Green Goblin #3-4
Issue(s): Green Goblin #3, Green Goblin #4
This is where the book kind of lost me, because it's loosely, unofficially, a crossover with the Cyberwar crossover that spanned all of the #2 issues of the Scarlet Spider books, which i want nothing to do with. Cyberwar is a part x of y type crossover, and this issue isn't part of the x, nor is there any indication that it's part of the crossover on the cover, which just promises a Goblin/Spider confrontation that could have been fun. Instead, i learn that the new Green Goblin and the Scarlet Spider have already met, and now they're dealing with villains named "Joystick" and "El Toro Negro" who are involved in some goofball competition. This brings to light, i think, what people really mean when they complain about "The Clone Saga". The fact that Marvel tried to replace Peter Parker with his clone (or reveal that Peter was the clone) is less the problem than the fact that not only were the Spider-books in constant crossover mode, but that those crossovers spilled out all over the place, poisoning the entire line. Add to that the fact that the crossovers featured completely uninspired plots and the lamest new villains. The first two issues of this series showed that stories involving a fresh new hero learning their way around the Marvel universe can be fun; the same could have been done with the Scarlet Spider. But once this book gets involved with the Spider crossovers, it becomes garbage.
I mean, imagining having to read this:
At the core of this issue is nonetheless a funny idea that should have been made more upfront: Green Goblin is a horny teenager, and Joystick is an attractive woman, so he keeps blundering into obvious traps that Joystick has set for the Scarlet Spider because he's trying to make time with her.
Scarlet Spider tries to convince the Goblin to stop falling for it...
...but it's to little avail. It's a funny if ribald idea, but it doesn't really get the prominence it should. It's instead upstaged by whatever this is.
In the end, since this isn't actually a part of the crossover, nothing is resolved here. The Green Goblin stops participating, saying that he's only "looking for jollies". Which, again, is a good illustration of our main character, but it deserved a clearer, uninterrupted story.
Issue #3 ends with the absolute fakest type of cliffhanger, a kind which is unfortunately a Tom DeFalco specialty. Phil is being menaced by Ricko the Sicko.
But at the start of the next issue, nothing happens.
This has nothing to do with the main plots of either issues #3 or #4. Ricko isn't going after Phil for anything that they've discussed before; he isn't even really mad at him. He's just suddenly gotten the vague idea that Phil might be able to get him some unspecified useful information. The whole interaction is completely meaningless, except as a really clumsy way to remind us that this unstable guy is a part of Phil's life.
I probably hate these kind of cliffhangers more than most people because of unique reasons related to my project (it forces me to have a single entry for two unrelated stories) but it's a pretty bad writing technique any way you look at it.
The main plot of issue #4 promises a conflict between our new Green Goblin and the Hobgoblin. The current Hobgoblin isn't the original, it's Jason Macendale (who started out as the Jack O'Lantern), but the story makes the point that our Goblin's origin is very similar to the original Hobgoblin's, in that they both stumbled across a Green Goblin lair and repurposed the equipment. Except, as Phil himself admits, the Hobgoblin bothered to put his own look and identity together, whereas Phil is going around in the original villain's outfit. Despite, unlike the Hobgoblin, not intending to be a villain.
I love the idea that Phil is such a slacker he didn't bother to make any changes, and i like the weird idea of a hero (or quasi-hero, anyway) going around in the costume of one of Marvel's most well known villains (i think the New Warriors accepted him a little to easily last issue).
Phil notices the Hobgoblin going around his neighborhood and thinks that he's looking for him, mad that he's infringing on the Goblin identity. But, similar to the situation with Joystick, Phil actually just blunders into a situation without understanding it. Hobgoblin is really involved in a robbery/hijacking scheme targeting his ex-wife's current husband, who is shipping an armored money train. When Phil realizes that, he tries to contact the Fantastic Four for help, but seemingly isn't taken seriously.
So Green Goblin gets into a fight with the Hobgoblin, who it turns out had no interest in him until he got involved in his business.
Unlike his fight with the Rhino, this fight doesn't go so well for the Green Goblin (note also the colorist understandably getting confused).
Luckily for the Green Goblin, the Thing shows up after all.
Even the Thing isn't completely sure that he's a good guy, which i like better than the New Warrior encounter.
For what it's worth, Ben Ulrich's book about the original Green Goblins is out.
Quality Rating: C-
Chronological Placement Considerations: In terms of the Cyberwar crossover, this seems to take place between Amazing Scarlet Spider #2 and Scarlet Spider #2. The MCP have the Thing here between Fantastic Four #409-410.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (1): showBen Urich, El Toro Negro, Green Goblin (Phil Urich), Jason Macendale, Joe 'Robbie' Robertson, Joystick, Lynn Walsh, Ricko the Sicko, Scarlet Spider, Thing
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