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Green Goblin

Marvel Legends
by yo go re

One of the world's greatest heroes, known for iconic red and blue costume, spends most of his time fighting a brilliant billionaire businessman that most of the world believes to be a decent, innocent man, but who actually dresses in an outlandish green and purple costume and wants to destroy the hero. Could be either of two guys, right? Well, if you need another hint, this one doesn't use Kryptonite.

He is Spider-Man's greatest enemy; he has been, almost since the beginning. A maniacal manifestation of Norman Osborn's chemical-induced insanity, the Green Goblin has done more than any other villain to wreck the web-slinger's world. Always, he has terrorized Peter Parker's friends and loved ones. Even his own son - Peter's best friend, Harry - was poisoned by the Goblin legacy. He killed Gwen Stacy, the first great love of Peter's life. And then - years after Spider-Man watched him die, impaled on his own Goblin Glider - Osborn returned to cast a shadow of evil over his hated foe!

The old style of ToyBiz figures stopped in 2000, with the release of Spider-Man Classics. That line was followed by Marvel Legends and the Spider-Man line, giving us hundreds of figures, but we're just now getting a classic version of the Green Goblin? Man, what was the hold-up? It was three years ago that Rustin talked about the Humberto Ramos Green Goblin and how fans wanted a more traditional look. We've been through 11 Spidey series and eight series of ML since then.

The wait, to be honest, was worth it. We did have one pseudo-classic GG figure before, but it was just a repainted Hobgoblin with a new head, and it was only available in an exceedingly rare box set. We really needed a new version. This Goblin is also the same sculpt as the newest Hobgoblin, with a few differences.

First, and most obviously, is the size. The Spider-Man figures have been creeping up in size with every new series (a phenomenon toy collectors know as "size creep"), so now the villains all tower over poor Spidey. Better that than Mattel's head-in-the-ass "no one can be taller than the hero" mentality. Anyway, GG is 6¼" tall, so he's obviously not pulled from the same molds that gave us Hobby, but he is the same sculpt (done by Eric Treadaway and Jim Preziosi of the Four Horsemen, incidentally).

That sculpt is very nice, particularly on the green sections of the costume. The purple all looks like slightly rumpled cloth, but the diamond scale pattern on his arms and legs is most impressive. The box set Goblin had a mask that was inspired by Alex Ross' artwork - so he had translucent yellow goggles, a pretty restrained mouth and an overall mediocre design. Now we're back to the classic look, with big yellow eyes and a huge, toothy grin. His ears are huge and pointy, and his hat trails off behind him. Other than the head, the only other differences in the sculpt are the boots - Green Goblin's are actually tamer than Hobgoblin's - and the shorts.

Gobby's got a few well-chosen accessories. First is the Goblin-standard manpurse, the satchel in which he stores all his pumpkin bombs. This isn't a re-used piece, and it looks very good draping nicely over his chest. The figure includes one pumpkin bomb, but it's glued fast to a peg on his palm. You can pry it off with some work, but wouldn't it have been better to just leave it loose? It's an accessory - it shouldn't be glued on.

He's also got a small base, in the form of his Goblin Glider. It's a much more traitional look than the Ramos Goblin's, but there's still a distinct difference between this one and the ones in the comic. Rather than straight, flat wings, the Glider has a big curve that seems more natural, as the rider can balance better and grip with his knees, if need be. The glider rests on a 3" swooping stand that connects to a bat-shaped platform. Like the Marvel Select Green Goblin, you can remove the ML Goblin's glider from its stand when you want to play rather than display.

Collect all six figures in ML13 and you can build a seventh: the world-destroying Onslaught. Green Goblin has Onslaught's left leg, which is a bit strange looking - rather bestial. The figure also includes a reprint of Amazing Spider-Man #122, a fairly momentous issue. It was in #121 that the Goblin killed Gwen Stacy, and this issue shows Spidey's revenge. If you've seen the movie, you've seen the scene: Spidey is beating on Norman, who uses hidden controls to position his crippled glider behind the hero. The jets fire, and the glider shoots forward - but Peter's spider-sense warns him and he ducks out of the way just in time, leaving the Goblin impaled on his own weapon. It was a remarkable moment in comics, and it's handled beautifully by Stan Lee and Gil Kane.

There's a variant Goblin in this series, and he is infuriatingly hard to find. Whereas the extra Abomination lingers on shelves and even Crown of Lies Loki was relatively easy to find, the variant GG was just way too popular to stand a chance of being seen on the pegs. The variant depicts the famous moment when the months of secrecy were discarded, and Peter Parker (and the readers, as well) finally learning that his greatest foe was also his best friend's dad. The vaiant features Norman Osborn, unmasked and ragingly insane, clutching his rubber Goblin mask in his right hand. It's very cool, and understandably in-demand.

ML13 also has a new extra packed in with the figures. There's a VS. card, from the CCG of the same name, but those have been an on again, off again insert since ML8. This time, however, we get a diorama backdrop display thing printed on the cardboard insert. Cut it out, stick in in the included stand and you've got a nifty little scene for your figure. GG gets a New York skyline, with the Empire State Building and an Avengers Quinjet. If you can't think of a dozen Marvel characters who would look right at home in front a shot like this, then you're not trying.

-- 09/30/06


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