AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #243-245 (1983)

The full story of the Hobgoblin rolled out across many issues, and the beginning arc was interrupted by some (albeit great) filler issues.

Issue #243 shows Oscorp being robbed, repeatedly, by a mysterious character who loots an old Green Goblin arsenal under the city.  Lots has been written about this story, featuring Roger Stern’s greatest creation, and I won’t retread the old ground.  Suffice to say: The true identify of Hobgoblin was one of the best secrets in Marvel history…Even if it doesn’t entirely make sense.  Anyway, Spider-Man tries to stop the break-ins and ends up with one of the best comic book car chases ever.  But he fails to stop the getaway van, and we see a wounded Hobgoblin scheming to get super powers (above).

Getting Green Goblin’s powers goes awry, of course, and drives Hobgoblin a little mad when the chemicals explode in his face and he ends up in the hospital for three weeks.  (Incidentally, none of the characters who are supposed to be Hobgoblin appear to have such an absence explained.  Weird.)

Issue #245 promises we will get Hobgoblin unmasked, and we do, but of course it’s a fake-out.  It’s just his henchman, Lefty Donovan.

Spidey doesn’t fall for it.

Creators: Stern and John Romita, Jr.

Grade: A+

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