In the last issue Hobgoblin went on a holy 'Cleansing' where he would kill all sinners. He kidnapped a boy to make him become his protage. Spider-Man catches wind of Hobby's doings and goes after him. Ghost Rider also hears of this and also tries to find the goblin...
|Cover Art:||Todd McFarlane|
|Reprinted In:||Complete Spider-Man (UK) #7|
Spider-Man is horrified to see that the little boy he was trying to rescue from hobgoblin is transforming into a little version of hobgoblin himself! Hobgoblin tells Spider-Man has the mark of truth and is protected from the devil. The boy chimes in and says that 'Mr. Goblin is trying to rid the world of bad people'. Spider-Man, not having any of this is ready to go another round, but out of nowhere comes Ghost Rider (G.R.) crashing in through the warehouse. Hobgoblin calls G.R, the devil and attacks. Spidey now completely confused, wonders if the world has gone completely nuts. As the two demons are fighting Spidey picks up the boy and asks if he is alright. The boy is STILL concerned for Hobby's saftey.
Hobgoblin gets on his glider and flies toward G.R......FAST. G.R. stands still until the last second....lifting up his arms and ripping the glider to shreds! Spidey in the mean time puts the boy down and tells him to stay put and runs towards the fight. Hobgoblin summons a flying demon and jumps on its back, but spidey jumps in a knocks him back off. (Hobby isn't looking to good right now does he?) While falling G.R. takes another crack at the goblin himself and almost takes Spidey out in the process. Spier-Man then gets angry and tells G.R. to back off because he's too 'green' (at the time ghost rider just started). G.R. tells him that there is things more important, like the child. Hobgoblin gets up and hears them talk anout the boy. He remembers the boy and screams 'where is he?!' Hobby then goes schizo again for like the 100th time and starts bring down the warehouse. Hobgoblin gets back on the demon grabs G.R. and head skyward.....the drops him. G.R. gets up like it's nothing.
Spider-Man yells over to G.R. that he can have the goblin and that he's taking the boy and leaving. Before Spider-man leaves though Hobby crashes through the roof (making the house even weaker) screaming that he would rather die with the boy then have them corrupt him. The boy tries squirming out of Spider-Man's arms and yells for hobgoblin. Spider-Man (very pissed off now) grabs the boy and looks at him staright in the eye. He asks for his name. The boy says 'Adam'. 'How apporpriate' Spidey mumbles. He puts Adam back down and runs back to the demons realizing he can't risk G.R. taking out Hobby by himself.
Hobgoblin blasts both heroes off there feet and picks up Adam. Adam asks if they can stop for now. Hobgoblin replied by saying that they can't stop, as long as there are sinners in the world. Hobgoblin asks for the boys name as well. Adam tells him and Hobby smiles and thanks the Lord. He tells Adam its time to go. G.R. doesn't think so. He managed to get on his bike while they were talking and starts speeding towards them. Spidey yells at G.R. and says that Hobgoblin is holding the boy.
Too late. The spirit of vengenace rams right into The Hobgoblin and the impact sends Adam skywards. Spider-Man in a leap of faith catches Adam before he hits the ground. G.R. slams into the unconsious goblin and is ready to snap his neck. Spider-Man buts in before the unthinkable and tells G.R. it's over. He explains that they are heroes, not villans. They live to serve and protect, not kill. G.R. starts to walk away stating that Spider-Man is right, but one day Hobby will pay the ultimate price.
He then says Spidey a true hero and rides off. But he doesn't thank him he looks down at Adam and says that being a hero isn't a choice. It's fate. He then swings off towards the hospital to take care of Adam.
I loved this story. Mainly because the art. McFarlene is THE best artist out there he always takes up all the space in a panel because he is that good. I also liked the story. Many of the fans at that time thought McFarlene was the anti-Christ for what he wrote (espicially in perceptions) its new and it fits right in. Not to much fighting though (only 5 panels!)and the friend ship between the boy and Hobby is a real twist
Although I think the real reason for G.R. was to boost sales. Anyway I loved his interpretation on what good really was and what evil was. Hobgoblin though he was good doing the work of the lord and taking out the sinners. But Spidey and G.R. thought differently.
MacFarlenes art is still some of the best which can make any story more enjoyable. This story was also more mature then others in recent years causing parents too get in an uproar.
I would of gave it five webs but the story had one thing bothering me: Why DID Hobby become super religous with at the drop of a dime? (I know he becomes Demogoblin later but still at the time it was weird.)