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CSBG Archive

A Year of Cool Comic Book Moments – Day 208

Here is the latest cool comic book moment in our year-long look at one cool comic book moment a day (in no particular order whatsoever)! Here‘s the archive of the moments posted so far!

Today we look at the introduction of one of the best supervillains of the 1980s, courtesy of Roger Stern and John Romita Jr.

Amazing Spider-Man #238 begins with Spider-Man chasing a group of four criminals.

He captures three of them easily enough, but one of them escapes into the sewers…

Spider-Man decides not to follow him…

The police even tell Spider-Man he did more than his share, so he’s feeling good about himself.

However, the fourth criminal ended up discovering a hidden lair of the Green Goblin!

The con contacted a mysterious fellow to let him in on the secret. Once the news becomes public that the lair had been discovered (and blown up, to hide the fact that the criminal and the mystery man had looted the lair of all of its equipment), Spider-Man was not feeling too good, and his reaction to the news is coupled with our first meeting with the newest Spider-Man villain…

That’s a great way to introduce a new villain!

“The” moment for me is the big reveal!

Man, it’s hard to even remember the time that Hobgoblin was actually taken seriously as a villain, but it happened back then, honest!

46 Comments

I take it this was when both Osbornes were dead, right?
Cool moment indeed.

No, Harry wasn’t dead, and wouldn’t be for at least another half decade.

Harry was still alive, Jack, but he was a normal guy at the time.

I’d like to point out that this is listed at 208 here, but 207 on the list of moments… We’re a day short, just before the two Miracleman focus. Gotta double up, man! :)

Thanks for the heads up, Aaron! I forgot to list Superman #9 (Cool Comic Book Moment #205) on the archive, so that knocked everything down a number. It’s corrected now!

The problem with the hobgoblin was his biggest selling point the indentity.

Stern knew who he wanted, but did not have time build kingsley up as a credible candidate, especaily aginst more established players like ned and lance. he left with out telling anyone.

Defalco then had to build up his own set of suspects, but was delayed with the secret wars and x-factor crossovers and the flash story line was a clever idea but it was the second false reveal, (although form a story point of view a better reveal in terms of impact) and would have tied up story after gang war, but he was force out in the middle of the story.

This meant that tow writers had left with out finishing the story that was going on for 3 years, all the clues were pointing to Ned from both runs so the editor rather than ahve months more of allinging the suspect decreed it had to be Ned. But Ned was already dead, so Spidey’s biggest villian of the time was killed of panel out of uniform, and new guy was given the suit, the new guy was written poorly for the next 10 years especailly the demon stuff.

It is a lesson on dangling plot threads, is there is a big plot going on the eiditor should always no the end point so that it can be taken over with out being screwed up. but insisting the villian is a dead man

Man, what a great moment! I love the choice, this is the story and issue that made me a comic addict in general and a Spider-Man addict specifically.

But Brian, Brian, Brian…how can you leave out one of the most important credits of the issue? The inker, John Romita SR! This era to me is still the peak of JR JR’s style and his being inked by his dad is him at his best.

I he was secretly… that guy, or that other guy, or maybe it was that third guy… they kept changing it…

I liked the Hobgoblin as a new player on the scene. Good stuff from a simpler time.

I take it this was when both Osbornes were dead, right?
Cool moment indeed.

Or, as Marvel more recently puts it: they were both hiding out in Europe.

One of my all time favourite Spider-Man issues in my all time favourite run.

I was rereading some of the later DeFalco issues recently and noticed that he did actually bring Kingsley back as a suspect towards the end.

He did show Hobby and Kingsley sharing a scene, but it didn’t do anything to contradict Stern’s evil twin plot. It’s interesting that no one followed up on the Kingsley loose end until Hobgoblin Lives.

I loved this era of Spider-Man, and the Hobgoblin was one nasty dude, especially in an issue that followed this one… (not sure if you were going to use that one for another moment or not, it includes their huge battle).

The issues that wrapped up the Hobgoblin story, with the Ned reveal and Spidey going after the Kingpin in a rage, were some of my favorite Spider-Man issues when I was younger. Frankly, the Hobgoblin Lives, Stern-penned retcon was disappointing, for knocking the legs out from some great stories and providing a much less interesting reveal. After which the Hobgoblin has faded into total obscurity. What a waste.

i remember the hobgoblin first appearing as an omg moment for me too bad marvel really wrecked the character by deciding that its Kingsley no its Ned leads all along. wrecked the character. though before then the character proved he could give the green goblin a run for his money

I take it this was when both Osbornes were dead, right?
Cool moment indeed.

Or, as Marvel more recently puts it: they were both hiding out in Europe.

You’re both wrong. Harry Osborne was alive, living in Jersey, married to Liz Allen and running Oscorp during this time.

The issues that wrapped up the Hobgoblin story, with the Ned reveal and Spidey going after the Kingpin in a rage, were some of my favorite Spider-Man issues when I was younger. Frankly, the Hobgoblin Lives, Stern-penned retcon was disappointing, for knocking the legs out from some great stories and providing a much less interesting reveal. After which the Hobgoblin has faded into total obscurity. What a waste.

It’s the other way around. ALL the Stern stuff, including Hobgoblin Lives, was great. Hobgoblin Lives REDEEMED the Ned Leeds/Kingpin/Foreigner stuff, it didn’t knock the legs out from under it. It had no legs to begin with. I’m glad you actually liked the Ned Leeds/Kingpin/Foreigner resolution, but a vast majority of fans didn’t.

Ah . . . the Hobgoblin. There was never a better example of how poor management in the editorial ranks can really reck a great story idea. Just reading this little snippet from Brian reminds me of just how badass this character was when he came out. All the savagery and technology of the Green Goblin now being directed by a cool, calculated mind. I don’t think I’ll ever forgive Marvel for how systematically this character was f**’d around with, discredited, defanged and put out to pasture. In my mind at least, the original Hobgoblin will always occupy a place of honor in Spidey’s rogue gallery. What a monumental F-up by Marvel to let this character fail as badly as they did.

Now, after the events of Hobgoblin Lives, I’m still holding out hope that the original Kingsley Hobgoblin will make a return at some point in the future. Hopefully, it will be handled strategically and well by a writer who can do him justice. Hell, maybe have Roger Stern back on as a guest writer again to do it. I don’t really care who does it as long as it’s done well. It will probably have to be some years from now though, after Norman Osbourne has receded back into the background after all of this Dark Reign nonsense. Wouldn’t work to have Hobby back while to original GG is ruling the world with Menace as his sidekick. That would be too Goblin-heavy even for my tastes.

And yet another tip of the hat to one of the all time great underrated runs on AMS – Stern & Jr Jr. You guys rocked this series when you were on it!

I was about seven when this comic came out. The Hobgoblin was my favorite villian for a long time thanks to this comic and all his other appearances up to ASM #250. I thought it was an awesome fight between him and Spidey on Hobbie’s battle van, sinking into the river. I also dug the corner box, with Hobbie saying this issue is great steal it.

And then they had to ruin him and make him Ned Leeds.

It pissed me off for years. It made no sense to me. I mean, Ned Leeds? Come on!

By the time I was fifteen or so I decided to reread every issue of Amazing Spider-Man, Marvel Team-Up, Spectacular Spider-Man and Web, for the second time (the ones I didn’t have in first runs I was lucky enough to have gotten as reprints in Marvel Tales), documenting every single appearance of Ned Leeds, Harry Osborn, Norman Osborn, and a bunch of other characters tied into the Goblin Mythos. I wanted to make a case that Hobbie couldn’t have been Ned from the start (I was a super continuity fiend back then).

I filled an entire 300 page black and white notebook with my scribbles, and finally decided it would make most sense to say that Hobbie was originally Bart Hamilton, the third Green Goblin. After all, he was a master of hypnotism and psychology and his body was never found after he blew up. To my young mind, it would have made more sense that he had brainwashed Ned (just as Lefty Donovan had been brainwashed) as a contingency plan if the original Hobbie were ever put out of action – such as suffering a terrible beating like in ASM #250.

But instead they decided that Hobbie was a fashion guru, Kingsley. The guy with the orange and blue costume – I mean, is that the color scheme of a fashion guru? A lot of the same ideas I had for the Hamilton-brainwashing explanation they also gravitated to, saying that Ned was indeed brainwashed into being Hobbie and that his basic personality began to manifest itself more as time went on without further treatments, hence him trying to destroy crime from the inside with the Rose…..

I really have wasted my life, haven’t I?

Oh, forgot to mention, “the moment” for me was when the unknown man who would become Hobgoblin so casually blows up the thug, Georgie. It showed that this is no one to be trifled with, a seriously evil bad guy coming up fast.

I was under the impression Harry had died back in the 70’s. Boy, was I wrong!
Thanks for the info fellas.

I only started reading Spider-Man around the Jenkins/Straczynski era btw.

Read this month’s Back Issue magazine for a great article on the Hobgoblin, Roger Stern, John Romita JR, Peter David, and others including Jim Shooter for a fascinating look on how editorial works.
Shadows of Evils Past indeed…
Best,
Luis Jaime

I just noticed that his jet scooter had pointy horns aimed right at his junk. Bad things just waiting to happen…

JoeAce: That’s actually a great deal of research you did on the character. I wouldn’t have found the patience to sort through all those books for an answer to Hobby’s identity.

This is the first time I’ve seen pages from #238. I started reading after Lefty Donovan had appeared on the scene. At one point I was sure it was going to be Lance instead of Ned. I never even thought of Kingsley.
And yeah, this was the best period of JR Junior’s career for a lot of fans. I got to tell Johnny Sr. once at SDCC that he was my favorite of his son’s inkers and was pleased to see the look on his face. That seemed to really make him happy.

I would love if Marvel did a “Spider-Man Forever” with Roger Stern picking up with Amazing Spider-Man #251 and continuing as if he never left the book. I know it would never happen, just wishing out loud.

Less talky, more ‘splodey. Thank God for decompression if it stopped the characters from expositing every single detail of every single story.

Loved this guy when I was younger. The toon introduced him before the Green Goblin, so to me he was THE Goblin. When was the last time anyone used him, anyway?

“I would love if Marvel did a “Spider-Man Forever” with Roger Stern picking up with Amazing Spider-Man #251 and continuing as if he never left the book. I know it would never happen, just wishing out loud.”

God yes.

Thanks to whoever recommended that back issue article, it was exhaustively awesome. Interesting to discover that it was Jim Owsley who really killed the Hobgoblin, in more ways than one…

Less talky, more ’splodey. Thank God for decompression if it stopped the characters from expositing every single detail of every single story.

They still exposit every single detail of every single story. They just trick your brain by putting the exposition in a narration caption instead of a speech or thought bubble, then spread the paragraph of exposition across 5 pages interspersed with silent panels instead of cramming it into one panel and getting it over with. Then charging you 5 times the price. Yeah, thank God for decompression.

Ah Gavin but was it really so clear cut as “Jim Owsley screwed up?” Its an interesting question. Last year we had a very lively discussion of Hobgoblin and how the storyline ended, and more than a few links came up (mostly from Christopher Priest’s site “Why I Don’t Talk About Spider-Man” and “Spideykicksbutt.com”) shedding some light on the whole confused period.

http://goodcomics.comicbookresources.com/2008/11/23/comics-you-should-own-flashback-amazing-spider-man-238-251/

I’m not going to get into it here as I said my piece and then some in the comment section of the above link, but I will say that I started out hating the reveal and then over time I loved how it played out (very smartly thanks to noobie writer Peter David, busy carving out a name for himself with his work on Spidey).

Give it a look if you are interested- its pretty much the next few steps of this discussion.

Yeah, Marc, that’s exactly why I’ve never featured it as a Legend so far – it’s just too darn complicated for anyone (including me) to say anything definitive about it.

They still exposit every single detail of every single story. They just trick your brain by putting the exposition in a narration caption instead of a speech or thought bubble, then spread the paragraph of exposition across 5 pages interspersed with silent panels instead of cramming it into one panel and getting it over with. Then charging you 5 times the price. Yeah, thank God for decompression.

Somebody has an axe to grind.

Anyone catch the most recent BACK ISSUE? There’s LOTS of Hobgoblin discussion.

It’s interesting that right off the bat Stern was dropping some hints that Hobby was either an industrial artist or a fashion designer — that’s a pretty complicated mold and dyeing the original Goblin costume instead of making a completely new one is pretty hardcore.

I love this run of stories with JRJR art. I’ve got a nice single page from ASM 245 (the Lefty Donovan issue) with some great Peter/Betty/JJJ art — for those curious it’s the page where JJJ is leaving his office with a gym bag setting up yet another red herring suggesting that JJJ was Hobby.

Spider-man Forever? Bring it on!

Somebody has an axe to grind.

Uh…I thought it was just a counterpoint to your point. So when you make a point about the old writing style it’s just a comment. When I make a counterpoint, it’s an “axe to grind?” How does that even make sense?

Ah, forget it Jake, its the internet. Son of Hulk PUNCH!

Also for anyone interested, Roderick Kingsley will be one of the contestants on the next season of Project Runway. Basically his strategy is re-dying Issac Mizrahi’s older clothes and making his hypnotized twin brother wear them down the catwalk.

Brian Cronin wrote:
“Yeah, Marc, that’s exactly why I’ve never featured it as a Legend so far – it’s just too darn complicated for anyone (including me) to say anything definitive about it.”

Oh that’s for sure. Yet, between Christopher Priest’s account, Peter David’s (on his site) and a few other bits n’ pieces here and there, you can pretty much extrapolate the facts from the whole mess.

For the full down-low on every last clue on Hobby, that Spideykicksbutt dude… man I have never seen such an exhaustive yet very well-documented, well written deconstruction of all things Spider-Man anywhere outside of the comic itself.

Complete digression: Peter nailed Betty Brant and then had an awkward morning after. That’s canon in the Kandel household.

For those interested, here’s the Chris Priest link- Hobgoblin fan, Hobgoblin hater, it don’t matter- this is a truly fascinating read:

http://digital-priest.com/comics/adventures/spidey.htm

It also addresses another popular topic on these boards, the villainization/vindication of Jim Shooter, again well worth checking out- a fly on the wall view of Marvel at the time, and Priest keeps it very above the belt and about as fair and balanced as one could expect from a guy with the target on his back. Fascinating.

Uh…I thought it was just a counterpoint to your point. So when you make a point about the old writing style it’s just a comment. When I make a counterpoint, it’s an “axe to grind?” How does that even make sense?

It makes sense because you attribute the worst aspects of decompression to all decompressed comics while at the same time insisting that there’s actually no difference. Then you do a triple lux into correlating decompression to the rising comic book prices, which certainly implies that decompression caused the rise in comic book prices! (No it doesn’t.)

In short: this whole thing is a moot point because my original statement was a misnomer, I don’t actually want decompression (though it’s a nifty technique if you can swing it), what I want is less dialogue and more Batwoman.

As alastair posted way back up there-
“the new guy was written poorly for the next 10 years especailly the demon stuff.”

I would agree–especially the demon stuff–horrible stuff.

The most interesting (I don’t know if “coolest” is the best adjective) Macendale Hobgoblin moment was when Wilson Fisk had him unceremoniously thrown out of the building by Tombstone after expaining that there was no way he was ever going to garner respect for paying someone else to kill the original Hobgoblin and then assuming the identity after doing nothing to earn it and little to prove he was any more competent than the original.

Everything else? Terrible stuff. Hmmn… okay there’s one other moment penned by MacFarlane where Harry Osborn goes Green Goblin, fights pre-demon Macendale and actually beats him utilizing decent strategy (granted, beating MacHobby is like being valedictorian of summer school- but at this point, Harry was not being written as a juiced up Goblin, just a normal, not really physically intimidating guy who knew his way around the glider and pumpkin bombs). Yep. That’s about the only two moments of MacHobby I can remember that were any sort of compelling.

Did you hear that Marvel ! ? ! ? Spider-Man Forever with Stern back on as if he never left!?!?! Now that’s a series I could definitely get behind. Doubt if we’d ever see it, but boy, how much more exciting does that sound vs. tired (though much respected) Claremont dragging on the old X- legacy.

Man, this is inspiring me to consider doing a little fan fiction – what would I write if I was Stern back on ASM back in the day before the black costume came along . . . Now if I can just get JR jr on to draw for me.

the REAL hobgoblin!

September 19, 2009 at 5:53 am

YEEEEES!

The Hobgoblin was a mentor and guru to me. I followed in his path. I became a costume criminal genius myself. I still believe to this day, it contributed to my 158 IQ

I’m living pretty becaue of it. Million dollar home on the beach, 2007 lambo and audi parked in my drive. A modest $440,000 winter home in the countryside. and a stash of cash buried in a secret location.

I’m writing my book “Diary of a madman”. It reveals all my secrets.

If anyone would like a copy – let me know, I’ll give you a discount right off the top for being a fan of the Hobgoblin

the REAL hobgoblin

September 19, 2009 at 6:17 am

and by the way, I have the entire Hobgoblin comic collection – with every appearence of Roderick Kingsley. I framed them and keep them locked away in my “very well protected” hidden vault.

The REAL Hobgoblin. Keep quiet, or else I be tapping on your chamber door. Hunting for you’re collection ;)

AERose:

While you’re right that decompression has nothing to do with the rising cost of individual issues, it does result in higher prices in the sense that instead of paying six or nine bucks for a story, you get to pay fifteen or eighteen.

I think the only way the Hobgoblin will ever return is when Joe Quesada leaves as it obvious that he hates the character. I think one of the reasons why we got a crappy goblin character like Menace was to serve as a replacement for Kingsley-Kind of like what DC did to the Azrael character when they replaced him with some psycho mercenary recently just because Dan Didio hates Jean-Paul Valley, the original Azrael. I think that both of these guys need to get over their character biases and just bring these characters back because their current fill ins will never be mentioned in the same breath as their predecessors

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