Amazing Spider-Man #312
Issue(s): Amazing Spider-Man #312
It does make sense to have the build up in the books where the style allowed more focus on plot and character development, and let Todd McFarlane handle the Goblin battle in big splashy panels.
One thing that's interesting is that despite a lot of the other characters dancing around the fact that Harry had suppressed the fact that he was the Green Goblin in the past, he's fully aware of what he's doing now.
Harry, who has followed the Hobgoblin to his office building, wonders if perhaps the events of Inferno, which have turned the insides of the building into a glacier, are what caused his memories to return.
Weirdly, while Peter said in Web of Spider-Man #47 that the Hobgoblin was his problem and seemed to be pursuing him back to the city, it's Harry that finds him first.
Peter instead has checked in with Mary Jane...
...and then stopped by the Daily Bugle (where the presses are printing pornography), even though he knew that the Hobgoblin was going directly to Harry's Manhattan office.
Peter even stops by at Empire State University (which turns out to be closed due to the Inferno madness), and it takes a telegram from Liz to get him into action. But he does eventually get there.
And that's a good thing because Harry isn't really a super-person.
During the fight, Harry tells the Hobgoblin that there really isn't a formula anyway. It was destroyed "years ago".
With that, the Hobgoblin flees, and Spider-Man weirdly invites Harry to join him. "New York could always use another crime fighter". Luckily, Harry declines, saying "I've got responsibilities. Maybe you'll understand some time if you get married."
The current Hobgoblin had an established career as the Jack O'Lantern when he took on the new mantle, but the whole point of this arc is that he wants the formula that gave Norman Osborn super-strength. It was also the main focus of the original Hobgoblin's early career. Harry, as far as i know, never took that formula, so he really has no business playing the Green Goblin, and Spider-Man should know that. It's true that Harry was a villain for a while in the 70s (before the idea of a formula was explicitly established), but Spider-Man surely handled him with kid gloves since he knew Harry was just crazy, and a friend. And regardless of his ability level, it's clearly a point of stress for a guy that doesn't need any. So it's really weird to see Spider-Man trying to recruit him, and that's before you get to the fact that in general Spider-Man has tried to discourage others (especially the Black Cat) from going into the hero business.
The good news is that from the above exchange, Peter knows that Harry doesn't remember that Peter is Spider-Man.
While all of this is going on, Mary Jane is at a modelling gig where the gold jewelry comes to life...
...and she leads the effort to fight it off.
And while Peter was trying to get into ESU, we saw Doc Connors already inside and losing control of his Lizard side.
By the end of this issue, he's fully the Lizard, and Inferno seems to be in full swing.
As always, lots of nice pin-up art from McFarlane...
...but it's a bit disappointing even as an all fight issue since the big panels don't allow for a lot of ins and outs during the battle and it's all over pretty quickly.
Quality Rating: C+
Chronological Placement Considerations: This continues directly from Web of Spider-Man #47. The arrival of the demons suggests that the end of this issue takes place concurrently with the opening of Limbo shown in X-Terminators #3/New Mutants #71. The next Spider-book is Spectacular Spider-Man #147, which continues directly especially for Mary Jane's story (although i'll be pausing here on the Spider side to let the concurrent X-books catch up).
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: Spider-Man Legends vol. 2: Todd McFarlane Book 2 TPB
Inbound References (8): show
The weird thing is that in a later issue of Web, when Harry wants to become a hero to atone for the lives Norman took, Peter punches him. It might be possible to try to explain the discrepancy by saying that Peter is offended by the idea that anything Harry does can balance the scales with Gwen's death but still ...
Posted by: Michael | August 25, 2014 8:04 PM
Battle of the Goblins at last-
Posted by: david banes | August 25, 2014 8:42 PM
Did they ever explain why Harry even kept the Goblin paraphernalia in the first place?
Why does he have a Black Cat(I'm assuming it's not a Minstrel)mask in his attic?
Posted by: Mark Drummond | August 25, 2014 8:59 PM
It's Felix the Cat. McFarlane often put Felix into his work for a friend of his:
Posted by: Michael | August 25, 2014 10:48 PM
Say what you want about MacFarlane's art (and people say plenty), he draws a kick-ass Green Goblin. I especially love that first panel of him on the glider.
Posted by: Erik Beck | August 17, 2015 6:59 AM
If Norman Osbourne was this insanely-rich businessman and not just an owner of a chemical factory, why are Harry and Liz living in a small suburban house?
Posted by: ChrisW | July 7, 2016 3:58 PM
In Norman's final appearance (at the time), the famous death of Gwen Stacy issues, his breakdown is triggered by a combination of Harry's relapse in to drug abuse and the collapse of (some of?) his business holdings.
Posted by: Omar Karindu | April 20, 2018 6:20 PM
I;m with ChrisW on this, I do dislike the idea (mostly in the films I think, but also it does seem to have grown in the actual comics too post-comeback) that Norman was a nationally known businessman of a huge corporation. There's just no indication of that in the Stan Lee and Conway appearances, and even in the '80s it seemed mostly like Norman's wealth beyond the factory stretched mostly to owning several disused warehouses locally, that Harry either hadn't known about or hadn't investigated.
The richer he is, the less sense it seems to make that he needs to be a costumed criminal. I mean I know the whole point of the Goblin serum is it makes them more insane, but still.
Posted by: Jonathan, son of Kevin | April 21, 2018 12:36 PM
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