BY MATT TUCK
The Green Goblin sent an eruption of squeals through the comic fandom in the No Way Home trailer, but what if that wasn’t the Green Goblin after all?
We saw the pumpkin bomb. We heard the laugh. Even before the trailer, Willem Dafoe was heavily rumored to be on the Spider-Man: No Way Home set. Since the villains from the Sony-verse are invading the MCU, of course that means Dafoe is reprising his role as Norman Osborn/Green Goblin, right?
Or is that exactly what Marvel Studios wants us to think?
Leave it to Marvel to swerve the audience and laugh along the way. This could be the company’s biggest swerve yet. Doesn’t it seem strange that we didn’t see Dafoe’s face in the trailer? If he was on set this entire time, wouldn’t Marvel at least confirm his role at this point? Something seems off with this, and my blogger-sense is tingling.
When it comes to No Way Home, there are too many rumors for them all to be true. Yet, even the most far-fetched are seeming to fall into place. Earlier this year, it didn’t seem logical that, in addition to Alfred Molina and Jamie Foxx, the studio would bring back the Green Goblin, the Lizard, or the Sandman. Here we are close to three months from the premiere date, and the Sinister Six seems all lined up for the movie.
There’s also strong indication that both Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield are secretly on set as the Spider-Men of their respective universes. One fan theory gaining traction is that when Doctor Octopus says, “Hello, Peter,” in the trailer, he is addressing Maguire. After all, that is the only Peter Parker he would recognize, right?
That leads to the theory that while Dafoe may appear in the film, he won’t be the Goblin - at least not the only one.
Much of this stems from actor Jacob Batalon’s impressive weight loss. Earlier this year, he shared a picture of himself on social media, showing off a 120-pound body transformation. Keep in mind that Marvel Studios plots its stories years in advance, and they need their actors to look the parts. As odd as it sounds, losing over 100 pounds wouldn’t happen without the studio’s knowledge. Putting the pieces together, theorists are now questioning whether that means Batalon lost the weight because Marvel has him tapped for Hobgoblin.
In the films, he plays Ned Leeds, Peter’s nerdy sidekick, but the comics told a much different story. Ned was a reporter at the Daily Bugle, and he eventually married J. Jonah Jameson’s secretary, Betty Brant. Later, he would be brainwashed into believing he was the Hobgoblin.
Going back to the Homecoming series, Batalon had suggested he would like to play the villain. With his body changes, that time may be coming, either in No Way Home or another movie. In either case, the rumors are rampant.
AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #238
The Hobgoblin gossip has led to a massive surge in values for his first appearance. It doesn’t hurt that this is one of the most famous John Romita, Jr. covers that he drew along with his father, John Romita, Sr. Seeing the two legendary artists combine on such a popular key issue is worth the price of admission alone.
Will we see a lean, mean Jacob Batalon machine suit up as the official MCU Hobgoblin? That is one of the many lingering questions that we will wait for Marvel to answer. In the meantime, buyers are stocking up on ASM #238.
If you are in the market for a higher grade ASM #238, you are in luck. Despite the attention, values are trailing those from earlier in the summer. Take the 9.8 with the removable tattoo pack. Back in June, it reached a record high of $4,100. Throughout August, the prices have been dialed back to the $3k range. The most recent sale netted $2,880, which is the lowest it has earned since May.
It is a similar case for the 9.6. Although one sold only yesterday for a respectable $950, that is well off the pace from March to July when it was consistently earning as much as $1,500.
The 9.4 is a sign of things to come as the NWH rumors intensify. Last year, it sold for a then-record $425, which was obliterated with a sale of $1,130 in March. Nothing has approached that mark since then, but yesterday saw a copy bring $869, which is the second-highest ever sale for that particular grade.
The lowest grade sold in the past month has been the 7.0. On August 17, one brought a new record $403, so even the mid-grades are on the move.
HOBBY LABOR DAY
As we celebrate not working on this Labor Day, don’t forget to let your investments work for you. At the moment, an ASM #238 is a solid investment thanks to the Hobgoblin gossip. Whether or not he makes it into No Way Home is anyone’s guess, but he is a lock for an eventual film.
Matt Tuck is the author of the novel, Lost Bones of the Dead. He is a professional writer, avid comic collector, former teacher, and an international man of mystery. You can follow him on his Facebook page, The Comic Blog.