Harry Osborn was the son of wealthy industrialist Norman Osborn, and often felt like he led his father down. He however graduated highschool and then enrolled in Empire State University with his friend Gwen Stacy. They rapidly became friends with fellow classmate Flash Thompson. Flash was a star football player and tried to introduce Peter Parker to Gwen and Harry. Peter was worried about his Aunt May being poisoned by his radioactive blood at the time and so didn’t respond to Flash's attempt at introductions very well. Gwen, Harry and Flash didn’t appreciate Peter's seemingly "snobbish" attitude towards them at the time. This caused the group to first dislike Peter.
Harry Osborn was created by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko and first appeared in Amazing Spider-Man Vol.1 issue 31 (1965).
Major Story Arcs
As a consequence of Peter's apparent snobbish attitude, Flash and Harry tried to annoy Peter. Little by little though, Peter reconciled with Harry and they became friends. That is why when Norman Osborn, Harry’s father, paid for a huge apartment for two, Harry asked Peter to be his housemate and Peter accepted.
Everything in Harry's life seemed great. He had good friends, and a gorgeous girlfriend (Mary Jane). But then MJ dumped him and his father started putting intense pressure on him by laying all of his hopes on Harry. As a consequence of all this, Harry fell on drugs. Peter, as his roommate luckily soon found out and tried to help Harry as much as he could. The largest battle would be for Harry himself, however. Harry went to Detox, which healed him physically but left him still psychologically weak.
Legacy of Death
After the death of the Green Goblin during a battle against Spider-Man and the discovery of the real identity of Spider-Man, Harry Osborn became totally mad. He decided to follow in the footsteps of his father and become the new Green Goblin. He was defeated by Spider-Man and ended up in a psychiatric hospital.
Harry would regain his previous life. He met a girl named Liz Allen and she became his girlfriend. After a number of months together, Harry proposed to her and Liz accepted. The married couple were soon joined by a child together, named Norman Osborn Jr, in honor of his seemingly dead father. Harry however sometimes had trouble running from the hideous legacy that his father left him as the Green Goblin. He was treated for this by a psychiatrist, but this doctor turned out to be quite insane himself, donning the Green Goblin suit. At first, it was thought that Harry had taken over the identity of his father, but soon it was discovered by Spider-Man that it was in fact Harry's own psychiatrist.
Falling into Madness and Seeming Death
When Hobgoblin tried to obtain the Green Goblin formula from Harry, Harry decided to again wear the costume of Green Goblin in order to protect his family. But Harry fell into madness and began to attack Spider-Man. During a battle, Harry launched a bomb inside the Osborn Foundation where Norman Osborn Jr and Spider-Man were. Realizing what he had done, Harry regained his sanity and saved everyone including Spider-Man. Harry collapsed dead outside the building, poisoned by the formula. He died in the end.
Brand New Day
The Brand New Day arc actually resurrected Harry (seemingly to have never died so technically he was not resurrected i guess) he was actually studying abroad and getting his life back in order, or as normal as a millionaire play boy with super powers, and son of insane ex-super villain father with ultimate power and control could. Harry comes back into Peters life seemingly never to have died, recovered from his drug addiction and made amends for his actions as the 2nd Green Goblin. As usual he is still quite the ladies man and the foil to his best-est friend in the world Peter Parker. Of course for anyone in Peter Parker's life things are never boring or quiet for very long. Harry is actually in a good place in his life but of course this does not last, he has found found love with a girl named Lily Hollister whose father is running for mayor. His dad, Norman Osborn aka Green Goblin aka Iron Patriot dis mantling S.H.I.E.L.D, forming H.A.M.M.E.R in its place and rising to power during Dark Reign this is only part of Harry's troubles. While he maybe happy a new foe starts creating discord for Spider-man, the Hollister campaign and well everyone in the city. The new mysterious foe is another Goblin type enemy named Menace, of course Peter fears it to be Harry, which it is not, but things do not get better from there. While attacking the Hollister campaign Harry actually resorts to once again wearing his goblin outfit and hopping on a goblin glider to help Spider-man stop Menace, though this goblin "flash back" moment is temporary it still worries Peter. Even more amazing it still get worse for Harry ... one night he walks in on Lily changing, but she was not changing clothes she was changing from her Menace form. MENACE IS HARRY'S GIRLFRIEND LILY. He watched in horror as she was not wearing a costume but she physically changed shape, from the horrid gray horned goblin into the beautiful blond Lily. Lily reveals she was exposed to the goblin formula when she happened to come across a cache of hidden goblin gear but the two work things out ... sort of. They decide she has to somehow be cured of her goblin abilities but ... they break up then get back together get engaged and unengaged and Harry even becomes a father to be when she reveals that she is pregnant with Harry's child. The news of her pregnancy causes him to think differently and do something he hoped he would not have to.
Lily's pregnancy leads Harry to join his father’s regime, Norman had offered him a spot in his "company" but Harry declined, but in his time of need he felt he had to. Harry is surprised to hear his father to be happy he joined but more shocked when he said he was proud of him. Norman even had a plan for Harry which involved something called the "American Son" project. He joins his dad but actually, Harry's main focus is to help cure and protect Lily and their child she is carrying. Harry is actually and unknowingly playing into his father’s hand as he becomes the pawn Norman was hoping for. Spider man infiltrates Avenger Tower to get Harry out of there but is eventually found out, mainly due to Harry calling him out by saying: "That's not your Spider Man."
While Spider-Man is beaten and tortured Harry learns a lot...... I mean A LOT. Revelations galore, it is eventually revealed how truly heartless and selfish his father, Norman, actually is. Norman had planned on using Harry as a new addition to the Avengers not because he would be a good addition but because having a patriotic father son duo as the face of the Avengers would help with Normans public image and relations. He also thought he would seem more palatable to the public with the America Son by his side because of his past. The creepiest part was Normans back up plan for his son, of course Norman planned for Harry's betrayal or his lack of "results" as American Son. He decided that if Harry did not suffice or double cross him he would have Harry become an "example hero" of sorts and actually become a martyr to help his father’s image, basically he would have Harry killed and make it seem like he died a noble death. Possibly the worst revelation is Harry can look forward to the birth of his new baby brother not his son...pretty not cool how that goes down. Menace/Lily has had a further transformation thanks to tampering courtesy of Norman. Turns out Lily never wanted cured and Norman used her to get Harry to join him. So basically Harry is not only heart broken but also betrayed, and used. His experience and turmoil with the Avengers comes to an explosive and brutal conclusion with armor vs armor, ex goblin vs ex goblin, father vs son Iron Patriot vs American Son battle that ends quite unexpectedly. Harry of course dons the American Son armor, but for a more detailed account refer to the American Son character profile.
Sometime later Harry decides to go to a psychiatrist to help him with his recent ordeal while there he is offered narcotics by the doctor (who was unaware of his past addiction issues) and Harry inclines and accepts the prescription. Since the falling out with his father Harry no longer has millions in the bank. He is now a hard working janitor at a coffee shop but a surprise visit from the newly returned Mary Jane Watson reveals how desperate he has become. Harry has had to resort to living in the janitors office. Luckily for Harry Peter actually offers his old room at Aunt Mays house for him to stay at. Harry of course accepts graciously and lets Pete know hes a great friend but turns out it was not Peter...but it was Peter...well his face at least. The real Peter had been kidnapped by his old nemesis the Chameleon, sure he thought he had killed Peter like he does most identities he takes but he always help that person out or those he associates with. Well after Peter dispatched the Chameleon he starts looking for a new place to stay and one stop he makes is at his Aunt Mays. To Peters surprise he sees Harry on the couch getting cozy with his cousins and he realizes what the Chameleon did so Peter leaves still searching for a new home. Back to the danger part of being friends with Peter Parker, while Peter/Spider-man deals with a new foe, Raptor, who thinks Pete is Ben Riley and killed his family he goes after Aunt Mays house. Peter rushes to make sure his family is alright but Raptor is already there holding Peters cousins and Harry at gun point. Luckily during the conflict between Kaine, Peter and Raptor they all get set free and all thanks to Harry tackling Kaine. After the fire is put out, three disappear, and the cops leave Peter sits with an ice pack on his head claiming to have been thrown through the wall. Harry even remarks how much the big hairy guy looked like Peter, if he bulked up a bit and grew a beard.
Earth 1610 (Ultimate Universe)
Like the 616 version he is son of Norman Osborn a rich industrialist and creator of Oscorp and he befriends Peter Parker. Harry is attacked by his father after he originally becomes the Green Goblin and after the goblin killed his mother. Harry goes to live with his uncle for awhile after the attack but eventually goes back to his father. Harry is brainwashed by his hypnotherapist Miles warren to repress memories of previous events like his mothers death, seeing his father transform and countless other traumatic things. During a battle with spider man Harry is able to stop his father by reaching out to him (which was a surprise and it was a surprise it worked due to their history and personalities). Harry is later taken in to S.H.I.E.L.D custody "for his protection" but he is eventually used to bargain with Norman. Due to to mental tampering by miles Warren, Harry develops a secondary personality known as Shaw, Shaw was created because of influence by Norman via his influence on Harry's psychiatrist (oh what a tangled web). Harry eventually becomes the Ultimate universes version of the Hobgoblin this is due to his exposure to the OZ formula during the initial Oscorp explosion.
Like his father the Ultimate Green Goblin, Harry posses a goblin form that grants him super human strength, durability, amazing reflexes ,stamina, healing factor, pyrokinesis and limited sanity (its possible this is mainly because of Norman and Miles Warrens mental influence and not the OZ formula but the Oz formula does have an affect because of its side effects). Unlike his doppleganger, the Green Goblin, Harry's goblin form is Orange and has a much more demonic appearance. In a fight with Spiderman Harry tries control himself but eventually loses control goes berserk due to the actions of his hidden persona Shaw. Shaw actually turns out to be a henchman that is supposedly a sleeper agent for Norman, his original conception and intent was to break Norman out of jail by causing Harry to transform and using his goblin powers to do this. In an ever so climactic battle against his father Harry meets his demise, because during the battle Norman surprisingly does gain the upper hand during the fight and kills Harry. In a rare act of humanity Norman realizes what he has done and weaps (a little) and begs the S.H.I.E.L.D Agents to kill him. They shoot the crap out of but he survives because he is seen later escaping from the Triskelion.
In Other Media
Harry Osborn was portrayed by actor James Franco in the Sam Raimi trilogy of Spider-Man films. Dane DeHaan took over the role for the Amazing Spider-Man series, which exists in an entirely different continuity.
He is introduced in the first film, Spider-Man, as Peter Parker's high school classmate and only friend. At the end of the movie, Harry swears vengeance on Spider-Man, who he mistakenly believes killed his father.
Spider-Man 2 (2004)
Franco returns in Spider-Man 2. His hatred of Spider-Man leads to a partnership with Doctor Octopus, whose insane research he agrees to fund in exchange for the capture of the vigilante. After unmasking Spider-Man, Harry learns that he is Peter, and is devastated by the betrayal. At the end of the film, he finds his father's Green Goblin arsenal.
Spider-Man 3 (2007)
Harry is then featured as one of the primary antagonists of Spider-Man 3. Now calling himself the New Goblin, Harry attempts to kill Peter, only to lose his memories thanks to a severe head injury. Harry gradually repairs his friendship with Peter, only to blackmail Mary Jane into dumping him as soon as his memories return. After his butler informs Harry that his father died by his own hand, Harry helps Peter in his battle against Venom and the Sandman, and is killed in the process. With his dying breath, he apologizes for his actions, as Peter and Mary Jane weep.
The Amazing Spider-Man 2
Dan DeHaan portrays an alternate version of Harry Osborn in The Amazing Spider-Man 2, which is set in a different continuity than the previous movies. This version of Harry is once again Peter's childhood friend, but like the Spectacular Spider-Man version, actually originates the Green Goblin mantle before his father.
In the movie, Harry is depicted as Norman Osborn's estranged son, who returns to New York to visit his dying father. Just before Norman dies of a rare blood disease (which Harry also has), he tells his son that a transfusion of Spider-Man's blood may be able to save him. Realizing he too is dying, Harry urges his childhood friend Peter to convince Spider-Man to offer up a sample of blood to save him. When Spider-Man (who Harry does not realize is Peter) refuses, he takes actions into his own hands.
Using a prototype suit of battle armor (revealed to him by Felicia Hardy) and a sample of the spider venom that created Spider-Man, Harry transforms into the Green Goblin, and partners with Electro to kill the hero once and for all. Upon discovering that Spider-Man is really Peter, an angered Harry kills Gwen Stacy. After being defeated and imprisoned in the Ravencroft Institute, Harry and his associate Gustav Fiers begin planning to assemble the Sinister Six, with the Rhino as their first recruit.
- Harry appears in Spider-Man 3 and has taken the identity of the New Goblin and tries to kill Peter because he thinks Spider-Man killed his father. Then he had a head injury seeing the error of his and his father's way and helps Spider-Man take down Venom. He is voiced by James Franco
- Harry also appears as the New Goblin in Spider-Man: Friend or Foe voiced by Josh Keaton. He was helping Spider-Man battle the villains, Venom, Doctor Octopus, Sandman and Green Goblin when he was captured by Mysterio's creatures, but didn't appear as a villain or boss, but played as an unlockable character.
- Harry Osborn appears in Spider-Man: The Animated Series as Peter's best friend and former roommate. He is voiced by Gary Imhoff.
- Harry appears in Spider-Man: The New Animated Series voiced by Ian Ziering. He is shown to be a friend of Peter Parker and Mary Jane Watson. He is also blonde (similar to his Ultimate self).
- Harry appears in The Spectacular Spider-Man voiced by James Arnold Taylor. He is Peter's classmate in high school and son of business man Norman Osborn. In the series Harry took a serum called "Globulin Green" to boost his psychical abilities to get on the football team, but creates a split ego one who is angry at his father. Norman then uses Harry as a scapegoat for the Green Goblin and sent him to Europe to help break the addiction. He later returns and tries to create a relationship with Gwen Stacy who tried to help him when he was on Globulin Green. Later it was revealed Norman Osborn was the Green Goblin but framed Harry.
- The Ultimate version of Harry appears in Ultimate Spider-Man voiced by Matt Lanter. This version of Harry becomes Venom after bonding with the symbiote created by Doc Ock, and acts as a recurring adversary to Spider-Man.
- Hasbro produced multiple New Goblin figures for Spider-Man 3.
- Hasbro produced a New Goblin figure for the Marvel Legends Spider-Man Trilogy wave.
- Hot Toys released a New Goblin figure.
- Hasbro produced a Green Goblin figure for The Amazing Spider-Man 2.
- Diamond Select released a Green Goblin bust for The Amazing Spider-Man 2.