Spider-Man: Origin of the Hobgoblin (1983)
Amazing Spider-Man various #238-251
By Roger Stern, John Romita Jr., Tom DeFalco, Ron Frenz, and more
Recap: A mystery man discovers Norman Osborn’s old Green Goblin headquarters and uses what he finds there to become the Hobgoblin. After a series of violent crimes, Hobgolin resurfaces once again to blackmail some of New York’s wealthiest (including Harry Osborn, J. Jonah Jameson, and the Kingpin). Jameson steps down as Editor-in-Chief for the previous role he played in creating The Scorpion, and Spider-Man finally gets the upper hand on Hobgoblin (who still manages to escape).
Review: These issues should be taught annually to new Marvel/DC creators on what monthly superhero storytelling should look like. Roger Stern and John Romita Jr. are master craftsmen here - able to fool audiences without ever cheating them, taking nuanced approaches where bombast would suffice, timing payoffs perfectly.
The creators nail the issue-to-issue mystery, deliver a complex supporting cast, and manage to create a cruel and cunning villain for the ages.
The Jameson story arc that ends the book is some of the most emotional and human treatment that a Spider-Man character has ever been given.
Not even the fact that Stern and Romita left an issue early can detract from this story, as DeFalco and Frenz wrap up the story well (from a draft of Stern’s).
This isn’t higher art or a perfectly constructed masterpiece. But it is basically the pinnacle of a certain kind of storytelling (monthly superheroes) and should be celebrated as such.
Ranking: Origin of the Hobgoblin is the 3rd new #1 in a row on this list of 3 stories. I don’t think it’s going to give up that top spot for quite awhile though….
1. Spider-Man: Origin of the Hobgoblin
2. X-Men: Second Genesis
3. Deadpool: Funeral for a Freak
#SpiderMan #RogerStern #JohnRomitaJr #TomDeFalco #RonFrenz #Marvel #MarvelComics #Hobgoblin #GreenGoblin #JJonahJameson