- Written by: Christopher Cantwell
- Art by: Lan Medina
- Colors by: Antonio Fabela
- Letters by: VC’s Joe Sabino
- Cover art by: Taurin Clarke
- Cover price: $3.99
- Release date: November 16, 2022
Gold Goblin #1 gives Norman Osborn a new lease on life after Sin-Eater took all his sins away, leaving Norman with a deep, empty hole of guilt. What’s a Goblin to do when being a Goblin is all he’s ever known?
Is It Good?
Norman Osborn is a troubled guy. Shocker! Therefore, Christopher Cantwell explores the depths of Norman’s fragile life of freedom from evil by showing how the sins of his past are forgiven but not forgotten.
In Gold Goblin #1, Cantwell depicts Norman as a man struggling to live every single day as a normal person through extreme effort. He goes to his grandson’s batting practice, he takes calls at the office, and he finds ways to act as normal as possible. Unfortunately, it’s all an act, and Cantwell does an excellent job of showing Norman as a man continually on the verge of cracking and falling apart at the seams now that he can feel the decades of quilt and remorse piling on him all at once.
If it wasn’t clear from the description, this isn’t an action comic (except for a brief bit at the end). This is a character study of Norman’s new normal, and to Cantwell’s credit, Norman is presented as a tragic, sympathetic character in every scene. You feel for the guy, and you want him to find a way forward, even if you’re not quite sure he deserves it.
That said, Norman’s first, official attempt at being a hero comes off as a bit wonky. If you read the editor’s letter at the end, you’ll know the inclusion of Jack O’Lantern as Gold Goblin’s first villain catch was not Cantwell’s idea. Somehow, Jack is involved in a Black Market Skeleton ring, which makes no sense in its description and even less when you see it played out. Regardless, the choreography of the fight is well done, and Norman’s mix of brains and tech proves him to be a formidable hero on par with Tony Stark.
On the whole, this is a solid first issue that’s more character study than action story, but it establishes an intriguing new status quo for Norman, so we’ll see where it goes.
About The Reviewer: Gabriel Hernandez is the Publisher & EIC of ComicalOpinions.com, a comics review site dedicated to indie, small, and mid-sized publishers.
Bits and Pieces
Gold Goblin #1 firmly establishes an inside look at Norman’s sympathetic and fragile new status quo as a former villain trying to turn his life around. Norman’s constant struggles with guilt and his need not to revert to his Goblin ways play out like an addict desperate to turn his life around after hitting rock bottom, so this could turn out to be a series worth watching.