Amazing Spider-Man (Vol. 1) #244

Story 'Ordeals!'

  Amazing Spider-Man (Vol. 1) #244
Summary: First Hobgoblin II (Lefty Donovan)
Arc: Part 1 of 'The Search for the Green Goblin Formula' (1-2)
Editor: Tom DeFalco
Writer: Roger Stern
Pencils: John Romita, Jr.
Inker: Klaus Janson
Cover Art: John Romita, Jr.

Faced with the prohibitive hospital bills the Black Cat will face once she is released from the hospital, Peter decides his only recourse is to take a leave of absence from graduate school. Across town from where he is dealing with the university's bureaucracy, Harry and Liz Osborn are just finishing up lunch with Mary Jane Watson. Returning to the corporate offices of Osborn Manufacturing, they are startled to find the place ransacked.

When news of the latest Osborn Manufacturing break-in reaches Spider-Man, he wonders if it has anything to do with his new enemy, the Hobgoblin. "This sounds totally different. The job was pulled in the daytime...employees tied up by a small group of men...files rifled!" Not wanting to take any chances, Spider-Man goes to Detective Jean DeWolff's office, where he reads the robbery report. While there, he overhears of a robbery in progress at a chemical storage warehouse owned by the Osborn company.

Arriving at the warehouse, Spider-Man crashes through the skylight with an announcement: "All right, this is a citizen's arrest! I see at least six cases of illegal use of firearms! AND one violation of local noise ordinances!" Making a common mistake, the thugs pile onto Spider-Man. When it seems the Web-slinger has gone down under their greater numbers, one sneers: "I read where he's s'posed to be as strong as ten men! Too bad there's more'n ten of us!" From the bottom of the pile, Spidey tsk's. "You really shouldn't believe what you read in those sleazy tabloids! The correct information is: 'he has the proportional strength of a spider!' And that's a heckuva lot stronger than ten men!"

Watching from a waiting truck as Spidey throws off his attackers, an obscured figure reaches into a glove compartment and extracts something. The next moment, everyone is ducking for cover as metal-edged bats fill the air. Spidey charges the truck, but is forced to dodge an incendiary bomb tossed from the cab. The warehouse begins to go up in flames. Unable to leave the other hoods to burn to death, Spider-Man lets the truck speed away. Turning the rescued criminals over to the police, Spidey overhears one of them give the name of the man who hired them: "Lefty Donovan, eh? I have a name for you now, Mister Hobgoblin. All I have to do is track you down!"

On Long Island, a truck pulls up to a rented summer house. Racing into the house, Lefty Donovan tells someone sitting in the shadows that the job was a "Piece'a cake! I got the chemicals, and the rest of the boys took a dive--just like you planned. Spider-man even showed up...Just like you suspected he might! But I used the stuff you gave me, and I lost 'im. I wish I knew how you did it, sir!"

The Hobgoblin, his ribs heavily bandaged, is dismissive. "It's really quite simple, Donovan...just a matter of getting to know your adversaries and planning how best to humble them. With the compounds you've secured for me, humbling Spider-man will become even more of a 'piece'a cake' than it is now! Those chemicals will give me the full physical power which the original Green Goblin possessed! With such strength at my command, Spider-man will be powerless to stop the Hobgoblin!"