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Comic Book Legends Revealed #410

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COMIC LEGEND: The Goblin in Spider-Man 2099 was revealed to be someone other than who Peter David intended it to be.

STATUS: True

In Amazing Spider-Man #289, Peter David was given the unenviable task of revealing the identity of the Hobgoblin, a reveal that was different from each of the two previous writers to write the Hobgoblin (his creator, Roger Stern, and Tom DeFalco, who took over Amazing Spider-Man from Stern – read an old Comic Book Legends Revealed I did on the topic for more info)…

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Oddly enough, years later Peter David would be on the other side of this situation, as he introduced a mysterious Green Goblin character into his Spider-Man 2099 series…

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A few issues later, Spider-Man punches the Goblin…

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And in the next issue, supporting cast member Father Jennifer has suspicious bruises…

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However, in Spider-Man 2099 #44, an issue credited to David (his last issue on the title), it looks like he is revealing that Spider-Man 2099’s brother is the Green Goblin and not Father Jennifer!

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While credited, though, Peter David did not write that dialogue! Here he is on usenet back when the issue was released…

I did not write that dialogue. I repeat…I DID NOT WRITE THAT DIALOGUE. Those are not, and never were, my words. Gabriel was not, and never was, the Goblin (I mean, how freakin’ *obvious* would that have been?) I always intended Father Jennifer to be the Goblin. My scripting simply read, “Go in peace, my son. We were fortunate to escape the deluge,” etc.” The clumsily tossed in line of dialogue… was not mine. It makes no sense. Why in God’s name would Gabe shlep the thing to Father Jennifer and leave it with her? That comes out of absolutely nowhere…whereas the notion of Father Jennifer being the Goblin (right down to her having bruises after the fight with Spider-Man) was carefully set up.

It is pretty funny how Jennifer’s reaction does not match her dialogue at all.

Later on, David had the opportunity to fix this change. That’s a matter for another day and another column, though!

Thanks to Peter David for the info!

_____________________________________________________________________________________________________

Check out some classic Comic Book Legends Revealed related to Peter David!

Did the idea for Magneto ripping Wolverine’s adamantium out of his body come from a joke suggestion made by Peter David at a X-Writers conference?

Was Peter David planning on making Supergirl a team book?

Was Peter David’s Aquaman run delayed due to a religious misunderstanding?

Did Paramount make DC relaunch their Star Trek series without Peter David because his original characters were getting too popular?

Was Peter David given special permission to use Death in an issue of Incredible Hulk?
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On the next page, learn the weird origins of the Archie character Ginger Lopez!

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36 Comments

Funny turnabout on that Green Goblin identity story.

I had read who Roger Stern wanted the Hobgoblin to be, but this is the first I’d read that Tom DeFalco also had a different identity reveal in mind. Who had he meant the Hobgoblin to be?

Even with all the creative confusion, I still remember both runs of Hobgoblin issues fondly, and still enjoyed #289 very much.

Maybe it’s just because I haven’t read the issue, but I’m having trouble understanding how that last line implies that Gabe is the Green Goblin? Just going from that page, it sounds like she’s saying that becoming the Green Goblin is the guidance she didn’t expect to receive. Am I reading that wrong?

so why was Cheryl replaced in Archie? up until saying she is still in Archie I figured it was some weird rights issue

Maybe it’s just because I haven’t read the issue, but I’m having trouble understanding how that last line implies that Gabe is the Green Goblin? Just going from that page, it sounds like she’s saying that becoming the Green Goblin is the guidance she didn’t expect to receive. Am I reading that wrong?

As originally written, they have a talk and he leaves and she opens the case with her Goblin costume in it.

The edited version has Gabe drop off the case with the Goblin costume in it, so when she opens it, she discovers that he is the Goblin.

Once she started her moonlighting gig under the stage name Cherry Poptart, they quickly moved to take her out of the spotlight.

so why was Cheryl replaced in Archie? up until saying she is still in Archie I figured it was some weird rights issue

Her book wasn’t selling that well, so they just decided to put her on the back burner for awhile.

If I remember correctly, I believe DeFalco intended for the Hobgoblin to be Richard Fisk, and for the Rose to be Roderick Kingsley.

Here‘s an old Comic Book Legends Revealed I did on the Hobgoblin situation, including who DeFalco wanted to reveal as the Hobgoblin.

So why exactly did they redo the dialogue? It doesn’t add anything to the story unless they really believed that making it Gabe was some quantum leap upward, so what’s the point?

I guess they just really did think that Gabe was a better Goblin than Father Jennifer.

re: Goblin reveal… maybe the editor misread the situation and thought that Gabe brought the trunk over, but it wasn’t clear so he thought he was helping.

I could see that being possible, as well, Charles. In that case, though, it was a pretty foolish mistake to make.

Technically, Gabe is Miguel’s half-brother (from his mother’s side). I mention this because one of Peter David’s objections to this re-written reveal was that this issue was immediately after the Venom 2099 arc, and Venom 2099 was revealed to be Miguel’s half-brother (from his father’s side).

Wow, most cops get a regular badge, but Batman, he has to have a diamond-studded PLATINUM badge!

Why on Earth was Batman’s Bat Badge diamond studded?! Rich people…

I have no idea. It is a really bizarre concept, isn’t it?

Comic-Reader Lad

March 15, 2013 at 2:25 pm

Cheryl becoming Ginger isn’t the only example of Archie editing their reprints by a long shot. I think they’ve also edited them to make certain references more modern.

I also know of an example from an Archie digest last year that featured a Josie and the Pussycats reprint. In the story, Alexandra uses her magic powers that she had for awhile in the early 1970s to make Alan M fall in love with her or something. However, in the reprint version, she says she’s using techniques she learned on a “hypnosis website.”

Oh yeah, they often make edits to make things current, but changing a character entirely is still unusual for them.

Batman is always big pimpin’

I like how Robin is dying while Bats is going on and on about the blinged out badge

Kane wasn’t the only one doing swipes in regards to Batman. There is a long history of the writers swiping characters and story ideas and elements from the pulps, notably Doc Savage, the Shadow, the Black Bat and the Phantom Detective. It has been theorized that the Bat-signal came from the Phantom Detective. The diamond studded badge almost certainly does and since it figures into the plot (has it ever appeared anywhere else?), it wouldn’t surprise me if this story was an “adaptation” of a Phantom Detective pulp. The Phantom Detective didn’t wear a costume, but often wore disguises and sometimes even a mask over his disguise. He carried the unique badge as a way to identify himself to the police and to publisher Frank Havens, his one friend that knew his real identity.

That may be the most dialog I’ve ever seen in a Golden Age comic!

Maybe Batman’s badge was platinum and diamond studded so that it couldn’t be easily faked? Anyone can put on a bat costume and claim they are Batman (I guess) but the police could always ask for his one of a kind (and too expensive to counterfeit) bat badge. Other than that…I got nothing, lol.

The Many Lives of the Batman: by Roberta E. Pearson published around 1990 or so, does have Miller admit that stories prior to the TV show had the Dynamic Duo as deputized, and Miller even mentions the badge. Perhaps Miller spoke fast on that documentary?

Has Miller ever blamed the TV show for Robin’s pixie boots and shaved legs?

Intriguing that the Green Hornet (“on police record, a wanted fugitive”), the Shadow and the Spider did not operate in such an openly friendly manner with the police (by and large; I have yet to skim through the 1960’s Shadow comic books). It goes to show that the more overtly juvenile and pandering properties tend to have more prominence today.

Not all 16 year old have hairy legs.

Cheryl is not the only character to be replaced in reprints: originally in Crisis on Infinite Earths, it’s the 1940s Green Arrow who destroys the Shaggy Man but in collections it’s Speedy. I prefer Green Arrow myself since he dies in the last issue, so it’s nice to have him get that one final victory.

Andy, there’s a fifties DC science-fiction tale that they reprinted in the 1970s and changed President Eisenhower to Nixon.

Dick Grayson probably was a competitive swimmer as part of his Robin training, as well as a reason to explain why he still shaves his legs. It would be a reasonable cover as to why he would continue to do so when he’s no longer a performing acrobat.

So if Peter David didn’t write the line of dialogue about Gabe leaving his trunk with Father Jennifer, who did?

Basically Batman slowly became more and more chummy with Police from 1940 to 1942. If you just look at Batman’s relationship with police, it is a gradual process, going from “shoot on sight” in 1939 to being publicly thanked by the president (G. Henry Moover) in 1942.

In the movie serials he even has a rank above the police, since he is a secret Federal agent.

It’s the “Hold this trunk for me till things settle down Father” that is the replacement dialogue imho. Look at the lettering, it’s different. This is what PAD is referring to I think, what else could it have been…

Atlas (Seaboard) did something similar circa 1975 with their title Vicki, which just slightly doctored the names in reprints of Tower Comics’ Tippy Teen from the ’60s. Fun stuff; regular Archie artists worked on it, including my fave, Harry Lucey.

I agree with Miller. I’ve always thought that the idea of Batman being allies with the police was too cheesy and reminiscent of Adam West.

So if Peter David’s version had seen print do we have the first case of the Ronin situation? When he “fixed” it did he explain how someone draw as a guy was really a woman?

And love his work, but he was left with a mess and didn’t make the Hobgoblin situation any better. I liked the Foreigner a lot, but the idea that his stooges (not even him) could take out a super strong guy who regularly battled Spiderman was silly. Only made more so by the fact that the person he calls out for help before he died was Spider-man! Completely neutered he best new bad guy Spiderman had in years and pretty much paved the way for Green Goblin’s return.

Commander Benson

June 19, 2013 at 12:01 pm

Y

Frank Miller doesn’t mention Batman being deputized in the comics also on that documentary on the Batman DVD, but he does mention it elsewhere in interviews so he is aware of it, when he mentions that Batman in the fifties was deputized, etc.

FRANK MILLER: “If the world were the wonderful place that it was portrayed as in the fifties, then who would need a Batman? He’d be a clown! They even deputized him, for Christ’s sake.”
http://www.comicbookresources.com/?page=article&id=192

BARBARA BOGAEV: “You know, as a kid, when you read about this guy who dresses like a bat, you just really swallow it whole. You think, oh sure, he gets to be a superhero and dress up, cool. But, when you think about it, what kind of guy would dress up like a bat? You’ve gotta be a weirdo.”

FRANK MILLER: “What you just said, Barbara, is a lot of where I come from. When I handle these superheroes, I like to step back and take a look at them and go, what kind of a person would really do this? What kind of a person would dress up like a bat and throw people through windows? And, I looked at what they’d done with the character and he’s spent so much time being deputized and being this nice guy and a role-model for kids, and I realized, no, this would be a very, very strange man. And I don’t think he’d be a particularly nice person to be around. So he’d be the guy you’d want to have around when your threatened by a criminal, but you probably wouldn’t want to have dinner with him.”
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=841850

By the way, Batman being transformed into a law-abiding badge carrying member of the police was due to an editorial mandate at DC by editor Whitney Ellsworth. Censorship. Bob Kane explained in his autobiography Batman & Me, “The editors placed increasing limitations on what Bill and I could do. You couldn’t kill or shoot villains anymore. The new editorial policy was to get away from Batman’s vigilantism and to bring him over to the side of the law.”

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