Appearing in "The Horns of a Dilemma!"
Synopsis for "The Horns of a Dilemma!"
Harry Osborn has been brought to Doctor Ashley Kafka after his arrest. Showing him his Green Goblin mask, and asks him if he sees any humor in it. He responds that he thinks that it is a scream. She tries to tell him that the thing about masks is that it is that underneath it is dark and one can eventually feel alone. To demonstrate this, Ashley puts on the goblin mask. This angers Harry, who demands that she take it off and give it back. Leaping at her, he strikes the glass that separates them. He begins beating on it with all of his strength, causing the glass to crack. That's when the police come bursting in to contain the situation. As Harry vows to kill the doctor, she tells the police to go back as this is just the response she was looking for. Spider-Man steps in and tells her to go easy on the police officers, telling her that they are just doing their jobs. Ashley reminds Spider-Man that they insisted that Harry be brought to New York University for her to examine, but she can't do her job if the police are going to interrupt everytime Harry gets violent. That's when Detective Angela Cairn tells both of them that Kafka is being pulled off the case after the whole Vermin debacle.[Continuity 1] She found enough evidence that proves that Harry Osborn was the Green Goblin for years and there are years of criminal activity he has to answer to.[Continuity 2] They have decided to ship Harry off to the Vault until they can get their case against him together. Spider-Man protests this, making Ashley realize that this is something personal to the wall-crawler. As Harry is being ushered out of the room in restraints, he says the name "Peter", which causes Spider-Man to stop dead in his tracks. Harry continues by singing the nursery rhyme of "Peter Pumpkin Eater".
Spider-Man abruptly leaves and web-slings out into the fog that covers the city the day. Meanwhile, the Rhino has gotten a signal from the Green Goblin, who has been hired by the Goblin to take out a target. Once this mission is complete, his whole life changes completely.[Continuity 3] Although the Goblin seemed absolutely insane, the Rhino took the job because of the size of the advance as well the hope that the rest of the payment is still where he promised it would be. As he charges down the streets he is spotted by a police car, but quickly knocks it off the axle. The officers get out of the ruined cruiser and begin firing. The bullets bounce off the Rhino's hide, but the villain ignores the shots and continues on his path. While back at the Osborn apartment, Mark Raxton has just put Normie Osborn to bed. Liz is worried that Harry is going to go to prison for his father's crimes. She blames Spider-Man because had he not get involved, Harry wouldn't have been arrested. She is angry, at Spider-Man and insists that Ashley Kafka will go nowhere near her family because she is associated with the wall-crawler. The shouting has woken Normie Osborn and hearing his mother say that she hates Spider-Man makes the boy grin that matches the same one that his father now currently wears as he sits silently in his cell.
Meanwhile, unable to sleep, Peter Parker walks the streets of New York trying to think what he should do next. Harry knows his secret identity and he needs to come up with something he is going to have a big problem on his hands.[Continuity 4] Suddenly, Peter's spider-sense begins going off and he barely dodges the Rhino's charge.[Continuity 5] Not wanting to blow his secret identity unless he is certain that the Rhino knows who he really is, Peter plays dumb and pretends like he is being mugged. The Rhino surprises Peter when he calls him by name and says he knows his secret. Still playing dumb, Peter angers the Rhino enough to throw him through a fence into a construction site.
This gives Peter the chance to change into Spider-Man and ambush the Rhino. Pushed over the edge by having yet another villain interfering with his personal life, Spider-Man lays into the Rhino. He pounds the Rhino into submission vowing to kill anyone tries to threaten his family ever again. The Rhino weakly begins to explain that this had nothing to do with Spider-Man, but Peter Parker. The former spy explains that he was hired by the Green Goblin to send a message to Parker, but he didn't know what that message specifically was, and that he took the job to earn money for himself to help his family. Spider-Man tells the Rhino that he should have thought the Parker family before taking the job and knocks him out. He webs up the Rhino and leaves him hanging from the hook of a crane. From his cell, Harry Osborn continues to grin and suddenly speaks. It's only one word: "Gotcha"
- Ashley Kafka was attempting to cure the Vermin when he escaped as seen in Spectacular Spider-Man #178–183.
- The general public does not know that Norman Osborn is the Green Goblin. This is due to the fact when Norman was seemingly killed in Amazing Spider-Man #122, his son Harry hide his costume and covered it up the following issue.
- The Rhino recalls how he came to the United States as a spy. That was back in Amazing Spider-Man #41.
- Peter mentions how amnesia helped protect his identity in the past. Harry discovered Peter's double identity in Amazing Spider-Man #135. After Harry's defeat the first time he was the Green Goblin in Amazing Spider-Man #137. After getting psychiatric help, he forgot that Peter was Spider-Man. However, he started to remember Peter was Spider-Man in Web of Spider-Man #67.
- Outside of Harry Osborn, Peter wonders if he was sent by the Vulture or Richard Fisk. Peter Parker's life was previously threatened by both the Vulture in Spectacular Spider-Man #186–188 and Richard Fisk in Web of Spider-Man #84–89.