He shouldn't have to have magic Sin-Eating happen.

But to me even this is not enough. Even with this, what is anybody going to *do* with him? He's going to fight Peter again. And he might blow up someone like Jonah or MJ or May or Gwen or Ms. Lion or something, or drop 'em from a bridge or Goblin them up like Carlie or... yawn. I just kind of feel he's exhausted as a villain.

I *do* think this is an endemic problem with a lot of Marvel characters however - too much continuity which sags under the serial fiction, and either too little progression (I.e. nobody stays dead) or far too much to the extent that some things change too far. I've no idea WTF the X-Men have been, for example, for 20 years now.

To be fair I've felt that writers like Slott and Spencer *have* tried to make real progress without taking the characters so far they may be something else but modern day comics writes big events and sometimes some gambles worked and some don't. The problem comes is when previous stories don't matter. If theirs don't matter why should I invest in yours? Because the next writer will tell me yours doesn't matter.

With Norman he was a classic 60's villain, then became a really good version of a Luthor style archetype Mastermind in the 90's, then he started escalating to EVERYTHING IS DOWN TO ME a tad too much in the 00's before Bendis and Millar and the 00's crowd decided to basically have him rule America. Which totally fit previous versions of him keeping him recognisable AND moving him on from Spidey. But then Slott decided to have bin Goblin King and frankly it was reductive. He's already been the secret mastermind of a million Spidey plots now - The Clone Saga, Marvel Knights, The Peter as Goblin story, Spider-Hunt, when he almost killed Flash... I didn't want to see him masterminding anything else and yet...

Then he becomes Carnage... He's a Goblin AND a Symbiote? Woopie! Anyway.

So sincere question. It's clear I would kill him, maybe having him redeem Harry in doing so, but I just don't think there's anywhere for him to go that isn't played out. But what would you do? Do you see a place for him? Genuinely interested to know.

(I know you're not disagreeing fully with me because you said fully Evil Norman is becoming unusable which is sort of my point but I'm also saying I don't think even a face turn for Norman can save the character if nobody knows where to take him)

"Where your treasure is, so there is your heart." "It's nice to be important but it's more important to be nice."
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Member Since: Sat Oct 08, 2016

Brilliant reply. I’m only on a mobile right now so I think I can only suggest what I think would work. I’d like Norman to see what his associates on other worlds are up to and how their grandiose schemes never work out for them. I’d like to see him scale back his activities to being a successful crimelord and industrialist. I want to see the Green Goblin as a chess player again not a cackling Bond villain. I feel Kingsley stole that mantle from him while Norman was supposed to be dead.
Also I’m not sure that making Norman remain cured isn’t a good idea. I don’t see him becoming a hero or even an anti-hero. I’d like to see an answer to the question of how Norman can live with his past actions if now he feels genuine guilt about them? If that means suiting up to be Green Goblin and dying heroically to try to put right what his life in the end stood for then that is a good ending. I think Norman being killed and becoming the Spectre to save as many lives as he has ruined is a great fate for the character. Clearly if he is now cleansed those things still happened but Norman would potentially never do them now. Therefore the only shot at redemption in an actual comicbook arc for the character is to make it so he is given a choice of heaven or hell. Good or bad, his decision.
Then if they want to bring back an evil Norman bring back the Spider-Man Norman who was smashed to pieces by Doc Ock, who is nearly identical to our own. Imagine the horror for a cleansed Norman facing his worst elements as a Spider person.
If after all this the dust settles our Norman is finally dead I’d hope the character development is strong enough that they don’t just bring him back again.
Show me evil has consequences and that good Norman has to make up for all he did when he was bad, an impossible task. Hell you could even call the arc, The Wolf You Feed.
I remember this quote from Stargate:

Shifu: Oma teaches that the true nature of a Man is decided in the battle between his conscious mind and the desires of his sub-conscious. Oma teaches that the evil of my sub-conscious is to strong to resist. The only way to win, is to deny it battle.

Dr. Jackson: You see the thing is, we can’t deny the battle against the Goa’uld forever. The information contained within your buried memories could really help us.

Shifu: You have chosen a path that leads to me because of this.

Dr. Jackson: Yes.

Shifu: You must release your own burden before you will find your own way again.

Dr. Jackson: Yeah, someone else once said that to me… thing is, this is my way. I chose this path to honor Sha’re’s strength, and ultimately it isn’t just about me, or you for that matter.

Shifu: I understand.

Dr. Jackson: The To’kra have a way for you to remember only certain things. How Goa’uld technology works, their weaknesses, and then afterwards, maybe Oma can help you forget again.

Shifu: If the instrument is broken, the music will be sour.

Dr. Jackson: The music does not play the musician.

Shifu: Normally there’s truth in that.

Dr. Jackson: Really? Good, because I really didn’t have any idea what I was talking about… All I know is that this is very important, or I wouldn’t ask.

Major Carter: What did you do to Daniel?

Shifu: Dreams sometimes teach. I am teaching him.

Major Carter: Teaching him what?

Shifu: That the true nature of a Man is determined in the battle between his conscious mind and his subconscious, and that the evil of my subconscious is to strong to resist.

Wouldn’t this pose a question about Norman that is a bit different to that recently posed of Doctor Octopus?

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Member Since: Sun Apr 19, 2020
Posts: 22

Really interesting response from you, straight back atcha! Thanks for your post!

I'd in an ideal world like to see Norman more like what he originally was - industrialist and crime boss - especially if he goes after other heroes and villains not Spidey... but he's developed too far to put the genie back in the bottle. So I can't have the only Norman I'd be interested to see.

He can't realistically be an industrialist. He was publically unmasked as the Goblin too many times to the degree he had to change his face to hide, and if the genie is put in the bottle again, it's regression and bad writing which is worse.

He can't now have a public life so angry development of him in that arena is just off the table for me. Which limits his character. You can have villains who've served time become publically involved, like Vulture has occasionally, but Norman has killed too many people and been in too much a position of abused power that he can't just go straight to jail as soon as he is publically revealed.

This limits what you can do with Norman. He either always NEEDS to be either a Goblin or a criminal mastermind or something... but what's his aim? End goal? Usually torturing Peter which is boring now. How about going after Luke Cage for unmasking him? Or picking back up his Octopus feud? How about going after the 'masterminds' he talked about in Marvel Knights Spider-Man... indeed THAT plot line could be interesting because he could become a 'villain broker' like them and not need a civilian identity.

In terms of wanting to redeem himself or make up with Harry... well again Norman has to be arrested by the authorities. You go down that route and it has to take itself into account.

Whether doing a story where he has remorse for his actions or not is interesting would depend on your mileage but I'm... just not interested. Sorry! \:\(

What's the Octopus Norman Spider-Man you mentioned?

I really like the idea of a story where Evil has consequences but I'm not sure how to have Norman play that idea out without a death or imprisonment. He can have a redemption arc but as you suggest making him a full on hero might be bad taste. This isn't a bank robber or anything. He's a full on sociopathic Mass murderer.

"Where your treasure is, so there is your heart." "It's nice to be important but it's more important to be nice."
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