[identity profile] zechs27.insanejournal.com posting in [community profile] scans_daily
Someone once requested back at the old Scans Daily of this particular arc from Spectacular Spider-Man vol. 1 #259-261. Gather round Goblin fans, you don't want to miss this! It's the first and only meeting between the original Green Goblin and Hobgoblin, Norman Osborn and Roderick Kingsley! Though Dial Uppers be warned there be twenty one pages of scans here.

Ever since, the Hobgoblin was created fans have always wanted the battle between the two Goblins. Truthfully, when we did they where a bit one sided and not the epic fights we had envisioned. The Kingsley Hobgoblin owned Harry badly when the later donned some goblin gear to fight him (Amazing Spider-Man #261). The fight between the Macendale Hobgoblin and Harry went to the later's favor all thanks to Spidey's involvement (Amazing Spider-Man #312).

But then the Clone Saga happened, and then with it the return of Norman Osborn. Not soon after, Roger Stern was able to finally close the book on the Hobgoblin Saga the way he originally envisioned it (sounds amusing that if you wait ten years, writers will get the chance to finish the stories at Marvel. First with Hobgoblin Saga, now with the Clone Saga).

So through those two events we both had the original Goblins back. It was only a matter of time before Marvel finally decided that the two original Goblins had to be in a story together. To this day, it is the only time both original Green Goblin and Hobgoblin have ever met and been in the same place together. It also is the "final" appearance of Roderick Kingsley in the mainstream Marvel.

I have to admit, it does feel a little flat given we don't truly get Norman as Green Goblin (that position is filled by Green Goblin V aka Norman's stand-in). But there are still some awesome character moments the two have in this three part arc. So here it is, Goblins at the Gate, with it starting off where Roderick Kingsley left off, rotting away in the cell he murdered his sucessor, Jason Macendale:

Kingsley then gets a deal from the DA, that if turns over the evidence of the one missing journal and gives testimony; Norman goes to jail, and Kingsley will get released on parole.

As Kingsley gets to hear his deal, the guard from Hobgoblin Lives #3 who was friends with Betty Brant overhears it and tips her off to what's going on. Betty soon meets up with Pete and the two watch over Kingsley's being transported from prison to the DA's office. The moment Kingsley is about to get in a van, Pete's Spidey sense starts to go off. He ditches Betty whose left wondering, "WTF PETE!?" Not soon after the escort is firebombed with the being responsible revealed to be:

Spidey soon arrives and a fight over Kingsley soon develops between the Goblin and Spidey. After getting knocked around by both, Kingsley has had enough of being the middle man of this tug of war between the two:

Next issue continues where we left off with the two original Goblins meeting face to face for the first time:

Norman then goes into detailing of the events of Amazing Spider-Man #250, stating which of his journals survived the fire. Kingsley still plays stupid and offers to give Norman more than just the journal. During this all, Green Goblin V is all O_o and totally out of place between these two titans of Goblins. He gets owned a little by Roderick stating the stand-in knows nothing of true power. Which he then displays:

Peter during this all is reeling of the possiblity of these two great foes of his in cahoots. He returns to the Bugle with MJ waiting for him, he goes to see Betty whose using every lead she can in tracking down Roddy. Flash appears checking in on her (he's currently Norman's lackeys. Again he was there in Spidey #75 and like most people in the Marvel world has an IQ of 0 for believing Norman isn't the Goblin even though he's seen evidence proving otherwise). Anyway he and Pete argue, Betty gets annoyed and gets the two bickering children away from her desk. During all this on the other side of town:

With Kingsley getting all Goblined up, Norman contacts his stand-in to tail Roddy and the moment he has the journal back in his posesssion KILL the Kingsley brothers. Roddy then make's his entrance as the Hobgoblin to Norman and is off to visit his brother.

Pete then as Spidey realizes the only clue he has to getting Kingsley back now is probably Daniel. So he pays a visit to a law enforcement to find out where they're keeping Daniel. But he's too late, Hobby has beaten him to the punch:

In the ensuing epic brawl, one of Hobby's blasts hits a pumpkin bomb that was stuck in webbing. It goes boom leaving both combatants dazed:

I have to admit I do love how Roddy and Norman are being written here. Roddy is all business throughout, while Norman is somewhat this, but as we see from his thoughts SOOOO wants Kingsley dead.

When the conclusion starts Hobby is maskblocked by Green Goblin V, who demands no peaking and continue on with business at hand. Hobby yields getting Daniel, but still can't help himself and gives him off to the stand-in while he wraps up Spidey in his own webbing so that he and Norman can be rid of the menace in both their lives.

The meeting starts to downgrade as Norman reveals he knows Kingsley has nothing on him. No journals or any evidence linking him. Kingsley thinks he still has one ace in the hole in giving Norman his company.

As for how Norman did this, we don't get an actual answer directly, but we can easily pick the clues Stern left us in Hobgoblin Lives and Revenge of the Green Goblin mini he both wrote. In the later mini, we find out Donald Menken is a loyal stooge of Osborn. In the former, Kingsley was involved with Menken in a corporate takeover of Osborn's company (really the big goal of Hobby in the mini to control). Obviously after the Hobgoblin affair, Menken continued worming his way into Kingsley's company and got control of it for Norman.

If Menken still lives (he hasn't appeared since Revenge mini), you just know if Roddy ever returns he'll be on the Hobgoblin Revenge Tour list along with Betty Brant, Norman and Harry Osborn, Spider-Man, Daniel Kingsley, and Flash Thompson.

"Evenly matched?" Actually I say more so Norm since he's strangling the life outta ya. Kingsley continues to squeeze the life out of Osborn before being knocked from the grip when Spidey tosses the Green Goblin stand-in at him. Kingsley and Osborn both are all O_O and together utter, "HE'S FREE!"

The stand-in tries to redeem himself but utterly fails getting owned hard by Spidey who unmasks him. It was at this point that the stand-in was to be revealed as Phil Urich aka Green Goblin IV. The reason Phil was working for Norman was payback for former aqquiring the equipment from a lair of Harry's. Also to ensure Ben Urich's silence if he ever got to finding more evidence on Norman being the original Green Goblin.

That idea sounded awesome no? Well leave it to editoral to say otherwise who told Greenburg and Stern that they decided not to do the revealing this issue and delay if for another date.

That date came deep into the Mackie/Bryne/JrJr runs on Amazing Spidey vol. 2 and Peter Parker, Spider-Man vol. 2. Fans demanded to know what happened to the stand-in. He returns to do battle with Spidey in a two part story. But instead of being revealed to be Phil Urich, we get a major FU from the people behind Spidey books with Goblin V being revealed to be a nobody clone.

It was the final straw for fans on the run. Not soon after, Bryne left the book, followed by Mackie. JrJr remained, and JMS got Amazing Spidey with Paul Jenkins getting PP: Spidey. And Green Goblin V was forevermore repressed
by fanbase.

Now back to the main story here, Green Goblin V exits with Spidey being out for a minute removing Daniel from harm. The two originals are still going at it though with Kingsley again getting the edge:

Hearing police sirens, Norman decides it's time for him to leave this battle before he's discovered. Seeing the Green Goblin mask on the floor he puts it and uses Kingsley's glider to escape.

It pains me to remove the scan of Norman in Goblin mask and Power suit cruising away on the glider with cops all O_o at it commenting, "The Green Goblin sure is dressing more stylin nowadays."

So now it's down to just Hobby and Spidey again in a warehosue that is again an inferno. The two do battle as firefighters arrive but it's too late. The building soon collaspses with only Spidey coming out of the rubble.

Pete licks his wounds though highly depressed he got nothing this day. They never find Kingsley's body at the site suggesting he escaped, Norman's still a free man, and Green Goblin V well.. is still unknown. What victory was to have this day Pete asks? MJ answers by telling him he saved the lives of numerous people this day and that Daniel is so never gonna help his brother again. Pete smirks saying how MJ always looks on the bright side and they kiss the end for them. Gaw.. and DAMNIT MARVEL!

As for our two Green Goblins, Norman looks back at the affair almost being a HUGE setback. Still, he has kept the world from knowing he's the Green Goblin once more, has run Kingsley out of town, and has Kingsley's company now. Not bad bit of business he concludes before giving the Green Goblin mask to his stand-in warning him not to blow it next time or else.

As for Roddy:

Honestly when you really think about it, Roddy sure made off like a bastard here. While he didn't have much time to really stick it to Norman to really come up with a plan moment by moment basis and then in the end remain free and clear in the wealth of his criminal riches?

As for the actual encounter Stern and Greenberg played on the strengths of both characters. Norman had the time and resources thus was able to ensare a nice new addition to his Empire. While Roddy showed that he was more than able to go toe to toe with Norman physically. And in the end, I rather look at it a victory more for Kingsley since at the beginning of this he was in worser shape being in prison and had no access to his criminal riches. At the end of this. He's living the life with no sign of any enemy after him. True he was lost his business empire from Norm, but he was willing to part with it to begin with so where's the loss in that?

The only negatives I have with this is again, Norman doesn't get into his Goblin get-up here so it isn't a TRUE Green Goblin vs Hobgoblin battle. Also Betty was here and there in the story not doing much alas. And really I'm surprised other than HE WHO MUST NOT BE NAMED, no other Spidey writer has gone into Betty's thoughts of Kingsley being out there ready to strike at any moment. Plus of her always searching ready to bring Roddy to the justice he deserves yet always escapes.

So in the end , it appears crime does pay if you're Roderick Kingsley because for over ten years now he's been living this sort of life "retired". However, recently Marvel has been teasing in the letter pages of a Hobgoblin return.

First by saying Hobgoblin is dead, before apologizing that they meant Macendale and then stating, that Kingsley may not be safe as many would think he is. Could it be possible that somewhere down the line during Dark Reign Norman opens this old grudge? Or does Kingsley return to bring the downfall of the Norman Empire? Who knows, other than if Kingsley does return, hopefully he'll be written in character as he's had by Stern or DeFalco. Thus he'll be a force to be truly reckoned with. I have to be honest, Kingsley being back and a huge menace would be the only thing right now short of bringing MJ/Pete together again back to read any main Spidey books.

If you truly wanted to full breakdown who would win a battle between the original two Goblins, Madgoblin has already done this with Kingsley vs Osborn which can be found here:


Date: 2009-06-16 05:25 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] kagome654.insanejournal.com
Yay! I wanted to see this again! Though I'm surprised you didn't post the part where Spidey was contemplating letting them fight to the death inside the burning warehouse.

I do love how Roddy seems to be aging backwards since his early appearances...and yet Daniel loses more and more hair. Poor thing is probably really stressed out.

At this point I'd much prefer Roddy to Norman, especially as Spider-Girl has been canceled and the former no longer has a home. I'm not sure his return would be the thing that convinces me to start reading Spider-man again, but I'd be tempted.

Date: 2009-06-16 05:54 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mullon.insanejournal.com
Since Marvel is keen on bringing out every old story they can get their hands on, I'm sure we'll see him again. Hopefully this time it will be a nice even fight.

Date: 2009-06-16 06:46 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] kagome654.insanejournal.com
Yay! Thanks!


Date: 2009-09-11 01:04 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
I wouldn't hold my breath for that. I think this whole encounter between both of them was to shut the fans up because it felt half-assed as Norman wasn't in costume. I read that Roger Stern wanted to do a follow up story where they would have both been in costume but the higher ups weren't interested. Also, it is very obvious that Joe Quesada hates the Hobgoblin and has resorted to giving us crappy goblins like Menace as a replacement.
Instead of making Norman into Lex Luthor, Marvel should have built upon both of these characters because I liked the interaction between both of them.
Sidenote to Joe Quesada, Norman Osborn is not interesting as a glorified and over exposed egomaniacal plot device and nobody cares about Menace.

Sorry to ramble on

Date: 2009-06-17 12:13 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sir_mikael.insanejournal.com
This is a great read. Perhaps a bit lacking in the ways you pointed out but a fitting and unavoidable encounter.

My favourite page is the one where Hobgoblin realises Norman already knows the identity of their enemy. They're both being smart, and Norman enjoys the hell out of being "better", both in power and in the history of battling (both physically and mentally) with Spidey.
But it's important to remember that just because their agendas have been different or that Hobby's not the one on top in that scene, that doesn't diminsih the character one bit.
And Hobgoblin is willing to forego any pride in order to do what is practical, getting in the ever dangerous Normans good graces, and learning the identity of Spidey.

This is my favourite trait of Hobby and really why I love him. He's not crazy, he's not incredibly vain, and he's not stupid. He's competent. He gets what he wants in the most effective matter, whether this be by manipulating, corporate take overs or personal fisticuffs. And if he doesn't get it, well that sucks, but let's go on, try another way, or continue unto the next goal. Credit usually doesn't matter, and his default mode is not to take things personally.
That page also acknolodges that the both of the goblins have been some of Spideys worst enemies, just in different ways. Normans claim is largely a mindfuck-one.

The shot of Hobbys manacles being crushed is very dynamic and hits home for me just how strong these guys are.

I do hope they don't bring back Hobby just to use him as a fodder for Osborn. Or even kill him. That would be such a waste of a great character. I'm not ruling out like you suggested, Hobby returning for the downfall of Osborn. It could be a pretty great storyline too if during this whole Dark Reign thing Norman goes after Roddy. He has the resources and could go on about how they can't let a dangerous superhuman criminal loose, no doubt adding more to Roddys records than what's actually true.
Norman could implicate Roddy of serial killings om american ambassadors or something that Roddy would consider a bit beneath him (Roddy does kill if he has to, but really he's practical about it, and I think maybe he'd see a limit somewhere). Norman sends his thugs after him, and the hunt is on. Roddy manages to hold his own for a while and gets in some decent shots at Thunderbolts or whoever Normans using but is ultimately defeated. Norman would want to gloat obviously. Face to face, Roddy escapes, a bit of a fight man-to-man against Norman, but flees and gathering strength and maybe starts up a guerilla war against Osborn. And really if they want to, they could leave it at that. I realise that the downfall of Osborn is probably reserved for others so it would be unrealistic to expect Hobby to be too significant in that, but he should get a bit part. The way things are right now they cannot meet as equals.
But hey we all know Norman's been battier these days, so him taking on the actual goblin suit is not totally unthinkable, once his control has slipped through his fingers.
It could be fun if, after Norman has been defeated by heroes or whoever, he retreats to his office, knowing he's been beaten, his official powers taken from him, having been exposed, and he does all he can do, goblin ups only to find Hobgoblin there waiting for him. That could be a nice little prolouge or coda or whatever.

I do think Hobby is my favourite Spidey villain of all time, and Stern is obviously the one to thank.

Re: Sorry to ramble on

Date: 2009-06-17 02:31 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sir_mikael.insanejournal.com
Omg, patenting the goblin formula, haha! That would be priceless.
Although I would argue that Hobgoblin wouldn't be too enthusiastic to share his uniqueness and what makes him great (aside from his mind, experience and will) with everyone else either. But yeah that would be the biggest owning of Norman anyone's ever done.

Date: 2009-06-17 12:38 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] craigoxbrow.livejournal.com (from insanejournal.com)
The looming spectre of the Hibgoblin looks so... cheerful. Big grin, puffed-out chest and hands on hips, it's a classic pose for the likes of Captain America and Santa Claus...

Date: 2009-06-20 02:31 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] greedyslayer.insanejournal.com
It pains me to remove the scan of Norman in Goblin mask and Power suit cruising away on the glider with cops all O_o at it commenting, "The Green Goblin sure is dressing more stylin nowadays."

Ah man, I was hoping for that image when I clicked the cut.

But thanks for the scans anyway. :)


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