Spider-Girl #20

Background

You knew it was only a matter of time before the Green Goblin reared his ugly head and sought his revenge against the Parker family. But what if there's more than one Goblin this time around...?

Story 'Once a Goblin!'

  Spider-Girl #20
Summary: Green Goblin Returns
Editor: Mike Marts
Writer: Tom DeFalco
Pencils: Pat Olliffe
Inker: Al Williamson
Reprinted In: Spider-Man Universe #6

The Parkers tend to be a little more paranoid than most families, albeit with good reason. As the issue opens Phil Urich is standing guard out side the ol' homestead while Peter is putting May through an emergency training session. Mary Jane is a bit nonplussed by all of the added safety measures, but Peter insists that they are necessary "until I find a way to recapture Normie."

Ignoring protests from all concerned that he is way past his prime, Peter and Uncle Phil travel to the local police precinct where they have located all of the Green Goblin's hideouts, realizing that Normie is probably holed up in one of them. Phil, who recognizes Peter's folly, holds back the location of the one hideout he's forgotten: the place where Phil began his brief career as the Green Goblin. Deciding to check the warehouse for himself, he's ambushed by the Green Goblin and left for dead.

Mary Jane, meanwhile, is trying to go about her life as usual. She fails miserably, as it turns out, since the Goblin is waiting in her office and promising "a variation on the standard "Spider-Goblin" plot . . . I plan to wire you with proximity explosives." MJ cuts through his smug demeanor with a solid hit to the chops. Before a stunned Osborn can recover his composure she thwacks him with a table lamp and sends him flying out the window. Bemoaning the unfairness of being soundly whupped by his potential hostage, the Goblin cannot react in time to Spider-Girl's well-timed appearance and is sent hurtling through a nearby skylight.

Back at the Goblin's current hideout, Peter has arrived and revived the unconscious Phil Urich. "Something you said made me recheck my notes. I realized I missed this location." Phil is barely lucid, but has come up with a plan...

Meanwhile, Spider-Girl and the Goblin continue to go at it, and May is more than a little upset that Normie went after her mother. That anger makes her sloppy, and she takes a gas-filled pumpkin bomb right in the face. Before Normie can finish her off, he's interrupted by the appearance of (drum roll, please) the Golden Goblin! ("I found your current hideaway and took a few liberties with the spare costume.") Normie, convinced that "Uncle Pete" has stolen his legacy, is quickly subdued by the two masked heroes. May, begging Osborn to get help, puts him away for good with a right hook. In actuality, Phil Urich is the man in the spare costume, and while his original intention was to convince Normie that Peter was wearing the suit ("this war can finally end now that I'm a Goblin, too!") the lure of playing a super hero again proves too strong to resist. Has the MC2 universe found another hero? Time will tell.

General Comments

Sheesh, first MJ kicks the Chameleon's butt back in Spectacular #244, now she gets medieval on Normie Osborn? Maybe she ought to be the one wearing the webs!

Not a bad issue, but I must confess I was hoping for a little more. Oliffe and Williamson draw a mean-looking Goblin, but the guy's pretty much a wimp this time around. Hey, the Green Goblin (whoever happens to be wearing the suit) has always been the preeminent villain in the Spiderverse because of the damage he's caused. Norman Osborn was the first bad guy to learn Spidey's secret identity, and then he killed Gwen Stacy and set the whole clone saga in motion. Harry was also Peter's best friend. If Tom DeFalco wants the Goblin in the MC2 universe, he needs to make him a little more dangerous. I'm not saying "kill Peter!" or "Kill MJ!" I'm not saying that this book should have a consistently darker tone. But right now the Green Goblin is nothing more than--to use Mary Jane's words--"a confused little boy." I think he can be a better villain than that.

Speaking of Goblins, Phil Urich's return to the glider was fun. I don't know how I feel about him trying to make a career of it, but I'll reserve judgement. (Although "Golden Goblin" just doesn't sound right, in my humble opinion.) As for his "plan," I really don't know why they thought making Normie believe Peter had donned a goblin suit would help end their conflict. As a rationale for getting Phil into a goblin suit again, it's stretching credibility just a bit. Personally, I find it easier to believe that Phil was just tired of sitting on the sidelines and wanted to help out.

All in all, an okay issue. But I do want to say one more thing: get Jim Novak back on lettering detail, please? Hand-lettered captions fit this book much better than computer-generated ones. Not a big issue, just annoying.

Overall Rating

Average issue, average rating. Three webs.