In his decade-long tenure with the character, Slott has caused numerous seismic shifts in Spider-Man’s continuity. These include moments such as the death of Peter Parker, Doctor Octopus occupying Parker’s body and assuming the mantle of the “Superior” Spider-Man, and then Parker’s resurrection and subsequent success in the global business market before losing it all. It seems fitting that Slott would leave by adding a further complication to Petey’s life in the form of a new Goblin.
Although the actual identity and allegiance of the new character have yet to be revealed, the trailer’s frightening illustration (by cover artist Alex Ross) would seem to imply a dark supernatural bent for the fire spewing, red-tailed, creature.
Such an appearance has led sites such as Screen Rant, to predict that the Red Goblin represents yet another phase in the evolution of Osborn, who has been pursuing the mystic arts as of late in an effort to regain his abilities.
“[The Amazing Spider-Man #32] saw Osborn seek out a mentor in the Himalayas. Osborn gazed into a mystic artifact known as the Emerald Oracle of Ikkon, and glimpsed a future in which he became a powerful sorcerer. Needless to say, the vision proved that he would use those powers for evil, and the monks turned him down. Crucially, they told him that all other orders would be warned: Norman Osborn would not be trained in the dark arts.”
They also note that the new Goblin’s appearance is strikingly similar to that of Mephisto, the Hell Lord who, in a deal with Parker, restored life to Aunt May while removing the hero’s marriage to Mary Jane from continuity in the controversial 2007 storyline “One More Day.”
Pointing the finger back at Osborn they suggest that the industrialist “has a history of discovering Spider-Man’s deepest, darkest secrets. If he’s still digging into the mystic arts, it would make sense for him to uncover this one,” suggesting a deal between Osborn and Mephisto.
As so little has been officially released by Marvel, any information about the Red Goblin can be classified as pure conjecture until “Go Down Swinging” kicks off in Amazing Spider-Man #797 from Slott and artist Stuart Immonen in March.