Red Goblin #3
IT RUNS IN THE FAMILY… Norman Osborn has been targeted by a resurgent and terrifying GOBLIN KING for the precious GOBLIN FORMULA running through his veins—but why?! And with the emboldened remnants of the GOBLIN NATION at the undead King’s command, will Normie Osborn be able to save his grandfather, or will the RED GOBLIN be the new King’s latest victim?!
As we reach the penultimate issue in Normie Osborn’s debut arc as the Red Goblin, the narrative explodes with exciting action and moments of intrigue while also taking the time to flesh out Normie’s relationship with both his moral heritage as an Osborn and how that’s been coloring his relationship with Rascal. The book picks up right where we left off, Normie struggling to hold his own against the Goblin Army.
The writing in this issue is exemplary, with Pakndel utilizing Phil Urich as more than just a physical threat to Normie. With Norman near comatose and his odds against the Goblin Army piling up against him, Pakndel dives headfirst into how Normie views himself and the lessons his grandfather had instilled in him versus what he believes. The symbiote in this situation works as a beautiful lens of representation, as Normie opens himself up for Rascal to unleash his inner monster.
He believes that his lineage is something he is destined for, shaping Rascal into the image of a goblin because, deep down, he thinks of himself as a monster. It’s excellent character writing and shows the exact kind of internal conflict needed to bolster up the big action centerpiece dead smack in the middle of this issue, but how it is written doesn’t take the air out of the action. Pakndel is careful with his plotting, giving Normie new hope with a stray dog metaphor that, while heavy-handed, illustrates the depth that this book will offer in terms of its title character.
Jan Bazaluda’s pencils are growing better and better with each issue. Their illustrative skill in this issue brings some visual heat, utilizing some varied perspectives to bring about some strong emotional resonance, whether it be relief or terror. Pakndel also paces out his plot threads for the next chapter and arc with slight hints and moments of extreme tension that generate worry in the reader and does so by building on little details from issue #2 that have now been blown up.
This series only continues to get better, and is Marvel's most underrated title on the stands. Every month it brings with it narrative and character quality over anything else. It uses the symbiote gimmick for both strong introspection and over-top, heart-pounding violence. Don't miss out on this book.
Red Goblin #3: The Goblin Prince vs. The Goblin King
- Writing - 9.5/109.5/10
- Storyline - 8.5/108.5/10
- Art - 9/109/10
- Color - 9/109/10
- Cover Art - 10/1010/10
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