Spider-Man (Vol. 1) #48

 Lookback: Filling Gaps
 Posted: 9 Oct 2022
 Staff: Dave Sippel (E-Mail)

Background

Previously, Jason Macendale traveled to Russia to extort Vladimir Kravinoff with his father's diary. They fought several times but decided to use Macendale as a guinea pig for the strength formula. The experiment was painful and Macendale decided to get revenge by sending his bomb laden glider into the Kravinoff mansion.

In New York, Demogoblin escaped from his cell in Ryker's Island prison and began murdering the inmates. Spider-Man arrived and confronted the creature, who tried to persuade him that killing criminals was what they deserved. Spider-Man couldn't disagree but still didn't think of himself as judge, jury and executioner. Demogoblin escaped.

Story 'Demons Of Our Past'

  Spider-Man (Vol. 1) #48
Summary: Death of Demogoblin
Arc: Part 3 of 'Beware the Rage of a Desperate Man' (1-2-3-4)
Editor: Danny Fingeroth
Writer: Howard Mackie
Pencils: Tom Lyle
Inker: Scott Hanna
Cover Art: Tom Lyle

In Russia, Macedale breaks free of his experimentation tube, saying that the pain was over. Vladimir was tired of hearing his ranting and ordered his guard, Gregor, to execute him. Gregor said that the other men were targeting him but they were interrupted by the bomb covered glider. Gregor ordered Vladimir to leave, saying he had taken a vow to see that he get his legacy. He shot at Macendale and hit him in the shoulder but he kept coming. Macendale said that it hurt but not as much as it should have. He tore his way through the other guards and then took his costume from a bag in his glider. As Hobgoblin, he said they had no reason to fight each other and there was no profit to be made. He tossed Vladimir the rest of his father's journal and left. Vladimir wanted an explanation from Gregor as to what happened and he was told that there had been an anomaly in Macendale's blood. The results had been unpredictable.

In New York, Spider-Man was watching the police load the bodies of gang members into a coroner's truck. There had been a minor fight at a movie theater and five teenagers ended up dead. After killing them, Demogoblin had written "Sinners Repent! Judgement Day is Upon You!" outside of the theater. Spider-Man was determined to put him away for good.

Elsewhere, a group of mafia leaders were gathered at a meeting they had been called to. They had no idea who called the meeting and that person hadn't shown up yet. A gangster called "Mister Garrison" started to leave when Hobgoblin showed up. Garrison insulted him and started to leave when Hobgoblin broke his neck. He easily killed Garrison's guards when they attacked him. Hobgoblin told the remaining bosses that he was still working freelance and had no interest in running an organization but he would be treated with the respect he deserved. He told them that he knew Demogoblin had been killing their men and he offered to take care of the problem for them but at a price. One of them said he could name his price and Hobgoblin said it would be done. He ordered them to leave, because he knew that Demogoblin would be coming for him.

Not far away, Spider-Man was having words with two drug dealers that he was dangling over the edge of a rooftop. He asked if they were crazy or stupid, since Demogoblin had been killing people like them. One said that Demogoblin was killing the competition and the other said he could handle himself. He wasn't afraid of a freak in a costume. Spider-Man said that he should be afraid and dropped both of them, before catching them with a web. He told them that Demogoblin would have let them fall and maybe he had the right idea. Before he swung away, he told them to keep a low profile until he had caught Demogoblin. As soon as Spider-Man left, Demogoblin appeared and told them that confession was good for the soul, but it was too late for them.

Demogoblin found Hobgoblin waiting for him on top of a church. He asked Hobgoblin if this is what he wanted, and Hob replied that there was no other way. Demogoblin said that he had no choice but to kill him and apologized. Hobgoblin took him by surprise with a razor bat and tackled him off of his glider, causing them to fall through the roof of the church.

At Aunt May's house, the phone rang and Mary Jane answered. She hoped it was Peter but she heard no answer on the other end. She hung up in frustration, still upset after May's stroke. A man with brown hair hung up a pay phone and said "Mary Jane?"

Spider-Man arrived at the church after hearing the police reports about Demogoblin and Hobgoblin. A cop told him he was waiting for backup and the priest told Spider-Man to hurry. There was a hurt woman and her young daughter still inside. Spider-Man promised that after tonight, no one would have to worry about either goblin again. Inside, Hobgoblin had Demogoblin in a headlock taunting him that he was a sinner that was going to keep sinning and there was nothing he could do about it. Spider-Man checked up on the girl and her hurt mother and he asked himself how many times the bad guys would keep coming back and leave children without parents. Picking up a destroyed pillar, he threw it at the two goblins, knocking Demogoblin away. Hobgoblin mocked him, saying he obviously thought the demon was the bigger threat. He tossed a bomb at him, saying he wasn't a punching bag anymore. The gas from the bomb slowed Spidey down, but Hobgoblin's new strength made it a short fight. He tossed Spidey away, telling him to let him deal with Demogoblin.

In Russia, Gregor pleaded with Vladimir to wait for more testing on the formula. Vladimir told him that he was the son of Sergei Kravinoff and he knew when he was ready. Gregor said he hoped that his father would look over him and Vlad said he knew he would. He would soon be the true son of the hunter.

At the church, Hobgoblin was slamming Demogoblin into the church pillars, breaking them. Spider-Man observed from the sidelines, thinking of how Macendale was now as strong as Norman Osborn, if not stronger. He then saw the girl and her mother and hoped that he could get to them in time. Even Demogoblin noticed the danger that the girl was in and begged Hobgoblin to save her. Hob told him that life is tough and he wouldn't have to worry about her for long. Demogoblin escaped from him and put the pillar back in place, telling the girl to run and stay untainted by evil. Hobgoblin hammered away at him as he held the pillar, mocking him for having a soft spot for kids. Demogoblin said he'd see Macendale in "the fiery pits of eternal damnation" and Hobgoblin told him to save him a seat.

Spider-Man showed up to kick Hobgoblin away and he helped the girl and her mother escape. Demogoblin thanked him and said his time was done, just before the pillar collapsed on top of him. Spider-Man checked the corpse, saying there wasn't enough left to identify Demogoblin as...whatever he had been. Hobgoblin had escaped and Spider-Man swore that when he found him, he wouldn't hold back. The priest arrived to tell him that he needed to calm himself, or the anger inside him would consume him. As he swung away, Spider-Man said that rage was all that was keeping him going, and he was taking it to the Hobgoblin.

General Comments

Spidey insinuated that he thought Kraven was stronger than the Green Goblin. That was interesting.

That's the most interesting part. It's strange that Demogoblin was only killing gang bangers, drug dealers, and mob goons. He always targeted anyone he could find, as he considers everyone to be a sinner. This was almost anti-hero of him. At least his preoccupation with a child's innocence was true to character. I was a little confused by his appearance before killing the drug dealers. Had he been waiting in the background while Spider-Man threatened them? His sudden appearance was odd.

Spider-Man almost feels like a guest in his own book, as he takes a backseat to the villains. He isn't doing much, besides being angry.

There wasn't much shock to Demogoblin's death, as it was made clear what would happen on the book's cover art.

There was a lot of action in the issue, but it was dull. It was lacking...drama? I'm not sure what the word would be.

Overall Rating

The issue succeeded in what it wanted to accomplish: kill Demogoblin, make Hobgoblin more dangerous and move Vladimir closer to being the new Kraven.

 Lookback: Filling Gaps
 Posted: 9 Oct 2022
 Staff: Dave Sippel (E-Mail)