The Romita era starts off with a bang, and Kurtis and Franck are reading though it to bring you the most interesting and engaging podcast conversation they can! We will discuss the origins of new characters like Rhino and Shocker, the return of others like the Lizard and the Vulture. And of course, the real identity of the Green Goblin, revealed in these issues for the very first time!
Issues discussed: Amazing Spider-Man #39-46, Annual #3
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While it is true that Ditko wrote about the Goblin many decades later, I discovered a John Romita interview with a fan from 1966, around the time he was drawing ASM # 41, where he says that Lee had to make Osborn the Goblin because Ditko plotted it that way. He also explains that Lee wanted to make Ned Leeds the Goblin. You can read and see pages from the fanzine here:
I suspect Lee’s recounting of he and Ditko arguing over the identity of the Goblin was mixed up in his mind with earlier instances of Ditko unmasking a villain and it turning out to be someone no one knew. The earliest instance is Electro.