Be warned that this post contains spoilers for the rest of the second season. Spoilers for episodes that Disney XD won't be airing until October. If you haven't seen them, turn away now. A great theme of "The Spectacular Spider-Man" has been masks, and misdirection. It even comes down to the main villain of the series, and despite how things appear throughout the first season, it is not who many people had assumed it to be. In the world of "The Spectacular Spider-Man," the criminal underworld was mostly under a thumb of a mysterious figure known only as the Big Man. His will was carried out by his emissary, Hammerhead. But, in reality, he was the businessman, L. Thompson Lincoln... known to a select few as Tombstone. But what was the Big Man's goal? To maintain his status quo. He wasn't out to change anything. He had no goals beyond holding his territory, staying out of prison, and making a profit. But, as the series went on, his status quo was shattered by two men in masks. One being our series' hero. The other being our series' main villain. If Tombstone was trying to maintain his status quo, Norman Osborn wanted to change the shape of the underworld forever. When Spider-Man first appeared on the scene, he began to disrupt the Big Man's operations. So, Tombstone hired Norman Osborn to create supervillains to distract the webslinger. That was the beginning of the Big Man's downfall. The business relationship began when Norman Osborn tipped off the Big Man about a TriCorp shipment. This led to the Enforcer, Montana, becoming the supervillain known as the Shocker. Afterward, Osborn and his scientist, Dr. Otto Octavius created the Sandman, followed by the Rhino. In the end, did these supervillains amount to what the Big Man hoped to achieve with them? Considering that Spidey still fought crime, the answer is no. The Big Man wasted a lot of money. Unknown to the Big Man, he had allied himself with a power hungry shark. Weeks after being attacked by the Vulture, Norman Osborn began inhaling Globulin Green, as well as creating a new identity for himself. Osborn did not like being that vulnerable, and no one would threaten him again, or stop him from expanding his power base. If Tombstone didn't profit from the creation of supervillains, Norman Osborn did. He was paid handsomely to create them, and then the city itself paid him handsomely to imprison them. Throughout this, Osborn was getting his taste of the underworld, and he liked it. It was profitable, so like the good corporate shark that he was, he decided to absorb it into his holdings. But, industrialist and OsCorp CEO, Norman Osborn, couldn't be seen trying to kill a major crime lord and take over his empire. That's where the mask came in. And just as Spidey's mission to expose L. Thompson Lincoln as the Big Man began, so to did Norman Osborn suit up as the Green Goblin and began striking at the Big Man's empire. Not only did he attack the Big Man's empire from without, he attacked it from within as well. His first real chink in the Big Man's armor took place when he kidnapped Hammerhead. What he found there was someone truly loyal to and trusting of his boss. Hammerhead wouldn't betray Tombstone to the Goblin. So the Goblin went a step further and, lying, told Tombstone that Hammerhead kept a jump drive with incriminating evidence on him as insurance. The drive didn't exist, but Tombstone believed it did. Hammerhead was obviously hurt, offended, and for the first time, even scared that Tombstone was so willing to believe the Goblin. And that, right there, was when the absolute trust these two gangsters had in each other was shattered. With the Goblin laying low, Osborn attacked the Big Man's empire from within. He saw the impending release of Silvermane coming, and the rise of Dr. Octopus. An arms race was ready to take place. So, Osborn used his personal assistant, Donald Menken, to auction off specs to create an army of Rhinos. Of course, Osborn had no intention of giving any of them those specs. He just took a simmering situation in the underworld, and brought it to a boil. From then on, with Tombstone's empire under attack from Silvermane's impending release, as well as Dr. Octopus's new empire of supervillains (two of whom, Tombstone paid to create), the Big Man became even more hands on. He no longer fully trusted Hammerhead. Hammerhead no longer trusted Tombstone, and who knew this? Norman Osborn. Osborn carefully manipulated Hammerhead into thinking he deserved to be the next Big Man. As such, Hammerhead betrayed his boss, first by preventing the New Enforcers from escaping the Federal Reserve, both preventing the Tombstone from receiving a handsome profit, as well as taking three of his most powerful soldiers out of the equation. Finally, he lured Tombstone, Dr. Octopus, and the recently released Silvermane to a summit at Lincoln Center. But the hand of the Goblin was at work to make sure these three destroyed each other. In the end, Tombstone was exposed and placed under Federal surveillance, Dr. Octopus was defeated and returned to Ravencroft, and Silvermane was sent back to prison. Hammerhead had achieved nothing and with Tombstone promising severe consequences for his betrayal, the door was open. Norman Osborn as the Green Goblin had absorbed Tombstone's empire into his own. The old status quo was dead. There was a new Big Man of Crime. Of course, the Green Goblin was later defeated, leaving a power vacuum to be filled. But, he had succeeded in permanently destroying the old status quo. Not only that, but if you pay attention to the series, how much of what happened was either directly or indirectly influenced by Osborn? Without Osborn stealing his magnetic air transport system, Adrian Toomes would not have become the Vulture. Without Osborn tipping off Hammerhead, there'd be no Shocker? Osborn created Sandman and the Rhino. When he saw that Octavius was a liability, he attempted to assassinate him and accidentally unleashed Dr. Octopus on the world. And who was that "captain of industry" that hired Black Cat to steal the symbiote, anyway? But, it wasn't just destroying the Big Man's empire and creating supervillains that made Norman Osborn our main villain. He also had more of an affect on Peter Parker's world than any other villain. From being a heavy handed and abusive father to Peter Parker's best friend to destroying the life of Mark Allan and through extension, Peter's girlfriend, Liz Allan and Mary Jane Watson as well. Gwen Stacy as well, as Harry, thanks to his father's influence manipulated her into maintaining a relationship with him after both she and Peter agreed to finally be together. As in the comic books, the shadow of the Green Goblin covers both Spider-Man and Peter Parker's worlds. Of course, season two ended with Osborn temporarily exiting the stage. But, a villain like that won't stay down long. It is inevitable that he will return, and with Weisman and his team following the spirit of the comic books, he will inflict even more pain and suffering.