Comics : Spectacular Spider-Man (Vol. 1) #260

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This story is part of an Arc: "Goblins At The Gate"
     Part 1 / Part 2 / Part 3

This review was first published on: 2004.

Background...

Norman Osborn, having finally managed to get his hands on Roderick Kingsley, (Hobgoblin to his friends,) is less than pleased with his guest. After all, Kingsley did steal his shtick a few years ago, and Osborn isn't one to hide his displeasure.

In Detail...

"Spider in the Middle"
Spectacular Spider-Man (Vol. 1) #260
Aug 1998 : SM Title
Arc: Part 2 of "Goblins At The Gate"
Editor:  Ralph Macchio
Co-Plot:  Roger Stern
Writer:  Glenn Greenberg
Pencils:  Luke Ross
Inker:  Al Milgrom
Cover Art:  John Romita, Sr.
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Articles: Betty Brant, Flash Thompson, Green Goblin I (Norman Osborn), Hobgoblin I (Kingsley), Mary Jane Watson-Parker

Norman opens up the discussions by decking Kingsley. Kingsley suggests a pooling of resources, and while Osborn isn't too enthusiastic about it ("what else can you possibly have to offer to me that I don't already possess?") he does bring Kingsley back to New York with him.

The next morning, Spider-Man is having little success tracking down Kingsley, although he does manage to save a jaywalker from becoming a hood ornament. After catching a glimpse of the morning Bugle, which has painted him in the worst possible light regarding Hobby's escape, he swings over to the Bugle building where his lovely wife is waiting with his street clothes. Going over to check on Betty, he runs into Flash and the two of them get into an argument over Norman Osborn, who's Flash's new hero.

Right about that time Kingsley and Osborn are verbally sparring, Osborn wanting to know about the journal and Kingsley trying not to set him off. He finally reveals that his brother Daniel, who's under police protection, has the journal and instructions to take it public if anything happens to him. Realizing that Osborn plans to kill him after the journal's recovered, Kingsley sweetens the pot by offering to give him the reins of his corporation in return for his life. Osborn agrees, sending him off to change into his battle garb. He then calls the Green Goblin and orders him to tail Kingsley "and make sure that he and his brother both meet with unfortunate accidents."

Spider-Man, meanwhile, has also figured out that the Hobgoblin might go after his brother and swings by the 5th Precinct to get his location from Detective Lou Snider, last seen in PP:SM #91. Snider is less than eager to tell Spidey where Daniel is, but relents when he gets a report that the building's under attack. Spider-Man swings over to the Big Apple hotel where Hobby has easily overpowered New York's finest (why didn't they at least send Code: Blue or someone?) Spidey arrives just in time, webbing Daniel in the bathroom to get him out of harm's way, and then turns to Hobgoblin, who's gas bomb fails to catch Spidey off-guard. After diving through the gas, Spidey pounces on Hobby, whose finger blast gets knocked off the mark and ignites a stray pumpkin bomb.

Both manage to withstand the blast, although Spidey's got stray webbing all over himself, but their fight is interrupted by the Green Goblin, who nails Spidey with a tranquilizer dart. Hobgoblin's not too keen about someone else whupping Spidey for him, "and yet... I might as well take advantage of this singular opportunity to finally learn the true identity of my greatest enemy!"

In General...

Plot-twisting double-dealing. Hey, what do you expect when you deal with Goblins. Still, it's all great stuff.

Overall Rating...

Four webs for an entertaining plot.