AMAZING SPIDER-MAN # 249-251 (1984)

The “conclusion” to the Hobgoblin saga.  It’s been written about ad nauseam, so I’m not inclined to try to do better.  But every article I’ve read forgets to mention Hobgoblin’s biggest win:  Early on, he threatens to blackmail J Jonah Jameson with information about his connections to Scorpion. 

Spider-Man stops Hobby (actually, Hobgoblin “dies” and Spider-Man doesn’t seem all that broken up about it), and tells JJJ that the threat of blackmail is over, but JJJ has already preemptively come clean…

And just like that, Robbie Robertson replaces Jonah. For a while, anyway.

Lots else happens, of course.

Hobgoblin also tries to blackmail Kingpin and Harry Osborn (with information about Green Goblin).  To his credit, Harry tries to stand up to Hobby.

Yeah, it’s a robot.  Everyone has lifelike robots in the ’80s Marvel U.

In the end, Spidey and Hobgoblin fight in Hobby’s battlevan, which crashes into the East River and slowly sinks.  Rather than be saved by Spider-Man, Hobgoblin chooses death.  Or “death.”

Thus, the biggest Marvel mystery in decades ends without resolution: Hobgoblin’s body is not found, and his identity is not revealed.  Roger Stern wrote the saga so that Roderick Kingsley would be Hobgoblin, but he didn’t even tell Marvel editorial, and since he left under not-so-great circumstances, his secret left with him.

This is the end of Roger Stern and John Romita, Jr.’s run on Spider-Man.  Maybe the best run on Spider-Man ever.  Hell, maybe the best run in comics, ever.  Maybe.  Probably not.  But definitely a contender.

Creators: Stern and Romita, Jr.

Grade: A+

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