Norman Osborn is a supporting character in Marvel's Spider-Man, the PlayStation 4 video game. He is the mayor of New York City who hides his past behind a wall of lies. Under constant threat of attack, he has hired Sable International to protect him, expanding their role so they can enact martial law when the prisoners from The Raft and Ryker's Prison escape.
Born in Hartford, Connecticut, Norman Osborn became friends with Otto Octavius after being assigned as lab partners in college. The two went on to found Oscorp, hoping to change the world. With Norman's natural charisma and Otto's scientific genius, Oscorp quickly became one of the top scientific corporations in the world. In the 1980s, Norman met and married an environmental attorney named Emily.
As Otto would reveal years later, Norman became increasingly obsessed with genetics, likely in response to Emily's diagnosis with Oshtoran Syndrome in 1984. It is presumed to be around this time that Norman ordered the development of GR-27, an experimental genetic therapy, in order to cure his wife's disorder, ignoring the obvious risks of the imperfect treatment.
In 1986, Norman had GR-27, which had earned the nickname "Devil's Breath" from the lab technicians, administered on then seven-year-old Martin Li, who had come to Oscorp with his parents for a medical consultation. The treatment went horribly wrong: Li somehow gained superhuman powers, causing an explosion that killed the boy's parents. The incident resulted in Otto quitting Oscorp, as well as ending his friendship with Norman.
Around 1995, Norman and Emily had a son named Harold (nicknamed "Harry"). Sadly, Emily succumbed complications of Oshtoran Syndrome before Devil's Breath could be completed, around the early 2000s.
Years later, Norman was elected Mayor of New York City, while still managing Oscorp as its CEO. During his tenure as Mayor, Norman carried out many of his promised initiatives, from an environmental research program to a city-wide crime monitoring system.
Norman at the start of the game is the Mayor of New York City who despite previous claims to have no active part in the managing of Oscorp still has close ties to the company and is able to control their actions. He is first seen in person at Octavius Industries using the latest accident at Otto's lab as an excuse to have his grant funding revoked and try to confiscate all materials and research. He tells Otto through a thinly veiled ultimatum that he can have access to funds and equipment to continue his research if he returns to Oscorp, while warmly embracing Peter and telling him that there is always a job at Oscorp for him.
It is revealed through a message from Harry to Peter that he had to beg Norman to allow the environmental research stations throughout New York and had to agree to some of Oscorp's more dubious practices in order for them to operate including military applications. However, as Peter carries out work at the stations it is revealed that Oscorp has made many shortcuts in regard to the stations and their recommendations with clear favoritism towards projects such as military drones and stealth technology. Additionally through the stations, Peter is able to find many shortcuts that Oscorp has taken in regard to city infrastructure and has created many of the problems which the Stations seek to resolve.
Norman is initially the target of the attack by Li, who holds the Mayor responsible for his "negative" powers and the death of his parents. Norman denies all wrongdoing, hiring Silver Sable and her mercenaries for protection. After Li is apprehended by Spider-Man, Norman claims credit to boost his campign, enraging a now unhinged Otto Octavius, who blames him for his financial burdens and stealing his research. Donning the mantle of Doctor Octopus, he steals the Devil's Breath and releases it in Times Square, infecting hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers. He then frees the convicts from prison, forming the Sinister Six and enlisting their help in dismantling Norman and his empire.
Doctor Octopus eventually captures Norman himself, intent on forcing him to confess to his crimes. When he refuses, he is thrown from the top of Oscorp Tower, but is saved by Spider-Man. Norman retreats to safety, mysteriously grinning as Spider-Man goes to confront Otto.
Within three months of Doctor Octopus's defeat, Norman has resigned as Mayor in disgrace. He is seen in his secret lab, looking at his son, Harry, in his medical support tank. Expressing his disappointment that Devil's Breath is no longer an option, he promises that he will find the cure. However, as he puts his hand on the tank, he fails to notice the black substance inside mimic his movement and move towards him, seemingly alive.
Norman is an older man, with graying red-brown hair. In spite of his age, he has a fairly athletic physique. He is typically dressed in a suit with a green, pinstripe jacket, orange vest, and black pants with black shoes. During Officer Jefferson Davis' funeral, he wears an all black suit with a knee length coat.
Norman is a selfish, corruptible, ruthless businessman, craftily disguised behind a political mask. A man of considerable wealth, he often spends money illegally for his own interests and abuses his position, violating citizens' rights to hire a private military group in place of the NYPD or carry out clandestine experiments. Norman has a powerful self-righteous streak, refusing to accept responsibility for his mistakes.
Despite his ruthless nature, he deeply loves his son and deeply loved his deceased wife, and possibly cares about those close to him or his family. It is revealed that his desire to perform genetic engineering are not for his own selfish needs, but so that he can find a cure for his ill son.
- Genius-Level Intellect: Norman Osborn is the co-founder (alongside Otto Octavius) and CEO of Oscorp, specializing in scientific pioneering. He is also a political, financial and business mastermind, transforming his company into a large conglomerate and earning an immensely large fortune within a few years. While his intellect pales in comparison to that of Otto Octavius, the fact that he also collaborated with the latter to create Oscorp, as well as work alongside him in their scientific achievements, also implies a genius intelligence on his part.
- Expert Social Intuit: Norman possesses an immense degree of social confidence, enabling him to intuitively determine how to interact with others, gain their respect and support, eloquence, and charisma that belie his unsavory traits. His fantastic innate intuition also enabled the maligned magnate to appear as a benevolent humanist, that helped peak his already rapturous popularity and with his money, technology and power, elevating his position to the mayor of New York, effectively helping him win over the public's support, as well as numerous politicians and people of authority.
- Master Political Scientist: Norman has a phenomenal understanding of political science, such as the inner workings and intended goals of both political structures and intelligence agencies, as he is quick to use various events throughout his city towards advancing his political career, including organizing an award ceremony for Officer Jefferson Davis, the use of Sable International to "augment" the NYPD to fight the Demons, and trying to claim credit for the arrest of Martin Li. As Mary Jane Watson notices a pin collection that Norman has kept of his political campaigns framed on his wall, she also comments that the frame has space for more pins implying a run for higher office. Even Ben Urich would go so far as to dub Norman a "Five-Star Mayor", arguing that Norman followed through on his promises and noting his high approval rating. However, Norman is also flamboyantly unethical in refusing to divest his business empire from his political office, and he has used his power to expand Oscorp's influence across the city.
- Expert Demagogue: Norman Osborn is a demagogic genius, as his intention is to come off as an altruistic humanist of and for the people, so he therefore masterfully appeals to popular desires and prejudices when addressing people, often championing the cause of the common people, with his usage of seemingly rational arguments making Norman's method even more effective. Indeed, after his publicized proclamation of his intention of undergoing a third round for Mayor, Norman convincingly declares to the press, “The city has flourished under [his] administration" and adamantly believing that "[he] can achieve greater things if elected once more”, reinforcing the public's already esteemed view of his ideologies, by introducing a new platform which focuses on improving citywide security, with him passionately appealing to a popular fear of depending "on masked vigilantes like the Spider-Menace" and promising to “end the city’s dependence on masked vigilantes" by providing better “support” to the overwhelmed police force, alongside his other opportunistic environmental research program initiatives.
- Master Businessman: Norman Osborn is a phenomenally successful, oligarchical genius businessman, quite possibly the best alive in the world, managing to create the world's largest technological corporation, Oscorp, (albeit with Otto) with his sheer grit and ingenuity.
- Immense wealth: As the CEO of Oscorp, Norman is an immensely wealthy man. His global conglomerate is built upon Osborn's inventions and provides employment for the majority of New York. As a generous, philantrophic owner, Norman basks in the adoration of the masses while his cutting-edge research facilities secretly develop the methods to rehabilitate his ill son. Hence, Oscorp provides him two powers that any of his political or business rivals lack: unlimited funds and the trust of international governments.
- Oscorp technologies: The CEO of Oscorp, Norman has developed and has access to technologies which are deemed ahead of their time, such as experimental regenerative nanotechnology, experimental focus enhancers, experimental high tech masks and other experimental technologies. Of particular note some of the items includes plans for a small drone/glider for the purposes for carrying medical supplies into war zones on display as well as small highly accurate missiles on display at Grand Central Station. Additionally, he has a working prototype for a combat helmet which can see structural weaknesses and small grenade-like prototypes in his penthouse.
Norman loved his wife Emily deeply and genuinely, as evidenced by his efforts to cure her.
Harry Osborn is Norman's only son. While his love for Harry is genuine, his desperation to save his son caused him to continue the development of Devil's Breath, ignoring the obvious risks of a pandemic. Even in dealings with his son regarding the research stations, Norman's focus was on how the results could benefit Oscorp rather than the greater good they could do and the great importance that had to Harry as they were his passion project and way to honor his mother.
Norman met Martin Li as a child when he came to Oscorp for a medical consultation. Norman authorized usage of the GR-27 prototype, which caused the accident which gave Li his powers and killed his parents.
As a result, his treatment led to Martin Li becoming Mister Negative with plans to take Norman down using his Inner Demons. Even after being confronted directly by Mr. Negative, Norman insists that what happened was an accident and that he was trying to help him, although his pleas fell on deaf ears.
Norman and Otto Octavius met as lab partners during college. They became close friends, and went on to found Oscorp together. Their relationship was labelled by the media as "the friendship re-shaping our world".
Otto would eventually leave the company following Martin Li's accident, after which, Norman would take credit for Otto's work and overshadow Otto's achievements, forcing Otto to rely on grants and ultimately triggering his transformation into Doctor Octopus. However, as indicated by a photo found in his apartment, Norman still valued his relationship with Otto until the latter's turn to crime, and his efforts were likely an ill-conceived attempt to reach out to his former friend.
Norman heavily distrusts Spider-Man as he is constantly trying to end the city's dependence on him. When Doctor Octopus released all of the Raft's inmates, he framed Spider-Man for it. He also made Spider-Man a "priority target" for Sable International.
Behind the scenesEdit
Norman Osborn is voiced by Mark Rolston in the game.