It looks as though Norman Osborn is about to become the latest madman to wear the Carnage symbiote.
In December, Marvel teased that prolific writer Dan Slott would be leaving the pages of Amazing Spider-Man. Slott joined up as main writer on the book in November 2010. He's taken the wall-crawler through some of his most incredible adventures to date, including "Spider-Verse" and "Spider-Island." For his final arc, bearing the appropriate title "Go Down Swinging," Slott would be unveiling a new enemy to challenge Spider-Man: the Red Goblin. Now, at last, it looks as though the Red Goblin's identity has finally been revealed.
Although Slott has been spoiler-shy when it comes to social media, Amazon UK don't seem to mind dropping a major spoiler. Their description for Slott and Stuart Immonen's final arc reveals that Norman Osborn is about to become the latest host for the Carnage symbiote.
"Go down Swinging! Norman Osborn has finally found a way to become a Goblin again and is gunning for Spider-Man in the biggest way possible. His new weapon? The Carnage Symbiote! There’s never been a bigger tougher Goblin/Spider-Man story than this! Collecting: Amazing Spider-Man 797-801"
It's certainly a thrilling idea. Slott has been building up to the most dramatic confrontation between Spider-Man and Norman Osborn to date. Osborn was injected with a serum that negated the effects of the Goblin serum, meaning he's lost his powers. Unfortunately, that seems to have made him all the more dangerous. Osborn's hatred of Spider-Man remains unchanged, and his ruthless intellect is focused on the wall-crawler's destruction in a way he could never have managed before.
Slott has enjoyed teasing that Osborn is travelling the world, seeking a perfect power-up. In Amazing Spider-Man #32, for example, Osborn turned to the mystic arts. He was given a haunting vision of what he could accomplish if he actually became a sorcerer, but thankfully the world's mystic orders turned him away. Needless to say, Norman Osborn doesn't take rejection well. Further issues have shown him attempting to break into the Sanctum Sanctorum, clearly hunting down further sorcerous powers.
That had led fans to theorize that the Red Goblin was actually a gift from Mephisto, one of Marvel's prominent Hell-Lords. Slott fanned the infernal flames of that rumor on social media, but that didn't mean much since he's always quite enjoyed teasing fans. Instead, if this listing is correct the Red Goblin is the result of Osborn's merging with the Carnage symbiote.
This is definitely a chilling idea. Carnage - likely to be introduced to moviegoers in this year's Venom - is one of Spider-Man's most dangerous foes. He's a psychopathic murderer. It's been teased that his symbiote is just as insane as its most famous host, Cletus Kasady. No doubt the combination of the symbiote's bloodlust and Osborn's hatred will lead to the Red Goblin launching a massive attack on Spider-Man.
This looks set to be one of Slott's most memorable arcs - and, coming from the creator of Superior Spider-Man and the mastermind behind "Spider-Island," that's saying something. Fans can expect action to come to a head in Amazing Spider-Man #800, later this year.