Amazing Spider-Man (Vol. 1) #249

Story 'Secrets!'

At the Daily Bugle, a pensive J. Jonah Jameson tells his fiancee a secret he has only ever told one other person: hoping to bring down Spider-Man, Jameson once financed the genetic research that created the super-powered villain now called the Scorpion. "The past is the past," says Marla. "Why bring this up now?" Jonah shows her a plain mailing envelope. "Because, my dear, someone has discovered my secret. I'm being blackmailed!"

A similar envelope has arrived at the Osborn residence. When Harry leaves abruptly, the visiting Peter Parker tracks him down. Harry must be prodded to reveal the contents: photocopies of a secret journal in his late father's handwriting, revealing that Norman Osborn was the Green Goblin. In a flash, Peter relives the history he shared with the original Green Goblin, including the fact that the Goblin knew his secret identity. He convinces Harry to play along with the blackmail threat for the time being, and meet the blackmailer at the specified place: the extremely ritzy Century Club. Among its patrons Peter recognizes Jameson as well as Wilson Fisk, the notorious Kingpin of crime.

The meeting will not be a private one. Many business men enter the Booker room, the meeting place specified by the blackmailer. Peter, denied access, switches to his Spider-Man gear and watches from a ventilation shaft. As the clock strikes the hour, the Hobgoblin appears. Harry realizes that this must be the man behind the recent Osborn Manufacturing break-ins. Striking the Hobgoblin, Harry almost fractures his hand as the Hobgoblin's head goes flying. "A robot!" he gasps. "It was just a robot!" The others begin to panic, wondering where the real Hobgoblin is: "He ... he could even be one of us!"

The window shatters as the Hobgoblin jets through it. When he is confronted by Spider-Man, he says "This is a surprise...but a welcome one! Let us see if you can fight any better when you're not encumbered with the Black Cat!" They crash into the main dining hall, where Fisk watches the ensuing fracas with interest. Making a bat out of webbing and wood fragments, Spidey hits pumpkin bombs back at his adversary. One breaks into pieces. "What's this? A dud? Tsk-tsk! Mighty shoddy craftsmanship, Hobby!" Coated by gas released from the bomb fragments, Spidey suddenly knows that another secret was in those Osborn journals: "My spider-sense! It's gone!! He must have duplicated the sense-deadening gas the Green Goblin once used on me!" Unable to anticipate his foe's attack, Spider-Man is knocked senseless. The killing sparkle blast of electricity, however, is blocked by a well- thrown tray. Flanked by his bodyguards, Wilson Fisk tells the Hobgoblin, "There has been too much noise and confusion here today."

The Hobgoblin, recognizing the Kingpin of Crime, promptly stands down. "As you say, sir! I shall respect your wishes! As for the rest of you," he adds as he heads for the window, "I will be in touch!" Behind him, Wilson Fisk picks something off the floor and tosses it onto the goblin glider.

The first thing a groggy Spider-Man sees is Wilson Fisk. "Your stamina is as remarkable as ever. You were unconscious less than a minute...By the way, I personally placed your tracer device on his flying craft. This Hobgoblin is a very capable man. In time, he might grow bold enough to interfere in my operations. I prefer to let you apprehend him. It's simply good business."

Except, Spider-Man thinks, he needs his spider-sense to track the tracer; and it is still gone.