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Marvel Adventures: Spider-Man #22 – Sometimes the Square Pegs Fit

Ahh…another Fred Van Lente Day draws to a close. Did you all have fun?

Here is one last review before the day is over. Marvel Adventures: Spider-Man, written by Fred Van Lente (out today!), features a modern retelling of the Hobgoblin story, and in this case, Van Lente shows how you can get a square peg (telling the Hobgoblin story with the Green Goblin still around) into a round hole. He manages to pull it off well, especially through his use of humor. I thought it was quite Fredilicious.


A very amusing gag that Van Lente uses in this issue is the idea that people do not recognize Spider-Man in his new costume. When he saves someone early in the issue, they do not know what to call him – and everyone in the crowd settles on “Black Widow.” Funny stuff.

In any event, Van Lente comes up with the idea of a random crook finding one of Green Goblin’s lairs, and stealing his gear and becoming the Hobgoblin. Green Goblin, obviously, does not like this idea, and the two quarrel.

Meanwhile, Spider-Man is trying to think of a way to stop them. It is all quite amusing, while Van Lente never eases up on the action, either.

New regular artist Cory Hamscher does a very nice job (after Brian O’Hare’s excellent work last issue) on the artwork, handling the comedic and action scenes both.

If I have a significant criticism, it is perhaps that J. Jonah Jameson is played a bit too broadly. I did not like his reaction to (what he thought was) Peter’s death. It seemed absurdly cold-blooded.

Otherwise, this was a fun, action-packed, FUNNY and accessible book, even while it works in a character (Hobgoblin) who certainly does not have a simple backstory.


I read two books, by and by
on Fred Van Lente Day, on Fred Van Lente Day.
I read two books, by and by
on Fred Van Lente Day in the evening.


Van Lente seems to be using the really early Steve Ditko Jameson, who was an irredeemable liar, coward, and creep. It’s not until the Lee and Romita issues featuring the Kingpin that the idea of Jameson as a good man with some huge blind spots is really established.

I agree with Omar, I think Ditko really saw Jameson as a bona fide creep. The outward jerk with a secret heart of gold and sense of honor came after. I felt Lente was honoring Ditko’s take.


At long last, Marvel has brought back the Hobgoblin in the spider books apart from the Spider Girl. However, there are a few issues.
1. they are still mading him look like a second rate version of the Green Goblin which isn’t fair, seeing how he was originally written to be much more dangerous than his predecessor. It kind of makes you think that the writers have a bias against Hobby in all his incarnations as opposed to the original Green Goblin who they obviously have a crush on. Sidenote to Marvel, they’re both good villains and deserve equal treatment. They don’t have to make one look bad in order to make the other one look better.
2. They didn’t make it clear which Hobgoblin this was. While I am inclined to to think this is the Kingsley version given the fact that the origin is the same but it was never made clear.
3. They still need to bring back the Hobgoblin in 616 universe because they are running out of ideas for real. Maybe instead of pinning everything on Norman and giving us cheesy characters like Morlun, Menace, Jackpot and Ms. Arrow, they could easily bring back the original Hobgoblin as a major enemy. However this may never happen due to Marvel’s character bias against him. Such a shame-I think the writers and editors are still stuck in the 1970’s.

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