While the rest of New York is suffering from the demonic invasion, the Hobgoblin has more immediate problems. His attempt to extort the strength- enhancing Goblin formula from his predecessor's son Harry Osborn has backfired. Miserably. It's bad enough when Spider-Man defeats him, but to have Osborn's weakling son beat him is more than his ego can stand.
|Cover Art:||Sal Buscema|
As the Hobgoblin flies around a demon-infested New York, a small group of them take a personal interest in him when he inadvertently destroys their hiding place. Their attack on the "tasty human dressed as demon" is brief and utterly futile against a man with nothing left to lose. The Hobgoblin easily destroys them (where was this earlier?). As he flies away, he thinks about the statement "dressed like a demon" and has a sudden flash of desperate brillance.
Spider-Man makes his way to the Daily Bugle. Since he was preoccupied with Harry, the Hobgoblin, and Mysterio, he's ignored the weirdness that's going on in Manhattan up to this point. He wants to find out if Jonah has a better idea of what's going on.
While in mid-swing, a sudden powerful wind slams him against a brick wall. Spider-Man grabs a gargoyle to break his fall. Before he can recover, the gargoyle attacks him, puncturing his right side. He falls a short distance to the ground below and eventually makes his way into the Bugle through the front door.
When he arrives in the main offices, he finds Jonah preparing his employees for another demon assault. Their usual banter is cut short when Spider-Man passes out due to blood loss. Jonah instructs Joy Mercado to bandage him up.
Hobgoblin makes his way to the Empire State Building, the location of the dimensional tear between the demonverse and Earth. Following various demons around, the Hobgoblin is eventually discovered. He asks to be taken to their master; he has a deal for him. The lower level demons laugh at the concept, but think that N'astirh will be even more amused, so they agree.
Once N'ashirh appears, Hobgoblin addresses him and states his assumption that the reason they have invaded Earth is for human souls. He will trade his human soul for the power of a demon. N'astirh is amused by his proposition. He has no interest in human souls, but grants Hobgoblin his wish without the barter merely because he was amused. The power blast knocks him miles from the city.
When Spider-Man finally awakens, he finds that he received some first aid to stop the bleeding from his side and that the demons have returned to attack the Bugle. Despite his injuries, he helps Jonah defend his building from the demons. After the demons have been defeated, Spider-Man realizes that he's bleeding because he reopened his punctured side and once again passes out.
Outside the city, the Hobgoblin awakens from N'astirh's "gift" to find himself transforming into a true demon.
Ok, if I were a mercenary that was just trashed by the geeky son of my idol, the Green Goblin, I'm pretty sure I'd be mad enough to bargain with a demon to give me an edge. That said I'm glad I'm not a mercenary.
The Jonah/Spider-Man team up is very funny considering their long history. It seems that in between the insults Jonah doesn't want him to die. That doesn't sound like much, but it's a start - for him at least. He probably just didn't want a giant blood stain on his carpet.
4 webs. This is a solid story. This is a key issue in the history of the second Hobgoblin and one of the high points of the Spider-Man Inferno issues.