Comics : Amazing Spider-Man (Vol. 1) #238

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This story is part of an Arc: "First Hobgoblin"
     Part 1 / Part 2

This review was first published on: 2004.

In Detail...

"Shadows of Evils Past"
Amazing Spider-Man (Vol. 1) #238
Mar 1983 : SMURF 238.500 : SM Title
Summary: First Hobgoblin
Arc: Part 1 of "First Hobgoblin"
Editor:  Tom DeFalco
Writer:  Roger Stern
Pencils:  John Romita, Jr.
Inker:  John Romita, Sr.
Cover Art:  John Romita, Jr.
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 Reprinted In: Marvel Tales #257
 Reprinted In: Spider-Island: Emergence of Evil (Story 2)
 Reprinted In: Spider-Man: Origin of The Hobgoblin (TPB)
Articles: Watson, Anna, Aunt May Parker, Betty Brant, Green Goblin I (Norman Osborn) (FB, Cameo), Hobgoblin I (Kingsley), Mary Jane Watson-Parker, Nathan Lubensky, Robertson, Joe "Robbie"

When bank robbers almost run over Aunt May during their escape, Spider-Man takes a personal interest in their capture. After the escape car crashes, one of the hoods escapes into the sewers. Thinking it will be little trouble for the pursuing police to catch the perpetrator, Spidey takes his camera and leaves the scene. Meanwhile, the crook has found one of the hidden storerooms of...the Green Goblin, one of Spider-Man's most deadly foes! Later, the crook leads a shadowy figure back into the hideout, saying "I figured a dude like you'd be interested!" Flipping through the Goblin's private journals, the figure orders the equipment to be removed.

Peter and Joe "Robbie" Robinson hear about an arson fire near where the bank robbers were captured. Surveying the room where the fire started, Peter recognizes something unusual: "The last time I saw a metal rack like that--it was holding a row of jet-gliders! This was one of Norman Osborn's hideaways when he was the Green Goblin!" Wondering if the bank robber is about to become the new Green Goblin, Peter walks away, lost in thought.

In the South Bronx, a shadowy figure gets out of a red van. The crook assures him that the van will be properly disposed of: "When I'm done with this van, there won't be a clue left!" "I'm sure there won't be, Georgie," replies the figure. Pushing a button on a hand held remote, he watches as the van blows up. "Quite sure."

Surveying his booty the next morning, the figure marvels how anyone as insane as Osborn could create such astonishing weapons. The trade-mark pumpkin bombs explode soundlessly, yet melt through inches of steel. The gloves channel bursts of electricity equivalent to several thousand volts. But the prize above prizes is the jet-glider: "It's so swift...maneuverable...and quiet! It's controls can be mastered in seconds! This must surely represent a breakthrough in the science of flight! This proves Osborn was insane! He could have made more money by marketing such a device than he ever could have made in crime!" In the next panel, however, the mystery man proves he is vulnerable in the same way Osborn was vulnerable: "The freedom, the power this gives one is...exhilarating!"

As he pulls on his new mask and the altered Goblin uniform, the figure reminds himself to be careful. "It's easy to see how Osborn became so warped by his second identity! The compulsion to escape the restraints of society is something I can well understand! The trick is to control that compulsion...and not let it control you!" Mounting the glider, the figure continues to muse: "Undoubtedly, lack of control was the cause of Osborn's downfall. His forays into the world of crime...his battles with Spider-Man...must have proven too much for his unbalanced mind to handle!" Gliding out of the shadows toward the only patch of light in the room, a figure engulfed in an orange cloak can just be discerned. "Well, Norman Osborn may have died, but his legacy--his power--will live on! And this time, it shall be shaped by a man who knows how to use power! The Green Goblin is no more! But in his place now stands--the Hobgoblin!"