Amazing Spider-Man (Vol. 1) #275

Story 'The Choice And The Challenge!'

As a copyboy looks for photographer Lance Bannon, Betty Leeds hangs up the phone. She has been unable to reach either her husband, Ned, or Flash Thompson, whom she has been seeing recently. She tells Robbie Robertson that the long hours Ned is putting in doing undercover assignments for the Bugle have left them little time to work out their difficulties. Although he says nothing out loud, Robbie wonders what Ned can be doing under the guise of these non-existent assignments.

At the apartment she shares with Flash Thompson, Sha-shan is packing to leave. She has found out about his affair with Betty, and decided she's had enough. Ned Leeds comes to look for Thompson, and tells Sha-shan to pass a message on: "We have serious business to discuss. Deadly serious business!"

Thompson, wondering how he went from big man on campus to such a loser, is in no mood for Leeds when he returns, and hits Ned rather than talk. Ned picks himself up from the sidewalk and mutters after Flash's departing back. "You'll pay for this, Thompson! I swear--you'll pay !" Thompson's temper in not improved when he finds that Sha-shan has cleared out. "That miserable little witch! If I ever get my hands on her again--!"

A few minutes later, the Hobgoblin is soaring over the city. He reminds himself to stay cool and unemotional as he heads toward the Port Authority Bus Terminal, seeking to lure Spider-Man out into the open. Swooping down on the crowd, he unerring picks out Sha-shan and carts her off as a hostage. "Stop struggling, girl! Do you want to fall to your death?! You are far safer in my hands than you could ever imagine!" Yet in the next breath, he can't resist telling her why he picked her: "You are rather plain, my dear, unattractive and, obviously, not too intelligent!...I have this thing for beautiful women. I've learned from past experience that it isn't easy to menace someone I find appealing!"

Chiding Hobgoblin for his lousy manners, Spider-Man swings into the fray. Hobgoblin holds Sha-shan over his head, and throws her down. Thinking of the time the Green Goblin killed Gwen Stacy, Spider-Man jumps after her. Although he manages to grab her and sling a web line to stop them, the strain on his arm wretches his shoulder. As the Hobgoblin renews his barrage, Spidey's arm gives out when he puts pressure on it. The Hobgoblin strikes with a sparkle blast from point blank range. Spider-Man slumps over the roof, unconscious. "I've done it at last!" gloats the Hobgoblin. "I've beaten Spider-Man! I've won!"