Comics : Superior Spider-Man #26
This review was first published on: Mar 2014.
Otto Octavius is still residing in the body of Peter Parker, and is fighting crime with a decidedly heavier hand than Parker ever did. There's a mysterious new Green Goblin on the scene, who's started inferring with the operations of the original Hobgoblin, Roderick Kingsley. As is inevitable in Spider-man comics, both Goblins are on a collision course.
Superior Spider-Man #26
Mar 2014 : SM Title
|Articles: Green Goblin I (Norman Osborn)|
At an abandoned Oscorp facility on Staten Island, the Green Goblin and his men , along with Phil Urich the Goblin Knight, crash in on Kingsley who's in full Hobgoblin regalia. Kingsley offers a free villain franchise for life to any of his own men who kill Urich, "the little traitor". It's the Green Goblin who calls out a halt to the fight, and proposes a truce to Kingsley, pointing out the "the Spider" has an army now too.
Over at New York Harbor, Otto is using that army to bust up an AIM weapons shipment. The Avengers appear on the scene, requesting a word with him.
In the barren mindscape shared between Otto and Peter Parker, Peter is walking around, looking at memory fragments of his past, and trying to find a way to reincorporate himself.
Back on Staten Island, Kingsley agrees to the Green Goblin's truce. GG then proposes they have it out between eachother once and for all, and the winner gets all the spoils.
Otto is back at Avengers Tower, Iron Man pulls up footage of Otto as Spider-man deleting medical scans performed on him by the Avengers awhile back. Otto says he has a secret identity to protect.
Back in the mindscape, Peter announces that the memories left to him are key ones that define him. He says he'll find a way to win, to come back.
Green Goblins costume has been partially torn away in the melee with Kingsley, revealing the chest scar (drawn more as an indentation here) that occured when Norman Osborn was killed in battle with Spider-man by his own glider all those years ago. This catches Kingsley particularly off-guard, and GG takes this opportunity to beat him down and strangle the life out of him. "Kingsley is dead. Long live the King!"
Cutting back to Avengers Tower, Otto quits the Avengers and crashes out their window, saying he doesn't need them.
Green Goblin is gathering up his troops, while Urich stops to unmask the corpse of Hobgoblin to see who's exactly underneath. Sure enough, he recogizes that it's not Kingsley behind the mask at all. He says he has to destroy the body, that no one can know, or GG will lose claim to all of Kingsley's men.
Epilogue in Paris: the real Roderick Kingsley is busy brainwashing yet another dupe with the Winkler Process computer to pose as him. Pouring a drink, Kingsley thinks it's time again to lay low. He drinks a toast to Osborn, saying he earned his victory today. "To you, my old foe. And to Goblins everywhere."
I gave up on reading Superior Spider-man, not liking the concept, but I was curious about this issue mainly for yet another Goblin battle. It sure seemed like Kingsley was going to die in this issue at the hands of the mysterious new Green Goblin (who's identity as of now has still yet to be revealed definitively), but I cheered at this issue's twist that Kingsley had sent yet another brainwashed, stand-in dupe into battle in the Hobgoblin suit. It fits perfectly with Kingsley's schtick, and he gets away yet again to fight another day. Kingsley is a boss, and I'm really glad he survived this storyline.
Elsewhere, Otto defects from the Avengers (fine by me), and Peter wanders the mindscape, searching for a way to revert back to his own body. That's the extent of these scenes, but the way it's all crosscut with the Green Goblin / Hobgoblin battle makes it seem like there's more going on here than there really is. Also, there are three different artists this issue for the different scenes: Ramos for the GG / Hobgoblin battle, Javier Rodriguez for the Otto and Avengers scenes, and the great Marcos Martin on art for Peter Parker wandering the mindscape scenes. Each artist pulls their weight here and the issue flows amazingly well considering.
Of course, there's also the matter of the mystery Green Goblin (the Goblin King) here. We see his chest scar from the glider impaling and are led to believe that this is truly Norman Osborn under the mask (who disappeared from his hospital bed back in ASM #697 and hasn't been seen since). Seems a bit too tidy of a reveal, though: is this really Norman or someone else under the mask?
Sets up the Goblin Nation storyline quite well; Kingsley as Hobgoblin is ushered out of the way, but survives to come back at a later time. A twisty but solid and completely entertaining issue.