Amazing Spider-Man #254
Issue(s): Amazing Spider-Man #254
The Hobgoblin seemingly died in Amazing Spider-Man #251, and Roger Stern never revealed his identity. It might have made sense to let the Hobgoblin related plots lie for a while, but he was a popular character. So in this issue, the Hobgoblin's battle van is pulled out of the Hudson and subsequently stolen by the Jack O'Lantern.
Spidey had put a spider-tracer on the van to keep track of it so when he hears it's been stolen he's able to hunt it down and face off against the Jack O'Lantern.
In a really frustrating plot point, however, Aunt May's boyfriend Nathan arranges for Peter to meet with May to reconcile after she learned that Peter quit school. Peter chooses to go after the Jack O'Lantern instead of, say, dropping a second spider-tracer, and therefore he's unable to meet with Aunt May.
Jack O'Lantern will eventually take on the Hobgoblin identity. It's a good fit - both use a pumpkin motiff and, and the Goblin Glider is similar to the Lantern's pogo platform. Jack O'Lantern also has quite an organization - a large number of henchmen track the movement of the Hobgoblin's van and cause distractions, as it is towed by the police and a decent sized group (maybe the same people, although based on the art, i don't think so) take apart the van once they have it. The original Hobgoblin was basically running a solo operation.
Since Joe Robertson became Editor In Chief of the Daily Bugle, there's been a lot of depictions of him being overworked and extremely cranky. I wondered if it was a veiled swipe at Jim Shooter. In this issue, we see the headline writer "Mr. Falcone" complaining about Robertson. Falcone is a dead ringer for Tom DeFalco.
While Spider-Man is battling the Jack O'Lantern, the Lantern's thugs continue to try stripping the van, but it suddenly activates on its own and drives away.
In a "clue" into the Hobgoblin's identity, it's said that Lance Bannon hasn't been to the Bugle in weeks - which would be around the time the Hobgoblin was thought killed.
On the cover of the Marvel Tales reprint for this issue, it says "Before Jason Macendale became the Hobgoblin, he was... the Jack O'Lantern!". The MCP tags Macendale as "Hobgoblin V", which shows you how convoluted the Hobgoblin identity plot was. I'm sticking with Jack O'Lantern.
I hate the "Can't meet Aunt May" part of the story. So contrived. And i wish Defalco hadn't stirred up the Hobgoblin stuff, at least so soon. Leonardi's art is pretty good, though. It has a cartoonish quality (might not be the right word) that i always initially go "oh, i don't like that", but then i take a closer look trying to figure out what i don't like and wind up deciding that i actually do. It's a good thing i'm not a professional art critic, anyway.
Quality Rating: C
Chronological Placement Considerations: It's nice that we're seeing decent coordination between Amazing and Spectacular. There always seems to be some reference point clue in each book that lets you know where we are in relation to the other. We know that this takes place after Spectacular #91, for example (see reference below).
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: Marvel Tales #268
Inbound References (3): showArthur Chekov, Aunt May, Betty Brant, Harriet Rose Palermo, Jason Macendale, Joe 'Robbie' Robertson, Martha (Aunt May's Boarder), Nate Lubenski, Sophie (Aunt May's Boarder), Spider-Man, Venom Symbiote, Victor Palermo
Agreed about hating the Aunt May sub-plot. This is the 2nd time Spider-Man has fought Jack-O-Lantern, and both issues ended with May being mad at Peter. Maybe Macendale is just bad luck for the two of them.
Posted by: TCP | November 4, 2014 4:12 PM
"I wondered if it was a veiled swipe at Jim Shooter."
Posted by: JSfan | August 31, 2015 6:04 PM
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