Red Goblin Craze

by Matt Tuck

725828_the-amazing-spider-man-795-192x300 Red Goblin Craze

For current issues of Amazing Spider-Man, it’s not love that’s in the air – it’s old fashioned hate from an upgraded classic enemy.

I’m referring to the Red Goblin, Marvel’s latest revamped character that’s driving sales. In case you aren’t aware, the Red Goblin is Norman Osborn plus the Carnage alien symbiote. The Red Goblin made his first cameo appearance earlier this month in Amazing Spider-Man #795 and will debut in full in ASM #796 next week. Both issues are already the hottest comics on the market.

Marvel and DC have been recycling old characters and creating mashups to great success lately. Last year, there was Weapon H/Hulkverine, who is exactly what he sounds like – a combination of the Hulk and Wolverine. Then there is Cosmic Ghost Rider, a futuristic Ghost Rider/Punisher amalgamation. Let’s not forget that DC went all out with their mashups in Dark Nights: Metal, combining all the Justice League members with evil versions of Batman, most notably the Batman/Joker combo, the Batman Who Laughs.

The thing is, every one of the comics featuring the aforementioned blending of characters sells. Totally Awesome Hulk #22, Teen Titans: Rebirth #12, Thanos #13, Batman Who Laughs #1 – they all sold out. So why wouldn’t both companies keep going back to the formula until it stops working? It makes proper business sense.

All that being said, here are the upcoming Red Goblin issues you’ll want to be in line to buy in the coming weeks.

I’m going to talk a lot about the different covers for the following issues of Amazing Spider-Man, and I want to add now that there will also be a connecting cover set of ASM #795-801, all drawn by Humberto Ramos, that will be available as well.


This one only recently came out, and it’s already getting tough to find, at least at cover price. You’ve got two different covers to choose from. First, there is the Alex Ross standard edition cover. I have always been a fan of his work, so I would have been interested in ASM #795 even if it was just for some great Ross art, but since this is the debut (at least in cameo) of a semi-new character, it makes things even better. If you don’t like that cover, there’s the Hulk Smash variant by Dale Keown. Both of these are jumping in price very quickly. At the moment, you can get the Ross cover for between $10-$15 on average, while the Keown Hulk Smash cover is selling for closer to $30.

There is going to be a third cover thrown into the mix when the second print of ASM #795 reaches comic shops, and it will be hot as well, I predict.


When this one hits store shelves next Wednesday, you’ll have your choice of two covers once again. And this issue will sell out in a record place, trust me, because this is where we’ll get our first full glimpse of Norman Osborn as the Red Goblin. Like this entire storyline, the regular cover will be done by Alex Ross. The variant, however, will be drawn by Clayton Crain and will feature the first cover appearance of the Red Goblin in all his glory.

There are preorders galore for ASM #796. The easiest thing to do is get in line and buy one at cover price at your local comic shop for about $5. On eBay, sellers are taking orders on the Ross regular cover for between $15-$20. The Crain variant orders are in the $20-$30 range.


This is my favorite of the covers for the Red Goblin comics so far. The Alex Ross regular cover is destined to be a classic. If you haven’t seen it, it’s a beautiful painting of the classic Green Goblin on his glider smashing through a Spider-Man symbol. Crain has another variant, this time featuring the Jane Foster Thor kicking Venom in the face. Both of these are preselling in the $10-$15 range on eBay at the time of this article’s writing.

There there’s the Mike Mayhew variant that pays tribute to the first appearance of the Hobgoblin, but this time it’s the Red Goblin ripping Spider-Man in half. This is where the price really accelerates because the print run is limited to 600 copies. While there aren’t many listings for it just yet, there’s already preorders for $95 and up.

There’s also going to be a 1:10 ratio variant available with a cover by Ed McGuinness that you’ll want to grab if you’re looking to piece together the entire set. Including the Ramos connecting covers, that’s five total for the Red Goblin’s first full appearance. Clearly Marvel is trying to get every penny they can squeeze out of the hype over the (sort of) new character.

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