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Top Five Most Iconic Green Goblin Covers

Here are my picks for the top five most iconic covers featuring Green Goblin (with iconic being determined by what covers are most established and most recognized when it comes to Green Goblin, with a preference towards covers that are homaged a lot). This is not a BEST cover list and due to the very nature of icons, very few (if any) recent covers will be on the list. A notable exception to the rules is that I don’t count covers from a character’s first appearance (which isn’t applicable to all characters, of course, just those who appeared on the cover of the comic they debuted in), as those tend to be automatically iconic so they’re boring. Here‘s a list of all characters featured so far.


First off, while I’m exempting first appearance covers from the countdown, it’s only fair, I suppose, to share them here before the countdown begins, so here is the first cover appearance of Green Goblin from his debut story, Amazing Spider-Man #14…

Artist: Steve Ditko


Artist: John Romita

I figure Harry’s tenure as Goblin is important enough to give him a spot on the list, and as notable as the later DeMatteis/Buscema stuff was, you don’t get much more iconic than this cover which delivers the setup brilliantly.


Artist: John Romita

One of the more famous early Amazing Spider-Man covers and it features the Green Goblin.


Artist: Alex Ross

Like it or not, Alex Ross has basically become the definitive Green Goblin artist over the past fifteen years or so (it’s pretty weird that it’s been fifteen years since Marvels came out) and this cover is mostly the reason why.


Artist: John Romita

Now we’re in to the plainly obvious choices.

Plainly obvious choice #1


Artist: John Romita

Plainly obvious choice #2 – this one is one of the most famous Marvel covers PERIOD, let alone the most famous Green Goblin cover.

COVERS THAT JUST MISSED THE LIST: Ditko has a lot of great Goblin covers, but none of them particularly standout, not like the later stuff. The DeMatteis/Buscema stuff mentioned earlier is fairly notable. Beyond that, maybe a really recent cover from Ellis’ Thunderbolts? Not much else to choose from (The Goblin stuff from the 1990s was fairly un-iconic, all things considered).


Was the Goblin featured on the cover of the book that revealed he was behind the Clone Saga? I can remember the front piece of the cover, but the back is a little hazy in my memory.

Alex Ross did a cover for an issue of the “New Ways to Die” arc that’s just a close-up of his face. That might deserve at least a mention, unless it’s too recent.

Goblin was featured on the back half of the double-sided cover to Peter Parker, SPider-Man (vol. 1) 75. Pretty good art by JrJr.

I would have put Spec Spider-Man #200 in there over Marvels personally and Ditko’s Goblin and the Gangsters over #4, but I still can’t argue with your decisions here regardless. Good choices for a top 5.

Osborn better break that damn flying broom thing from his first appearance when he turns back into the Green Goblin towards the end of this whole Dark Marvel arc. That thing tops the damn bat glider.

Nicely done. Although I’d put that most-famous standoff cover (with dead Gwen Stacy, your #2 choice) in the top slot.

I can get behind #1-3, but I agree that Spectacular #200 could be on here as well.

Yeah, Spectacular Spider-Man #200 is a pretty big oversight in my opinion.

Yeah, Spectacular Spider-Man #200 is a pretty big oversight in my opinion.

Not an oversight, an intentional omission.

I can get behind #1-3, but I agree that Spectacular #200 could be on here as well.

Certainly a fair point. I think Amazing #136 better encapsulates Harry as Goblin (Spider-Man 3 is practically taken directly from that cover) AND it’s a better cover, but it’s not like Spectacular #200 would have been a bad choice.

Spectacular #200 is not that great a cover. I mean, yeah, Sal Buscema does a good job with Spidey and Goblin fighting, but the forms are superimposed above a lame silver foil background, completely robbing the image of its impact.

I agree completely with the choices and the rankings. I will say that the cover for Spectacular Spider-man Magazine #2 would have been an equally good choice for #5, but including a Harry cover makes sense.


Good point, Scott, that’d be an excellent choice for an honorable mention and if I were to exclude Harry, that would be on the list at #5. That’s a fabulous cover and, more importantly, a historically important cover.

Regarding Thunderbolts, while I can think of several absolutely beautiful pieces of Goblin art from the Ellis run, it’s all interior art. The covers, while nice, were fairly generic.

I don’t know why, but I like Ditko’s Hulk up there. He’s just plain surly.

As a HUGE goblin fan from back in the day, 4 of the 5 covers were the ones that immediately came to mind. Marvel Tales reprints of 136 and 40 were probably the first comics I ever owned and 39 was on my sleeping bag. My only quibble is with the Ross cover which I like anyway and is probably the better choice over whatever I would have chosen (probably that drug issue cover w GG and Spidey falling).

Nice list. No. 1 may be obvious, but it’s obvious in the best possible way.

New Ways to Die had a pretty iconic Norman Osborn cover by JRJr. I also agree w/ others that Buscema / DeMatteis era Harry Osborn should’ve been represented on the list in some form or another, not necessarily 200 though. Here’s a Goblin I think we can all be glad misses the cut :-)


Also, I was wondering if Ultimate Universe covers were precluded from the competition, but wow, looking through them, I can see why none of them would clear even a Top 50 most iconic Green Goblin covers. I had never thought of them as anything special, but yeesh, I’m cringing.


Especially that fucking yellow, what were they thinking?!

Good list all the way
and btw that Spectacular #200 cover blows goats.

Interesting question that occurs to me: is Norman Osborn ever really NOT the Green Goblin? I mean, the guy’s supposed to be bats*** crazy with his warped personality. My gut reaction on seeing an un-costumed Norman Osborn is that it’s the Green Goblin, just not in costume.

My point is that I’m wondering if an Iron Patriot cover could have possibly made this list. I mean, it’s still the Green Goblin; he’s just wearing Iron Man’s clothes.

I would’ve gone with one of Mayhew’s covers from the early issues of “Pulse” (exact # eludes me) – something about that wide-eyed goblin caught in a spotlight really locked in for me.

Can’t argue much with those choices… I like the early Hulk by Steve Ditko too. It evokes the Frankenstein movies Univeral did after Karloff left the part. And before anyone says anything, I know Stan always says he’s a mix of the Monster and Jekyll / Hyde :-)

Link to Spec spiderman 200?

Here’s a link to the image: http://www.collectingcomix.com/MarvelSpectSpiderV1-200.htm

I don’t know, kind of gaudy looking to me.

I was never a fan of Green Goblin, but I was (and am) a huge fan for Hobgoblin. Obviously they were never around at the same time, but did they ever appear on the same cover?

The Ditko cover is great, but I’ve always been a sucker for Ditko Spider-Man.

Actually, I believe so, Wesley.

I’ll take a look and get back to ya!

EDITED TO ADD: Nope, ‘fraid not.

Harry as the Goblin and the Hobgoblin were on this cover together:

True, Dan. I was thinking maybe Amazing #275 would have Norman and Hobgoblin, but alas, it only had Norman!

I think you mean Amazing #275 only had the Hobgoblin.

I’m am so sick of Norman Osborn and all versions of the Green Goblin. If after this Dark Reign mess, we were never to see any goblins again I would be very happy.

We can still keep Harry around, but only as Harry.

Spec Spider-Man 200 was definitely my top choice as well. That’s the Green Goblin that I, and probably a dozen of my friends, knew best.

There was a story in Spectacular, post Clone-Saga, where Norman and Hobgoblin were fighting. Checking the covers on the GCBD, though, we’ve got a cover with Norman and Hobgoblin on it, but Norman’s not in costume. We’ve got a cover with spectral heads of both Goblins, but that doesn’t really count. And the last one is just Spidey and Hobgoblin.

once again the list was proably hard to do what with green goblin being spider man answer to the joiker and love the marvels cover. for it foreshadows gwen’s fate as for if norman ever appeared on a cover with hobgoblin only harry in fact hobogoblin was the reason harry went back to being the green goblin again after retirement

It’s not iconic, but I’ve always thought this was a good Green Goblin cover: http://www.spiderfan.org/comics/images/spiderman_spectacular/180.jpg
Probably just because I enjoyed the arc, though.

Spectacular Spider-Man #259 was the only really good post-Clone Saga one I could think of – not surprising, since Spectacular was pretty much the only Spider-Man book worth reading in those days (but what do you expect with J.M. DeMatteis writing it and Howard Mackie being among the writers on the other books?)

Choice #1 deserves it, as it’s the only one I’ve ever seen redone as an X-mas subscription add. Imagine that same pic, but both Peter and GG are happily explaining the benefits of ordering your favorite Marvel titles at a discount price, AND shipped to your door! Now *that* was awesome.

The 60’s and 70’s were the best decades for Goblin covers. Nearly every one was cool in some way since the character wasn’t featured every other month as Norman Osborn is doing nowadays.

By the by, I was thinking the original Hobgoblin, in terms of covers with both Norman and the Hobgoblin on them.

I’m sure there’s been more than a few with Norman and Hobgoblin II.

By the way, we have a new form of spammer – it’s the most hilarious new form that I’ve seen.

It takes a comment from someone who just recently commented (in this instance, wwk5d) and just reposts the same comment that comenter made under that commenter’s name (week5d) and just adds something like, “I like this blog!” and a link to the thing they’re spamming for.

Hilariously lame.

I think you mean Amazing #275 only had the Hobgoblin.

Sorry, I meant the issue prior, Amazing #274.

Omar Karindu, with the power of SUPER-hypocrisy!

September 16, 2009 at 6:58 am

I was sure Norman and the (retcon) original Hobgoblin managed a cover together in the “Goblins at the Gate” storyline. However, this is apparently as close as it gets. (That’s not Norman in the Goblin suit, but at least he’s on there and it is the Kingsley Hobgoblin.)

On the other hand, Norman’s not likely to appear on any 1980s-era Hobgoblin covers since he was still very dead during the whole “dead Ned Leeds is the man in the mask!” boondoggle.

On the other hand, Norman’s not likely to appear on any 1980s-era Hobgoblin covers since he was still very dead during the whole “dead Ned Leeds is the man in the mask!” boondoggle.

Yeah, that’s why I figured Amazing #274 was the best bet for it.

You meant to say when he was hiding out in Europe, right? ;)

Instead of having both ASM #39 and #40, I would have swapped one of them out with either ASM #23 or #27 (I”m biased though… I own 23 and 27, and only wish I had 39 and/or 40)

I’m gonna toss in a vote for Spectacular #200 as well, over ASM 136.

Omar Karindu, with the power of SUPER-hypocrisy!

September 16, 2009 at 7:53 am

I’d have said the ASM #274 cover is just a Silver Age tribute, so No Hobgoblin For You, but for some reason Jean DeWolff is on it.

ASM #40 is one of my favorite covers EVER, but not as an “ionic Goblin” cover. #39, hells yea – but not #40.

What about ASM #312???

Or ASM #98?

As cool as the Ditko #14 is, I had both of these before that one.

I had some doubts, pmpknface, but I dunno, he’s featured on the cover fairly prominently AND the cover says “The End of the Green Goblin,” so I think it’s fair enough to count it as a Green Goblin cover.

I definitely see the other side of that, though.

Good choices overall. I’d probably go with ASM #98 over ASM #136 in the fifth spot. Getting a diversity of eras or artists shouldn’t be a requirement for iconic covers.

SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN #200 is a decent cover, but it doesn’t seem particularly iconic. It shouldn’t get points just because younger fans remember it better than older covers.

P.S. The links to SpiderFan.org. don’t work.

I agree with Scott Harris that Spectacular Spider-Man Magazine should have been in the top five, perhaps replacing the Alex Ross cover to Marvel’s #4.


Although I have to say that my all-time favourite Goblin cover is the one to ASM #26, because it is the first Ditko Spidey story that I read in the Marvel Tales reprints from the 1980s.

Next person to say “you forgot” or some derivative around here… look, just stop doing that, internet!

I would have swapped one abd two myself ….but the rest is ok

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