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?
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.