Ben Urich, die-hard journalist for the Daily Bugle, has agreed to help long-time friend Liz Osborn find out the secrets behind the appearance of a new Green Goblin. See, Liz is the wife of the late Harry Osborn, the second Goblin, and is bound and determined to stop whoever is donning her dead husband's image. The young guy along for the ride, Phil Urich, has a much different agenda. You see, HE'S the New Green Goblin!
The book begins with Phil walking around an old Osborn Industries warehouse with Liz Osborn and Ben Urich. Phil is sweating it, and eventually they find the exact place where homeboy first stumbled onto the Goblin equipment. Problem is, the place has been totally cleaned out! Of course, Ben and Liz don't know this, but Phil sure does. As they leave, an ominous MULTIVEX van is parked in the shadows.
The story then switches to the evil-doers of the issue. A trio of femme fatales, hacking their way to the top of the world via electronic crime. The purple-haired leader, Angel-Face, leads her two shapely mercenaries, Salt and Pepper (not the rap group), in threatening a high-executive with his life in exchange for passcodes and security clearances to his financial records. After a bit of drama, the corporate type surrenders his security clearance, and the girls pick his virtual pocket.
Meanwhile, the Goblin gig is almost blown when Phil's friend Freddie pops in, and mistaking the mask Phil's holding as a halloween costume, tries it on. Phil is freaked because he's sure the mask will fry poor Freddie's brain, but it doesn't. Freddie can't even see out of it, so he dumps the mask. Good thing too, because not very much later, the Green Goblin calls and asks to meet with Liz Osborn to try and sort out this whole mess. Liz doesn't make the rendezvous, however, because she's been kidnapped by our lovely Angel gang. Liz is the primary shareholder in Osborn Industries, and the girls see it as a golden opportunity to cash in on some cyber-dough. Just as the negotiations get ugly, the Goblin breaks up their little charade by smashing through the window.
What follows is a hail of pumpkin bombs, bullets, and screams. After GG bags the two side-chicks, he chases down Angel-Face who has kidnapped little Norman Osborn! Phil chases her down the hall, into an elevator shaft, and finally into the steam-room, where Angel-Face jumps the Goblin. She does pretty good, too, until GG lets loose with his patented maniacal laugh. This causes the girl to shoot a steam-pipe, letting loose a spray of hot steam right on to her lily-white flesh. Little Normie emerges from the shadow and asks Phil if he's the Green Goblin. When Phil replies in the affirmative, Normie shows his gratitude by calling him a liar and saying "you're not my daddy!". Liz, however, has a different attitude towards him, and she give Gobby her blessings.
The only problem with this issue is the same one as last; the villains. I don't know why, but for some reason people get caught up in cliches, and thinks they'd be good enemies. Salt & Pepper? Come on, there is more originality in the world, I know it! But don't get me wrong, the iss was enjoyable! I liked the Liz Osborn angle, electronic crime is the wave of the future, and the action was very good. Phil is finally getting the hang of stirring things up! I can't forget the Multivex hints, tying in with the current "Blood Brothers" story line.
Darick Robertson fills in on pencils for this issue. Darick did a very good job on the Goblin's facial expressions, and he had nice style. The flow of the story was classic comic-book; it didn't fool around with unnecessary elements. All in all, it was classic Green Goblin!
A solid four webs. Action, adventure, continuation of "My So-Called Super-hero", and a tiny bit of resolution. I think Phil is kidding himself, though. He's not going to be the Goblin for very long.
Out of all of Spider-Man's spin-off titles, I believe that this one is the best executed. The Green Goblin has an established identity as a villain, which makes the task of turning him into a good guy even more difficult. The staff has overall done a wonderful job of executing the task of giving us a character we can identify with and root for. It is a very, very bad thing that Marvel in it's corporate wisdom has decided to can Phil and his exploits. I believe they have their reasons other than just sales (can you say....MULTIVEX???), but it still bites.
NOTE: There is a movement out on the web started by James Simpson. A faithful Marvel-ite, James is trying to get people to sign a petition to get the Goblin to stick around. If anyone agrees with him, please e-mail him! I'm sure he would love to discover a whole bunch of the Goblin-faithful, such as I, and maybe he COULD make a difference. Hell, the Spider-Man expatriates showed us that a little boycott never hurt anything. Maybe the information age will bring about a more interactive relationship between readers and creators.
[Ed - Email link expired and removed in 2004]
Okay, I'm getting off my box before one of you knocks me off!