We were given a hint of the new Green Goblin when he appeared in Spectacular Spider-Man #225, June cover date. In October, Green Goblin #1 was released. My first thought was - 'Oh no, yet another spinoff series cashing on Spider-Mania.'
Philip Urich is working as an intern at the Daily Bugle. His uncle, Ben Urich, is an investigative reporter there. Uncle Ben is working on a new book - "Dynasty of Evil", the story of the Osborn Family and the Green Goblin. While investigating an old Osborn warehouse, Philip stumbles onto a Green Goblin lair, falls into some green goop, and then has to don the costume to rescue his uncle.
Seems the combination of the green goop and the electric circuitry in the Goblin's mask turns the dead-end Generation X-er into the manaical butt-kicking super-powered Green dude on the Bat Glider. Philip is a nice enough guy who got stuck in his older brother's shadow, fell in with some bad friends, and is misunderstood by his parents. Single and shy by day but a hero-by-night. He comes across as a cross between a young Peter Parker, and Jim Carrey in "The Mask".
Actually the parallels with both Peter and The Mask are rife, but comic books have never been ashamed to steal stuff from other popular culture - and popular culture has returned the crime on many an occasion. Since neither seem to want to call the Culture Police, then let's just ignore a little plagarism, and get on with the action!
This is done well. Philip is convincing, and fresh. In fact, the whole story has a real fresh feel to it, and the art doesn't let it down. There's no big hype here, no big guys with big guns or women in skimpy outfits (well, not till Joystick in issue #3). There's no cosmic characters, world powers, millionares, nuclear bombs, etc, etc. There's just good characterisations and good plot.
In fact, if you're fed up with buying 5 Spider-Titles plus Unlimited, Team-Ups, Limited Series and bookshelf one-offs - then why not dump the lot and subscribe to Green Goblin instead. I'm tempted.
This would have to be my favourite new title this year. Five webs.