ByKit Simpson Browne, writer at Creators.co
Writer-at-large. Bad jokes aplenty. Can be gently prodded on Twitter at @kitsb1
Kit Simpson Browne

(Note, SPOILERS for some older Marvel comics, as well as potentially for future Marvel movies, lie below)

Now, with Sony and Marvel's recent deal to bring Spider-Man into the Marvel Cinematic Universe, there's been a whole heap of talk about just what that'll mean for Spidey, and - since he'll likely debut in next year's Captain America: Civil War - for the Civil War itself.

What's received a whole lot less attention, however, is just what that deal will mean for some of the heroes and villains who, due to being closely linked to Spider-Man himself, had their rights held exclusively by Sony...until now.

In particular, one man who has, in recent years, had as much influence on the direction of the Marvel comic-book universe as any other - in particular around, and just after, the events of Civil War - may well find himself arriving in the MCU a whole lot sooner than you might think.

And he just so happens to be Spider-Man's greatest villain.

That's right:

Norman Osborn Could Be On His Way to Captain America: Civil War

The reason? Well, as readers of Marvel comics over the past ten years will recall, Osborn has evolved into far more than just Spider-Man's long-time nemesis The Green Goblin...

...even, through a series of grand manipulations, tricking the public into believing him to be a hero, and becoming both an apparent superhero...

...and leader of a team of Avengers (and, briefly, S.H.I.E.L.D, which he renamed H.A.M.M.E.R)...

The only problem? He wasn't really a hero at all, with his team of heroes turning out to largely be 'Dark' Avengers, a group of villains hired to take on the roles of famous superheroes as part of one of Osborn's schemes, along with a few duped actual heroes.

So...Why Does This Mean He'll Turn Up in the MCU?

Well, the thing is, a whole lot of Osborn's activities played a key role in the comic-book version of Civil War.

Before he got his own team of duplicitous Avengers, he actually ran a team known as the Thunderbolts, as part of the government's efforts to arrest any heroes who refused to register. Now, being Norman Osborn, he inevitably ended up using them to try to kill Spider-Man (everyone has to have a hobby, after all), but after an attempted alien invasion, was able to give the entire world the impression he was a hero - hence the Iron Patriot get-up above.

Now, if - as rumored - Spider-Man's first solo outing post-Civil War does indeed remain attached to the events of the epic conflict, then Norman Osborn's involvement would not only make a whole lot of sense in terms of making the story accessible to Spider-fans, but would also open up the potential for some pretty fantastic future crossovers.

If Marvel and Sony are feeling especially fan-serving, they could even potentially - as has been long-rumored with J.K. Simmon's J. Jonah Jameson - bring back one of the original movie's Osborn's, to reduce the time needed to introduce the character.

The big question then? Which one it'd be...

Dafoe or Cooper? How to choose...?
Dafoe or Cooper? How to choose...?

Either way though, if the next few Marvel movies feature some subtle, Easter-eggy references to Oscorp, don't be too surprised if Captain America: Civil War sees Norman Osborn appear, setting up an appearance as the villain in Spider-Man's solo movie...

What do you think, though? Will we see Norman Osborn in the MCU anytime soon? If so, who should play him? And which of the duplicitous superhero team story-lines he was involved in would you most like to see?

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