Comics : Web of Spider-Man #38

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This story is part of a Lookback Series: World Wide Web of Spidey

This review was first published on: 2005.

In Detail...

"Moving Up"
Web of Spider-Man #38
May 1988 : SM Title
Summary: Hobgoblin
Editor:  Jim Salicrup
Writer:  Fabian Nicieza
Pencils:  Alex Saviuk
Inker:  Keith Williams, Mike Esposito
Cover Art:  Bob Budiansky
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 Reprinted In: Spider-Man's Greatest Villains (TPB)
Articles: Watson, Anna, Aunt May Parker (BTS), Bambi, Candi, and Randi, Betty Brant, Flash Thompson, Glory Grant, Green Goblin II (Harry Osborn), Hobgoblin IV (Macendale), Jameson, J. Jonah, Elizabeth (Allan) Osborn, Mary Jane Watson-Parker, Mercado, Joy, Robertson, Joe "Robbie", Tombstone

We start with the Hobgoblin (Macendale's version, at least) attacking the Kingpin's office. He demands the arranger tells him why Kingpin has 'blacklisted' him from hitman assignments in the city. The arranger tells him that it is because he stole someone else's identity but that if he could prove himself by taking out someone (such as Spider-Man), Kingpin could change his opinion.

Suddenly the mysterious Tombstone storms in (see issue 36 for his first appearance) and hurls Macendale out the window. Hobgoblin just survives by summoning his glider but instead of going to get his revenge on the Arranger, he decides to go after Spider-Man (hmmm…)

Meanwhile, over at Pete and MJ's, the are throwing a party. Mrs Muggins storms in though and demands to know what's going on. She bawls Pete out as he owes her rent. Pete calls Harry to see where he is but he is stuck in traffic because of the Hobgoblin. Pete leaves the party to go after him … except that he's feeling a bit tipsy from alcohol!

He hadn't been drinking himself but tackles Hobby while half cut. He makes numerous mistakes but Macendale is pretty pathetic anyway so still comes out on top.

Back at the party and it turns out that Mr Muggins had spiked the punch. Mrs Muggins is furious but, as he and MJ are moving out soon, Pete gives her a goodbye kiss!

In General...

This is a very mixed bag of a comic. For one, you're not really sure if it's supposed to be a comedy or serious. It doesn't really work as a bastardised version of the two. The Hobgoblin is either a serious threat, or he's not.

Pete being drunk, as Spider-Man, is actually pretty funny but still being able to defeat the 'new' Hobgoblin gives him no credibility as a villain at all. As a comedy, it's not a bad effort but overall it just doesn't really work.

It's good to see Mrs Muggins back, even if it is for what is likely to be the final time. There are also some funny lines from the party – specifically spoken by Jonah.

The good bits here are good – it's just a shame it leaves such a disappointing overall impression.

Overall Rating...