Marvel Comics has teased that the next Spider-Man event will introduce a brand new villain — the Red Goblin. Dan Slott took over The Amazing Spider-Man as sole writer back in 2010. Since then, he's taken the web-slinger through a range of events, including "Spider-Island" and "Spider-Verse." Slott has long been working on an arc featuring Norman Osborn, better known to Spider-Man fans as the Green Goblin. Although Osborn has been stripped of his powers, he's still obsessive in his hatred of the wall-crawler.
Now, Marvel has revealed that the "final battle" between Spider-Man and the Green Goblin will kick off in March 2018. Even more intriguingly, the event will introduce a brand new Goblin: a Red Goblin.
Take a look at the very first tease and image of the new Marvel Comics villain in the trailer released below:
It's an intriguing image, not least because he seems to be a supernatural villain. You'll note the demonic tail, and the fiery energy around the Goblin's mouth.
Significantly, The Amazing Spider-Man #32 revealed that Norman Osborn is turning to the mystic arts. The issue carefully paralleled the journey of Doctor Strange. It saw Osborn seek out a mentor in the Himalayas. Osborn gazed into a mystic artifact known as the Emerald Oracle of Ikkon, and glimpsed a future in which he became a powerful sorcerer. Needless to say, the vision proved that he would use those powers for evil, and the monks turned him down. Crucially, they told him that all other orders would be warned: Norman Osborn would not be trained in the dark arts.
But Osborn has never been the kind of man to take rejection well. He's since continued his quest for mystical power, even attempting to break into Doctor Strange's Sanctum Sanctorum. Given the Red Goblin's demonic appearance, it seems he'll stumble on a source of mystic power after all — and gain a sinister ally.
The Red Goblin's appearance is disturbingly reminiscent of Mephisto, one of Marvel's most prominent Hell Lords. Although Mephisto hasn't traditionally been associated with Spider-Man, all that changed in 2007's "One More Day." This arc saw Spider-Man sign up to a deal with the Devil. He agreed to a deal in which Mephisto saved his Aunt May's life. In payment, Mephisto wiped Spider-Man's marriage to Mary-Jane out of continuity. Norman Osborn has a history of discovering Spider-Man's deepest, darkest secrets. If he's still digging into the mystic arts, it would make sense for him to uncover this one.
At this stage, we only have theories. All we can say for certain is that the Red Goblin has a clearly demonic appearance, reminiscent of Mephisto. That strongly suggests Osborn's pursuit of power has led him to a very dangerous ally indeed. If that's the case, Spider-Man could be facing his most terrifying threat yet.