[*Mild Spoilers Ahead!]
We receive a trio of Red Goblin tales in this one-shot. In the first, Norman Osborn negotiates control with the Carnage symbiote. In exchange for Norman’s control, he agrees to hunt periodically for victims to sate the hunger of the Carnage symbiote. However, their first night hunting quickly turns into a bloodbath.
In the second story, Norman Osborn meets an old college acquaintance, and the Red Goblin shows this man how Norman deals with grudges.
In the final story, the son of a preacher goes out on a group trick-or-treating adventure with Normie Osborn, and the unsuspecting preacher’s son becomes familiar with the Goblin Childe.
Red Goblin: Red Death #1 is a Halloween-themed comic full of mayhem that shows what Norman Osborn did with the Carnage symbiote before his fateful showdown with the Amazing Spider-Man.
The first tale, “Great Responsibility,” is a straight gorefest as the Red Goblin preys upon dozens of unsuspecting victims while being urged onward by the sentience of the Carnage symbiote. It’s fairly entertaining, though the slaughter feels hollow and doesn’t really offer much beyond base fictional bloodshed.
The second tale, “Big Mouth,” is a bit stronger and arguable redeems the first issue in some ways. It shows the pettiness that drives the core of Norman Osborn, and it ends with him needlessly taking life–which he attempted to keep the Carnage symbiote from doing in the first tale. It shows the kind of hypocrite that Norman is; he killed an innocent family man to settle a decades-old college grudge.
The final story, “The Wayside Darkness,” is a bit of a bait-and-switch, though the ending is still fittingly ominous and leaves an opening for a continuation. We get to see the kind of relationship Normie had with his grandfather, and it’s as warped as one might expect. This tale is fairly decent, all in all.
Pete Woods and Ray-Anthony Height provide the visuals for this twisted tale, and both do a good job of striking the right aesthetic for their stories. Woods’ color work is quite good too, and Height is backed up by the color art of Dono-Sanchez Almara and Protobunker, and they do great work too.
Red Goblin: Red Death #1 is a decent one-shot adding to the mythos of the Red Goblin. It doesn’t add much depth to the concept, but little was really needed in the original Amazing Spider-Man story regardless. If you’re a fan of Carnage, Green Goblin, and/or the Red Goblin, then you’ll probably get some enjoyment out of the bloodshed and brutality. All in all, I can recommend it. Feel free to pick it up.
Red Goblin: Red Death #1 comes to us from writers Rob Fee, Sean Ryan, and Patrick Gleason, artists Pete Woods and Ray-Anthony Height, inkers Pete Woods and Marc Deering, color artists Pete Woods, Dono-Sanchez Almara, and Protobunker, letterer VC’s Joe Sabino, cover artist Philip Tan with Jay David Ramos, and variant cover artists Chris Daughtry; Ron Garney with Dave Stewart; Pete Woods; Logan Lubera with Rachelle Rosenberg; and Ron Lim with Israel Silva.
Final Score: 6.5/10
[*Mild Spoilers Ahead!]