REVIEW: ‘Gold Goblin,’ Issue #1

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Gold Goblin #1 - But Why Tho

Gold Goblin #1 is published by Marvel, written by Christopher Cantwell, art by Lan Medina, colours by Antonio Fabela and letters by Joe Sabino. Norman Osborn has had all of the evils removed by the Sin-Eater, turning him into a changed man. Now he is reformed and aiding Spider-Man. But some matters he may take into his own hands.

There is a strange beginning to the story, showing an unsettling part of the narrative. Where Osborn is trying to start a new life with his family and be a good man. But obstructing that are these intrusive thoughts of his past coinciding with the present. These are intense moments, escalating as the issue progresses. They aren’t quite at the level of a horror, but it is very close. This is especially the case towards the end of the comic, with an unsettling and frightening scene. Then comes a brilliant chase and aerial fight scene with someone close to a goblin. It gives a hint at the type of foe Osborn may face. The constant introduction of the flashbacks is shocking and intense, but sometimes threatens to derail the story entirely. They are welcome and dramatic though, feeding into the heavy theme of guilt.

Osborn’s conflict makes the issue unpredictable yet interesting. Everything we know about the man has been changed, but that history doesn’t go away. He murdered people. Many people. And those ghosts are coming back to haunt him. It is difficult to get a bead on what he is like now, as that past is a dominant force. He is uneasy and nervous—something that is alien to the man. The supporting cast is rather unknown in Gold Goblin #1 as well. Peter Parker makes an appearance, but whether he will assist as Spider-Man is yet to be seen. 

The art is excellent for much of the comic, but for one glaring flaw. The art style by Medina is perfect for the unsettling and creepy parts. The hallucinations blur the line between being uneasy whilst appearing real to Osborn. Much of the imagery is haunting, getting in close to the main character as we see injuries or gory details. The battle at the end is full of energy. But the glaring flaw is the design of the Gold Goblin, which I find disappointing. It lacks defining features and is just dull in general. The Green Goblin suit had so many brilliant details that evoked emotions. This armour invokes nothing, hiding Osborn’s face entirely so it is this smooth, uncharismatic bore. Not even the glider rescues the design.

The colours are what give the costume some points. The bright gold is beautiful and rich, although the white is bland and uninspiring. But around the armour are terrific colours. These are darker and creepier. The light can look sickly and eerie. Some of the hallucinations and visions have vicious colours attributed to them that are purposely overbearing. The lettering is very easy to read as well as dynamic.

Gold Goblin #1 is well crafted but lacks personality. The concept of having Norman Osborn go straight is interesting and has been treated well in other Spider-Man books. But the first issue needs to define what he is like now, otherwise, his old, villainous self will be wanted back. The characters aren’t gripping enough yet, which could be altered in later issues when they have settled in. And it is a struggle to warm to the new costume. Personally, I find it boring and restricting, which are not adjectives that can describe the rest of the book. The art is generally fantastic and there are the foundations of a great book.

Gold Goblin #1 is available where comics are sold.


Gold Goblin #1
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TL;DR

Gold Goblin #1 is well crafted but lacks personality. The concept of having Norman Osborn go straight is interesting and has been treated well in other Spider-Man books. But the first issue needs to define what he is like now, otherwise, his old, villainous self will be wanted back.

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