When we left them at the end of last issue, Spider-Man and the Green Goblin had taken a momentary break from beating the tar out of each other, when the Goblin declared he was going to kill his own grandson. Spider-Man replied by saying he'd kill the Goblin...
|Cover Art:||Humberto Ramos|
|Reprinted In:||Spider-Man TPB (PPSM) #3|
Spider-Man and the Green Goblin have resumed their battle. It rages throughout Osborn's warehouse, with neither one of them able to gain much of an advantage. The Goblin makes it clear to Peter that the only way to keep him from having his grandson, Aunt May, and Mary Jane killed is for Peter to kill him. Their battle continues, the Goblin keeps pushing Peter's buttons, and it becomes clear that the Goblin wants Peter to kill him.
But when it looks as though Peter is actually about to snap, the Goblin flees in terror. Peter catches him before he can escape the warehouse, and he pins the Goblin down. Peter is about to deliver the deathblow, the Goblin in tears but actually urging him on, when Peter gets up, walks across the room, and sits down against the wall. After a moment, the Goblin gets up and sits down next to him.
Peter tells the Goblin about the dream he keeps having. The dream has Peter swinging across the city as Spider-Man, and there's a plane going down in flames, and Peter just knows that Mary Jane is on it. The plane crashes and when Peter gets there and starts digging through the rubble, he thinks he sees Mary Jane... but then realizes that it's actually Gwen Stacy. Peter goes on to tell the Goblin about how wonderful Gwen was, about how if the Goblin had actually been able to know her, he'd never have been able to continue his evil ways, because Gwen's personality would just fix him. Peter says that not a day goes by where he doesn't think about killing the Goblin for murdering Gwen, but he never will, because he doesn't even hate the Goblin. Peter feels that if he refuses to hate the Goblin, then he keeps Gwen alive... but if he ever gives in to hate, then she'll die for good.
Peter gets up to leave, and the Goblin warns him that several lives are hanging in the balance. But Peter knows that the Goblin would never actually hurt his grandson. Peter says that his dream meant that the Goblin can never actually win, because it's him against Gwen. So Peter says that if the Goblin really wants to kill Peter's loved ones, he can go ahead, it'll only strengthen his resolve. Peter goes on to say, "I won't have to kill you in return. I won't even have to send you to jail. Just being YOU... that's life without parole."
Peter goes on to the hospital to visit Flash Thompson, who recently suffered severe injuries while being an unwitting pawn of the Goblin. And then the next morning at Norman Osborn's office, Osborn receives a little surprise from Peter that leaves him sitting in his desk with his head in his hands, considering using the gun in his desk on himself...
"Just being YOU... that's life without parole." Man, that's a great line. After the last issue, I was beginning to feel that I might be disappointed in the resolution of this story arc. Granted, I was a little displeased that there weren't any major, far-reaching consequences as a result of this story (especially since it was called "A Death in the Family"!), but for the most part, I really enjoyed this conclusion.
Paul Jenkins' story here is as good as usual... the fight scene is nothing special, but the conversation between Peter and the Goblin at the end is some powerful stuff, and despite the fact that these two are out for each other's blood, I found it completely believable that they would just sit and talk like this. One thing that I found somewhat disappointing about this issue, though, was the art. I like Humberto Ramos' pencils, and they were typically spectacular in this issue... at times. Like last issue, the pencils in this issue are very inconsistent, which makes me wonder if maybe Mr. Ramos isn't up to the task of a monthly book. There are some very nice artistic moments in this issue, but there are also some that just aren't too pleasant.
Four webs... a very good conclusion to a very good storyline.