|Pencils:||John Romita, Jr.|
|Cover Art:||John Romita, Jr.|
|Reprinted In:||Spider-Man: Origin of The Hobgoblin (TPB)|
In the Long Island hideaway of the Hobgoblin, a dimly-lit man sitting at a chemistry workbench mixes carefully mixes together two compounds, with explosive results. Responding to screams, another man races in and pulls the wounded experimenter to safety before blowing up the house.
At the Daily Bugle, Peter Parker sees J. Jonah Jameson carrying a gym bag, something so unusual he has to tell Betty Leeds. Betty is equally astonished: "Jonah always said that exercise was for health nuts!" The two go to meet Betty's husband Ned for lunch. Peter is surprised to find a fourth person attending: Mary Jane Watson, who once turned down his marriage proposal. It makes for an uncomfortable meal.
While Spider-Man continues his search for the Hobgoblin, a heavily bandaged figure listed as "John Doe" lies comatose for weeks. Coming to abruptly, he pulls off his bandages and, realizing he feels fine, makes his way to the ruins of the Long Island house. In a secret storage area underneath the blasted building, he finds the Hobgoblin uniform and pulls it on. His memory is hazy, but he attaches sensors and steps onto the goblin glider. "Yes! I can feel the power surging inside me! Now the Hobgoblin can really begin to mystify the world!...I have to find Spider-man and teach him the meaning of fear!"
Word reaches Spidey that the Hobgoblin is tearing up Times Square, demanding the presence of the Web-Slinger. Spidey is astonished when the Hobgoblin picks up a huge industrial dumpster and hurls it at him. Spinning a layer of protective padding, it is all Spider-Man can do to prevent the dumpster from flattening the nearby crowd. Warned by his Spider-sense, Spider-Man catches a pumpkin bomb and throws it back at Hobgoblin: "You're pitching pretty good today, fella--but how's your fielding?" Although he dodges the bomb, the explosive backlash whips the Hobgoblin into a nearby roof. Leaping to the roof and pulling off the Hobgoblin's mask, Spider-Man recognizes: "Lefty Donovan! But you can't be Left Donovan! What kind of scam is this? How'd you get so strong? Talk!"
Donovan is so dazed he can barely speak. "S-strong? it was the Osborn formula...boss said it would make a man unbeatable--but it blew up! Hard to think..." When Spider-Man demands to know the name of the "boss", the glider unexpectedly takes off on its own. "He doesn't want me to talk!" screams Donovan. "He--!" The words are cut off as the glider slams, full speed, into the side of a building.
Watching the medics cart the body away, Spider-Man thinks to himself that the story is not over. "The guy who set him up--the real Hobgoblin--is still alive out there! He must be! And now I know he'll stop at nothing!" And, watching the telecast from Times Square, an unseen figure congratulates himself on accumulating enough data to avoid the unstableness inherent in the Osborn formula. "For the time being, the world will believe the Hobgoblin to be dead...though Spider-man no doubt suspects the truth. If he does, all the better! Let him worry about how and when I will strike next! It will only add to his downfall! For it shall be the death of Spider-man which is reported...in the end!"