Cover art for podcast Capes On the Couch - Where Comics Get Counseling

Capes On the Couch - Where Comics Get Counseling

155 EpisodesProduced by Capes on the Couch: Where Comics Get CounselingWebsite

Saving the world doesn't necessarily mean you go home happy. How's the mental health of your favorite superhero? A comic aficionado and a board-certified psychiatrist look at the various neuroses of your favorite heroes and villains and provide options for treatment.


Issue 28 - Norman Osborn

It's our Halloween episode all about the Green Goblin, Norman Osborn. Then again, Anthony would rather be in Kamchatka than celebrate Halloween, but he managed anyway. Listen now!



  • Introduction

  • Background (10:56)

    • Created by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko in Amazing Spider-Man #14 (July 1964)

    • Head of Oscorp, a chemical company – discovered a secret formula created by his former business partner Mendell Stromm – attempted to recreate it, but it exploded in his face, driving him insane

    • He decided to become a crime boss in NYC, and chose Spider-Man as his nemesis – unsuccessful in several attempts to defeat him

    • Learns that Spider-Man is Peter Parker, a classmate of his son Harry, and attacks him – in the ensuing battle, Norman gets hit with electrical wires, giving him amnesia – Peter destroys the costume and uses this opportunity to start again

    • Norman regains his memories and kidnaps Gwen Stacy – during the rescue attempt, Gwen dies, and Peter, driven by rage, nearly beats Norman to death, but he is impaled by his own glider

    • Goblin formula gives him healing factor, so he breaks out of morgue – went to Europe to be with his illegitimate children he fathered with Gwen Stacy before he killed her (ugh)

    • Orchestrates Clone Saga (ugh again)

    • Returns to public eye and control of Oscorp – buys the Bugle and proceeds to torment Jameson, Ben Urich, and Peter Parker – uses a stand-in as the Goblin for a period

    • Joined a cult, the Gathering of Five – received “gift” of Insanity, and defeated by Spider-Man again

    • Went after Jessica Jones after she helped reveal that Osborn was the Goblin again – he was defeated this time by Luke Cage

    • Masterminded a plan while in prison to go after Spider-Man, and created a team of villains, but was countered by SHIELD and other heroes

    • Civil War – Osborn put in charge of Thunderbolts, a team of reformed villains who have to bring in unregistered heroes – uses them to go after Spider-Man

    • Secret Invasion – kills the Skrull queen Veranke, and uses this to gain control of HAMMER – creates Dark Avengers, until that falls apart

    • Seige – Osborn (under the influence of Loki) attacks Asgard (floating over Oklahoma) – manipulates Sentry into his lackey, except Sentry turns into Void, who destroys Asgard – Osborn driven mad by this

    • Becomes Goblin King – builds army to attack Superior Spider-Man, but is defeated by Peter Parker (after given control of his body back by Otto)

    • Later steals Carnage symbiote and becomes Red Goblin – defeated by Spider-Man once again, and driven insane so that he believes that Spider-Man was Norman Osborn and he was Cletus Kasady


  • Issues (23:47)

    • Early on, treats Peter Parker as surrogate son and distances himself from Harry

    • Insanity caused by Goblin formula – driven to constantly attack Spider-Man – Dissociative identity disorder

    • How does he keep getting positions of authority even with his history?

  • Treatment (48:02)

    • In-universe

    • Out of universe

  • Skit (57:15)

  • Ending


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