Appearing in "Best of Enemies"
- Green Goblin (Harry Osborn) (Death)
- Normie Osborn
- Gwen Stacy (Mentioned)
- May Parker (Mentioned)
- NYPD (Mentioned)
- Norman Osborn (Photo)
- Dr. Ashley Kafka (Referenced)
- Barbara Walters (Mentioned) (Topical reference)
- Oprah Winfrey (Mentioned) (Topical reference)
- Phil Donahue (Mentioned) (Topical reference)
- Geraldo Rivera (Mentioned) (Topical reference)
- God (Yahweh) (Invoked)
Races and Species:
- United States of America
- New York
- The Vault, Colorado (Referenced)
- United States of America
Synopsis for "Best of Enemies"
The Green Goblin has tracked down Mary Jane on the streets. Saying that they need to talk, he grabs Mary Jane and flies away. At that moment, Peter Parker has learned from Liz Osborn that her husband Harry had gone out. Fearing for the safety of his wife, Peter storms out of the apartment.[Continuity 1] Quickly changing into Spider-Man, Peter begins going swinging around searching for a sign of Harry or his wife. He is horrified that this nightmare is beginning again, and chastises himself for letting Mary Jane leave their apartment after their argument. He tries not to think of the worst case scenario because Harry is his friend, but can't help but worry about Harry's family history and its contribution to his hatred of Peter Parker and Spider-Man. While elsewhere in the city, the Green Goblin tells Mary Jane to stop struggling or they'll both crash. He then reveals that he is taking her to the very bridge where Gwen Stacy had died.[Continuity 2]
The Goblin has brought Mary Jane here because the death of Gwen Stacy was the moment they all symbolically fell as well. Thinking that Harry has brought her here to kill her, Mary Jane tells him to get it over it because she is not afraid to die. Harry is so hurt by this, he takes off his Goblin mask. He tries to convince her that he didn't bring her to the bridge to murder her because he loves her.[Continuity 3] He sits down on the edge of the bridge and tells her that he still misses Gwen after all these years and how his father was involved in her death.[Continuity 4] When Mary Jane tries to remind Harry that his father killed Gwen, Harry briefly loses his temper, saying that Peter framed his father. He then breaks down, deciding to surrender to the fact that nobody believes him, as everyone sees Peter as some kind of saint.
Concerned, Mary Jane asks Harry why he brought her to the bridge. Harry explains that regardless of what happens, his feud with Peter will never come to another situation like the death of Gwen Stacy. Mary Jane is actually touched by this. However, When Harry begins talking about the "good old days" when they were all innocent, Mary Jane points out that they were all dealing with their own problems.[Continuity 5] When she mentions Harry's father again, Harry snaps at her once more. Getting back on subject, Harry assures her that no matter what happens she will be safe. Hearing this, Mary Jane asks Harry to take her home. Meanwhile, Spider-Man is coming back from the Osborn Mansion on Long Island empty handed. Suddenly, he spots a pair of kids robbing an apartment. He stops them, but pushes a little too hard, frightening one of the youths so bad he begs Spider-Man not to kill him. Deciding to return home, Peter is shocked to find Harry there with his wife. Giving into his rage, Peter orders Harry to get away from his wife and strikes him.
Before Peter can lay into Harry, Mary Jane stops him, explaining that Harry wanted to talk. Pulling off Peter's mask, Harry points out that Parker is always thinking the worst of him. Mary Jane tries to convince Harry to end all the insanity. He tells her that he can't, but once again reassures Mary Jane that she has nothing to fear from the Green Goblin. He then leaves the couple, telling them that his family is probably worried about him. Alone again, the Parkers then begin to try and figure out what to do next. As much as Peter wants to go downstairs and beat on Harry, he can't bring himself to kill him. They can't go to the police for fear Harry will expose his identity. Getting fed up with Mary Jane's smoking, Peter grabs the cigarette out of her mouth and crushes it out.[Continuity 6] When Mary Jane points out that she is coming up with ideas. Peter loses his temper and say that's he doesn't have any and knocks over the table. While downstairs, Harry returns home to his wife Liz. After checking in on their son, Normie, Liz suggests Harry go back to bed since he is still running a fever. He suddenly gets angry, telling her to stop coddling him, reminding her that Osborns are strong. He stops himself, and assures her that they will be happy forever.
The following morning, Peter leaves the apartment after a sleepless night. He is still trying to decide what he should do about Harry when suddenly his spider-sense begins going off. Above him is the Green Goblin who says he is feeling much better. When Peter suggests they just get things out of the way and fight, the Goblin scoffs at the idea and flies away. He goes to the Daily Bugle where he corners J. Jonah Jameson in his office. He decides that wants the Bugle to help restore the Osborn name, explaining that he is building an Osborn Foundation in memory of his father. That's when Peter Parker enters the office, leading to another tense war of wards between the two.[Continuity 7] He once more tells about his plan to start the Osborn Foundation, telling Jameson and Parker to pass the information to all their friends, including Spider-Man.
Over the next few days, Harry is all over the city promoting the Osborn Foundation. One day, Peter has stopped for a bite to eat at a pizza parlour where he continues to think about what to do about Harry. That's when his spider-sense goes off, alerting him to the fact that Harry is watching him from a rooftop above. Slipping away and changing into Spider-Man, the wall-crawler confronts the Green Goblin on the roof. He demands to know what Harry wants from him. The Goblin decides to leave the wall-crawler wondering when the Goblin will either reveal his identity or kill him and takes off. Later, Harry has begun the renovations of a building for the Osborn Foundation. He takes his son and wife on a tour of the building, telling Liz that he is starting the foundation to repair the damage done to his father's legacy. Harry begins to feel faint again, and he once again tells Liz not to worry about him. He tells Liz to go home as he is going to spend some time with Normie alone. That evening, Harry proposes a toast to his father, assuring him that he will not forget his family ever again. Meanwhile, Mary Jane pays a visit to Liz and tries to convince her to get Harry some help. She is in total denial and tells Mary Jane to leave, suggesting that she is as bad as Spider-Man. At that moment, Spider-Man is still thinking about what to do about the Goblin situation. He considers the idea of revealing his identity publicly, but when he realizes he has swung to the bridge where Gwen Stacy died and decides that its time to put an end to things.
Meanwhile, Mary Jane has arrived at the Osborn Foundation for one last effort to try and talk sense into Harry. Unfortunately, her words fall on deaf ears and when Spider-Man arrives on the scene, Harry changes into the Green Goblin and ambushes the wall-crawler on the roof. As they battle, Spider-Man tires to talk sense into Harry. However, the Goblin refuses to listen to reason, particularly when the wall-crawler tries to convince him that the goblin formula is driving him insane. Harry denies this, saying that he had improved his father's original formula. The Green Goblin ultimately stabs Spider-Man in the hand with a chemical that ruins his equilibrium. Undergoing another dizzy spell, Harry decides that they both must die and sets off the building's self-destruct mechanism. Trying to talk sense into Harry, Spider-Man points out that Mary Jane and his son are still in the building. Horrified by what he has done, Harry quickly gets them out of the building. Outside, Mary Jane pleads to Harry to save her husband. Harry is conflicted, but ultimately pulls Spider-Man out of the building just moments before it explodes. In the aftermath of the battle, Harry suddenly collapses to the ground. He realizes that the goblin formula has been slowly killing him, Harry buries the hatchet with Peter. As an ambulance arrives to take Harry away, he dies.[Continuity 8] Spider-Man goes to tell Mary Jane who leaves with Normie, leaving Spider-Man to mourn the loss of his best friend alone.
- Peter and Mary Jane are referred to as husband and wife here. However, years later, their marriage is erased from existence by Mephisto in Amazing Spider-Man #545. As such they should be considered a common-law couple here.
- Gwen Stacy was murdered by Harry's father, the original Green Goblin in Amazing Spider-Man #121. Here, it is depicted as the Brooklyn Bridge. Whereas Amazing Spider-Man #121 states it was the George Washington Bridge, even though the artwork depicted the Brooklyn Bridge.
- The original Twin Towers of the World Trade Center are depicted as part of the New York City skyline here. This should be considered a topical reference per the Sliding Timescale of Earth-616. These towers were destroyed in a terror attack on September 11, 2001, and have since been replaced with the Freedom Tower.
- Per the Sliding Timescale of Earth-616, Gwen Stacy died roughly five years prior to this story.
- Mary Jane mentions her own troubled childhood (Amazing Spider-Man #259), Peter being an orphan (Amazing Spider-Man Annual #5) and the death of his Uncle Ben (Amazing Fantasy #15). She also mentions the death of both of Harry's parents. Everyone believes that Norman Osborn died in a battle against Spider-Man in Amazing Spider-Man #122. Unknown to all at this time, Norman actually survived as explained in Osborne Journals #1. He will resurface in Amazing Spider-Man #412. Likewise, it has been believed that Harry's mother was believed to have died as early as Amazing Spider-Man #40. However, she too had faked her death, resurfacing again in Amazing Spider-Man #789.
- Mary Jane started smoking in Amazing Spider-Man #361 as a means of coping with Peter's career as Spider-Man.
- Harry mentions how he and Peter once lived together. Peter lived with Harry starting in Amazing Spider-Man #47 until he was evicted in Amazing Spider-Man #137.
- Harry is confirmed to have died in Amazing Spider-Man (Vol. 5) #73, and replaced by a doppleganger while Harry himself went to hell and returned as the villain, Kindred.
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