Characters Appearing: Harry Osborn, Kingpin, Liz Allan, Lizard, Ned Leeds, Normie Osborn, Spider-Man
Peter Parker, the Spectacular Spider-Man #130
Issue(s): Peter Parker, the Spectacular Spider-Man #130
This story uses the familiar trope of a villain kidnapping or (in this case) poisoning a member of a hero's supporting cast to make the hero do the villain's bidding. In this case, the supporting cast member is Harry.
And that illustrates a real secret identity problem. Hobgoblin poisons Harry because he knows that Harry can contact Spider-Man through Peter Parker. He doesn't poison Peter because "unlike Osborn, [Parker]'s a loner without a lot of friends or responsibilities". But since Peter's connection to Spider-Man is so well known, Peter's friends are clearly as vulnerable to Spider-Man's enemies as if his identity were public.
Spider-Man is poisoned too for double insurance.
Anyway, this is where it gets pretty hilarious. Because the reason the Hobgoblin needs Spider-Man to do anything for him is because, after stealing a ledger from the Kingpin for a European crimelord (not the Foreigner), the Hobgoblin barely escapes from the Kingpin's goons and tumbles down a skyscraper, crippling himself.
The Hobgoblin's plan is to have Spider-Man steal the ledger back from the European crime-lord so that he can sell it back to the Kingpin. Spider-Man goes to Doc Connors to try to get a cure for the poison, but instead the Kingpin shows up and offers to acquire a cure for Spider-Man and Harry if Spider-Man will just give him the ledger back and take out the Hobgoblin.
Spider-Man succeeds in getting back the ledger, but fails to capture the Hobgoblin, because plexiglass.
The Kingpin is unimpressed but by this point the cures have already been administered.
Perhaps because of the Hobgoblin's less than stellar showing here, it seems it's been ruled that this is actually one of the appearances of Ned Leeds brainwashed into believing that he's the Hobgoblin.
Quality Rating: C
Chronological Placement Considerations: The note on the splash page just says this takes place before Amazing Spider-Man #289. The MCP have it between Amazing Spider-Man #282-283 and before Peter Parker #121. It's worth noting that (along with several other issues) this also therefore takes place during Web of Spider-Man #23, after Peter gets back from Europe in the middle of that issue but before he meets Aunt May for his trip to Atlantic City.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
It's weird that they added the note saying that this takes place before Amazing 289. They could have just cut the line about Peter being a loner and it could have taken place after Spectacular 129.
Posted by: Michael | February 24, 2014 8:23 PM
This story exists because someone realized how badly Christopher Priest FUBARed the entire Hobgoblin storyline with his incompetence and contempt for everyone else working on the Spider-Man books (since Priest was Jim Shooter's personal asskisser and could get away with crap like killing off Ned Leeds just because he could, the writers on the Spider-Man books and their plans for Ned Leeds be damned).
This issue only exists mainly to give fans a "final" showdown between the Ned Leeds Hobgoblin and Spider-Man. And it is why I'm glad every time an editor or an artist fucked over Christopher Priest (driving him out of the industry), because he FUBARed the entire Spider-Man line in the 80s and ruined the Hobgoblin storyline with his bullshit, with him behaving like a spoiled brat who could ruin other writers storylines because he was Jim Shooter's chief asskisser.
Posted by: Jesse Baker | March 25, 2014 12:46 AM
Well. That was pretty over the top, but killing off New Leeds WAS a major mistake, no matter how you slice it. This preoccupation that Priest had with "realistic death" and the idea that it can just come out of nowhere, even in a genre like superhero comics, is the same kind of thinking that eventually led to DC'S Superboy punching a twenty people to death because "that's what would happen in real life". There is so much wrong with that way of thinking that I don't even know where to start.
Posted by: Jay Patrick | March 25, 2014 11:31 PM
@Michael, i wonder if part of the idea was to push this back before Doc Connors' change in status quo from issue #127.
Posted by: fnord12 | April 2, 2014 12:03 PM
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