Story: Dan Slott
Art: Humberto Ramos, Victor Olazaba
What They Say:
How has the Hobgoblin evaded the Superior Spider-Man for so long? And does that hold the key to the Superior Spider-Man’s greatest success — or greatest failure? It’s the end of the line for Hobgoblin, and possibly an end for a big chapter in the history of Spider-Man
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
Considering the convoluted nature of the Spider-Man universe when it comes to people and their secret identities, it was amusing the last time around to have Octavius call out the Hobgoblin, at least in this current iteration, by his real name of Phil Urich on pretty much every digital device in the city. There’s a real power imbalance going on there with what Octavius is able to do and he’s pressing it to gain advantage at every turn. We’ve seen how it’s worked to rally a lot of people behind him, but he’s also making more enemies on the other side as well. It’s definitely engaging to watch this very different approach from what Peter was doing and the kind of positives and negatives that come from it.
For Urich, it’s just insanity as he’s caught in the worst place possible now, and in the middle of everyone he works with, his uncle and his girlfriend. The fallout is strong to be sure as there’s a mixture of wanting to turn him over right away while others defend, and as it goes on we even see how it impacts Norah as she didn’t know the secret and the two had turned in quite a lot of material, which taints her and essentially ends her career. A new villain in the making, perhaps? Ben and Robbie work this the best way possible considering what’s at stake and it’s all played well and intensely as we see Phil freaking out in the middle of it, which is only becoming more intense as more people gather around where he is. It’s the kind of life crumbling before your eyes moment that will push you into bad places.
Naturally, things turn towards Spider-Man and we get him coming in to do “the right thing,” which has its own complications since his methods weren’t the best in some eyes. Phil finally reveals all in front of everyone with his sword, which makes for a great scene as the crazy sets in, and the action gets underway. It’s well laid out with the panels and artwork to make it exciting, but it also has some interesting twists since Octavius has his hired men to assist as well, even just with crowd control, as it really pushes a very different view of how he’s working. Not surprisingly, even though he’s captured, Phil ends up being sprung as part of the Green Goblin’s plan, but with Phil’s life now destroyed, it’s easy to see how he’d commit so easily.
This issue has a lot of things going on and I love some of the reverse dynamics here from what Peter himself always feared over the years played out with Octavius driving it with Phil. The office space material is fantastic as there’s a lot of moving parts and most people, including Norah, get some good time to bring it all out in the open. I also really liked seeing how Octavius, whose costume continues to get darker and darker, orchestrates events on the outside with his hired hands massaging the situation and adding a very different kind of vigilante feel about it. It’s a solid book that helps to continue to build what the Green Goblin is doing while also touching upon several other points that have been nudging along nicely.
Age Rating: 13+
Released By: Marvel Comics via ComiXology
Release Date: August 21st, 2013