Comics : Amazing Spider-Man (Vol. 1) #284

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This story is part of an Arc: "Gang War!"
     Part 1 / Part 2 / Part 3 / Part 4 / Part 5

This review was first published on: 2004.

In Detail...

"... And Who Shall Stand Against Them...?"
Amazing Spider-Man (Vol. 1) #284
Jan 1987 : SMURF 284.500 : SM Title
Arc: Part 1 of "Gang War!"
Editor:  Jim Salicrup
Plot:  Tom DeFalco
Writer:  Jim Owsley
Pencils:  Brett Breeding
Inker:  Josef Rubenstein
Cover Art:  Ron Frenz
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Articles: Aunt May Parker, Betty Brant, Hammerhead, Hobgoblin I (Kingsley), Hobgoblin IV (Macendale), Jack O'Lantern (Jason Macendale), Jameson, J. Jonah, Mary Jane Watson-Parker, Leeds, Ned, The Punisher, Rose (Richard Fisk), Robertson, Joe "Robbie", Silvermane

When the disappearance of the Kingpin sparks a gang war, a soon-to-be-retired Spider-Man vows to stay out of it. As Silvermane is blasted by the Arranger's enforcer, Jack O'Lantern, and a restaurant bomb targets Hammerhead, Spider-Man combs the city looking for Flash Thompson. He runs into the Hobgoblin, who is simply patrolling the area. Not sure if Flash and the Hobgoblin are one and the same, Spidey holds back. The Hobgoblin mocks him: "Humanitarian fool! Those men are criminals! They live by a code of violence! It is their way! What is your way, Spider-Man?"

The Daily Bugle has mobilized to cover the increasing violence. Peter Parker is attending a meeting when his spider-sense sparks. Whirling, he sees only reporter Ned Leeds, talking to his estranged wife Betty.

Going home after another fruitless search for Flash, Parker is distressed by a news flash reporting that dozens of injuries and several deaths resulted from the increased underworld violence. Peter recalls the Hobgoblin's words: "It's not my problem. It's the way they live. Their code of violence. I've got to stay out of it. I've...I...I have great power. And, with it, a great responsibility. This war stops now."

Soaring over the rooftops, the Hobgoblin critically examines the motives behind the war. He concludes there is room enough for all the gangs, if they would but see it: "Personal vendettas have no place in--" He interrupts his reverie when he sees a black silhouette on the roof below. "Spider-Man!! You cannot hide from me, Web-Slinger! I have you now !"

But Spider-Man is not usually armed with an automatic weapon. Too late, the Hobgoblin realizes he faces someone totally different.

The winds of war call to him. The war of criminals. He has sworn his life to dealing death to such vermin. It is a vow he intends to keep -- amazing 284.

And the Hobgoblin falls before the onslaught of ... the Punisher!