Writer: Alex Paknadel
Penciler: Chris Campana
Inker: Roberto Poggi
Colorist: David Curiel
Letterer: Travis Lanham
Cover Artist: Kendrick “Kunkka” Lim
Release Date: October 4, 2023
Normie Osborn, the son of Harry Osborn and Liz Allan, has a friend. His name is Rascal, and he was a gift from Dylan Brock. Will Venom’s generosity result in tragedy? Let’s leap into Red Goblin #9 and find out!
Like Peter Parker, young Normie’s always seen the best in his friend. But Rascal’s hunger for violence has influenced Norman Osborn’s grandson. Normie partnered with Miles Morales to find his missing schoolmate. But knowing Spider-Man wouldn’t let him kill Phil Urich, Normie gave Miles the slip and Rascal free reign.
Rascal tries to comfort Normie. He won’t let Normie turn them in to the authorities, so he goes after a boy who attacked Normie at school. Latching onto his host’s painful memory, Rascal runs to Harry Osborn’s grave. He digs into the soft earth and exhumes Normie’s father. If he crushes Harry’s remains, might that bring Normie peace? As the relationship between Normie and his grandfather has dominated this series, Norman Osborn finds the symbiote and confronts him. Unlike his grandson, Norman never believed in the symbiote’s potential for good. But can the Gold Goblin take down Rascal in Red Goblin #9? And can Normie reassert control over his violent symbiote?
As Quinton and his parents watch evening news reports about Normie’s disappearance, their disdain for Norman Osborn and his Oz-Spawn is evident. Rascal looks menacing as he captures the bully but freaks out when the family dog leaps to the rescue. The Gold Goblin makes interrogating a member of Urich’s Goblin Gang old hat. Yet Normie’s memories of his father’s death evoke pages from a medieval manuscript. Symbiotic artists Chris Campana and Roberto Poggi combine entrancing art styles that build toward a concussive confrontation in Red Goblin #9.
Stars shine in the dark skies above Quinton’s house in Manhattan’s Upper West Side. Dim interior lighting reveals the detectives questioning Tim Anders. Norman’s gold faceplate shows reflections of the green-covered Goblin Gangster as he stands on a roof under a bright blue sky. Brown, orange, red, beige, and yellow color Normie’s memories. Yet red dominates this issue, as David Curiel emphasizes that Rascal rocks Red Goblin #9!
Black uppercase words inhabit white dialogue balloons. Rascal’s hisses appear as white letters in red balloons. Light green narrative boxes reveal Normie’s thoughts as he tries to reign in Rascal’s excesses. Travis Lanham makes Alex Paknadel’s heartrending drama poignant through his colorful dialogue and violent sound effects.
A child’s optimism turns to agony when he crosses the line in Red Goblin #9. Next time Dylan Brock feels generous, perhaps he should give Norman Osborn’s grandson a gift certificate to Chuck E. Cheese.