Amazing Spider-Man (Vol. 1) #98

 Posted: 2004
 Staff: Jeanne Burch

Story 'The Goblin's Last Gasp!'

Hovering outside the window, the Goblin taunts Peter. "You look scared, Parker. I always knew you were a coward. Can it be you're afraid I'll reveal your secret identity?" Fear for Harry had almost erased the threat the Goblin presented out of Peter's mind. The Goblin crashes through the window. Picking Harry off of the bed, Peter challenges the Goblin to come closer. "I've something to show you."

"No tricks, Parker."

"This isn't ... a trick." Although, thinks Peter, it had better work. Otherwise, he and Harry are both defenseless.

Hovering over the two, the Green Goblin begins to hesitate. "That boy -- in your arms! I -- I know him ... But no -- no! I won't be reminded!"

"Tremblingly, the grotesque figure turns -- his twisted, tortured brain racked by the anguish of a haunting, half buried memory -- And then, like a savage, streaking creature of the night -- he flees -- " Amazing Spider-Man 98

Rushing Harry to the hospital, Peter hopes his friend will be all right. Blaming Mary Jane's treatment of Harry for Harry's drug use, Peter reflects that love can make someone do odd things, and wonders if Gwen Stacy is thinking of him at all.

Since Harry's father is a respected businessman, his overdose is news. On campus, Peter Parker takes great personal satisfaction in putting Harry's pusher out of commission, disguising his spider strength and speed as karate moves. The Daily Bugle runs an editorial pointing out that drugs are a problem that affect rich and poor alike. But when nighttime falls, Spider-Man once again goes searching for the Goblin.

This time, the Goblin is willing to be found. "I hoped you'd be fool enough to show yourself again. For, this time, only one of us will leave the fight -- alive."

Dodging glue bombs and stun bombs, Spidey can't quite get out of the way of one bomb that releases a soaking mist. Springing away, he thinks that the bomb only helped him to get his breath back. He discovers differently when he slides down a wall instead of sticking to it. Catching himself on a roof edge, Spidey prepares to web up the approaching Goblin. But: "It doesn't work! The web-shooter's empty! ... Oh, great--great. I'm out of web-fluid -- can't stick to walls anymore -- and facing a murderous madman who's out to destroy me! Well, anyone can be a hero with the odds in his favor--"

Luring the Goblin in close, Spider-Man tries the only thing that seemed to bother his enemy before. Leaping onto his foe's shoulders, he clamps his knees around the Goblin's neck and exerts pressure. Unable to dislodge Spider-Man, the Goblin is forced to steer toward the hospital where Harry Osborn lies comatose. "If this doesn't work -- I'll still be behind the eight ball," thinks Spidey. But the sight of Harry so ill overcomes Norman Osborn's Goblin personae. "Harry! My son--what is it? What's wrong?" When Harry doesn't answer his father's calls, the Goblin passes out from the strain. Taking him home, Peter burns the Goblin costume and leaves.

Walking home, Peter Parker suddenly wonders if he, too, is beginning to crack up when he thinks he hears a voice. But, from the end of the street, someone is calling his name. "Peter! I'm back! I had to return!"

"Gwendy!" gasps Peter. "I can't believe it! It's like a dream -- a miracle!"

"And now, before we eagerly count the days till next issue, we just want to ask you one little question -- who says we never give Spidey a happy ending?" Amazing Spider-Man 98, the conclusion.

Note: All three issues #96-#98 were not approved by the Comics Code Authority due to the mention of drug use in these issues. It was rare then that any comic book be published without the CCA seal.

 Posted: 2004
 Staff: Jeanne Burch