Characters Appearing: Abraham Varley, Arranger, Betty Brant, Daniel Johnston, Daniel Kingsley, Dina (Richard Fisk's girlfriend), Foreigner, Gauntlet (Alfredo Morelli), Hobgoblin (Roderick Kingsley), J. Jonah Jameson, Jason Macendale, Joe 'Robbie' Robertson, Joy Mercado, Kingpin, Lance Bannon, Marla Madison Jameson, Mary Jane Watson, Ned Leeds, Richard Fisk, Spider-Man, Wolverine
Web of Spider-Man #29
Issue(s): Web of Spider-Man #29
But Fisk is disillusioned with his Rose identity.
Oh, and in case you missed it, Leeds was the Hobgoblin.
Per the above scene, Fisk says that both he and Leeds took on their costumed identities so that they could topple the crime empire of the Kingpin (Richard's father). Don't bother flipping through your back issues looking for clues of that (well, at least don't look further than the Priest-scripted Gang War): there aren't any, and in fact the Hobgoblin and Rose's actions are very inconsistent with the idea that they were do-gooders in disguise. It's actually a decent story for the Rose - Richard Fisk has taken on costumed identities and opposed his father before, and he's an unstable enough character that he could personally believe that he's a heroic crusader when in fact he's deluding himself about the harm he's doing to regular people. Even in the Priest issues he demonstrates a real elitist attitude, and the idea that he's never committed any crimes really only comes into play when he meets the woman Dina. So it really could be an elaborate self-deception. And we'll see even in this issue Fisk has no problem telling his minions Johnston and Varley to kill off the others that were in on his scheme. I like Fisk as the Rose. Much more than DeFalco's idea to make Roderick Kinglsey the Rose (as long as it's with the idea that he's ruthlessly attacking his father's operation and lying to himself about the fact that he's hurting innocents). The idea that the effeminate fashion designer has to be the purple hooded guy that's into flowers is weak, cheap writing.
Roger Stern's original intention was that Kinglsey was the Hobgoblin, and ultimately that will be the case when Stern comes back to write the Hobgoblin Lives mini-series, but that won't be for a while. Kingsley is involved in this story, but he's revealed as the guy that was designing weapons for the Hobgoblin.
And that, of course, has the whole idea exactly backwards. The idea was that Kingsley got his hands on the Green Goblin's weapons and uses his fashion skills to design a new costume. Why would Kinglsey be designing weapons?
DeFalco intended for Kinglsey to be the Rose and Fisk to be the Hobgoblin. But after DeFalco was fired from the title, Priest revealed that Fisk was the Rose. And i guess no one wanted to go back to the idea that Kinglsey was the Hobgoblin.
It's a mess, as discussed in the ASM #289 entry.
Fisk's friend Alfredo Morelli decides to go to the Hobgoblin's known hideouts and blow them up to prevent anyone from finding evidence linking the Hobgoblin to Fisk, and when he gets there he finds out that there's now a new Hobgoblin (we learned in Amazing #289 that it is Jason Macendale, formerly Jack O'Lantern).
Meanwhile, Johnston and Varley manage to (seemingly) kill ("Roderick") Kingsley but fail to kill Lt. Kris Keating, who was also involved in Fisk and Leeds' scheme.
Keating was involved with the Rose supposedly so that he could get tips on mob dealings. But he also demonstrates that he's much faster than he looks while dodging Johnston and Varley's bullets, and we already saw him demonstrate super-strength during Gang War.
Later, the Rose finds Johnston and Varley dead and encounters the new Hobgoblin.
This is all a repeat of a scene from Amazing Spider-Man #289, except this time we see that this encounter confirms Fisk's decision to give up being the Rose.
This is definitely a wrap-things-up type of issue, and to that end it also has Wolverine tracking down Spider-Man to follow up on their last encounter. He finds him in his Peter Parker identity at the docks in New York. Before they can talk, they are attacked by the Red Dot Special Gang (and not one of them is a Frankenstein like it shows on the cover).
The thugs run away, but Peter is reluctant to change into his costume and chase them down.
But he eventually comes around.
When that's wrapped up, they are further interrupted by a scene of the new Hobgoblin chasing down Alfredo. The Arranger also shows up to tell Spider-Man that the Kingpin wants to meet with him (we already saw that meeting in Amazing Spider-Man #289).
Alfredo is run into the water, but Spider-Man is able to rescue him.
Wolverine then gives Spider-Man a much needed message.
"With great power comes great responsibility" is one thing, but Peter often takes it too far (as we see with Ned's death in ASM #289). So i thought this was a good note to end on.
I already talked about my problems with the Hobgoblin reveal, but this issue, which comes 2 months after ASM #289, isn't quite as bad. Wolverine reaching out and showing a human side and giving Peter some advice works ok. That said, the quick kill-offs of Kingsley and the Rose's agents feels like obvious deck cleaning, and the idea that neither the Hobgoblin nor the Rose ever had any real criminal intent is almost impossible to take. Still, at least it's putting all this behind us.
The most amazing thing about this issue is that the Red Dot Special Gang recognize that Wolverine took his costume from the Shi'ar Imperial Guardsman, Fang.
Quality Rating: C-
Chronological Placement Considerations: According to a footnote on the opening splash page, this issue takes place during Amazing Spider-Man #289. I've got Wolverine here in the same break as his Spider-Man vs. Wolverine appearance, which takes place prior to this issue.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
I'll have to read ASM#289 and this issue side-by-side at some point.
Posted by: jsfan | March 26, 2014 2:21 PM
I forget - this isn't really Kris Keating, right? It's the Foreigner, Keating's been dead for a while? That's why you don't list Keating as appearing?
Posted by: S | March 26, 2014 2:22 PM
Posted by: fnord12 | March 26, 2014 2:32 PM
I was personally very disappointed by the lack of Frankenstein.
Posted by: Robert | March 26, 2014 3:01 PM
Another crap issue. While making Richard Fisk the Rose makes some kind of sense, this lame whining loser is not what made the Rose such a cool character in his earliest experiences. DeFalco created an interesting villain. Someone whose name and appearance seems effeminate, yet utterly ruthless, but with class. I always liked seeing the Rose, Varley, and Johnson when they showed up.
Two great Spider-Man villains have been reduced to lameness and stupidity in a three month period. Completely eliminated and gone from the mythos. No longer available as a toy for someone else to pick up and play with. Way to go Owsley!
But I do like the characterization of Wolverine here. You can tell both Wolverine and Priest are having fun.
Posted by: Chris | March 26, 2014 10:05 PM
To be fair, there really wasn't any good explanation for why Kingsley was handing the Hobgoblin weapons once Priest decided he wasn't the Rose. DeFalco's idea was probably that Kingsley got the weapons through his underworld contacts as the rose but there's no real reason why Hobby would go to Kingsley for weapons.
Posted by: Michael | March 26, 2014 11:01 PM
The one thing that was missed here was that the Kingsley who got shot here was his brother Daniel while his brother-the one true Hobgoblin-decided to retire after setting Ned to be murdered by the Foreigner and Macendale.
Posted by: draco | July 10, 2014 1:10 AM
"The most amazing thing about this issue is that the Red Dot Special Gang recognize that Wolverine took his costume from the Shi'ar Imperial Guardsman, Fang."
That's because the whole gang are skrulls who are stuck in their current identities. Except for one of them who temporarily changed into Frankenstein for the cover. So they have a working knowledge of the Shiar. ;)
Posted by: clyde | June 8, 2015 3:16 PM
So, Rose's men show up to kill Kingsley and Keating and succeeded in incapacitating Kingsley... but then didn't bother to actually kill him?
And if Keating is the Foreigner and Foreigner is Keating (at this point), what the hell is this gibberish about Keating being involved with the Rose? Why would Foreigner need to be involved with the Rose and secondly why would he risk his cover identity with that. The real Keating being involved with the Rose actually could make sense - but for that to work then that means that Keating was alive a LOT later than here, Marvel Appendix or marvel wikia credit him.
I mean, the latter flat-out shows how toxic Priest was to the Spidey books, he just went ahead with whatever ideas he wanted and never bothered squaring anything with even his "friend" Peter David who got stuck with having to clean up or make sense of the majority of this turgid trash.
Posted by: AF | June 20, 2017 5:47 PM
Peter David tried to explain it by revealing that sometimes it was the Foreigner's agents, and not the Foreigner himself, who was impersonating Keating and they did "whatever naughty bits they concocted on the side". Don't ask me why the Foreigner tolerated this.
Posted by: Michael | June 20, 2017 7:53 PM
Comments are now closed.
|SuperMegaMonkey home | Comics Chronology home|